Quote of the Day

Mar 29, 2024
Question: What is the relation between the thinker and his thought?

Krishnamurti: Now, is there any such relation, or is there only one thing, which is thought, and not the thinker? Because, if there are no thoughts, there is no thinker. When you are thinking, when you have thoughts, is there a thinker? If you have no thoughts at all, where is the thinker? Now, having thoughts, seeing the impermanency of thoughts, the thinker comes into being. That is, thought creates the thinker; and because thoughts are transient, the thinker becomes the permanent entity. There is first the process of thought, and then thought creates the thinker, obviously. The thinker then establishes himself as a permanent entity, apart from thoughts. That is, thoughts are transient, they are always in a state of flux, and thought objects to its own impermanency; therefore, thought creates the thinker. It is not the other way round, the thinker does not create thought, If you have no thoughts, there is no thinker; so it is thought that creates the thinker. Then we try to establish a relationship between the thinker, and the thought which has created him. That is, we try to establish a relationship between that which seeks to be permanent, which is the thinker created by thought, and the thought itself, which is transient. But obviously both are transient, Since thought, which is transient, creates the thinker, and though the thinker may imagine himself to be permanent, he also is transient; because the thinker is the outcome of thought.

This is not a conundrum. It is an obvious fact. Pursue a thought completely, go through with it to the end, think it out fully, and you will see what happens. You will find that there is no thinker at all, because it is the thought which creates the thinker. Therefore, there are not two states as the thinker and the thought. The thinker is a fictitious entity, an unreal state. There is only thought; and the bundle of thoughts creates the 'I', the thinker. And the thinker, having given himself permanency, tries to transform thought and thereby maintain himself, which is false; and if you can think out every thought fully, completely, that is, let each thought go right through to the end without resistance, then you will see there is no thinker at all. Therefore, the mind becomes extraordinarily pliable, quiet. And that quiet, that tranquillity, is the state of experiencing. As there is neither the actor nor the end in view, neither the experiencer nor the experience, it is a state of experiencing, which is pure action. Try this and you will see that thought is constantly giving birth to further thought, and therefore maintaining the thinker. But when there is no thinker - which there is not, only a thought process - , that is, when the thought process is completely understood, in that passive awareness when every thought is allowed full scope, full depth, then there is freedom from all thought; and in that freedom, there is experiencing.

Bombay, India | 10th Public Talk 14th March, 1948 Read full text