Quote of the Day

Sep 20, 2022
Questioner: I have been told that you do not read any philosophical or religious literature. I can hardly credit this, as when I listen to you I realize that you must have read, or have, some secret source of knowledge. Please be frank.

Krishnamurti: I have not read any philosophical, psychological, or religious literature, neither the Bhagavad-Gita nor the Upanishads. The secret source is in oneself, for you and I are the repositories of knowledge; we are the reservoir of all thought and wisdom. You and I are the results of the past, of time, and in understanding ourselves we uncover all knowledge and wisdom. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom, and we can and must discover truth through self-knowledge.

Wisdom cannot be bought; neither is it to be found through sacrifice nor does it lie in any book, however sacred. Truth does not come by following any system, any leader, any guru. It comes into being when there is passive awareness, when the mind is alertly receptive. There is a delight, there is an ecstasy incomparable, when there is self-knowledge. But most minds are drugged with the thoughts of others, and imitation and repetition are inevitable. When you quote the Bhagavad-Gita, or the Bible, or the Koran, or some so-called sacred book of China, or some modern philosopher or economist, you are merely repetitive. What is true cannot be repeated, and if repeated, quoted, it ceases to be the truth; it becomes a lie. A lie can be propounded, propagated, but not truth; when a truth becomes an instrument of propaganda, then it ceases to be true.

Self-knowledge is not a conclusion, an end; it has no beginning and no end. You must begin where you are, reading every word, every phrase, every paragraph of the book of self-knowledge. To understand its contents there must be no condemnation, no justification, for all identification and denial put an end to the stream of self-knowledge. To be awake to the movement of the self, there must be a certain freedom, a spontaneity, for a thought that is disciplined, controlled, molded, can never pursue the swift current of the self. A disciplined mind is shaped in a mold, and so cannot follow the subtle promptings of the different layers of consciousness. But there are rare moments when the disciplined mind, the drugged mind, is spontaneous, and in these moments there is a comprehension of conditioned responses, when thought can go beyond its own limitations.

Wisdom is not in a book, it has no secret source. You will find the real very near; it is in yourself. But to discover it there must be the activity of constant alertness. When thought is passively aware, watching and following, then the map of self-knowledge unfolds itself. Self-knowledge is not by the study of the self in isolation, for there is no isolation. To live is to be related, and isolation is merely escape. If thought is alertly passive, watching its own movements and flutters, then when sleep comes the conscious mind is capable of receiving the hints and intimations of the hidden consciousness. He who desires to discover the real, the eternal, must put aside every book, every system, every guru, for that which is can be uncovered only through self-knowledge.
To Be Human | Fifth Talk in Madras