Mind of J. Krishnamurti
The Mind of J. Krishnamurti [Excerpts]
Edited by S. R. Vas (1989)
People need to be awakened, not instructed. (p.16)
My teaching is neither mystic nor occult. For I hold that both mysticism and occultism are man's limitation upon truth. Life is more important than any beliefs or dogmas, and in order to allow life its full fruition you must liberate it from beliefs, authority, and tradition. But those who are bound by these things will have a difficulty in understanding truth.
Think and love. (p.21)
Of what importance is that to which you cling, if doubt can destroy it? Of what value are your traditions, your beliefs, and your accumulations, if doubt is capable of sweeping them away? A man who is afraid of doubt will never find the truth. Doubt is a precious ointment; it heals though it burns greatly. If you are afraid of little burns, you will never destroy the impurities you have accumulated throughout your lives. In avoiding life, in fearing life, you shelter yourself in decaying things, and in that shelter there is sorrow, but in inviting doubt you will create that which will be eternal, and bear the stamp of happiness. (p.22)
Trust life. (p.23)
I have nothing to offer you. (p.31)
Those who wish to understand my point of view, who have a desire to attain that which I have attained, can in no manner compromise with the unrealities, with the unessentials that surround them. Through their own ecstatic desire to attain they must impose on themselves the self-discipline of which I am going to speak. I want this perfectly understood. Of what use is a vast horde of people who always compromise, a vast number who are uncertain, vague, frightened, doubtful? If there are three who have become a flame of Truth, who are a danger to everything around them that is unessential, those three and I will create a new understanding, a new delight, a new world. I am going to find one or three or half a dozen who are absolutely certain and determined, who have finished with all compromise. The rest will follow leisurely at their convenience, because they needs must suffer more, learn more.
Man being free, is wholly responsible to himself, unguided by any plan, by any spiritual authority, by any divine dispensation whatsoever. As he is free, he is, by that very freedom, limited. If you were not free, you would have a different world from that which exists at present. As the will in everyone is free, it is limited, and because the self is small, without determination or purpose at the beginning, it chooses, it discriminates, has its likes and has its dislikes. In the removal of that limitation, which is self-imposed on the self, lies the glory of the fulfilment of the self, the freedom of the self.
This attainment is not brought about by ecstasy, nor does it lie in the abandoning of oneself to works or to meditation, or in the blind following of another, or in immolation of oneself to a cause. Because the "I", the self, is in process of achieving, it is creating barriers between itself and its fulfilment, by its eagerness, its struggles, through fear, through innumerable complications. To remove these barriers of limitation, you need constant awareness, constant watchfulness, constant self-reflection, which must be imposed on yourself, never by another. But if you discipline yourself unconsciously, without knowing where you are going, that self-discipline itself becomes a barrier. Understand the purpose of life, and from that very understanding will arise self-discipline. Self-discipline must be born out of the love of Life-vast, immeasurable, whole, unconditioned, limitless, to which all humanity belongs. Because you love that freedom which is absolute, which is Truth itself, which is harmony; by the very force of that love, your self-discipline will make you incorruptible; so you must nourish that love. The incorruptibility of the self is the perfection of life.
Till man is made incorruptible by himself, he will know no happiness, he will be held in the bondage of friendship and the fear of loneliness. The weariness of strife will still hold him. Men must be created who are great in the serenity of harmony. Such men must be born in you. Such men must give rise to new transformations, must become a flame to burn away the dross danger to all unessential, childish things.
To become such men you must live in the eternal now, in that moment of eternity which is neither the future nor the past. In you must be concentrated that understanding, that immense power which shall destroy the unrealities, the unessential things that surround the self. Such men by their lives will create a new world, a new understanding. It is your life that matters, what you do, what you think, not what you preach, not in what manner you cast a shadow on the face of life.
All this may seem immense, vague, uncertain, impossible to achieve; but you must go after it, even though you are weak, these are all small as compared with the everlasting. (p.44-46)
We all know that human consciousness can be disturbed with stimulants. An alcoholic drink will do that much for you. But then you are back next morning where you were before, when the effect of the drink is gone, feeling worse and miserable for your experience. Truly great experiences are those which happen on their own, without any effort on the part of the individual to manipulate them - for himself or for others. (p.50)
These experiences (yogic), however profound they may appear to be, remain within the sphere of time. For me hypnosis, drugs or yoga are all attempts at self-delusion.
It was not a change of 'attitudes' (breaking with the Order of the Star). It was a total change which I experienced, if I may put it that way. I felt that the truth about life had to be discovered by each individual for himself. The whole concept of Gurus and Followers became unreal to me, and I had to step aside from that position which I realised was a false one.
I have been teaching, but at a totally different level (not as a Guru). I am certainly all for sharing one's thoughts with others. In that light, I would be willing to accept any of the great teachers, Christ or Buddha or any one else. I only object to a cult being woven around them where the figure of the teacher becomes more important than his words or his thoughts. (p.51)
Man's discovery of God ceases to be a discovery if he begins this search with a foregone conclusion in his mind. Most religions impose a certain image of the type of God they would want their followers to worship. Whereas to mind, in the search for truth, which to me is the search for God, the choice does not rest with us as to what to reject or accept. Truth, God, call it what you will, is an awareness of the totality of existence, of our hopes and desires, our ambitions, our greed, our loves and thousands of other emotions which constitute what passes for the living individual. I believe organized religions stand in the way of this awareness of the totality of existence.
Mind has its own place, a unique place in our lives. Without the use of your mind you won't be able to find your way back home, and I won't be able to conduct this conversation without its help. But mind can only move in the sphere of the known, in the sphere of time. Whereas we refer to God as the unknown the timeless, is it not? Till a certain stage, in the three dimensions world, our mind can serve us to our advantage. But to reach the fourth dimension of existence, the mind instead of moving along the horizontal plane, must learn to shoot up vertically as it were and explode for the timeless, for the unknown to be. (p.52)
[How do you see this worked our in practice, in the routine life of the millions who seek God?]
In their sensitivity, in their ability to remain open for the new. I do not like the word God: it smacks of anthropomorphism. But in a man's sensitivity to, in his choiceless awareness of the totality of existence, in this alone I find whatever meaning the word God conveys.
Day-to-day living is more valuable for me, for it is through this that one unfolds the meaning of existence.
We form a relationship and later get into the habit of looking at it from a fixed point of view - whether the relationship is with one's wife, or one's children, or one's neighbours. Such relationships cease to be creative; they become dead. To have a moving relationship one has to be aware of the others as they are , from moment to moment, one has to be responsive to them, in short one has to be sensitive. Habit of any kind dulls sensitivity. We must be willing to accept the change in others and willing to change ourselves. 'Willing' is perhaps not the correct expression. If we are sensitive, we cannot help noticing how time and circumstances modify others and we cannot help being impressed ourselves by the same process. Sensitivity demands the ability to have serene mind, a mind which is not preoccupied with itself, a mind which is receptive, which is an open mind, a mind which is not always getting hurt at what it sees or perceives. (p.53)
If some one sticks a pin into you, you are bound to react - protect yourself, or cry out in pain, or take yourself away from the offending agent - your reaction depending on several factors, varying from man to man, I mean hurt in the sense of nursing hatred. An event is over and for years we keep brooding over it working ourselves up into a state of passion. The challenge of existence ever demands a fresh approach on our part to an issue or to an individual. A mind which nurses hatred, or for that matter nurses joy, long after the event is over, ceases to be sensitive. Sensitivity is my equivalent of meditation, which brings you its own rewards.
By being what you really are (one can achieve this sensitivity). By trying to see what is. You see genetically, or through earlier conditioning, I have acquired a certain type of character. It is there, a part of myself, like my nose or the shape of my chin. Now I must try and see myself as I am, and I must make no effort to be anything else.
I am not advocating self-indulgence, that a hypocrite should continue to be hypocrite or a thief remain a thief. I should not submit to my weakness, but I should not indulge in the opposite of my weakness either as a way of getting rid of it.
I'll make it clear. Let us say I am given to hating others. Now I must not go and start loving them, making love as a panacea for my foolish temperament. That way I shall never learn to grow out of my hateful nature. I will only be generating contradictions in myself, running from one conflict to another. What is wanted of me is to accept the fact that I hate others and then go into the cause of this. I should ask myself: why do I hate? Is it that I expect too much from life? Am I in any respect frustrated? What is it that I want? Am I capable enough to get it? I should ask myself all this, and stay in this state of exploration, without making any deliberate effort on my part to get rid of my malady. Suddenly, I will discover that a transformation takes place in myself, without any planning on my part, a creative transformation. My sensitivity has now come into play! (p.54-55)