Category Archives: Krishnamurti Quotes

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Jiddu Krishnamurti

Can the mind put away all its conditioning so that it is actually, not verbally or theoretically or ideologically, but actually free, completely? That is the only challenge, that is the only issue, now or ever. If you also see the importance of that, then we can go into this question as to whether the mind can uncondition itself. Can we proceed from there? Is it possible? In this question several things are involved. First of all who is the entity who is going to uncondition the conditioned mind? You understand? I want to uncondition myself, being born as a Hindu or brought up in a particular part of the world, with all the impressions, cultures, books, magazines, what people have said and what they have not, such constant pressure has shaped my mind. And I see it must be totally free. Now, how is it to be free? Is there an entity which is going to make it free? Man has said, there is an entity; they call it the Atman in India, the soul or the grace of God in the Occident, or this or that, which, given an opportunity, will bring about this freedom. It is suggested that if I live rightly, if I do certain things, if I follow certain formulas, certain systems, certain beliefs, then I will be free. So, firstly it is posited that there is a superior outer form or agency, that will help me to be free, that will make the mind free if I do these things right? But ‘If you do these things’ is a system, which is going to condition you and that is what has happened. The theologians and the theoreticians and the various religious people have said, ‘do these things, practice, meditate, control, force, suppress, follow, obey’ then at the end, that outer agency will come and bring a certain miracle and you will be free; see how false that is, yet every religion believes in it in a different way. So, if you see the truth of that, that there is no outer agency, God what you will that is going to free the conditioned mind, then the whole organized religious structure, of priests with their rituals, with their mutterings of meaningless words, words, have no meaning any more. Then secondly, if you have actually discarded all that, how is it possible for this conditioning to be dissolved; who is the entity that is going to do it; you have discarded this outer agency, the sacred, the divine, all that, then there must be somebody who is going to dissolve it? Then who is that? The observer? The ‘I’, the ‘me’, which is the observer? Let us stick to that word, ‘observer’; that is good enough. Is it the observer that is going to dissolve it? The observer says; ‘I must be free, therefore I must get rid of all this conditioning’. You have discarded the outer, divine agency, but you have created another agency which is the observer. Now, is the observer different from the thing which he observes? Please do follow this. You understand? We looked to an outer agency to free us God, Saviours, Masters and so on, the gurus if you discard that then you will see that you must also discard the observer, who is another form of an agency. The observer is the result of experience, of knowledge, of the desire to free himself from his own conditioning; he says, ‘I must be free’. The ‘I’ is the observer. The ‘I’ says, ‘I must be free’. But is the ‘I’ different from the thing it observes? It says, ‘I am conditioned, I am a nationalist, I am a Catholic, I am this, I am that’. Is the ‘I’ really different from the thing which he says is separate from him, which he says is his conditioning?

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Talks and Dialogues in Saanen 1968

(image source: krishnamurti.dk)

Who will free the mind?

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What is perception, what is seeing? How do you see that tree? Look at it for the moment. With what sight do you see it? Is it solely an optical observation, just looking at the tree with the optical reaction, observing the form, the pattern, the light on the leaf? Or do you, when you observe a tree, name it, saying. “That is an oak” and walk by? By naming it you are no longer seeing the tree—the word denies the thing. Can you look at it without the word?

So, are you aware how you approach, how you look at, the tree? Do you observe it partially, with only one sense, the optical sense; or do you see it, hear it, smell it, feel it, see the design of it, take the whole of it in? Or, do you look at it as though you are different from it—of course, when you look at it you are not the tree. But can you look at it without a word, with all your senses responding to the totality of its beauty?

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Flame of Attention (p. 34)

What is perception, what is seeing?

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To learn about oneself one needs a great deal of humility. If you start by saying, “I know myself”, you’ve already stopped learning about yourself. Or if you say, “There is nothing much to learn about myself because I know what I am—I’m a bundle of memories, ideas, experiences, tradition, a conditioned entity with innumerable contradictory reactions”—you’ve stopped learning about yourself. To learn about oneself requires considerable humility, never assuming that you know anything: that is, learning about oneself from the beginning and never accumulating. The moment you accumulate knowledge about yourself through your own discovery, that becomes the platform from which you begin to examine, learn, and therefore what you learn is merely further addition to what you already know. Humility is a state of mind that never acquires, never says, “I know”.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Talks & Dialogues – p. 212

About Humility

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What is age? Is it the number of years you have lived? That is part of age; you were born in such and such a year, and now you are fifteen, forty or sixty years old. Your body grows old and so does your mind when it is burdened with all the experiences, miseries and weariness of life; and such a mind can never discover what is truth. The mind can discover only when it is young, fresh, innocent; but innocence is not a matter of age. It is not only the child that is innocent -he may not be- but the mind that is capable of experiencing without accumulating the residue of experience. The mind must experience, that is inevitable. It must respond to everything -to the river, to the diseased animal, to the dead body being carried away to be burnt, to the poor villagers carrying their burdens along the road, to the tortures and miseries of life- otherwise it is already dead; but it must be capable of responding without being held by the experience. It is tradition, the accumulation of experience, the ashes of memory, that make the mind old. The mind that dies every day to the memories of yesterday, to all the joys and sorrows of the past such a mind is fresh, innocent, it has no age; and without that innocence, whether you are ten or sixty, you will not find God.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life

Dying to the memories of yesterday

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We know love as sensation, do we not? When we say we love, we know jealousy, we know fear, we know anxiety. When you say you love someone, all that is implied: envy, the desire to possess, the desire to own, to dominate, the fear of loss, and so on. All this we call love, and we do not know love without fear, without envy, without possession; we merely verbalize that state of love which is without fear, we call it impersonal, pure, divine, or God knows what else; but the fact is that we are jealous, we are dominating, possessive. We shall know that state of love only when jealousy, envy, possessiveness, domination, come to an end; and as long as we possess, we shall never love. . . . When do you think about the person whom you love? You think about her when she is gone, when she is away, when she has left you. . . . So, you miss the person whom you say you love only when you are disturbed, when you are in suffering; and as long as you possess that person, you do not have to think about that person, because in possession there is no disturbance. . . .

Thinking comes when you are disturbed and you are bound to be disturbed as long as your thinking is what you call love. Surely, love is not a thing of the mind; and because the things of the mind have filled our hearts, we have no love. The things of the mind are jealousy, envy, ambition, the desire to be somebody, to achieve success. These things of the mind fill your hearts, and then you say you love; but how can you love when you have all these confusing elements in you? When there is smoke, how can there be a pure flame?

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life

Love is not a thing of the mind

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You know, in the case of most of us, the mind is noisy, everlastingly chattering to itself , soliloquizing or chattering about something, or trying to talk to itself, to convince itself of something; it is always moving, noisy. And from that noise, we act. Any action born of noise produces more noise, more confusion. But if you have observed and learnt what it means to communicate, the difficulty of communication, the non-verbalization of the mind – that is, that communicates and receives communication – , then, as life is a movement, you will, in your action, move on naturally, freely, easily, without any effort, to that state of communion. And in that state of communion, if you enquire more deeply, you will find that you are not only in communion with nature, with the world, with everything about you, but also in communion with yourself.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Varanasi 2nd Public Talk 22nd November 1964

 

Finding Silence

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The whole of the Orient is mesmerized by the word meditation, and in the Occident, the word prayer is of tremendous importance. It is essential to find out whether the mind – which is so very complex, and then caught in a system of what is called meditation, or in a repetition of words, however ancient, however meaningful as prayer – whether the mind can actually know what meditation is, or what lies beyond the word prayer, and discover an actual state that is really silent. It is only when the mind is silent that we can understand anything. If I want to understand somebody, my mind must be quiet, not chattering, not prejudiced, not having innumerable opinions and experiences, for they prevent the observation and the understanding. One can see directly that it is only when the mind is very quiet that there is a possibility of clarity; and the whole purpose of meditation in the East is to bring about such a state of mind. That purpose is the controlling of thought – which is the same purpose in constantly repeating a prayer – so that in that quiet state one may hope to understand one’s problems. One has to understand these problems, one has to be free of the anxieties and fears which they entail, otherwise one cannot really be a human being, one is a tortured entity, and the tortured entity obviously cannot see anything serious very clearly. Unless one lays the foundation – which is to be free from fear, free from sorrow, anxiety, and all the traps that consciously or unconsciously one lays for oneself – I do not see how it is possible for a mind to be actually quiet. This is one of the most difficult things to communicate, or even to talk about.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Collected Works Volume 4

(see also “Silence”)

It is only when the mind is silent that we can understand anything