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
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
What is it that we hope to achieve through all this incessant accumulation? Why are we compulsively motivated to have things? In the first place we instinctively sense that a certain element is lacking in our lives. A vague hunger echoes from deep within us. Perhaps through acquiring material objects, friends, and knowledge this void could be filled. So we set out into the world and start to consume whatever commodities it has to offer. We eat and for a while feel satisfied, but the pangs of hunger always return. Ironically, the more we crave to possess and dominate the world and others, the deeper and more unbearable becomes the chasm of our own emptiness. In order to conceal this rapidly widening gulf our compulsion develops into a frenzy. But, however hard we try, we will never succeed in filling an inner emptiness from the outside; it can only be filled from within. A lack of being remains unaffected by a plenitude of having.
— Stephen Batchelor – Alone With Others – Chapter 1: Having and Being
Image found here (In A Future Age)…