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Bombay 1950

Bombay 5th Public Talk 12th March 1950

This is the last talk that will be held here. I believe there is a talk on Tuesday the 14th at Dadar at 9 o'clock; probably you are already informed about it.

I think it is important, is it not?, to understand the meaning of words, not only superficially, according to the dictionary, but also to see their significance beyond the mere superficial level; because, we are mesmerized by words, and we think that by understanding a word we understand the whole content of that word. The word becomes significant only when we go beyond the superficial level, the ordinary or common usage, and see the deeper meaning of it. We have been mesmerized by certain words like `God', `love', `the simple life; and, especially in these times when there is so much confusion, when there are so many leaders, books, theories and opinions, we tend to be easily mesmerized by the word `activity' or `action'. So, I think it would be worthwhile to go into the problem of what we mean by action, and not merely be hypnotized by that word. We think we are very much alive and active when we keep going, when we are constantly in movement, when we are doing something, either at the club, in politics, in the family, or what you will. We think activity is life; and is it life? Living in the mechanical responses of everyday existence - is that life? Since mere activity takes most of our energy, is it not important to understand and not be mesmerized by the words `action' and `activity'? Action is obviously necessary, action is life; but at what level? We act according to opinion, according to memory, we are a whole series of conditioned responses, memories and traditions. Our action and our morality are based on what has been or what will be, and our thinking, which is obviously the basis of our action, is almost mechanical; most of us are like machines in what we do. You give a machine certain information, and it gives you certain responses; similarly, we receive certain information through our senses, and then respond. So, our thinking and our activities are almost mechanical, and this mechanical thinking with its responses and activity we call `living'. We are satisfied to live on that level, and we are mesmerized by our leaders, by ourselves, by our environmental influences, to continue living in that state. Now, can we go beyond and find out what is action? To most of us action is mere mechanical response to a challenge. I ask you something, and you reply. There is constant impingement of stimuli, and there is a constant response, conscious or unconscious; and this process of the background, the tradition of what has been, mechanically responding to challenge, to stimuli, is our whole existence, it is our thinking and our activity. Religiously as well as politically, we are always responding to a challenge, and that response we call activity. But is that response, action? Can it ever be action? Surely, it is not action, it is only reaction; and is it possible to go beyond reaction, to go beyond the mechanical process of the mind? We know the structure of the mind, which is merely accumulated information, accumulated experience, the conditioning of the past; and this conditioned mind is always responding, reacting, and this reaction we call action. But action based on reaction must obviously lead to confusion, because there is no newness, there is no freshness, no vitality, no clarity; it is a mechanical response. It is like a motorcar: you put in oil and fuel, start it, keep it going, and occasionally overhaul it. That is exactly what our life is: a series of mechanical responses to stimuli, to challenge, and this we call living. Obviously, such an approach to any problem can solve it only according to reaction, and a problem that is solved according to reaction is not solved at all.

So, is it possible to go beyond the mechanical responses, and find out what is action? Action is obviously not a response, not a reaction; and it is only when we see that action itself is challenge, that there is a quality of newness. To come to that, one must understand the whole process of thinking, the whole process of responding, reacting; and that is why it is so important to understand oneself. The self is obviously reaction, and to go beyond reaction, there must be complete understanding of the self, of the `me', on all levels, not only on the physical, but also on the psychological. As long as there is reaction, there must be the self, and the understanding of the self is the ending of reaction. Thinking in terms of reaction with regard to any problem will only multiply the problems, the complexities, the miseries of life; and the ending of reaction, of response, is the understanding of the self, the `me'. The `me' is at all levels; it is still the `me', whether you place it at the highest level, calling it the Atman, the Paramatman or soul, or whether it is the `me' that owns property, that is seeking power, virtue. The `me' is merely reaction, and therefore the ending of reaction is the ending of the self. That is why it is important to understand the whole process of the self, which means, obviously the process of thinking. Because our thinking is based on reaction, it is mechanical. The self is mechanical, and therefore it can respond mechanically; and to go beyond, there must be complete self-knowledge. The self is reaction, and when there is the understanding of the self, then we will find out what is action, because then action is challenge, then action is not a response, a reaction, it is from the centre which is without a point. Now we always act from a centre with a point, which is the `me' - my fears, my hopes, my frustrations, my ambitions, my sociological, environmental or religious conditioning; that is the centre from which we react, and as long as that centre is not completely understood, however much we may try to solve our problems, they will only multiply, and the misery, the struggle, the catastrophe, will only increase. To understand that centre with a point is to put an end to reaction and to bring about a centre without a point; and when there is that centre without a point, then there is action, and action is itself challenge.

The understanding of the mind is possible only in relationship, in your relationship to property, to people, and to ideas. At present that relationship is reaction, and a problem that is created by reaction cannot be solved by another reaction; it can be solved only when the whole process of reaction is understood, which is the self, the `me'. Then you will find there is an action which is not reaction, which is the challenge itself, which is creative; but that state is not realized by closing your eyes and going into deep, peculiar meditation, fancies, and what not. Therefore, religion is self-knowledge, the beginning of the understanding of reaction; and without self-knowledge, there is no basis for thinking, there is only a basis for reaction. The process of reaction is not thinking. Thinking is action without a centre - but then it is no longer thinking, because then there is no verbalization, there is no accumulation of memory, of experience. We can solve our problems only when we approach them anew, when there is creativeness, and there can be no creativeness if there is mechanical response. A machine is not creative, however marvellously put together; and we have a mind which is marvellously put together, which is mechanical, and which creates problems. To resolve those problems, occasionally we give it a shock, and then more and more shocks; but the shock method is not the solution of a problem. The solution of problems comes only when there is action which is not a reaction, and that is possible only when we understand the whole process of the mind in its relationships in daily life.

So, religion is the understanding of daily life, not a theory or a process of isolation. A religious man who repeats certain words while ruthlessly exploiting others is obviously an escapist; his morality, his respectability, is without any meaning. The understanding of the self is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom is not reaction. It is only when the whole process of reaction, which is conditioning, is understood, that there is a centre without a point, which is wisdom.

Apparently it is easy to ask questions, for many have been sent in. Out of all those questions, resumes have been made of the more representative ones, and here they are; so if your particular question is not answered exactly as you put it, it is only being answered differently, but the problems are the same. As I answer these questions please do not merely follow on the verbal level what is being said, but experience it as we go along. Let us take the journey together and observe, as it were, every shadow, every flower, every stone, every dead animal on the road, all the dirt and beauty that lie along the wayside. That is the only way we can solve any of our problems: by clearly, definitely and closely observing everything that we see and feel.

Question: Will you please explain the process of your mind when you are actually speaking here. If you have not gathered knowledge, and if you have no store of experience and memory, from where do you get your wisdom? How do you manage to cultivate it? (Pause.)

Krishnamurti: I am hesitating because I have not seen the questions before. I shall answer spontaneously, so you also will have to follow spontaneously and not think along traditional lines. The question then, is how my mind works, and how I have gathered wisdom. "If you have no store of experience and memory, from where do you get your wisdom? How do you manage to cultivate it?" First of all, how do you know that what I am saying is wisdom? (Laughter.) Sirs, do not laugh. It is easy to laugh and pass it by. How do you know that what I am saying is true? By what measurement, by what yardstick do you measure? Is there a measurement for wisdom? Can you say this is wisdom and that is not? Is sensation wisdom, or is the response to sensation wisdom? Sir, you do not know what wisdom is, therefore you cannot say I am speaking wisdom. Wisdom is not that which you experience, nor is it to be found in a book. Wisdom is not something that you can experience at all, that you can gather, accumulate. On the contrary, wisdom is a state of being in which there is no accumulation of any kind, you cannot gather wisdom.

The questioner wants to know how my mind works. If I may go into it a little, I will show you. There is no centre from which it is acting there is no memory from which it is responding. There is memory of the road which I took just now, of the road where I live, there is the recognition of people, of incidents; but there is no accumulating process, no mechanical process of gradual gathering, from which comes response. If I did not know the usage of English or some other language, I would not be able to speak. Communication on the verbal level is necessary in order to understand each other; but it is what is said, how it is said, from where it is said, that is important. Now, when a question is put, if the answer is the response of a mind which has accumulated experiences and memories, then it is merely reaction, and therefore it is not reasoning; but when there is no accumulation, which means no response, then there is no frustration, no effort, no struggle. The accumulating process, the accumulating centre, is like a deep rooted tree in a stream which gathers debris around itself; and thought, sitting on the top of that tree, imagines it is thinking, living. Such a mind is only accumulating, and the mind which accumulates, whether knowledge, money, or experience, is obviously not living. It is only when the mind moves, flows, that there is living.

The questioner wants to know how wisdom is come by, and how to cultivate it. You cannot cultivate wisdom; you can cultivate knowledge, information, but you cannot cultivate wisdom, because wisdom is not a thing that can be accumulated. The moment you begin to accumulate, it becomes mere information, knowledge, which is not wisdom. The entity that cultivates wisdom is still part of thought, and thought is merely a response, a reaction to challenge. Therefore, thought is merely the accumulation of memory, of experience, of knowledge, and so thought can never find wisdom. Only when there is a cessation of thinking is there wisdom; and there can be cessation of thinking only when there is an end to the process of accumulation - which is the recognition of the `me' and the `mine'. While the mind functions within the field of the `me' and the `mine', which is merely reaction, there cannot be wisdom. Wisdom is a state of spontaneity which has no centre, which has no accumulating entity. As I am talking I am aware of the words I am using, but I am not reacting from a centre to the question. To find out the truth of a question, of a problem, the process of thinking, which is mechanical and which we know, must come to an end. Therefore, it means there must be complete inward silence, and then only will you know that creativeness which is not mechanical, which is not merely reaction. So, silence is the beginning of wisdom.

Look, Sirs, it is fairly simple. When you have a problem, your first response is to think about it, to resist it, to deny it, to accept it, or to explain it away, is it not? Watch yourself and you will see. Take any problem that arises, and you will see that the immediate response is to resist or to accept it; or, if you do not do either of those things, you justify it, or you explain it away. So, when a question is asked, your mind is immediately set into motion; like a machine, it immediately responds. But it you will solve the problem, the immediate response is silence, not thinking. When this question was asked, my response was silence, complete silence; and being silent, I saw immediately that where there is accumulation there cannot be wisdom. Wisdom is spontaneity, and there can be no spontaneity or freedom as long as there is accumulation as knowledge, memory. So, a man of experience can never be a wise man, nor a simple man; but the man who is free from the process of accumulation is wise, he knows what silence is; and whatever comes from that silence is true. That silence is not a thing to be cultivated; it has no means, there is no path to it, there is no `how'. To ask `how' means cultivating, it is merely a reaction, a response of the desire to accumulate silence. But when you understand the whole process of accumulating, which is the process of thinking, then you will know that silence from which springs action which is not reaction; and one can live in that silence all the time, it is not a gift, a capacity - it has nothing to do with capacity. It comes into being only when you closely observe every reaction, every thought, every feeling, when you are aware of the fact without explanation, without resistance, without acceptance or justification; and when you see the fact very clearly without intervening blocks and screens, then the very perception of the fact dissolves the fact, and the mind is quiet. It is only when the mind is very quiet, not making an effort to be quiet, that it is free. Sir, it is only the free mind that is wise. and to be free the mind must be silent.

Question: How can I as an individual meet, overcome and resolve the growing tension and war-fever between India and Pakistan? This situation creates a mentality of revenge and mass retaliation. Appeals and arguments are completely inadequate. Inaction is a crime. How does one meet a problem like this?

Krishnamurti: Sir why do you call inaction a crime? There are only two ways of dealing with this, according to you, which is either to become a pacifist or to take a gun. That is the only way you respond, is it not? That is the only way most people know in which to answer a problem of this kind. To you, the gun and pacifism are the only means of action, are they not? You think you are answering the challenge when you take revenge with a gun, or whatever it is you do; and if you think that violence is no solution, you become a pacifist. In other words, you want recognition for your action, and the recognition satisfies you; you say, `I am a pacifist', or `I have a gun', and this labelling of yourself satisfies you, and you think you have answered the problem. Surely, that is the general response, is it not? So, that is why you say inaction is a crime. Of course it is a crime from those two points of view. A man who does not carry a gun or call himself a pacifist is to you a criminal, because you think according to the recognized labels, according to those two ways. Now, seeing that, let us find out if inaction is a crime - inaction being not to act along either of those two lines or their equivalents. Is that a crime? Is it a crime to say, `I am neither a pacifist, nor do I carry a gun'? When would you say that? When you see that both are merely reactions to the challenge, and that through reaction you cannot solve the problem. Surely, the man who carries a gun is doing so because of his reaction, which is the outcome of his conditioning as a nationalist, as an Indian, as a Pakistanee, or whatever he is called. The carrying of the gun is merely a reaction according to his conditioning. And the man who does not carry a gun, who calls himself a pacifist, is also reacting according to his particular view, is he not? Those are the two reactions which we know, with which we are all acquainted. During wartime you make the pacifist a martyr, and so on; but both are recognized means of activity, and when you act along either of those two lines, with all their implications, you are satisfied, you feel that at least you are doing something about the war, and people recognize that you are doing it. You feel satisfied and they feel satisfied; and the more carrying of guns, the better.

Now, the man who in wartime neither carries a gun nor calls himself a pacifist, who is inactive in the deep sense of the word, who does not respond to the challenge as a reaction - such a man you call inactive and therefore criminal. Now, is he the criminal? Is he inactive? Are you not the criminals, both the pacifist and the man who carries a gun? Surely, the criminal is not the man who says, `I will not react to war in any way', because such a man has no country, he belongs to no religion, no dogma, he has no leader, political, religious or economic, he does not belong to any party, because these are all reactions; and therefore he is neither a pacifist nor does he carry a gun. And a man who does not react to the challenge, but who is the challenge, such a man you call inactive, a useless entity, because he does not fit into either of these two categories. Surely, the whole thing is wrong, pacifism as well as carrying a gun, because they are mere reactions, and through reaction you will never solve any problem. You will solve the problem of war only when you yourself are the challenge, and not merely a reaction.

So, the man who carries a gun does not solve the problem, he only increases the problem; for each war produces another war, it is an historical fact.The first world war produced the second world war, the second will produce the third, and so the chain keeps going. Now, when you see that, you react against it and say, `I am a pacifist, I won't carry a gun and I will go to prison, I will suffer for it; I have a cause for which I am acting'. The suffering, the martyrdom, is still a reaction, and so it cannot solve the problem either. But the man who is not reacting to war in any way is the challenge itself, he is in himself the breaker of old traditions, and such a man is the only entity that can resolve this problem. That is why it is important to understand yourself, your conditioning, your upbringing, the way you are educated; because, the government, the whole system, is your own projection. The world is you, the world is not separate from you; the world with its problems is projected out of your responses, out of your reactions, so the solution does not lie in creating further reactions. There can be a solution only when there is action which is not reaction, and that can come into being only when you understand the whole process of response to stimuli both from outside and inside, which means that you understand the structure of your own being from which society is created.

Question: We know sex as an inescapable physical and psychological necessity, and it seems to be a root cause of chaos in the personal life of our generation. It is a horror to young women who are victims of man's lust. Suppression and indulgence are equally ineffective. How can we deal with this problem?

Krishnamurti: Why is it that whatever we touch we turn into a problem? We have made God a problem, we have made love a problem, we have made relationship, living a problem, and we have made sex a problem. Why? Why is everything we do a problem, a horror? Why are we suffering? Why has sex become a problem? Why do we submit to living with problems, why do we not put an end to them? Why do we not die to our problems instead of carrying them day after day, year after year? Surely, sex is a relevant question, which I shall answer presently; but there is the primary question, why do we make life into a problem? Working, sex, earning money, thinking, feeling, experiencing, you know, the whole business of living - why is it a problem? Is it not essentially because we always think from a particular point of view, from a fixed point of view? We are always thinking from a centre towards the periphery; but the periphery is the centre for most of us, and so anything we touch is superficial. But life is not superficial, it demands living completely, and because we are living only superficially, we know only superficial reaction. Whatever we do on the periphery must inevitably create a problem, and that is our life: we live in the superficial and we are content to live there with all the problems of the superficial. So, problems exist as long as we live in the superficial, on the periphery, the periphery being the `me' and its sensations, which can be externalize or made subjective, which can be identified with the universe, with the country, or with some other thing made up by the mind. So, as long as we live within the field of the mind there must be complications, there must be problems; and that is all we know. Mind is sensation, mind is the result of accumulated sensations and reactions, and anything it touches is bound to create misery, confusion, an endless problem. The mind is the real cause of our problems, the mind that is working mechanically night and day, consciously and unconsciously. The mind is a most superficial thing, and we have spent generations, we spend our whole lives cultivating the mind, making it more and more clever, more and more subtle, more and more cunning, more and more dishonest and crooked, all of which is apparent in every activity of our life. The very nature of our mind is to be dishonest, crooked, incapable of facing facts, and that is the thing which creates problems, that is the thing which is the problem itself.

Now, what do we mean by the problem of sex? Is it the act, or is it a thought about the act? Surely, it is not the act. The sexual act is no problem to you, any more than eating is a problem to you; but if you think about eating or anything else all day long because you have nothing else to think about, it becomes a problem to you. (Laughter.) Do not laugh and look at somebody else, it is your life. So, is the sexual act the problem, or is it the thought about the act? And why do you think about it? Why do you build it up, which you are obviously doing? The cinemas, the magazines, the stories, the way women dress, everything is building up your thought of sex. And why does the mind build it up, why does the mind think about sex at all? Why, Sirs and Ladies? It is your problem. Why? Why has it become a central issue in your life? When there are so many things calling, demanding your attention, you give complete attention to the thought of sex. What happens, why are your minds so occupied with it? Because that is a way of ultimate escape, is it not? It is a way of complete self-forgetfulness. For the time being, at least for that moment, you can forget yourself - and there is no other way of forgetting yourself. Everything else you do in life gives emphasis to the `me', to the self. Your business, your religion, your gods, your leaders, your political and economic actions, your escapes, your social activities, your joining one party and rejecting another - all that is emphasizing and giving strength to the `me'. That is, Sirs, there is only one act in which there is no emphasis on the `me', so it becomes a problem, does it not? When there is only one thing in your life which is an avenue to ultimate escape, to complete forgetfulness of yourself if only for a few seconds, you cling to it because that is the only moment you are happy. Every other issue you touch becomes a nightmare, a source of suffering and pain, so you cling to the one thing that gives complete self-forgetfulness, which you call happiness. But when you cling to it, it too becomes a nightmare, because then you want to be free from it, you do not want to be a slave to it. So you invent, again from the mind, the idea of chastity, of celibacy, and you try to be celibate, to be chaste, through suppression,denial,meditation, through all kinds of religious practices, all of which are operations of the mind to cut itself off from the fact. This again gives particular emphasis to the `me', who is trying to become something, so again you are caught in travail, in trouble, in effort, in pain.

So, sex becomes an extraordinarily difficult and complex problem as long as you do not understand the mind which thinks about the problem. The act itself can never be a problem, but the thought about the act creates the problem. The act you safeguard, you live loosely or indulge yourself in marriage, thereby making your wife into a prostitute, which is all apparently very respectable; and you are satisfied to leave it at that. Surely, the problem can be solved only when you understand the whole process and structure of the `me' and the `mine: my wife, my child, my property, my car, my achievement, my success; and until you understand and resolve all that, sex as a problem will remain. As long as you are ambitious, politically, religiously, or in any way, as long as you are emphasizing the self, the thinker, the experiencer, by feeding him on ambition whether in the name or yourself as an individual, or in the name of the country, of the party, or of an idea which you call religion - as long as there is this activity of self-expansion, you will have a sexual problem. Surely, you are creating, feeding, expanding yourself on the one hand, and on the other you are trying to forget yourself, to lose yourself if only for a moment. How can the two exist together? So, your life is a contradiction; emphasis on the `me', and forgetting the `me'. Sex is not a problem, the problem is this contradiction in your life; and the contradiction cannot be bridged over by the mind, because the mind itself is a contradiction. The contradiction can be understood only when you understand fully the whole process of your daily existence. Going to the cinemas and watching women on the screen, reading books which stimulate the thought, the magazines with their half-naked pictures, your way of looking at women, the surreptitious eyes that catch you - all these things are encouraging the mind through devious ways to emphasize the self; and at the same time you try to be kind, loving, tender. The two cannot go together. The man who is ambitious, spiritually or otherwise, can never be without a problem, because problems cease only when the self is forgotten, when the `me' is non-existent; and that state of the non-existence of the self is not an act of will, it is not a mere reaction. Sex becomes a reaction; and when the mind tries to solve the problem, it only makes the problem more confused, more troublesome, more painful. So, the act is not the problem, but the mind is the problem, the mind which says it must be chaste. Chastity is not of the mind. The mind can only suppress its own activities, and suppression is not chastity. Chastity is not a virtue, chastity cannot be cultivated. The man who is cultivating humility is surely not a humble man; he may call his pride humility, but he is a proud man, and that is why he seeks to become humble. Pride can never become humble, and chastity is not a thing of the mind - you cannot become chaste. You will know chastity only when there is love, and love is not of the mind nor a thing of the mind.

So, the problem of sex which tortures so many people all over the world cannot be resolved till the mind is understood. We cannot put an end to thinking; but thought comes to an end when the thinker ceases, and the thinker ceases only when there is am understanding of the whole process. Fear comes into being when there is division between the thinker and his thought; when there is no thinker, then only is there no conflict in thought. What is implicit needs no effort to understand. The thinker comes into being through thought; then the thinker exerts himself to shape, to control his thoughts, or to put an end to them. The thinker is a fictitious entity, an illusion of the mind. When there is a realization of thought as a fact, then there is no need to think about the fact. If there is simple, choiceless awareness, then that which is implicit in the fact begins to reveal itself. Therefore, thought as fact ends. Then you will see that the problems which are eating at our hearts and minds, the problems of our social structure, can be resolved. Then sex is no longer a problem, it has its proper place, it is neither an impure thing nor a pure thing. Sex has its place, but when the mind gives it the predominant place, then it becomes a problem. The mind gives sex a predominant place because it cannot live without some happiness, and so sex becomes a problem; but when the mind understands its whole process and so comes to an end, that is, when thinking ceases, then there is creation, and it is that creation which makes us happy. To be in that state of creation is bliss, because it is self-forgetfulness in which there is no reaction as from the self. This is not an abstract answer to the daily problem of sex - it is the only answer. The mind denies love, and without love there is no chastity; and it is because there is no love that you make sex into a problem.

Question: Love, as we know and experience it, is a fusion between two people, or between the members of a group; it is exclusive, and in it there is both pain and joy. When you say love is the only solvent of life's problems, you are giving a connotation to the word which we have hardly experienced. Can a common man like me ever know love in your sense?

Krishnamurti: Sir, everybody can know love; but you can know it only when you are capable of looking at facts very clearly, without resistance, without justification, without explaining them away - just look at things closely, observe them very clearly and minutely. Now, what is the thing that we call love? The questioner says that it is exclusive, and that in it we know pain and joy. Is love exclusive? We shall find out when we examine what we call love, what the so-called common man calls love. There is no common man. There is only man, which is you and I. The common man is a fictitious entity invented by the politicians. There is only man, which is you and I who are in sorrow, in pain, in anxiety and fear. Now, what is our life? To find out what love is, let us begin with what we know. What is our love? In the midst of pain and pleasure we know it is exclusive, personal: my wife, my children, my country, my God. We know it as a flame in the midst of smoke, we know it through jeallousy, we know it through domination, we know it through possession, we know it through loss, when the other is gone. So, 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. Envy, possession, hatred, the desire to dominate the person or the thing called `mine', the desire to possess and to be possessed - all that is a process of thought, is it not? And is love a process of thought? Is love a thing of the mind? Actually, for most of us, it is. Do not say it is not - it is nonsense to say that. Do not deny the fact that your love is a thing of the mind. Surely it is, is it not? Otherwise you would not possess, you would not dominate, you would not say, `It is mine'. And as you do say it, your love is a thing of the mind; so love, for you, is a process of thought. You can think about the person whom you love; but thinking about the person whom you love - is that 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. But when she no longer disturbs you, when you can say, `She is mine', then you do not have to think about her. You do not have to think about your furniture, it is part of you - which is a process of identification so as not to be disturbed, to avoid trouble, anxiety, sorrow. 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. But when possession is disturbed, you begin to think, and then you say, `I love that person'. So your love is merely a reaction of the mind, is it not? - which means your love is merely a sensation, and sensation is surely not love. Do you think about the person when you are close to him, Sirs and Ladies? When you possess, hold, dominate, control, when you can say, `She is mine', or, `He is mine', there is no problem. As long as you are certain in your possession, there is no problem, is there? And society, everything you have built around you, helps you to possess so as not to be disturbed, so as not to think about it. 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? Love is not a thing of the mind; and love is the only solution to our problems. Love is not of the mind, and the man who has accumulated money or knowledge can never know love, because he lives with the things of the mind; his activities are of the mind, and whatever he touches he makes into a problem, a confusion, a misery.

So, what we call our love is a thing of the mind. Look at yourselves, Sirs, and Ladies, and you will see that what I am saying is obviously true; otherwise, our lives, our marriage, our relationships, would be entirely different, we would have a new society. We bind ourselves to another, not through fusion, but through contract, which is called love, marriage. Love does not fuse, adjust - it is neither personal nor impersonal, it is a state of being. The man who desires to fuse with something greater, to unite himself with another, is avoiding misery, confusion; but the mind is still in separation, which is disintegration. Love knows neither fusion nor diffusion, it is nether personal nor impersonal, it is a state of being which the mind can not find; it can describe it, give it a term, a name, but the word, the description, is not love. It is only when the mind is quiet that it shall know love, and that state of quietness is not a thing to be cultivated. Cultivation is still the action of the mind, discipline is still a product of the mind, and a mind that is disciplined, controlled, subjugated, a mind that is resisting, explaining, cannot know love. You may read, you may listen to what is being said about love, but that is not love. Only when you put away the things of the mind, only when your hearts are empty of the things of the mind, is there love. Then you will know what it is to love without separation, without distance, without time, without fear - and that is not reserved to the few. Love knows no hierarchy, there is only love. There are the many and the one, an exclusiveness, only when you do not love. When you love, Sir, there is neither the `you' nor the `me', in that state there is only a flame without smoke. It is already half past seven, and there is one more question. Do you want me to answer it? You are not tired?

Question: The question of what is truth is an ancient one, and no one has answered it finally. You speak of truth, but we do not see your experiments or efforts to achieve it, as we saw in the lives of people like Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Besant. Your pleasant personality, your disarming smile and soft love, is all that we see. Will you explain why there is such a difference between your life and the lives of other seekers of truth. Are there two truths?

Krishnamurti: Do you want proof? And by what standard shall truth be judged? There are those who say that effort and experiment are necessary for truth; but is truth to be gotten through effort, through experiment, through trial and error? There are those who struggle and make valiant efforts, who strive spectacularly, either publicly or quietly in caves; and shall they find truth? Is truth a thing to be discovered through effort? Is there a path to truth, your path and my path, the path of the one who makes an effort, and the path of the one who does not? Are there two truths, or has truth many aspects?

Now, this is your problem, it is not my problem; and your problem is this, is it not? You say, `Certain people - two, or several, or hundreds - have made efforts, have struggled, have sought truth, whereas you do not make an effort, you lead a pleasant, unassuming life'. So, you want to compare, that is, you have a standard, you have the picture of your leaders who have struggled to achieve truth; and when someone else comes along who does not fit into your frame, you are baffled, and so you ask. `Which is truth?' You are baffled - that is the important thing, Sir, not whether I have truth or someone else has truth. What is important is to find out if you can discover reality through effort, will, struggle, striving. Does that bring understanding? Surely, truth is not something distant, truth is in the little things of everyday life, in every word, in every smile, in every relationship, only we do not know how to see it; and the man who tries, who struggles valiantly, who disciplines himself, controls himself, - will he see truth? The mind that is disciplined, controlled, narrowed down through effort - shall it see truth? Obviously not. It is only the silent mind that shall see the truth, not the mind that makes an effort to see. Sir, if you are making an effort to hear what I am saying, will you hear? It is only when you are quiet, when you are really silent, that you understand. If you observe closely, listen quietly, then you will hear; but if you strain, struggle to catch everything that is being said, your energy will be dissipated in the strain, in the effort. So, you will not find truth through effort, it does not matter who says it, whether the ancient books, the ancient saints, or the modern ones. Effort is the very denial of understanding; and it is only the quiet mind, the simple mind, the mind that is still, that is not overtaxed by its own efforts - only such a mind shall understand, shall see truth. Truth is not something in the distance, there is no path to it, there is neither your path nor my path; there is no devotional path, there is no path of knowledge or path of action, because truth has no path to it. The moment you have a path to truth, you divide it, because the path is exclusive; and what is exclusive at the very beginning, will end in exclusiveness. The man who is following a path can never know truth because he is living in exclusiveness; his means are exclusive, and the means are the end, the means are not separate from the end. If the means are exclusive, the end is also exclusive.

So, there is no path to truth, and there are not two truths. Truth is not of the past or of the present, it is timeless; and the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Sankara, of the Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Re petition is a lie. Truth is a state of being which arises when the mind - which seeks to divide, to be exclu- sive, which can think only in terms of results, of achievement - has come to an end. Only then will there be truth. The mind that is making effort, disciplining itself in order to achieve an end, cannot know truth, because the end is its own projection, and the pursuit of that projection, however noble, is a form of self worship. Such a being is worship ping himself, and therefore he cannot know truth. Truth is to be known only when we understand the whole process of the mind, that is, when there is no strife. Truth is a fact, and the fact can be understood only when the various things that have been placed between the mind and the fact are removed. The fact is your relationship to property, to your wife, to human beings, to nature, to ideas; and as long as you do not understand the fact of relationship, your seeking God merely increases the confusion because it is a substitution, an escape, and therefore it has no meaning. As long as you dominate your wife or she dominates you, as long as you possess and are possessed, you cannot know love; as long as you are suppressing, substituting as long as you are ambitious, you cannot know truth. It is not the denial of ambition that makes the mind calm, and virtue is not the denial of evil. Virtue is a state of freedom, of order, which evil cannot give; and the understanding of evil is the establishment of virtue. The man who builds churches or temples in the name of God with the money which he has gathered through exploitation, through deceit, through cunning and foul play, shall not know truth; he may be mild of tongue, but his tongue is bitter with the taste of exploitation, the taste of sorrow. He alone shall know truth who is not seeking, who is not striving, who is not trying to achieve a result. The mind itself is a result, and whatever it produces is still a result; but the man who is content with what is shall know truth. Contentment does not mean being satisfied with the status quo, maintaining things as they are - that is not contentment. It is in seeing a fact truly and being free of it, that there is contentment which is virtue. Truth is not continuous, it has no abiding place, it can be seen only from moment to moment. Truth is always new, therefore timeless. What was truth yesterday is not truth today, what is truth today is not truth tomorrow. Truth has no continuity. It is the mind which wants to make the experience which it calls truth continuous, and such a mind shall not know truth. Truth is always new; it is to see the same smile, and see that smile newly, to see the same person, and see that person anew, to see the waving palms anew, to meet life anew. Truth is not to be had through books, through devotion, or through self-immolation, but it is known when the mind is free, quiet; and that freedom, that quietness of the mind comes only when the facts of its relationships are understood. Without understanding its relationships, whatever it does only creates further problems. But when the mind is free from all its projections, there is a state of quietness in which problems cease, and then only the timeless, the eternal comes into being. Then truth is not a matter of knowledge, it is not a thing to be remembered, it is not something to be repeated, to be printed and spread abroad. Truth is that which is, it is nameless and so the mind cannot approach it.

March 12, 1950


Bombay 1950

Bombay 5th Public Talk 12th March 1950

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