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Freedom From the Known

Freedom From the Known Chapter 16

WHAT WE HAVE been concerned with all through this book is the bringing about in ourselves, and therefore in our lives, of a total revolution that has nothing whatsoever to do with the structure of society as it is. Society as it is, is a horrifying thing with its endless wars of aggression, whether that aggression be defensive or offensive. What we need is something totally new - a revolution, a mutation, in the psyche itself. The old brain cannot possibly solve the human problem of relationship. The old brain is Asiatic, European, American or African, so what we are asking ourselves is whether it is possible to bring about a mutation in the brain cells themselves?

Let us ask ourselves again, now that we have come to understand ourselves better, is it possible for a human being living an ordinary everyday life in this brutal, violent, ruthless world - a world which is becoming more and more efficient and therefore more and more ruthless - is it possible for him to bring about a revolution not only in his outward relationships but in the whole field of his thinking, feeling, acting and reacting.

Every day we see or read of appalling things happening in the world as the result of violence in man. You may say, `I can't do anything about it', or, `How can I influence the world?' I think you can tremendously influence the world if in yourself you are not violent, if you lead actually every day a peaceful life - a life which is not competitive, ambitious, envious - a life which does not create enmity. Small fires can become a blaze. We have reduced the world to its present state of chaos by our self-centred activity, by our prejudices, our hatreds, our nationalism, and when we say we cannot do anything about it, we are accepting disorder in ourselves as inevitable. We have splintered the world into fragments and if we ourselves are broken, fragmented, our relationship with the world will also be broken. But if, when we act, we act totally, then our relationship with the world undergoes a tremendous revolution.

After all, any movement which is worth while, any action which has any deep significance, must begin with each one of us. I must change first; I must see what is the nature and structure of my relationship with the world - and in the very seeing is the doing; therefore I, as a human being living in the world, bring about a different quality, and that quality, it seems to me, is the quality of the religious mind.

The religious mind is something entirely different from the mind that believes in religion. You cannot be religious and yet be a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist. A religious mind does not seek at all, it cannot experiment with truth. Truth is not something dictated by your pleasure or pain, or by your conditioning as a Hindu or whatever religion you belong to. The religious mind is a state of mind in which there is no fear and therefore no belief whatsoever but only what is - what actually is.

In the religious mind there is that state of silence we have already examined which is not produced by thought but is the outcome of awareness, which is meditation when the meditator is entirely absent. In that silence there is a state of energy in which there is no conflict. Energy is action and movement. All action is movement and all action is energy. All desire is energy. All feeling is energy. All thought is energy. All living is energy. All life is energy. If that energy is allowed to flow without any contradiction, without any friction, without any conflict, then that energy is boundless, endless. When there is no friction there are no frontiers to energy. It is friction which gives energy limitations. So, having once seen this, why is it that the human being always brings friction into energy? Why does he create friction in this movement which we call life? Is pure energy, energy without limitation, just an idea to him? Does it have no reality?

We need energy not only to bring about a total revolution in ourselves but also in order to investigate, to look, to act. And as long as there is friction of any kind in any of our relationships, whether between husband and wife, between man and man, between one community and another or one country and another or one ideology and another - if there is any inward friction or any outward conflict in any form, however subtle it may be - there is a waste of energy.

As long as there is a time interval between the observer and the observed it creates friction and therefore there is a waste of energy. That energy is gathered to its highest point when the observer is the observed, in which there is no time interval at all. Then there will be energy without motive and it will find its own channel of action because then the `I' does not exist.

We need a tremendous amount of energy to understand the confusion in which we live, and the feeling, `I must understand', brings about the vitality to find out. But finding out, searching, implies time, and, as we have seen, gradually to uncondition the mind is not the way. Time is not the way. Whether we are old or young it is now that the whole process of life can be brought into a different dimension. Seeking the opposite of what we are is not the way either, nor is the artificial discipline imposed by a system, a teacher, a philosopher or priest - all that is so very childish. When we realize this, we ask ourselves is it possible to break through this heavy conditioning of centuries immediately and not enter into another conditioning - to be free, so that the mind can be altogether new, sensitive, alive, aware, intense, capable? That is our problem. There is no other problem because when the mind is made new it can tackle any problem. That is the only question we have to ask ourselves.

But we do not ask. We want to be told. One of the most curious things in the structure of our psyche is that we all want to be told because we are the result of the propaganda of ten thousand years. We want to have our thinking confirmed and corroborated by another, whereas to ask a question is to ask it of yourself. What I say has very little value. You will forget it the moment you shut this book, or you will remember and repeat certain phrases, or you will compare what you have read here with some other book - but you will not face your own life. And that is all that matters - your life, yourself, your pettiness, your shallowness, your brutality, your violence, your greed, your ambition, your daily agony and endless sorrow - that is what you have to understand and nobody on earth or in heaven is going to save you from it but yourself.

Seeing everything that goes on in your daily life, your daily activities - when you pick up a pen, when you talk, when you go out for a drive or when you are walking alone in the woods - can you with one breath, with one look, know yourself very simply as you are? When you know yourself as you are, then you understand the whole structure of man's endeavour, his deceptions, his hypocrisies, his search. To do this you must be tremendously honest with yourself throughout your being. When you act according to your principles you are being dishonest because when you act according to what you think you ought to be you are not what you are. it is a brutal thing to have ideals. If you have any ideals, beliefs or principles you cannot possibly look at yourself directly. So can you be completely negative, completely quiet, neither thinking nor afraid, and yet be extraordinarily, passionately alive?

That state of mind which is no longer capable of striving is the true religious mind, and in that state of mind you may come upon this thing called truth or reality or bliss or God or beauty or love. This thing cannot be invited. please understand that very simple fact. It cannot be invited, it cannot be sought after, because the mind is too silly, too small, your emotions are too shoddy, your way of life too confused for that enormity, that immense something, to be invited into your little house, your little corner of living which has been trampled and spat upon. You cannot invite it. To invite it you must know it and you cannot know it. It doesn't matter who says it, the moment he says, `I know', he does not know. The moment you say you have found it you have not found it. If you say you have experienced it, you have never experienced it. They are all ways of exploiting another man - your friend or your enemy.

One asks oneself then whether it is possible to come upon this thing without inviting, without waiting, without seeking or exploring - just for it to happen like a cool breeze that comes in when you leave the window open? You cannot invite the wind but you must leave the window open, which doesn't mean that you are in a state of waiting; that is another form of deception. It doesn't mean you must open yourself to receive; that is another kind of thought.

Haven't you ever asked yourself why it is that human beings lack this thing? They beget children, they have sex, tenderness, a quality of sharing something together in companionship, in friendship, in fellowship, but this thing - why is it they haven't got it? Haven't you ever wondered lazily on occasion when you are walking by yourself in a filthy street or sitting in a bus or are on holiday by the seaside or walking in a wood with a lot of birds, trees, streams and wild animals - hasn't it ever come upon you to ask why it is that man, who has lived for millions and millions of years, has not got this thing, this extraordinary unfading flower? Why is it that you, as a human being, who are so capable, so clever, so cunning, so competitive, who have such marvellous technology, who go to the skies and under the earth and beneath the sea, and invent extraordinary electronic brains - why is it that you haven't got this one thing which matters? I don't know whether you have ever seriously faced this issue of why your heart is empty.

What would your answer be if you put the question to yourself - your direct answer without any equivocation or cunningness? Your answer would be in accordance with your intensity in asking the question and the urgency of it. But you are neither intense nor urgent, and that is because you haven't got energy, energy being passion - and you cannot find any truth without passion - passion with a fury behind it, passion in which there is no hidden want. Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

So is fear perhaps the reason why you have not got the energy of that passion to find out for yourself why this quality of love is missing in you, why there is not this flame in your heart? If you have examined your own mind and heart very closely, you will know why you haven't got it. If you are passionate in your discovery to find why you haven't got it, you will know it is there. Through complete negation alone, which is the highest form of passion, that thing which is love, comes into being. Like humility you cannot cultivate love. Humility comes into being when there is a total ending of conceit - then you will never know what it is to be humble. A man who knows what it is to have humility is a vain man. In the same way when you give your mind and your heart, your nerves, your eyes, your whole being to find out the way of life, to see what actually is and go beyond it, and deny completely, totally, the life you live now - in that very denial of the ugly, the brutal, the other comes into being. And you will never know it either. A man who knows that he is silent, who knows that he loves, does not know what love is or what silence is.

Freedom From the Known

Freedom From the Known Chapter 16

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