Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: I have listened to your talks for several years, but to be frank, I have not yet grasped what you are trying to convey. Your words have always seemed vague to me, whereas the writings of H. P. Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, Annie Besant, and a few others, have greatly helped me. Is it not that there are different ways of presenting truth, and that your way is the way of the mystic as distinct from that of the occultist?

Krishnamurti: I have answered this question I do not know how often, but if you wish I shall answer it again. Any explanation, any measure of truth must be erroneous. Truth is to be comprehended, to be discerned, not to be explained. It is, but is not to be sought after. So there cannot be one way or many ways of presenting truth. That which is presented as truth is not truth.

But then you can ask me: What are you trying to do? If you are not giving us a graphic picture of truth, measuring for us the immeasurable, then what are you doing? All that I am trying to do is to help you to discern for yourself that there is no salvation outside of yourself, that no Master, no society, can save you; that no church, no ceremony, no prayer can break down your self-created limitations and restrictions; that only through your own strenuous awareness is there the comprehension of the real, the permanent; and that your mind is so cluttered up, so overheated with beliefs, ideals, wants and hopes, that it is incapable of perception. Surely this is simple, clear and definite; it is not vague.

Each one, through his own want, is creating ignorance, and that ignorance, through its volitional activities, is perpetuating itself as individuality, as the "I" process. I say that the "I" is ignorance, it has no reality, nor does it conceal anything permanent. I have said this often and explained it in many ways, but some of you do not want to think clearly, and so you cling to your hopes and satisfactions. You want to avoid deep strenuousness; you hope that through the effort of another your conflicts, miseries and sorrows will be dissipated, and you wish that the exploiting organizations, whether religious or social, would be miraculously changed. If you make an effort you want a result, which excludes comprehension. Then you say: What is the point of making an effort if I don't get something out of it? Your effort, through want, creates further limitations which destroy comprehension. The mind is caught up in this vicious circle, effort through want, which maintains ignorance; and so the "I" process becomes self-sustaining. The people who have gathered money, properties, qualities, are rigid in their acquisition and are incapable of deep comprehension. They are slaves to their own want, which creates a system of exploitation. If you give thought to it, it is not difficult to understand this, but to comprehend it through action demands strenuous effort.

To some of you, what I say is empty and meaningless; to others, coming to these meetings is a habit; and a few are vitally concerned. Some of you take one or two statements of mine, separate them from their contexts, and try to work them into your own particular system. In this there is no comprehension, and it will only lead to further confusion.

Ojai, California
6th Talk in the Oak Grove 10th May, 1936