Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: It is easier to be free from sexual cravings than from subtle ambitions; for individuality wants self-expression with every breath. To be free from one's egotism means complete revolution in thinking. how can one remain in the world with such a reversal of mind?

Krishnamurti: Why do we want to remain in the world, the world that is so ruthless, ignorant and lustful? We may have to live in it but existence becomes painful only when we are of it. When we are ambitious, when there is enmity, when sensory values become all important, then we are lost and then the world holds us. Can we not live without greed among the greedy, content with little? Among the unhealthy can we not live in health? The world is not apart from us, we are the world; we have made it what it is. It has acquired its worldliness because of us and to leave it we must put away from us worldliness. Then only can we live with the world and not be of it.

Freedom from sex and ambition has no meaning without love. Chastity is not the product of the intellect; if the mind plans and plots to be chaste, it is no longer chaste. Love alone is chaste. Without love, the mere freedom from lust is barren and so the cause of endless strife and sorrow.

Once again the desire to be free from ambition is a conflict within the pattern of duality. If in this pattern you have trained yourself not to be ambitious you are still in the opposites, and so there is no freedom. You have only substituted one label for another and so conflict continues. Cannot we experience directly that state beyond the pattern of duality? Do not let us think in terms of becoming which indicate, do they not, the conflict of opposites? I am this and I want to become that only strengthens conflict and so blunts the mind-heart. We are accustomed to think in terms of the future, to be or to become. Is it not possible to be aware of what is? When we think-feel what is, without comparison, without judgment, with that complete integration of the thinker with his thought, then that which is, is utterly transformed; but this transformation can never take place within the field of duality. So let us be aware, not become aware, of ambition. When we are so aware we are conscious of all its implications; this feeling is important, not the mere intellectual analysis of the cause and effect of ambition. When you are aware of ambition you are conscious of its assertiveness, of its competitive ruthlessness, of its pleasures and pain; you are also conscious of its effect on society and relationship; of its social and business moralities which are immoral; of its cunning and hidden ways which ultimately lead to strife. Ambition breeds envy and ill will, the power to dominate and to oppress. Be aware of yourself as you are and of the world which you have created, and without condemnation or justification be silently aware of your feeling ambitious.

If you are silently aware, as we explained, then the thinker and his thought are one, they are not separate but indivisible; then only is there complete transformation of ambition. But most of us, if we are aware at all, are conscious of the cause and effect of ambition and unfortunately we stop there; but if we looked more closely into this process of choice we would abandon it, for conflict is not productive of understanding. In abandoning it we would come upon the thinker and his thought. just as the qualities cannot be separated from the self, so the thinker cannot be separated from his thought. When such integration takes place there is complete transformation of the thinker. This is an arduous task demanding alert pliability and choiceless awareness. Meditation comes from right thinking and right thinking from self-knowledge. Without self-knowledge there is no understanding.

Ojai, California
3rd Public Talk 1945