Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: During the last few years you seem to have concentrated in your talks, more and more, on the development of right thinking. Formerly you used to speak more about mystic experiences. Are you deliberately avoiding this aspect now?

Krishnamurti: Is it not necessary to lay right foundation for right experience? Without right thinking is not experience illusory? If you would have a well built and lasting house, must you not lay it on a firm and right foundation? To experience is comparatively easy and depending on our conditioning, we experience. We experience according to our beliefs and ideals but do all such experiences bring freedom? Have you not noticed that according to one's tradition and belief experience comes? Tradition and creed mould experience, but to experience Reality which is not of any tradition or ideology, must not thought go above and beyond its own conditioning? Is not Reality ever the un-created? And must not the mind cease to create, to formulate, if it would experience the Uncreated? Must not the mind-heart be utterly still and silent for the being of the Real?

As any experience can be misinterpreted so any experience can be made to appear as the Real. On the interpreter depends the translation and if the translator is biased, ignorant, moulded in a pattern of thought, then his understanding will conform to his conditioning. If he is so-called religious, his experiences will be according to his tradition and belief; if he is non-religious then his experiences will shape themselves according to his background. On the instrument depends its capacity; the mind-heart must make itself capable. It is capable of either experiencing the Real or creating for itself illusion. To experience the Real is arduous for it demands infinite pliability and deep, basic stillness. This pliability, this stillness is not the result of desire or of an act of will, for desire and will are the outcome of craving, the dual drive to be and not to be. Pliability and tranquillity are not the outcome of conflict; they come into being with understanding and understanding comes with self-knowledge.

Without self-knowledge you merely live in a state of contradiction and uncertainty; without self-knowledge what you think-feel has no basis; without self-knowledge enlightenment is not possible. You are the world, the neighbour, the friend, the so-called enemy. If you would understand you must first understand yourself, for in you is the root of all understanding. In you is the beginning and the end. To understand this vast complex entity mind-heart must be simple.

To understand the past, mind-heart must be aware of its activities in the present for through the present alone the past may be understood, but you will not understand the present if there is self-identification.

So through the present the past is revealed; through the immediate consciousness the many hidden layers are discovered and understood. Thus through constant awareness there comes deep and wide self-knowledge.

Ojai, California
3rd Public Talk 1945