Questioner: Do not the images of saints, Masters, help us to meditate rightly?
Krishnamurti: If you would go north why look towards the south? If you would be free why become slaves? Must you know sobriety through drunkenness? Must you have tyranny to know freedom?
The questioner wants to know if examples help one to meditate rightly. They may help to concentrate, to focus attention, but such concentration is not meditation. Mere concentration though troublesome is comparatively easy, but what then? The concentrator is still what he is, only he has acquired a new faculty, a new means through which he can function, enjoy and do harm. Of what value is concentration if he who concentrates is lustful, worldly and stupid? He will still do harm; he will still create enmity and confusion. Mere concentration narrows the mind-heart which only strengthens its conditioning, thus causing credulity and obstinacy. Before you learn to concentrate, understand the structure of your whole being, not just one part of it. With self-awareness there comes self-knowledge, right thinking. This self-awareness or understanding creates its own discipline and concentration; such pliable discipline is enduring, effective, not the self-imposed discipline of greed and envy. Understanding ever widens and deepens into extensional awareness; this awareness is essential for right meditation. Meditation of the heart is understanding.
We use examples as a means of inspiration. Why do we seek inspiration? As our lives are empty, dull and mechanical we seek inspiration outside of ourselves. The Master, the saint, the saviour then becomes a necessity, a necessity which enslaves us. Being enslaved you then have to free yourself from your enchainment to discover the Real, for the Real can only be experienced in freedom.
Because you are not interested in self-knowledge you seek inspiration from others which is another form of distraction. Self-knowledge is a process of creative discovery which is hindered when thought-feeling is concerned with gain. Greed for a result prevents the flowering of self-knowledge. Search itself is devotion, it is in itself inspiration. A mind that is identifying, comparing, judging, soon wearies and needs distraction, so-called inspiration. All distraction, noble or otherwise, is idolatrous.
But if the meditator begins to understand himself then his meditation has great significance. Through self-awareness and self-knowledge there comes right thinking; only then can thought go above and beyond the conditioned layers of consciousness. Meditation then is being, which has its own eternal movement; it is creation itself for the meditator has ceased to be.
10th Public Talk 1945