Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

We know the conflict of the opposites. We are caught in that long corridor of pain, always overcoming the one and trying to become the other. That is our existence. I am this and I want to become that; I am not this and I would like to be that; that is the constant struggle of everyone; of the bank-clerk, the manager, the seeker after truth. Our everyday struggle in life is based on a constant battle of becoming, of transforming this into that. So, I needn't go into more details concerning the conflict and the pain of the opposites.

Now, does the opposite exist? We know that what exists is only the actual. But the opposite is only the negative response to what is, is it not? It has no existence apart from `what is.' That is : I am arrogant and that is a fact and the negative response to that is humility and I accept humility as an opposite because I have been told that arrogance is wrong; or I have found it to be painful; or religiously, morally, and ethically it is taboo. So, I want to get rid of arrogance, it no longer pays me to be arrogant. So, I would like to become humble, the opposite. What actually happens is that I am arrogant and I would like to become humble. Humility is an idea, not an actuality. The actual is the arrogance, the other is not, but I would like to become that other. Therefore the desire to become what I am not creates the opposite but the opposite is non-existent, it is only an ideal which I would like to realize. So, it seems to me an utter waste of time to meditate or try in some other way to become the opposite. Love is not the opposite of hate. If it is, it would not be love, because after all, an opposite has within it the seed of its own opposite; as humility is the outcome of arrogance, therefore it has the seed of arrogance. Whereas if we understood the whole significance of arrogance, then its opposite also would cease. What exists is arrogance and if I can understand that, I need not go into the battle of becoming something.

Public Talk 14th December, 1947
Madras, India