Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

If I want to find out where the truth is, how do I start? It is a fact that I am the result of my environment as you also are, obviously. You are the creature of your senses because after all you are a Hindu or a Christian or a Mussalman, you are the result of your environment. You have been told to believe in God and you be- lieve in God. You go to the temple or not according to your conditioning. Whether left or right you are conditioned, which implies the environment has shaped your mind. So you are partly, not wholly, a result of your environment; and in order to find out what is true you must go deeper and deeper into the whole problem of the senses and not categorically stop at a certain point.

So, you have to experiment with yourself to find out how far your thinking, your feeling is merely sensory, your values sensate, and not accept, as the rightists do, that God is absolute, and then try to find the absolute. If you do merely accept, you are exactly like the leftist who denies, because you are then merely experiencing, living, according to your conditioning. You will not find the truth, because you have arbitrarily decided in advance that there is or there is not. Whereas if you want to find the truth you must obviously begin with the senses because that is all you know. You can speculate on all the rest but in understanding the sensate values you can go deeper and deeper into the whole problem of consciousness. You don't take anything for granted, nor accept anything in order to believe. You begin experimenting and then you will find for yourself whether you are merely the result of the environmental influences or if you are the idea moving upon matter. You will find that it is neither, but that it is something else. When you put it as matter moving upon idea or idea moving upon matter, then they are put as opposites, as antithetical. As I said before, if you approach a problem from the point of view of the opposite, then the opposite contains its own opposite. After all when the left and the right are treated as opposites the left is the continuation of the right; it is the denial of the right only at certain points but it is nevertheless the continuation of the right.

So, in order to understand this problem you cannot approach it either from the left or from the right; acceptance of the left or of the right is a denial of truth. Food, clothing and shelter are sensate values; and your thinking is obviously sensate and so are your feelings. From there you can proceed and then going deeper into the psychological process you will find there comes a silence, there comes an absolute, not a relative tranquillity. It is not sensory, not sensate, it is not self-induced. In that silence you will find truth when the mind is really still, - not only when the superficial layer of consciousness, but the whole consciousness is still, when it is not inquiring, when it is not seeking, - when it is not urged by desires. Then in that real tranquillity, which is not induced, which is not invited, you will find the Truth, but when you accept either the left or the right surely you cannot find the Truth of anything. Acceptance is the very denial of Truth.

Public Talk 21st December, 1947
Madras, India