Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: You cannot build a new world in the way you are doing it now. It is obvious that the method of training laboriously a few chosen disciples will not make any difference to humanity. It cannot. You may be able to leave a mark like Gandhiji, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, have done. But, they have not fundamentally changed the world - nor will you, unless you discover an entirely new way of approach to the problem.

Krishnamurti: Let us think it out together. The question implies, does it not?, that the wave of destruction, the wave of confusion, is co-existent with life; that the wave of destruction, and life, are always together, running together simultaneously, and there is no interval between them. So, the questioner says, 'You may have a few disciples who understand, a few who really perceive and transform themselves, but they cannot transform the world'. And that is the problem: That man should be transformed, not just a few. Christ, Buddha, and others have not transformed the world, because the wave of destruction is always sweeping over mankind; and the questioner says, 'Have you a different way of solving this problem? If not, you will be like the rest of the teachers. A few may come out of the chaos, the confusion, but the majority will be swallowed up, destroyed'. You understand the problem, don't you? That is, the few who escape from the burning house hope to draw others from the fire; but since the vast majority are doomed to burn, many who are burning invent the theory of the process of time: in the next life it will be alright. So, they look to time as a means of transformation. That is the problem, is it not? A few of us may be out of this chaos, but the vast majority are held in the net of time, in the net of becoming, in the net of sorrow; and can they be transformed? Can they leave the burning house instantaneously, completely? If not, the wave of confusion, the wave of misery, is continuously covering them up, continuously destroying them. That is the problem, isn't it? I am only explaining, studying the question. So, is there a new approach to the problem? Otherwise, only a few can be saved - which means the wave of destruction, the wave of confusion, is always pursuing man. That is the problem, isn't it, Sirs?

Now, let us try to find the truth of it. Is it not possible for us to step out of time - all of us here, not by some self-hypnotic process, but actually? That is the problem involved. Can you and I, can you who are listening to me, step out of the process of time, so that you are free from chaos? Because, as long as you believe in that process, that is, as long as you say you are becoming free from chaos through the process of time, you and chaos are always co-existent. I do not know if I am explaining myself. That is, if you think that you will become free from chaos, you will never be free, because the becoming is part of the chaos. Either we understand now, or never. If you say, `I will understand tomorrow', you are really postponing; you are really inviting the wave of destruction. So, our problem is to put an end to the becoming process, and therefore put an end to time. As long as you think in terms of becoming - `I will be good', `I will be noble', `I will be something tomorrow which I am not today' - , in that becoming is implied the time process, and in the time process there is confusion. So, there is confusion because you are thinking in terms of becoming. Now, instead of becoming, can you be? - in which alone there is transformation, radical transformation. Becoming is a process of time, being is free from time. And, as I explained earlier, only in being can there be transformation, not in becoming; only in ending is there renewal, not in continuity. Continuity is becoming. When you end something, there is a being; and it is only in being, that there can be fundamental, radical transformation.

So, our problem is to put an end to becoming - not chronological becoming, as yesterday became today and today becomes tomorrow, but - , psychological becoming. Can you put an end instantaneously to that becoming? That is the only new approach, is it not? Every other way is the old approach. Do you understand the question? At present, all forms of approach are gradual. I am this, but I will become that tomorrow; I am a clerk, but I will be the manager in ten years' time; I am angry, but I will slowly become virtuous. That is becoming, which is the process of time; and where there is time, there must be the wave of confusion also. So, our problem is, can we immediately and altogether stop thinking in terms of becoming? That is the only new approach otherwise, we repeat the old approach. I say it is possible. I say you can do it, you can cease to be caught in the net of time, in the net of becoming, you can cease to think in terms of time, in terms of the future, in terms of yesterday. You can do it, and you are doing it now; you do it when you are tremendously interested, when the thought process ceases entirely, when there is complete concentration, complete awareness. That is, Sirs, you do it when you are face to face with a new problem. Now, this is a new problem - how to bring time to an end. As it is a new problem, you must be completely new in regard to it, must you not? Because, if you think in terms of the old, surely you are then translating the new problem into the old and therefore confusing, misinterpreting the problem. When it is a new problem, you must come to it anew; and that which is new is timeless.

So, the point is this: Can you, as you are now sitting here listening to me, free yourself from time? Can you be aware of that state of being in which there is no time? If you are aware of that state of being, you will see that there is a tremendous revolution taking place instantaneously, because the thinker has ceased. It is the thinker that produces the process of becoming. So, time can be brought to an end, time has a stop - not chronological time, but psychological time. Now, look: Many of you are gazing at somebody else - you are more interested in seeing who is coming and who is going. Therefore, what has happened? You are not interested to discover what it is to be without time; and you can discover what it is to be free from the net of time only when you give your whole mind and heart to it, your whole attention - not the attention which is merely exclusive. That, surely, is right meditation, is it not? For thought to end is the beginning of real meditation; and then only is there a revolution, a fundamentally new approach to existence. The new approach is to bring time to an end; and I say it can be done instantaneously, if you are interested. You can step from the river onto the shore at any point. The river of becoming ceases when you understand the time process; but to understand, you must give your heart and mind to it. You are free of time only when there is complete absorption in understanding, - which you are doing now. You are very quiet. You are quiet, because we are discussing, we are forcing the issue. But you cease to be quiet the moment the issue disappears. If you maintain, if you keep that issue clearly in front of you all the time, the stepping out of time becomes an extraordinarily absorbing problem; and I say that for any who are willing to give their mind and heart to it, it is possible to step out of time. That is the only new approach, and therefore it can bring about a radical transformation in society.

Public Talk 8th February, 1948
Mumbai, India