Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: Is education in creativeness possible, or is creativeness purely accidental, and therefore nothing can be done to facilitate its emergence?

Krishnamurti: The question is, to put it differently, whether by learning a technique, you will be creative? That is, by practicing, say, the piano, the violin, by learning the technique of painting, will you be a musician, will you be an artist? Does creativeness come into being through technique, or is creativeness independent of technique? You may go to a school and learn all there is to know about painting, about the depth of colour, the technique of how to hold the brush, and all the rest of it; but will that make you a creative painter? Whereas, if you are creative, then anything that you do will have its own technique. I went once to see a great artist in Paris. He had not learned a technique. He wanted to say something, and he said it in clay and then in marble. Most of us learn the technique, but have very little to say. We neglect, we overlook the capacity to find out for ourselves; we have all the instruments of discovery, without finding anything directly. So, the problem is, how to be creative, which brings its own technique. Then, when you want to write a poem, what happens? You write it; and if you have a technique, so much the better. But if you have no technique, it does not matter - you write the poem, and the delight is in the writing. After all, when you write a love letter, you are not bothered about the technique; you write it with all your being. But when there is no love in your heart, you search out a technique, how to put words together.

Sirs, if you do not love, you miss the point. You think you will be able to live happily, creatively, by learning a technique, and it is the technique that is destroying creativeness - which does not mean that you must not have a technique. After all, when you want to write a poem beautifully, you must know the meter, the rhythm, and all the rest of it. But if you want to write it for yourself and not publish it, then it does not matter. You write. It is only when you want to communicate something to another that proper technique is necessary, the right technique, so that there will be no misunderstanding. But surely, to be creative is quite a different problem, and that demands an extraordinary investigation into oneself. It is not a question of gift. Talent is not creativeness. One can be creative without having a talent. So, what do we mean by creativeness? Surely, a state of being in which conflict has completely ceased, a state of being in which there is no problem, no contradiction. Contradiction, problem, conflict, are the result of too much emphasis put on the 'I', the 'mine' - 'my success', 'my family', 'my country'. When that is absent, then thought itself ceases, and there is a state of being in which creativeness can take place. That is, to put it differently, when the mind ceases to create, there is creation. One of the causes of problems is your belief, your greed, and so on; and the mind creates as long as it has a problem, as long as it is the originator of problems. A mind that is chained to a problem, that is tethered to the creation of its own problem, can never be free. Only when the mind is free from creating its own problems, can there be creation.

Sir, to go into it fully and really deeply, one has to go into the whole problem of consciousness; and I say that everyone of us can be creative in the right sense of the word, not merely producing poems and statues, or procreating children. Surely, to be creative means to be in that state in which truth can come into being; and truth can come into being only when there is a complete cessation of the thought process. When the mind is utterly still, without being compelled, forced into a certain pattern of action; when the mind is still because it understands all the problems as they arise and therefore no longer has any problem; when the mind is really quiet, not compelled; then in that state, truth can come into being. That state is creation, and creation is not for the few; it is not the talent of the few or the gift of the few; but that creative state can be discovered by each one who gives his mind and heart to search out the problem.

Public Talk, March 13th, 1948
Mumbai, India