Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: How can a man who has never reached the limits of his mind go beyond his mind to experience direct communion with truth?

Krishnamurti: Sir, when you know the limits of your mind, are you not already beyond the limits? To be aware of your limits is surely the first step, the first process - which is very difficult, because the limits of the mind are erroneously subtle. In knowing that I am limited, in being aware of it without condemnation, there is already a freedom from that limitation, is there not? Surely, to know that I am a liar, to be aware of it without condemnation, without justification, is already a freedom from lying. To know the limits of the mind is already a tremendous liberation, isn't it? To know that I am tethered to a belief is already freedom from that limitation; but a mind which justifies that belief, that bondage, defending it and saying, `It is alright, I need it', such a mind can never know its limitation. When I know that I am tethered, limited by a belief, and am aware of that limitation without condemnation or justification, that is already a liberation from belief. Sir, experiment with this and you will see how extraordinarily active, how extraordinarily true it is. To know, to beware of a problem, is to be free from it; and a mind cannot experience truth if it does not know its limitation. That is why it is very important to have self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge is not an ultimate goal, it is not the ultimate end. Self-knowledge is knowing one's limitation from moment to moment, and therefore perceiving the truth from moment to moment. Truth which is continuous is not truth, because that which continues can never renew itself; but in ending, there is a renewal. So, a mind that is not aware of its own limitation can never experience truth; but if the mind is aware of its limitation without condemnation, without justification, if it is purely aware of its limitation, then you will find there comes a freedom from the limitation; and in that freedom, truth is realized. There is not `you' unified to truth: `you' can never find truth. `You' must cease for truth to come into being, because 'you' are the limitation.

So, you must understand where you are limited, the extent of your limitation; you must be passively aware of it, and in that passivity truth comes into being. Light cannot be unified with darkness. That which is ignorance cannot become one with wisdom. Ignorance must cease for wisdom to be. Wisdom is not an ultimate end, but it comes into being when ignorance is dissolved from moment to moment. Wisdom is not an accumulation, which gives continuity; wisdom is understanding the problem completely each minute, each second. So, wisdom, reality, is not caught in the net of time. Only through self-knowledge can the limitations, which the self has created, come to an end, and these limitations can be understood only from moment to moment as they arise. And each limitation, as you observe it, brings the truth, each moment you see the false, the truth is perceived; but to see the false as the false, and the truth as truth, is difficult, is arduous; it demands clarity of perception. A mind that is distracted can never see the false as the false, and the true as the true; and to see the truth in the false requires a swiftness of mind, a mind that is not tethered to any bondage, to any limitation.

Public Talk 28th March, 1948
Mumbai, India