Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Now what do we mean by time? It involves not only the interval, the movement from one point to another point, but it also involves, does it not, the movement from the present to the tomorrow, to the future. We always think in terms of time because our whole mind is based on time, is the result of time, is it not? You existed yesterday, you exist today, and you will exist tomorrow if no accident takes place. So you are always functioning, are you not, within that field of time. We are always thinking in terms of what has been, what is, and what will be. And within that field of time, we say we must change. But in that field is there change at all, or is there only the conflict between what is and 'what should be'? After all, I cannot change the mind in an instant, nor can I change society because there are too many contradictory urges at work, too many opposing desires, too many laws, regulations to control and shape mass activity. All that structure cannot be overthrown totally in an instant, by tomorrow. All the reformers and revolutionaries try to bring about change, either violently or gradually, but they all require time. And when I say to myself, 'I was; I am,' and 'I shall be,' I also am caught in time. So I am asking myself whether the element of time is the factor, the catalyst, the force that brings about change, or whether a totally different thing, a different element altogether is needed to bring about change. So long as I am changing in the field of time, I am still functioning within the field of my own thought. The 'what I should be', 'what I am', and 'what I must not be' are all within the field of my own consciousness, is it not so? When you have been angry or jealous, you begin to discipline, correct, control, but it is always the 'you' that is controlling, making an effort not to be angry: Always it is the self that is operating, and the self is obviously in the field of time. The self is the field of time. Am I making this too difficult? I do not think so because, after all, most of us do function that way. A constant battle is going on within us, wearing us out in the process. So I am asking myself whether a change is possible, since change within the field of consciousness is no change at all. It is like merely putting on a different mask: I may no longer be angry, but the element of the 'me' that has controlled the anger is still there. So how is change to be brought about? Because I see that so long as I think in terms of time, there is no change. I do not know if I am conveying the significance of the fact that so long as I am thinking of changing, I must resort to time. Time is a very difficult thing to understand because all striving implies time and self-consciousness, and in that field is there ever real change, or is change something entirely outside the field of time?

Mumbai, India
Fifth Public Talk, 1958