Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: How can we get rid of incompleteness without forming some ideal of completeness? After the realization of completeness there may be no need for an ideal, but before the realization of completeness some ideal seems inevitable, although it will have to be provisional and will change according to the growth of understanding.

Krishnamurti: Your very saying that you need an ideal in order to overcome incompleteness shows that you are merely trying to superimpose that ideal on incompleteness. That is what most of you are trying to do. It is only when you find out the cause of incompleteness and are aware of that cause that you become complete. But you do not find out that cause. You do not understand what I am saying, or rather, you understand only with your minds, only intellectually. Anyone can do that, but really to understand demands action.

Now you feel incompleteness, and therefore you seek an ideal, the ideal of completeness. That is, you are seeking an opposite to incompleteness, and in wanting that opposite you merely create another opposite. This may sound puzzling, but it is not. You are continually seeking what seems to you the essential. One day you think this essential; you choose it, strive for it, and possess it, but meanwhile it has already become the unessential. Now if mind is free from all sense of duality, free from the idea of essential and nonessential, then you are not confronted by the problem of choice; then you act from the fullness of discernment, and you no longer seek the image of completeness.

Why do you cling to the ideal of freedom when you are in a prison? You create or invent that ideal of freedom because you cannot escape from your prison. So also with your ideals, your gods, your religions: they are the creation of the desire for escape into comfort. You yourself have made the world into a prison, a prison of suffering and conflict; and because the world is such a prison, you create an ideal god, an ideal freedom, an ideal truth.

And these ideals, these opposites, are but attempts at emotional and mental escape. Your ideals are means of escape from the prison in which you are confined. But if you become conscious of that prison, if you become aware of the fact that you are trying to escape, then that awareness destroys the prison; then, instead of pursuing freedom, you will know freedom.

Freedom does not come to him who seeks freedom. Truth is not found by him who searches for truth. Only when you realize with your whole mind and heart the condition of the prison in which you live, when you realize the significance of that prison, only then are you free, naturally and without effort. This realization can come only when you are in a great crisis, but most of you try to avoid crises. Or, when you are confronted by a crisis, you at once seek comfort in the idea of religion, the idea of God, the idea of evolution; you turn to priests, to spiritual guides, for consolation; you seek diversion in amusements. All of these are but escapes from conflict. But if you really confront the crisis before you, if you realize the futility, the falseness of escape as a mere means of postponement of action, then in that awareness is born the flower of discernment.

So you must become aware in action, which will reveal the hidden pursuits of craving. But this awareness does not result from analysis. Analysis merely limits action. Have I answered that question?

Alpino, Italy
3rd Public Talk, 6th July, 1933