Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 8th Public Talk 25th June, 1934

Question: If priests are exploiters, why did Christ found the apostolic succession and Buddha his sangha?

Krishnamurti: First of all, how do you know? You have been told, you have read of it in books. How do you know they are not the fabrications of priests for their own profession, for their own benefit? An authority seasoned through the mists of time becomes invulnerable, and then man accepts that authority as being final. Why accept the Christ or the Buddha, or anyone, including myself? Let us rather ascertain whether priests are exploiters, not merely accept that they are not, simply because Christ is supposed to have established the apostolic succession. That is only the habit of a lazy mind that wants to settle everything by authority, by precedent, saying that because someone has said it, therefore it must be true, it does not matter whether that someone is great or small.

So let us find out. As I tried to explain yesterday, religions are the outcome of man's search for security. And therefore when a mind is seeking shelter, certainty, a place where it can rest, an assurance of immortality, when a mind seeks these, then there must be those to comfort and satisfy that mind. You may call them priests, exploiters, mediators, swamis; all these are of the same type. Now when you are seeking shelter, there is always the fear of losing it; when you are seeking gain, naturally with it comes the fear of loss. So the fear of loss drives you continually to this search for security, which to me is utterly false. And therefore a false cause creates a false product; and this product is the priest, the swami, the exploiter.

Why do you want a priest at all? As a convenient person for marrying you or burying you, or to give you a blessing which will wash away all your so-called sins? There is no such thing as sin - there is only the lack of understanding, and that lack of understanding cannot be washed away by any priest, whether he claims apostolic succession or not. Intelligence alone can free you from that lack of understanding, not the benedictions of a priest, or going to an altar or to the grave.

Do you go to a priest because he will awaken your intelligence, give you stimulation? Then treat this as you treat drink. If you are addicted to drink, it is a pity, because all dependence reveals a lack of intelligence, and then there must be suffering. And man is caught up in this suffering continually, although he does not and will not see the cause; he therefore multiplies means and ways of escape. But the cause is the very search for security, for this certainty which does not exist.

The mind which is intelligent seeks no security, because there is no place, no abode where it can rest. Intelligence itself is tranquillity, creativeness, and as long as there is not that intelligence there must be suffering. Running away from the cause of suffering is not going to give you that intelligence; on the contrary, it makes you more blind, more ignorant; and more and more you will suffer. What gives you perception immediately, directly, is that full intensity of awareness in the present. To understand the environment, whatever it be, is intelligence. Then you are really beyond all priests, then you are beyond all limitations, beyond the gods themselves.

Tags: authority, religion

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