Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 21st December, 1947 | Madras, India

Now, as it is a new problem, when you are asked a question what is thinking what do you do? It is a new question, a new problem presented to you and how do you respond to it? When you are asked what is thinking, what is your response? You have never thought about it. So, what happens? You are silent, aren't you? Please follow this very carefully. There is a new problem presented to you: what is thinking; and as you have never thought about it and since it is new there is naturally a hesitancy, a sense of quietness and a stillness of observation. Is there not? You are watching, you are not translating, you are very alert and your mind is extremely concentrated if the question is vital and interesting, which it is. If you observe yourself when this question is asked you, you will see that your mind is not asleep, but very alert and very conscious, yet passive. It is waiting to find an answer. Now, that alert yet passive state is surely thinking because that is not conditioned thinking. There is passive, alert awareness, isn't there? Because your mind is very quiet and because it is confronted with a new problem, it is not asleep, but very alert and aware yet passive; it is not active because it does not know the answer, it is not even seeking an answer because it does not know. So that state of awareness, passive awareness is really thinking, is it not? It is the highest form of thinking because there is no positive comprehension, there is no conditioned response, it is a state of negation. Would it not be possible to meet every problem in this way, anew, because then the problem gives its significance; then you meet a problem, as sorrow, for instance and it will give its significance and therefore the problem ceases. But when you try to solve the problem by what you call thinking which is only response to memory, then because memory is conditioned, you further complicate the problem.

You can experiment with this for yourself very simply and you will see how remarkably it works. For instance, you are in front of a modern painting. Your instinctive response is that you don't understand it and you push it aside, or else you ask who painted it, and if it is some big name you say it is very good; or again according to your training, you translate the picture. You respond according to your background or your conditioning. But suppose you put aside, if you can, the training, the classical training you have had and remain very quiet, very passive but alert in front of the picture. Does not the picture then tell you, give you its significance? So, passive awareness is surely the highest form of thinking because you are so receptive, so alert that the picture conveys its meaning to you. So, similarly if we could meet each problem with this alert, passive awareness which you experience now, when I ask you what is thinking, you are puzzled, you are bewildered and if you can go beyond that bewilderment, that puzzle, you say, 'I do not know.' That unknowingness is not a sleepy condition; on the contrary it is a very alert passive state of the mind in which there is deep silence waiting for the right significance.

But, what we call thinking is generally understood as a response of memory and when you meet a problem with the response of memory the problem is not understood and therefore there's still more confusion. But, if you are able to meet each problem, with this passive awareness, which is choiceless, then the problem yields its significance and therefore the problem is transcended.

Tags: solution, thinking

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