Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | Fifth Talk in The Oak Grove, 1946

Questioner: What happens to us at the end of the journey?

Krishnamurti: Is it not important for the questioner to be aware of why he is asking this question? Is it not because of the fear of the unknown, the desire to gain an end, or the assurance of self-continuity? Being in sorrow, we seek happiness; being impermanent, we search after the permanent; being in darkness, we look for light. But if we were aware of what is, then the truth of sorrow, of impermanency, of imprisonment would liberate thought from its own ignorance.

Tags: death, desire, fear

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So, can you, while living, vigorous, active, end your attachment, end a particular habit voluntarily, easily, quietly?
What is death? Surely, it is the complete cessation of everything that you have known
Most of us are so weighed down by the known, by the yesterday, by the memories, by the `me', the `self', which is but a bundle of memories accumulated yesterday, having no actual existence in itself.
It requires an intense energy to stand alone.
Except for the human beings, it was a new day; nothing was like yesterday.
When you lose your relationship with nature and the vast heavens, you lose your relationship with man.
We have divided life into dying and living. And this division has brought about great fear. And out of that fear we invent all kinds of theories, very comforting, may be illusory, but it is very comforting, illusions are comfortably neurotic.
We are saying: Be dead to love; it doesn't matter. Live entirely in your intellect and in your verbal manipulations, your cunning arguments.
In Asia they believe in reincarnation; that is, the believer is born over and over again until in time he becomes perfect.
Death isn't some horrific thing, something to be avoided, something to be postponed, but rather something to be with day in and day out.
One has to find out the meaning of living, not merely giving an intellectual significance to it, but looking at what it means to live.
Creativeness is not a process of becoming or achieving, but a state of being in which self-seeking effort is totally absent.
It is one fact in life, we are all going to die. That is an absolute, irrevocable fact.
It is we human beings who are always concerned about death - because we are not living.
Is death merely the ending of the physical organism? Is that what we are afraid of? Is it the body that we want to continue? Or is it some other form of continuance that we crave?
Colour was god and death was beyond the gods.
The Christians have taken comfort in the idea of resurrection, and the Hindus and the Buddhists in a future life. Future life of what?
In what manner should one live one's daily life?"
What is death, what does it mean to die? - and that is an absolute certainty that we are all going to die, and what does that mean?
When you say to somebody `I love you', what does it mean?
It is a stupid person that wants to continue - no man who understood the rich feelings of life would want continuity.
It seems to me that our problems, whatever they are, can be dissolved totally only by burning away the process of will - which may sound completely foreign to a Western mind, and even to the Eastern mind.
That which has continuity cannot possibly be innocent.
We refuse to accept life as it is in fact.
The word 'innocence' means 'incapable of being hurt'.
Thought is the response of memory, experience, knowledge, the known, in the known is the 'me', though consciously I may not know the 'me' totally, the 'me' lives in this interval.
Do we know what love is? Never knowing it is the wonder of it, the beauty of it.
Is there time to overcome death; or is death always in harmony with life, with love, with pain; or is death something to be put far away, one day we have to face it but not now?
Can you invite death? Which means to end that which you have experienced, that which you have gathered, psychologically, so that you become totally inwardly anonymous, so that you are inwardly absolutely nothing?
Life is not what we would like it to be; life is not permanent at all.
Some people believe that the "I" has had a birth in the distant past and will continue in the future. It is irrelevant to me, it has no significance at all.
Questioner: Will you please talk about death? I do not mean the fear of death but rather the promise and hope which the thought of death must always hold for those who are aware throughout life that they do not belong.
Because we are as the dead we fear death; the living do not.
If death is truly a great problem for you, not merely a verbal or emotional issue nor a matter of curiosity which can be appeased by explanations, then in you there is deep silence.
We have never understood the significance of Death.
To us, God is the ultimate continuance and Death the ultimate denial of continuance.
I think it is important that we should understand the whole question of death because, in that, there is renewal.
As one cannot think of the unknown, one can only think of the known, the outcome of the thought which is the result of the past.
Continuity implied through a belief or through the soul is the product of thought and therefore it is the result of the known, because thought can only think of something which it knows
In order to bring about a renewal we must die; and that means we must start anew, putting away completely all memories of the past.
We are not concerned with physical continuity. What we are primarily concerned about is whether through things there is psychological continuity;
... to understand the immortal, the imperishable, we have to understand the ending which we call death.
Surely death is as lovely as the real is, because both are the unknown, but a mind that is merely functioning within the known can never understand the unknown.
We do not know what God is, what Death is, and what Love is.
Why does the mind separate itself from the stream of continuity and say 'I remember'?
If we really go into it, if we are aware of its significance, we will find that, that which is spiritual is timeless and therefore beyond our reach and therefore beyond continuity;
The transitory cannot find the permanent; it must cease for the permanent to be.
When you treat impermanency as impermanent then there is nothing; but when you are seeking permanency as an opposite to transitory, the permanency itself is transitory.
Memory is time, and time is not the door to reality;
A man who has a problem, who is continuously worried for a number of years, is dead, for him there is no renewal; he is of the living dead, he merely continues.
Life and death are one, and the man who knows they are one is he who dies every minute.
Why cannot the mind experience something that is true, beyond its own projections?
Can there be honesty - that is, clear insight, seeing things as they are - if there is a principle, an ideal, an ennobled formula?
Freedom is to stand alone, unattached and unafraid, free in the understanding of desire which breeds illusion.
To go beyond the self-enclosing activities of the mind, you must understand them;
Mere reformation of the pattern of society only alters the surface, it brings about a more respectable form of ambition.
The self, the "me," is a network of complex desires, each desire having its own impetus and aim, often in opposition to other hopes and pursuits.
To walk alone, unimpeded by thought, by the trail of our desires, is to go beyond the reaches of the mind.
Is silence to be cultivated, carefully nurtured and strengthened? And who is the cultivator? Is he different from the totality of your being?
Creativeness is not a process of becoming or achieving, but a state of being in which self-seeking effort is totally absent.
Desire, which has been the driving force in man, has created a great many pleasant and useful things; desire also, in man's relationships, has created a great many problems and turmoil and misery - the desire for pleasure.
The religious mind does not depend on time for its development.
Until you are committed, dedicated, to eradicating this national, economic, religious division, you are perpetuating war
You can't empty the mind, do what you will you can't empty it, because the desire to empty it is part of the activity of the self.
Until you and I understand the 'me', which is the center of discontent, until we go into it and understand this whole process of becoming, achieving, there must always be discontent.
How can a man that is in prison stimulate the desire for freedom?
There is illusion as long as there is a want, which is different from needs.
To understand what I am saying is not very difficult. The difficulty lies in putting what I am saying into action.
Where there is no creative expression of life, we give undue importance to sex, which becomes an acute problem.
Question: I desire many things from life which I do not have. Can you tell me how to get them?
If we destroy desire, there is death;
When you are really able to think without any craving, without any desire to choose - for choice implies opposites - there is discernment.
The very desire to be free creates its own limitation.
Confusion arises only when you are made incapable of adjustment by your fantastic and harmful conceptions, ideals and beliefs.
Before we can understand what is truth, reality, or know if there be such a thing, we must discern what it is that is constantly seeking.
Through want we create confusion, ignorance and suffering, and then we set in movement the process of escape.
If you can deeply comprehend [this] self-sustaining process of ignorance which gives a solidity to the "I", from which arise all confusion and suffering, then life can be lived fully, without the various subtle escapes and pursuits that, unknowingly, you have created for yourself.
The reality of the permanent can only happen, take place, and is not to be cultivated.
[The] process of escape from actuality, from uncertainty, must lead to illusion, abnormality, neurosis and unbalance.
There is the will of want, which is effort, and the will of comprehension, which is discernment.
The process of choice is merely one want overcoming another, one illusion dispelling another, one set of values substituting itself for another.
I have tried to explain that conduct born of compulsion, whether it be the compulsion of reward or of punishment, of fear or of love, is not right conduct.
Desire cannot exist by itself, it must always be in relation to something.
Desire is not emotion; desire is the result of a mind that is ever seeking satisfaction, whose values are based on satisfaction.
The desire to be satisfied creates will, which maintains itself by its own continual effort.
The very question of how to be free of desire is prompted by desire itself.
Only in deep emotion is there no craving for satisfaction.
Desire and emotion are two different and distinct processes; desire being entirely of the mind, and emotion the integral expression of one's whole being.
Desire can only recondition itself, reshape itself to a new pattern, but it will still be desire, giving birth to fear.
Question: Are desire and interest, as we know them now, the same?
Question: How can I attain the quality of desirelessness without having the desire to attain it?
What we are trying to do here is to understand the process of desire, not to put a boundary to craving.
To understand the complex causes of conflict and the desire to be free from it, requires not the mere will to be free, but constant awareness in our daily life.
The motive for cultivating the opposite matters greatly; if it is a desire to escape from the struggle and pain of envy, then its opposite becomes identical with itself and so there is no freedom from envy.
To merely deny craving, to merely oppose its many expressions is not to transcend it but to continue in it.
Our conflict within and without arises, does it not, from the changing and contradictory values based on pleasure and pain?
The conflict of acquisitiveness appears in knowledge, in relationship, in possessions; acquisitiveness in any form creates inequality and brutality.
Being is only when there is no effort, positive or negative, to become;
The desire to become, negatively or positively, is self-expansive and in the expansion of the self there can be no freedom.
All forms of becoming, negative or positive, cause conflict, resistance.
You are this and you want to be that; you are ignorant and you want to be enlightened; you are arrogant and you want to be humble.
The desire to listen and the action of listening are two quite different states.
In the very desire to achieve anything, there is the seed of its own opposite.
Why do you want to give up something, for getting rid of fear or on seeing it as it is?
Through attachment the inevitable darkness of fear is waiting
Most of us want to be occupied; otherwise we shall feel lost, otherwise we do not know what to do, we will be lonely, we will be confronted with what we actually are
It is the fear of being nothing that compels us to accumulate;
From my point of view, religions with all their intermediaries, their ceremonies, their priests, destroy creative understanding and pervert judgment.
We have divided life into dying and living. And this division has brought about great fear. And out of that fear we invent all kinds of theories, very comforting, may be illusory, but it is very comforting, illusions are comfortably neurotic.
Followers are those who want power through knowledge, through enlightenment
The 'me' is created by thought and the 'me' says: "I am independent of thought".
As long as you think time and thought are necessary, in the psychological world, in the world of the self, in the world of psyche, in the world of inside the skin, then you will be perpetually in fear.
The relationship between what one is and what one desires to be causes fear.
Though we have theories, speculations, and there are certain observable facts, death is still the unknown.
If what I say is destructive to any particular organization or society, then either that society is false or what I say is false; and it is for you to consider, to judge and to act without compromise.
There cannot be human, vital relationships, or living joyously in the plenitude of life in the present - which to me is the only eternity - so long as mind and heart are crippled through fear;
The very inquiry into the future shows that you are already dying.
Patriotism is a disease, and when you begin to realize, become aware that it is a disease, then you will see how your mind is reacting to that disease.
Where there is fear there must be discipline, compulsion, influence, domination, the search for power which the mind glorifies as virtue and as divine.
You have created disciplines, codes and authorities, and your life is moulded, controlled and shaped by compulsion of various forms and degrees.
As in a circus the animals are trained to function for the amusement of spectators, so the individual through fear seeks out these spiritual trainers whom he calls priests and swamis, who are the defenders of spurious spirituality and the inanities of religion.
When we say we seek out or cultivate a new value, it is but the overcoming of that in which the mind is already caught up, which is its opposite.
The illusion of economic security is shown throughout the world by these depressions, crises, wars, calamities, and chaos.
Question: I do not care what happens after death, but I am afraid of dying. Must I fight this fear, and how can I overcome it?
Illusion divides itself infinitely.
In order to escape from fear, you create faith.
Man is almost suffocated in the prison of false values, of which he is unconscious.
To discuss and intellectually discover what is intelligence would be, I feel, a waste of time and energy, for that would not lift the burden of ignorance and illusion.
Fear is so subtle. so swift, so cunning, that it hides itself in many places.
What happens when you seek security, certainty?
What really awakens intelligence is action without the fear of not adjusting oneself to a standard or an ideal.
One can wholly eliminate fear, it is not a fundamental part of life.
The will to survive, the will to be satisfied, the will to continue - this is the very root cause of fear.
Please do not [at the beginning of these talks] expect an immediate solution for your various problems.
Intellect merely guides fear, controls it, but can never destroy it, for intellect is the very cause of fear.
When there is discontentment, sorrow, the intellect mechanically comes forward with solutions, explanations, tentative suggestions, which gradually crystallize and become habits of thought.
There is only one fundamental problem, which expresses itself in many different ways.
Desire cannot exist by itself, it must always be in relation to something.
Is not the mind, as we know it, an instrument developed for survival, for satisfaction, for self-protection, for resistance, and therefore the instrument of fear?
Do not think by merely wishing for peace, you will have peace, when in your daily life of relationship you are aggressive, acquisitive, seeking psychological security here or in the hereafter.
Craving engenders fear, fear nourishes dependence, dependence on things, people or ideas.
Because we are as the dead we fear death; the living do not.
We have never understood the significance of Death.
In understanding the process of self-protection which is primary, fear which is secondary, loses its significance.