Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

This Matter of Culture | Chapter 25

Student: Why do grown-up people steal?

Krishnamurti: Don't you sometimes steal? Haven't you known of a little boy stealing something he wants from another boy? It is exactly the same throughout life, whether we are young or old, only the older people do it more cunningly, with a lot of fine-sounding words; they want wealth, power, position, and they connive, contrive, philosophize to get it. They steal, but it is not called stealing, it is called by some respectable word. And why do we steal? First of all, because, as society is now constituted, it deprives many people of the necessities of life; certain sections of the populace have insufficient food, clothing and shelter, therefore they do something about it. There are also those who steal, not because they have insufficient food, but because they are what is called antisocial. For them stealing has become a game, a form of excitement - which means that they have had no real education. Real education is understanding the significance of life, not just cramming to pass examinations. There is also stealing at a higher level the stealing of other people's ideas, the stealing of knowledge. When we are after the 'more' in any form, we are obviously stealing.

Why is it that we are always asking, begging, wanting, stealing? Because in ourselves there is nothing; inwardly, psychologically we are like an empty drum. Being empty, we try to fill ourselves not only by stealing things, but by imitating others. Imitation is a form of stealing: you are nothing but he is somebody, so you are going to get some of his glory by copying him. This corruption runs right through human life, and very few are free of it. So what is important is to find out whether the inward emptiness can ever be filled. As long as the mind is seeking to fill itself it will always be empty. When the mind is no longer concerned with filling its own emptiness, then only does that emptiness cease to be.

Tags: continuity, emptiness, imitation

Related Quotes
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?
In the desire to attain there is subtle craving for self-continuance, glorified self-continuance; and every struggle, every effort to attain liberation indicates an escape from the present.
It is a stupid person that wants to continue - no man who understood the rich feelings of life would want continuity.
You see, death is destruction, it is final; you can't argue with it, you can't say, 'Nay, wait a few days more.'
Do we know what love is? Never knowing it is the wonder of it, the beauty of it.
One sees that life has an ending, a sudden ending, what lived yesterday may not live today, and what lives today may not live tomorrow.
Immortality is not egotistic continuance at all.
Consciousness is composed of many layers of memories, which come into being, or remain present, where there is ignorance, craving, want.
The thing that the mind clings to as the permanent is in its very essence the transient.
We are not concerned with physical continuity. What we are primarily concerned about is whether through things there is psychological continuity;
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.
The 'I' is non-existent without memory, its tendencies, gifts and so on, i.e. non-existent without continuity, the racial, the traditional, the past in conjunction with the now, the past flowing through the present to the future which is hope.
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;
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.
That which is spirituality, truth, godliness, is beyond time; therefore it is not the continuity we know of as tomorrow and the future.
There is no renewal through memory, through continuity - there is renewal only when there is an ending, there is freshness only when there is a death, when idea ceases.
To be free from the background, from the conditioning influences, from memory, there must be freedom from continuity; and, there is continuity as long as thought and feeling are not ended completely.
Surely, change is a modified continuity, I am this, and I want to become that; that is, I want to become the opposite of what I am.
If you have a very strong feeling of nationalism, what happens? You give it a name, the thought arises of idealism, love, 'my country; that is, you term it and thereby give it a continuity.
And now you will say 'I have learned a very good trick. I know how to deal with unpleasant feelings, how to make them come to an end quickly: I won't term them'
You may have understood the verbal expressions of what I have explained, but the living significance, the inward meaning, you will understand only through experimentation.
So, I want to know if the 'I' continues. The 'I', which is a total process, a psychological as well as physiological process, which is with the body and also apart from the body - I want to know if that 'I' continues, if it comes into being after this physical existence ends
The sadness of life is this - the emptiness that we try to fill with every conceivable trick of the mind.
Can the mind live, be vital, energetic, full of depth, without attachment? Of course it can.
There was complete emptiness of the brain, and the mind was free of all experience, the knowing of yesterday, though a thousand yesterdays have been.
Whatever you do is an activity of escape. That is the most essential thing to realize.
With most of us, the difficulty is that we are unaware of our escapes. We are so conditioned, so accustomed to our escapes, that we take them as realities.
If you examine, you will see that your mind and heart are held in a series of standards or values
It is only when the mind is empty that there is a possibility of creation; but I do not mean this superficial emptiness which most of us have.
Our whole effort is concerned with this superimposition of what we call right ideas on what we consider wrong ideas, and by this attempt we continually create a division in action.
Each one of you is conscious of a great void, an emptiness within you, and being conscious of that emptiness, you either try to fill it or to run away from it;
When [he] faces 'what is' - i.e. he is lacking in love - and goes deeper and deeper into it, he finds that he is nothing though he has a mask, though he is talking about God and that behind all verbal things intellectually produced there is absolutely nothing.
When the intellect becomes supreme, you are bound to have disaster, because the heart is empty; so you fill it with words and the fabrications of the intellect.
Instead of discerning the cause, you think that you can comprehend yourself through another. This looking to the example of another only leads to illusion and suffering.
Your mind is like a gramophone record repeating a song you have heard. It is not even your song, it is the song of another; and there may be no 'your song', but only `the song'.
It is one fact in life, we are all going to die. That is an absolute, irrevocable fact.
You have to investigate the various patterns which make you copy, imitate, live on the verbal level;
What I am saying is not in any way philosophical, nor is it Western or Oriental thought expressed to suit modern minds;
Wisdom is not acquired but is in the very action of living itself.
I am not giving you a system or a discipline as a way to end your conflict.
I shall have to say this so often that it will become almost a formula for you.
The more we read the more we repeat.
It is the thoughtless man who is asleep and who is imitative, that wants an ideal, because he has to whip himself up to become something.
... an ideal is really an impediment; the example is a horror to a creative man.
... feeling is always the new, though it is out of an old conditioning; if you treat it as new, then you will understand the old.
Our responses are conditioned according to the pattern of society, whether it is Eastern or Western, religious or materialistic.