Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 7th Public Talk 7th July, 1940

Questioner: You say we must be alert and watchful every moment and that this watchfulness isn't the same as introspection. Will you please explain how they differ?

Krishnamurti: Between awareness and introspection there is a difference. Introspection is a kind of self-analysis in which thought is measuring its own action and its results, according to pleasure and pain, reward and punishment, thus forming a judgment, a pattern. That is, having examined the action of the past, thought tries to carry out what it has learned through the present action and so determines how it shall act in the future. Observe what takes place as you try to analyze yourself. You are always analyzing a past action; you cannot analyze an action that is being lived. If you have done something which has caused pain or conflict you want to understand it in order not to act again in the same manner. So when you do this you are trying to understand a past action, a dead action, with present intention, hoping to produce a future result. That is, thought is occupied, in this introspective process, with the result, with how it should act.

Now, awareness is different. In awareness there is only the present, that is, being aware, you see the past process of influence which controls the present and modifies the future. Awareness is an integral process, not a process of division. For example, if I ask the question, do I believe in God, in the very process of asking, I can observe, if I am aware, what it is that is making me ask that question; if I am aware I can perceive what has been and what are the forces at work which are compelling me to ask that question. Then, I am aware of various forms of fear, those of my ancestors who have created a certain idea of God and have handed it down to me, and combining their idea with my present reactions, I have modified or changed the concept of God. If I am aware I perceive this entire process of the past, its effect in the present and in the future, integrally, as a whole.

If one is aware, one sees how through fear one's concept of God arose; or perhaps there was a person who had an original experience of reality or of God and communicated it to another who in his greediness made it his own, and gave impetus to the process of imitation. Awareness is the process of completeness, and introspection is incomplete. The result of introspection is morbid, painful, whereas awareness is enthusiasm and joy.

Tags: awareness, control

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You may succeed in forcibly stilling the mind, but what is the outcome of such effort? Death, is it not?
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As practiced by most of us, meditation is an effort to do something of which you have already an outline, thus forcing the mind along a pre-determined channel.
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A controlled mind is not a free mind.