Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil | 2nd Public Talk 17th April, 1935

Question: Do you believe in reincarnation? Is it a fact? Can you give us proof from your personal experience?

Krishnamurti: The idea of reincarnation is as old as the hills; the idea that man, through many rebirths, going through innumerable experiences, will come at last to perfection, to truth, to God. Now what is it that is reborn, what is it that continues? To me, that thing which is supposed to continue is nothing but a series of layers of memory, of certain qualities, certain incompleted actions which have been conditioned, hindered by fear born of self-protection. Now that incomplete consciousness is what we call the ego, the "I". As I explained at the beginning in my brief introductory talk, individuality is the accumulation of the results of various actions which have been impeded, hindered by certain inherited and acquired values, limitations. I hope I am not making it very complicated and philosophical, I will try to make it simple.

When you talk of the "I", you mean by that a name, a form, certain ideas, certain prejudices, certain class distinctions, qualities, religious prejudices, and so on, which have been developed through the desire for self-protection, security, comfort. So, to me, the "I", based on an illusion, has no reality. Therefore the question is not whether there is reincarnation, whether there is a possibility of future growth, but whether the mind and heart can free themselves from this limitation of the "I", the "mine".

You ask me whether I believe in reincarnation or not because you hope that through my assurance you can postpone understanding and action in the present, and that you will eventually come to realize the ecstasy of life or immortality. You want to know whether, being forced to live in a conditioned environment with limited opportunities, you will through this misery and conflict ever come to realize that ecstasy of life, immortality. As it is getting late I have to put it briefly, and I hope you will think it over.

Now I say there is immortality, to me it is a personal experience; but it can be realized only when the mind is not looking to a future in which it shall live more perfectly, more completely, more richly. Immortality is the infinite present. To understand the present with its full, rich significance, mind must free itself from the habit of self-protective acquisition; when it is utterly naked, then only is there immortality.

Tags: reincarnation

Related Quotes
In Asia they believe in reincarnation; that is, the believer is born over and over again until in time he becomes perfect.
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?
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.
Question: Will I reincarnate on earth in a future life?
Thought cannot escape from its limited action and reaction until it understands deeply and fully the cause and the process of its own bondage.
The mind can deceive itself and fabricate anything it wishes.
Question: What is true and what is false in the theory of reincarnation?
What is the thing implied in reincarnation? What is the thing that reincarnates?
As thought is the process of time, as thought is founded on the past, for thought to speculate about the timeless is utterly meaningless.
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