Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 21st March, 1948 | Mumbai, India

Question: Is not stilling the mind a prerequisite for the solution of a problem, and is not the dissolution of a problem a condition of mental stillness?

Krishnamurti: There are two questions involved in this, so we will take them one by one. "Is not stilling the mind a prerequisite for the solution of a problem?" It all depends on what you call the mind. The mind is not just the superficial layer; consciousness is not merely that dull action of the mind. Obviously, when there is a problem which is created by the superficial mind, the superficial mind has to become quiet in order to understand it. You do that anyhow, it happens in daily life. When you have a business problem, what do you do? You switch off the telephone, you stop your secretary if you have one, and you observe, study the problem - which means your mind is free from other worries. Your superficial mind is concerned with the problem, which means that it has become still. But the superficial mind does not include the whole content of the mind. Your whole consciousness has not become still; only the superficial layer, which is constantly in agitation, has become temporarily quiet.

"And is not the dissolution of a problem a condition of mental stillness?" Obviously. It is only when every problem is completely understood - which means that the problem leaves no residue, no scar, no memory - that the mind becomes still. Consciousness, as we have said, is a process of experiencing, naming or terming, and recording, which is memory. So, consciousness is a process of challenge and response, naming and recording, or memory. That is the whole process of consciousness. The recording, the naming, the experiencing, can be suppressed, held down in one of the deep layers of consciousness; but until that suppression is raised, either through dreams, through action, or through unearthing that hidden thing, there cannot be stillness of the mind. A mind which has many hidden drawers, hidden cupboards with innumerable skeletons held down by will, by denial, by suppression, how can such a mind be still? It can be driven, willed to be still; but is that stillness? A man who is hanging on to passion, who is lustful and has suppressed it, held it down, how can such a man have a calm, still, rich mind? A man who is tortured by ambition and therefore frustrated, and who tries to fly from that frustration through every means of escape, how can such a man have a still mind? It is only when ambition is understood, when the problems of ambition, with its frustrations, with its conflicts, with its ruthlessness, have been understood, that the mind becomes quiet. By looking into oneself deeply, opening all the cupboards, all the drawers, unearthing all the skeletons and understanding them, then the mind becomes quiet. You cannot have stillness of mind with locked doors. You may still the mind by will, which is an easy escape; but a mind that is made still by the action of will is a dead mind, it is insensitive, it has been brutalized by the action of the will. It is only by giving full freedom to every movement of thought and understanding it - which does not mean licentiousness, evil actions, and so on - , only by understanding the whole content of your being, that the mind becomes still. Then it is not made still; tranquillity comes to it naturally, easily, swiftly. It is like a pond which becomes serene, without a ripple, when the breezes stop. Similarly, the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet, without a movement, absolutely still, when the problems are dissolved.

Now, problems are created by the thinker separating himself from his thought, the actor from his action, thereby giving importance to the actor, to the thinker. And stillness comes to the mind only through self-knowledge - not through denial of the self or acceptance of the self, but through understanding every movement, every thought, every feeling of the self, both the high and the low. The high and the low is a false division the mind has indulged in. There is only thought, which divides itself as the high and the low; and to understand thought, the whole process of thought, one must have self-knowledge. That means every thought must be understood, felt out, without condemnation. There must be silent, swift awareness; and out of that self-knowledge there comes an extraordinary quietness, a stillness that is creative, a stillness in which reality comes into being. But to pursue stillness and to cultivate stillness destroys that creative reality, because you are pursuing stillness, exercising your will to become still. as a means of getting a result, of obtaining something. A man who is seeking a result, an end, who is trying to acquire truth by forcing the mind, by making it still, will never find that reality. He is only dulling himself, escaping from the cupboards, from the skeletons that are holding him. It is only by inviting sorrow that you can understand reality, not by escaping from tribulations.

Tags: meditation

Related Quotes
we never see the world as a whole because we are so fragmented, we are so terribly limited, so petty
We are watching, not waiting, not expecting anything to happen but watching without end.
Demand is born out of duality. 'I am un- happy and I must be happy.'
Meditation is like the breeze that comes in when you leave the window open;
Only in total freedom does bliss exist.
Thought shattering itself against its own nothingness is the explosion of meditation.
When you realize the truth that it is only the quiet mind that sees, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet.
Meditation is really very simple. We complicate it. We weave a web of ideas around it, what it is and what it is not.
If one does not know what meditation is, true meditation, I think one misses everything in life.
What is meditation? Why should one meditate? To find that out, stop meditating.
What is the relationship of attention to inattention, and to awareness?
The craving for experience is the beginning of illusion.
The earth and everything upon it became holy.
Meditation is seeing the constant touching the ever-changing movement of life.
Thought is the very denial of love, and it cannot enter into that space where the me is not.
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.
Meditation, along that quiet and deserted road came like a soft rain over the hills; it came as easily and naturally as the coming night.
Meditation as a means to arrive, to gain, to discover, only gives strength to the meditator.
Meditation implies a mind that is so astonishingly clear that every form of self-deception comes to an end.
To pursue the known in different forms is a game of self-deception, and then the meditator is the master, there is not the simple act of meditation.
We all need a quiet mind, a peaceful mind, an absolutely silent mind without a murmur of thought. Is that possible? Possible means we don't know.
I hesitate to say this because it sounds extravagant and rather childish: that the source of all energy had been reached.
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.
It is only when the mind is silent that we can understand anything
Meditation is not the pursuit of pleasure and the search for happiness. Meditation, on the contrary, is a state of mind in which there is no concept or formula, and therefore total freedom.
Meditation is not an escape from the world; it is not an isolating self-enclosing activity, but rather the comprehension of the world and its ways.
For the total development of the human being, solitude as a means of cultivating sensitivity becomes a necessity.
Meditation is the silence of the mind, but in that silence, in that intensity, in that total alertness, the mind is no longer the seat of thought, because thought is time, thought is memory, thought is knowledge.
Surely meditation is understanding - meditation of the heart is understanding.
Your task is much greater than the speaker's; it is not the other way round - which most of us are used to; the speaker does all the work and you just listen, agree or disagree, and go away elated, amused, intellectually alerted;
You are forcing your mind to fix itself on an idea which is not born of innate and vital interest, because if it were, there would be no conflict, you would concentrate spontaneously and without effort.
Why do you feel that you must meditate?
You may strive for [that] spiritual height; but I assure you that, though you may appear to attain it, you will still experience the feeling of emptiness.
To live a natural life, full, spontaneous life, creative, intelligent life, you can only do that when you understand the false standards and the true standards of society, and have broken away from it because you understand their significance;
I wonder what people generally mean by meditation.
The intelligent man is the summation of intelligence; his is an absolute, direct perception without twists and perversions which result when memory functions.
True meditation is the discernment of one's own unique process of creating and being caught in ignorance, and being aware of this process.
Meditation is the constant discernment of what is true in the actions, reactions and provocations of life.
I am afraid that many of you who hear me often but do not experiment with what I say, will merely acquire a new terminology, without that fundamental change of will which alone can free the mind-heart from conflict and sorrow.
When there is a natural concentration of interest, not mere control, you begin to discover that thought is in a process of constant imitation and that it is ever wandering through its many layers of memories, precepts, examples;
Creative stillness of the mind is necessary for the understanding of reality.
Awareness is not mere analysis or self-examination.
Control of thought does not bring about right thinking;
You can create noble fixations and wholly be absorbed in them but this does not bring about understanding.
Is it not possible for the mind-heart to stop formulating, to be utterly still and not forced into stillness by an act of will?
There is a vast difference between becoming still and being still.
Many use various techniques to go beyond the reach of the means, but the means shape the mind-heart, and so in the end they become slaves to the means.
Without self-knowledge there is no foundation for right thinking; without right thinking thought-feeling cannot transcend itself.
Instead of trying to control these wandering thoughts become aware of them, think-out, feel-out every thought, comprehend its significance, however pleasant or unpleasant;
I wonder how many of you have really practised meditation? If you have, you will have noticed how difficult it is to be extensively aware without the narrowing down of thought-feeling.
The accumulation of memory is called knowledge; with this burden, with the scars of experience, thought is ever interpreting the present and so giving continuity to its own scars and conditioning.
The purpose of meditation is to be aware of the total process of the self.
... through self-knowledge thought-feeling frees itself from its own self-created impediments of ill will and ignorance, worldliness and craving
Meditation is not for a set period only but is to be continued during the waking hours and hours of sleep as well.
Meditation is not a practice; it is not the cultivation of habit; meditation is heightened awareness.
Without understanding oneself meditation becomes a process of self-hypnosis inducing experiences according to one's conditioning, one's belief.
True meditation is not self-expansion in any form.
You may succeed in forcibly stilling the mind, but what is the outcome of such effort? Death, is it not?
If you have the capacity to allow thought to unroll itself fully then you will perceive that one thought contains, or is related to, all thought.
Meditation as it is generally understood and practiced is a process of the expansion of the self; often meditation is a form of self-hypnosis.
Awareness flows into meditation; in meditation, Being, the Eternal, is experienced.
A man who prays can never understand what is meditation, because he is concerned with gain.
What do we do when we sit down and meditate?
If the means is the known the end is the known.
The means creates the end and if the means is the known then the end also is the known and therefore it is not the unknowable, the timeless.
Meditation is thought freeing itself from continuity and then there is renewal, creation and reality
Meditation is thought freeing itself from continuity and then there is renewal, creation and reality;
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.
Meditation is really the thinking out of each thought fully and completely so that you see the truth of that thought.
The purpose of meditation is to discover reality, not to hypnotize yourself about the reality.
Concentration is not meditation, because where there is interest it is comparatively easy to concentrate on something.
What is meditation?
Surely, meditation is understanding - meditation of the heart is understanding.
To know the deeply concealed activities, the hidden motives, responses, thoughts and feelings, there must be tranquillity in the conscious mind; that is, the conscious mind must be still in order to receive the projection of the unconscious.
Without self-knowledge there is no right thinking, and without right thinking, what you do has no meaning, however noble your intentions are.
Understanding the thought process is the beginning of meditation, which is self-knowledge.
Happiness comes not in evaluating, but when the mind is not occupied with itself, when the mind is silent, then happiness comes into being;