Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

New York City | 3rd Public Talk 15th March, 1935

Question: If everyone gave up all possessions, as you suggest, what would happen to all business and the ordinary pursuits of life? Are not business and possessions necessary if we are to live in the world?

Krishnamurti: I have never said give up. I have said that acquisitiveness is the cause of competition, of exploitation, of class distinctions, of wars and so on. Now if one discerns the real significance of possessiveness, whether of things or of people or of ideas, which is ultimately the craving for power in different forms, if the mind can free itself from that, then there can be intelligent happiness and well-being in the world. We have through many centuries built up a system of acquisitiveness, of possessiveness, seeking personal power and authority. Now as long as that exists in our hearts and minds, we may change the system momentarily through revolution, through crisis, through wars, but as long as that craving exists, it will inevitably lead, in another form, to the old system. And, as I said, the freedom from acquisitiveness is not to be learned eventually, through postponement; it must be discerned immediately, and that is where the difficulty lies. If we cannot see the falseness of possessiveness immediately, we shall then not be able individually, and therefore collectively, to have a different civilization, a different way of living.

So my whole attack, if I may use that word, is not on any system, but on that desire for possessiveness, acquisitiveness, leading finally to power.

You think now possessiveness gives happiness. But if you think about it deeply, you will see that this craving for power has no end. It is a continual struggle in which there is no cessation of conflict, suffering. But it is one of the most difficult things, to free the mind and heart from acquisitiveness.

You know, in India we have certain people called sannyasis, who leave the world in search of truth. They have generally two loin cloths, the one they put on, and one for the next day. A sannyasi in search of truth, sought various teachers. In his wanderings he was told that a certain king was enlightened, that he was teaching wisdom. So this sannyasi went to the king. You can see the contrast between the king and the sannyasi: the king who had everything, palaces, jewels, courtiers, power; and the sannyasi who had only two loin cloths. The king instructed him concerning truth. One day, while the king was teaching him, the palace caught fire. Serenely the king continued with his teaching, while the sannyasi, that holy man, was greatly disturbed because his other loin cloth was burning.

You know, you are all in that position. You may not be possessive with regard to clothes, houses, friends, but there is some hidden pursuit of gain to which you are attached, to which you cling, which is eating your hearts and minds away. As long as these unexplored, hidden poisons exist, there must be continual conflict, suffering.

Tags: possessiveness

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