Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 1st Public Talk 26th May, 1940

Questioner: What is the wisest step to take to understand oneself most unselfishly?

Krishnamurti: Do you think there are two ways of understanding oneself, selfishly and unselfishly? You just understand yourself, not selfishly or unselfishly. If you try to understand yourself selfishly, you don't understand yourself at all, because your being is of the self. If you say to yourself, I must unselfishly understand myself, you are presupposing a condition; you are establishing a concept which may be utterly false.

So, to understand yourself, you must see yourself as you are, not biased by the selfish or the unselfish thought. To understand yourself you must create a mirror that reflects accurately what you are. We do not like to create for ourselves such a faculty that reflects purely, without bias, for we are concerned with judgment and alteration.

Alteration depends on the background in which we have been brought up. If we are religious persons we will change ourselves according to our religious concepts and dogmas. If we think in social terms we will alter ourselves according to social morality. But to understand ourselves clearly and fully, we must perceive ourselves as we are, without prejudice, without condemnation. To perceive so clearly, without bias, requires constant alertness, a peculiar, alert passivity that needs patience and care. But this is difficult, as most of us are carried away by our sensations and desires; we want to keep, store up, that which is pleasant in us and reject that which is unpleasant. The desire to hold on and the desire to deny is not conducive to the understanding of yourself, but when you see, yourself clearly, without any distortion, then you begin to find out why distortion has taken place. Then you begin to discover the cause, and that, again, requires keen alertness, serious purpose.

In the process of understanding yourself, mind must not be burdened with craving, however subtle, for a result. If you are seeking a result, then you are not concerned with the process of understanding yourself; you are after gain, achievement, success, which has its own sorrow and reward. To understand yourself, you must have a mind-heart that is clear, without fear, without the entanglements of hope.

Tags: self-understanding

Related Quotes
To understand ourselves requires objective, kindly, dispassionate study of ourselves
In discussing, we should become aware of our own ways of thinking.
You must begin with what is very close, which is yourself.