Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 8th Public Talk 14th July, 1940

Questioner: By being ambitious do I destroy my purpose?

Krishnamurti: If our purpose is the outcome of the desire for self-aggrandizement, conscious or unconscious, to achieve it, ambition is necessary. Such ambition, being the expression of craving for personal success, must produce antisocial action and sorrow in relationship. One must grasp the underlying significance of ambition; ambition is an ardent desire for personal distinction and achievement, which in action becomes competitive and ruthless. We give such importance to self-expression, without fully and deeply understanding what it is that is being expressed. In modern society to be ambitiously self-expressive is considered not to be antisocial and is even honoured. This form of ambition is condemned by those who are spiritually ambitious; that is, they condemn worldliness but yet they crave for achievement, success, in other spheres. Both forms of ambition are the same, both imply the expansion of the I, the self.

So unless we grasp the meaning of self-expression, its purpose, and its action, merely to aspire towards an ideal becomes a subtle form of self-aggrandizement. Unless we see the inward significance of craving, mere outward legislation and religious promises cannot curb the desire for dominance, for personal power, and success. In becoming intensely aware of the process of craving, with its many ambitions and pursuits, there is born not only the will to refrain, but also understanding whose creative expression is not of the self.

Tags: self-expression

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