The Core of the Teachings
The following statement was written by Krishnamurti himself on October 21, 1980. It may be copied and used provided this is done in its entirety. No editing or change of any kind is permitted. No extracts may be used.
"The core of Krishnamurti's teaching is contained in the statement he made in 1929 when he said: 'Truth is a pathless land'. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.
Man has built in himself images as a fence of security-religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man's thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind.
The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual
Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.
Thought is born of experience and knowledge which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.
Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence."
"We must look at the mind as it is and not as it should be."
The First and Last Freedom, p.115
"The mind is a most superficial thing and we have spent generations, we spend our whole lives, cultivating the mind, making it more and more clever, more and more subtle, more and more cunning, more and more dishonest andcrooked, all of which is apparent in every activity of our life. The very nature of our mind is to be dishonest, crooked, incapable of facing facts, and that is the thing which creates problems; that is the thing which is the problem itself."
The First and Last Freedom, p.228
"...contradiction cannot be bridged over by the mind, because the mind itself is a contradiction."
The First and Last Freedom, p.230
"The more you are aware of this whole process, the more you will discover the activities of the mind but you must observe them without trying to put an end to them, because the moment you seek an end, you are again caught in the duality of the 'me' and the 'not-me' - which continues the problem."
The First and Last Freedom, p.274
"You will inevitably ask, 'How can the mind be made still?' That is the immediate response, is it not? You say, 'My mind is agitated and how can I keep it quiet?' Can any system make the mind quiet? Can a formula, a discipline, make the mind still? It can; but when the mind is made still, is that quietness, is that stillness? Or is the mind only enclosed within an idea, within a formula, within a phrase? Such a mind is a dead mind, is it not? That is why most people who try to be spiritual, so-called spiritual, are dead - because they have trained their minds to be quiet, they have enclosed themselves within a formula for being quiet. Obviously, such a mind is never quiet; it is only suppressed, held down."
The First and Last Freedom, p.277-278
"Our question, then, is not how to make the mind still but to see the truth of every problem as it presents itself to us."
The First and Last Freedom, p.278
"Many who seek quietness of mind withdraw from active life to a village, to a monastery, to the mountains, or they withdraw into ideas, enclose themselves in a belief or avoid people who give them trouble. Such isolation is not stillness of mind."
The First and Last Freedom, p.278
"The mind must voluntarily lose all accumulative impulse, the storing up of experience as a means to further experience and achievement. It is the accumulative, self-protective urge that breeds the curve of time and prevents creative renewal."
Commentaries on Living, First Series, p.39
"The mind moves from the known to the known, and it cannot reach out into the unknown. You cannot think of something you do not know; it is impossible."
Commentaries on Living, First Series, p.43
The Mind Is Society
Have you ever sat very quietly with closed eyes and watched the movement of your own thinking? Have you watched your mind working – or rather, has your mind watched itself in operation, just to see what your thoughts are, what your feelings are, how you look at the trees, at the flowers, at the birds, at people, how you respond to a suggestion or react to a new idea? Have you ever done this? If you have not, you are missing a great deal. To know how one's mind works is a basic purpose of education. If you don't know how your mind reacts, if your mind is not aware of its own activities, you will never find out what society is. You may read books on sociology, study social sciences, but if you don't know how your own mind works you cannot actually understand what society is, because your mind is part of society; it is society. Your reactions, your beliefs, your going to the temple, the clothes you wear, the things you do and don't do and what you think – society is made up of all this, it is the replica of what is going on in your own mind. So your mind is not apart from society, it is not distinct from your culture, from your religion, from your various class divisions, from the ambitions and conflicts of the many. All this is society, and you are part of it. There is no 'you' separate from ¬society.
Now, society is always trying to control, to shape, to mould the thinking of the young. From the moment you are born and begin to receive impressions, your father and mother are constantly telling you what to do and what not to do, what to believe and what not to believe; you are told that there is God, or that there is no God but the State and that some dictator is its prophet. From childhood these things are poured into you, which means that your mind – which is very young, impressionable, inquisitive, curious to know, wanting to find out – is gradually being encased, conditioned, shaped so that you will fit into the pattern of a particular society and not be a revolutionary. Since the habit of patterned thinking has already been established in you, even if you do 'revolt' it is within the pattern. It is like prisoners revolting in order to have better food, more amenities – but always within the prison. When you seek God, or try to find out what is right government, it is always within the pattern of society, which says, 'This is true and that is false, this is good and that is bad, this is the right leader and these are the saints'. So your revolt, like the so-called revolution brought about by ambitious or very clever people, is always limited by the past. That is not revolt, that is not revolution: it is merely heightened activity, a more valiant struggle within the pattern. Real revolt, true revolution, is to break away from the pattern and to inquire outside of it.
You see, all reformers – it does not matter who they are – are merely concerned with bettering the conditions within the prison. They never tell you not to conform, they never say, 'Break through the walls of tradition and authority, shake off the conditioning that holds the mind'. And that is real education: not merely to require you to pass examinations for which you have crammed, or to write out something which you have learnt by heart, but to help you to see the walls of this prison in which the mind is held. Society influences all of us, it constantly shapes our thinking, and this pressure of society from the outside is gradually translated as the inner; but, however deeply it penetrates, it is still from the outside, and there is no such thing as the inner as long as you do not break through this conditioning. You must know what you are thinking, and whether you are thinking as a Hindu, or a Moslem, or a Christian; that is, be conscious of what you believe or do not believe. All this is the pattern of society and, unless you are aware of the pattern and break away from it, you are still a prisoner though you may think you are free.
But you see, most of us are concerned with revolt within the prison; we want better food, a little more light, a larger window so that we can see a little more of the sky. We are concerned with whether the outcaste should enter the temple or not; we want to break down this particular caste, and in the very breaking down of one caste we create another, a 'superior' caste; so we remain prisoners, and there is no freedom in prison. Freedom lies outside the walls, outside the pattern of society; but to be free of that pattern you have to understand the whole content of it, which is to understand your own mind. It is the mind that has created the present civilization, this tradition-bound culture or society and, without understanding your own mind, merely to revolt as a communist, a socialist, this or that, has very little meaning. That is why it is very important to have self-knowledge, to be aware of all your activities, your thoughts and feelings; and this is education, is it not? Because when you are fully aware of yourself your mind becomes very sensitive, very alert.
You try this – not someday in the far-away future, but tomorrow or this afternoon. If there are too many people in your room, if your home is too crowded, then go away by yourself, sit under a tree or on the riverbank and quietly observe how your mind works. Don't correct it, don't say, 'This is right, that is wrong', but just watch it as you would a film. When you go to the cinema you are not taking part in the film; the actors and actresses are taking part, you are only watching. In the same way, watch how your mind works. It is really very interesting, far more interesting than any film, because your mind is the residue of the whole world and it contains all that human beings have experienced. Do you understand? Your mind is humanity, and when you perceive this, you will have immense compassion. Out of this understanding comes great love; and then you will know, when you see lovely things, what beauty is.
from This Matter of Culture, pp. 78–80
©1964 by Krishnamurti Foundation of America
Jiddu Krishnamurti Ponders His Enlightenment & Kundalini Awakening
Commentaries on The Masters of Meditation
From: Krishnamurti's Notebook
Author: Jiddu Krishnamurti
Chapter: Gstaad 23rd: Page 33
Published By: Krishnamurti Publications of America
In continuing to try to bring you some of the more uncommon teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti - one of the more remarkable spiritual teacher's of our modern era - I thought the following would be of interest to those passionate about enlightenment and Kundalini Awakening. The following are a list of "prerequisites" that Krishnamurti came up with when trying to determine why he had been blessed with his Kundalini Awakening and enlightenment experiences. He, of course, calls what he underwent "the process", but from the perspective of Yoga, "the process" would be called a Kundalini Awakening. You can get more information on Jiddu Krishnamurti and his teachings at the Krishnamurti Foundation of America Website.
Here are Krishnamurti's thoughts for perhaps why this took place in him in his own words…
"Why should all this happen to us? No explanation is good enough, though one can invent a dozen. But certain things are fairly clear.
- One must be wholly "indifferent" to its coming and going.
- There must be no desire to continue the experience or store it away in memory.
- There must be a certain physical sensitivity, a certain indifference to comfort.
- There must be a self-critical humorous approach.
- You can also add love to this list but it is beyond love.
- And you can add also a still, quiet brain."
How is the mind to be made new, fresh, innocent?
Is it possible for the mind not to deteriorate?
The mind is old when it is not fresh, when it is always thinking in terms of the past and using the present as a passage to the future. It is such a mind that is not young. And can such a mind be made new, innocent, fresh? Can it renew itself from moment to moment so that it never grows old? Surely that is our problem, not how to stop the aging of the body, which is of course impossible. New drugs may be invented which will keep you going fifty years longer, but then what? However young you may be, the process of deterioration already exists in the functioning of the mind. So is it possible for the mind not to deteriorate?
J.Krishnamurti, BOMBAY 4TH PUBLIC TALK 20TH FEBRUARY 1957
Can the mind be kept fresh, innocent?
What are the factors of deterioration? That is the problem. And can the mind be kept fresh, innocent? It is only the innocent mind that can learn, not the mind that is burdened with knowledge and is therefore already old. So, how is the mind to be made new, fresh, innocent? Do you understand, sir? This mind is the result of time, of many yesterdays, of all the conflicts, impressions, contradictions, hopes and fears of the past; it is the outcome of innumerable wants, of pleasure and pain, of vital ambitions and fearful frustrations. And how is this mind - which has been put together through time, through experience, through conditioning - to be made new?
J.Krishnamurti, BOMBAY 4TH PUBLIC TALK 20TH FEBRUARY 1957
The mind is old because it is already fixed, molded
Whether the physical organism is young or old, the mind is old because it is already fixed, molded, it functions in a routine, in a wheel of fear; and how is such a mind to be made new, innocent? Surely, only by dying to the past, to everything it has known. Do you understand, sir? Is it possible to die to `my house', `my family', `my God', `my nationality', `my belief', `my tradition', to all the impressions, compulsions, influences that have made me, and yet be aware of my family, of the beauty of a tree, the beauty of a flower, of the sunset of the sky? After all, what are you? You are the memories of your joy, of your ambitions and frustrations, of the little property you own; you are the memory or recognition of your wife or husband, of your children, and the anticipation of what you are going to achieve; you are a bundle of tensions, of contradictions, of innumerable impressions. All that is the `you'. Whether you believe in God or in no-God, it is still within the field of memory, of the known, of thought. And is it possible to die to all that immediately?
J.Krishnamurti, BOMBAY 4TH PUBLIC TALK 20TH FEBRUARY 1957
A fresh mind does not burden itself with innumerable memories
I think this constant endeavor to be something, to become something, is the real cause of the destructiveness and the aging of the mind. Look how quickly we are aging, not only the people who are over 60, but also the young people. How old they are already, mentally! Very few sustain or maintain the quality of a mind that is young. I mean by young not the mind that merely wants to enjoy itself, to have a good time, but the mind that is uncontaminated, that is not scratched, warped, twisted by the accidents and incidents of life, a mind that is not worn out by struggle, by grief, by constant strivings. Surely it is necessary to have a young mind because the old mind is so full of the scars of memories that it cannot live, it cannot be earnest; it is a dead mind, a decided mind. A mind that has decided and lives according to its decisions is dead. But a young mind is always deciding anew, and a fresh mind does not burden itself with innumerable memories. A mind that carries no shadow of suffering, though it may pass through the valley of sorrow, remains unscratched. And one must have such a mind. It is obviously essential because to such a mind, there is life;
J.Krishnamurti, MADRAS 4TH PUBLIC TALK 2ND NOVEMBER 1958
It is the experience that is dulling the mind
We never said to ourselves that we must have a new mind, a totally innocent mind that can meet the problems, a fresh mind uncluttered, a mind that can see the problem without any bias. So when we enquire into that, should we not go into that question of what is experience because it is the experience that is dulling the mind? ..... So, can a mind which is experiencing, which is caught in experience, a mind which is bound, held in tradition, in knowledge, can such a mind be a fresh mind? Obviously not. Is it possible, not how is it possible, to have a fresh, uncontaminated and innocent mind and yet have experience? You cannot live without experience; living is the process of experiencing; without experience, life is not possible; there is experience or death. Is it possible to have a fresh mind though it is experiencing? Please follow. This is an important question because the revolution of which I have been talking implies that, and implies having a mind which, though it is experiencing, is not contaminated by experience and therefore is capable of meeting the problem afresh.
J.Krishnamurti, MADRAS 8TH PUBLIC TALK 27TH DECEMBER 1953
Think on These Things
To really "serve", One must be free from the "Ego"
Question: Some of my friends have remarked that, although they find your sayings intensely interesting, they prefer service rather than too much thinking about questions of truth. What are your observations on this point?
Krishnamurti: Sir, what do you mean by service? Everybody wants to help. That is the cry of those people who think they are serving the world. They are always talking about helping the world, especially those people who belong to sects. It is their particular form of disease, because they think that by doing something, it does not matter what, they are going to help, by serving people they will help. Who is to say what is service? A man that belongs to the army, prepared to kill the barbarian that enters his country, says he is serving the country. The man that kills, the butcher, says he is serving the community.
The exploiter who has the means of production in his hands, monopolized, says he is serving the community. The man who exploits beliefs, the priest, says he is serving the country, community. Who is to decide? Or shall we look at it quite differently? Do you think a flower, a rose, is ever considering that it is serving humanity, that it is helping the world by its existence because it is beautiful? On the contrary, because it is beautiful, supremely lovely, unconscious of its own magnificence, it is truly helping. Not like a man who goes about shouting that he is serving the world. That is, each one wants to use his means, or his ideas, to exploit the world, not to set the world free. Personally, if you will not misunderstand me, that is not my point of view at all. I do not want to help the world, as you would call it. I cannot help, it naturally happens.
That is service. I do not desire to make others come to my particular form of belief or ask them to come into my particular cage of thought, because I hold that to have a belief is a limitation. To really serve, one must be supremely free from the limited consciousness we call the "I", the ego, self-centred consciousness; and so long as that exists, you are not really serving the world. Unless you really think, you cannot find out if you are truly helping the world. So let us not first consider whether we are helping the world, but rather find out if we have the capacity to think and to feel. To really think, mind must not be tethered to a belief.
That is very simple is it not? To think really profoundly, frankly, completely, your mind cannot be held by prejudice or a certain belief, or by fear, or by preconceived ideas. To think, the mind must start anew, afresh, and not with a background of tradition. After all, tradition is only valuable when it helps you to think, not when it overpowers you by its weight. Let me put this thing differently. We all want to help. When you see suffering in the world there is an intense desire to help; but to truly help people you have to go to the fundamental cause of things. You have to discover the cause of suffering, and you can only do that if there is profound thinking. And this thinking is not mere intellectual delight, but it can only take place, this thinking, in action.
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND 1ST TALK IN VASANTA SCHOOL GARDENS 30TH MARCH, 1934
Question: I feel sincerely that I desire to help people, and I think I can help; but whatever I say or do to another is interpreted as interference, and as the desire to domineer. So I am thwarted by others and feel myself frustrated. Why does this happen to me?
Krishnamurti: When we say we want to help another, what do we mean by that word? Like the word `service' -- what does it mean? You go to the gas station, the attendant serves you, and you pay him, but he uses the word `serve', like all the business people. All the commercial people use that word. Now those who wish to serve -- have they not also the same spirit? They want to help if you also give them something; that is, they want to help you in order to fulfill themselves. And when you resist, you begin to criticize, they feel frustrated. In other words, they are not really helping you. Through help, through service, they are fulfilling themselves. In other words, they are seeking self-fulfillment under the guise of help and service - which, when thwarted, gets angry, begins to gossip, begins to tear you to pieces.
This is an obvious fact, is it not? And can you not help and serve another without asking anything? - which is most difficult, which is not easy; you cannot just say, `It can be done'. When you give something to somebody, a few hundred dollars, haven't you something with which you are tied, don't you tie yourself with that hundred dollars; hasn't it a tail? Can you give, and forget? This giving from the heart is real generosity. But the generosity of the hand has always something to be held, and it holds. Similarly, those who want to help, when they are prevented for various reasons, feel frustrated, feel lost; they won't stand criticism; it is misrepresented, mistranslated, misinterpreted, because through their anxiety to help you, they are fulfilling themselves. So, the problem is, is it not, is there self-fulfillment? That is the next question. Is there self-fulfillment? Is not that word `self-fulfillment' a contradiction? When you want to fulfill yourself in something, what is that something in which you are fulfilling? Is it not self-projection?
Say, I want to help you. I use the word `help', which covers my desire for self-fulfillment. What happens when I have such a desire? I neither help you, nor fulfill. Because, to fulfill means, for most of us, to have pleasure in doing something which gives us gratification. In other words, self-fulfillment is gratification, is it not? I am seeking gratification, superficial or permanent, which I call self-fulfillment. But can gratification be permanent? Obviously not. Surely, when we talk about self-fulfillment we mean a gratification that is deeper, more profound, than the superficial; but can gratification ever be permanent? As it can never be permanent, we change our self-fulfillment - at one period it is this, and later it is that; and ultimately we say, `My fulfillment must be in God, in reality'. Which means, we make of reality a permanent gratification. So, in other words, we are seeking gratification when we talk of self-fulfillment.
And, instead of saying, `I want to help you in order to gratify myself', which would be too crude and we are too subtle for that, we say, `I want to serve you, I want to help you'. And when we are prevented, we feel lost, we feel frustrated, angry, irritated. Under the guise of help and service we do a lot of monstrous things - deceptions, illusions. Therefore, words like `self-fulfillment', like `help', like `service', need examination. And when we really understand them, not just verbally, but deeply, profoundly, then we will help without asking anything in return. Such help will never be misrepresented - and even if it is, it doesn't matter. Then there is no sense of frustration, no sense of anger, criticism, gossip.
OJAI 13TH PUBLIC TALK 27TH AUGUST 1949