The Kingdom of Happiness
THE ALTAR OF THE WORLD
It must be quite clear to all of you that the only goal that we should have is the attainment of the inward conviction of a Truth that cannot be shaken or doubted. This Truth cannot be imposed upon you; you must attain it for yourself, and you can only arrive at it if you awaken and listen to that inner Voice. All action, all thought, all ideas, must originate from the Truth which you have discovered and understood for yourself. Such Truth cannot be shared, cannot be handed over to another. Every great Teacher has insisted upon this fact, that you must find the Truth for yourself; and that after having understood it, you must live according to that Truth. Then you are yourself the embodiment of that Truth, as well as the preacher, the signpost on the road to eternal Happiness.
To understand this idea, you must live according to its edicts, you must have desires that are worthy of the Truth. You must have the impetus to grow in your natural environment, as a flower grows, beautifully and naturally; and while it is in the stage of the bud, it surely knows its fulfilment -that one day it will see the sunshine, that it will give forth scent to the world. So must each one of you, during that period of growth, think and meditate on that light and truth which will come the moment you are fully blossomed.
You can have that sunshine, that energy, that delight, only if you listen to that Voice, and not blindly accept the authority, the tradition, of another. These must be set aside; in other words you must be a lawgiver unto yourself; you must live according to your own ideas, your own intuitions, which are the outcome of experiences in this and other lives. There is only one Law, only one Nirvana, only one Kingdom of Happiness, only one essence; and if you understand this thoroughly, you will act on this understanding. The more you develop, the more you think, the more you suffer, the nearer you should get to that essence, to that Oneness, to that eternal Truth. You are bound to have these doubts, questionings, and a great turmoil within, until you hear for yourself, grasp for yourself, this Truth.
While we are trying to understand, we must have the conscience, not of fools but of wise men; we should have the conscience of those who have seen the Vision of the nobler side of life, and not of small and ignorant people with their ideas and conceptions. And if you would escape from this little conscience, these weak whisperings of that Voice, you must thoroughly understand what the Kingdom of Happiness means, what the Law means, what the Truth means.
As the rain falls on the earth and nourishes every kind of tree, every species of plant and every flower, so does this one essence run through everything without variance. The hands of the potter mould clay and give shape to vessels useful and beautiful, some to hold flowers, rice, curds; others are vessels of impurity. But all these are made by the same hands, made of the same clay, are the product of the same wheel which whirls round and round. In essence we are the same, but in the world of form we are different; and according to that difference does our understanding of the Truth vary. The bigger you are, the more you have suffered, the more you have enjoyed, the nearer you are to the oneness of this essence. This is the only Law, the only aim that can guide you to the Kingdom of Happiness. It is the recognition of the same essence in things, all different in outward form, and living in the light of this knowledge that can alone bring lasting happiness.
It takes some time to have such a realization; and to understand the Truth you must train your will, you must use your mind, because it is the will, the mind, which guides. It can guide you along the right path or the wrong path; it can guide you away from personality, away from prejudices, away from all the petty little things which make you separate, or it can make you cling to the thought that you are different from others. If you have the mind that discriminates, which has learned through many experiences and sacrifices to distinguish between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the transient, you can then be guided by that one Law, you can then walk along that one solitary path. Then you cease to make useless experiments, because you have learned to sacrifice everything for this one Happiness. You must learn to sacrifice yourself, your predilections, your prejudices, your narrow selfish affections, your worldly bonds, in order to walk on this path that leads to happiness.
You do not tread that path because of my assurance, nor because of the labels that I may offer you, nor because you take shelter under the authority of another. You tread it because it is your own desire, your own longing, your own wish to search out the Truth. You grow as the flower grows, naturally, beautifully, because it is in its own nature to unfold and to be happy. You can only find the Truth if you use your will, the will that you have trained, that you have carefully watched and guided, that you have fed with proper nourishment; and until you have such a will, you will find that, instead of succeeding, instead of deeds accomplished, you are still but making feverish attempts; instead of surmounting, you are still creating barriers; instead of shouting from the mountain tops, you are still crying in the valleys.
Everyone in the world must recognize that there is but one Law, one Aim, one Truth, one Kingdom of Happiness; and that you can enter it only if you live according to that Law, which is the recognition of the oneness of life, of the one essence in all things. Such a conception -at least for me- gives a tremendous sense that nothing really matters; it gives me a sense of absolute certainty, which certainty brings a sense of absolute peace within, which cannot be shaken, which cannot be taken away by anybody else, which cannot be thrown down by my passing unhappiness, passing suffering, which cannot cease because I lose the affection of another or the estimation of the crowd; because it is my own flower, my own creation, my own treasure, which nobody in the world can take away. When once you have this peace you have power, you can do what you want. You can remain on the mountain top, whether you are alone or surrounded by all the world, because you have gone through the experiences, the sufferings, the pleasures and the joys; and when once you have this peace, this power, you become real, and wherever you may be you are all the time living in that Kingdom.
Have you ever seen in a power station gigantic dynamos generating electricity, and the great wheels? They are comparatively silent, but yet you know that all the time they are generating energy, immense power. You must be such a dynamo of power, dignified and balanced; and you will be that only if you realize that oneness of life, that unity, and escape from this Maya, this unreality.
Thus you obtain purposefulness without which none of us can be happy, none of us can evolve. You must have purpose in life, interest in life. Most of us live in a house of many barriers, indifferent whether we go forth to see the source of light or remain satisfied by its mere reflection. If you have this purpose, it gives you determination, it gives you will; and you arrive at your goal. Having found yourself, nobody can thwart you, nobody can put you aside, nobody can create barriers; and having arrived by yourself at your destination; your altar, your temple, whether there be other worshipers or not, you can worship with greater glory, with greater enthusiasm.
Once you have cultivated these capacities, you will find that other qualities, equally important for the understanding of life, will naturally assert themselves. Patience, which gives you a sense of mental well-being; restraint and poise, so necessary for the outward expression of your understanding of the Truth; and cooperative independence. You must be independent; you must be free; mentally and emotionally and physically; and yet learn to cooperate, because we are all walking along the same path, to the same goal, obeying the same Law and the same Voice. When once you have recognized this Law which is universal, the one Life in all things, then you will live with true friendliness and affection for all.
Only then is it possible to realize the happiness or the sorrows of others.
Those of us who are seeking this Kingdom must not be bound by traditions, old or recent, but must live a new life because we have understood the purpose of life. Those who come here*, who come here to live and work, who come here to learn to suffer, if they have not suffered before, who come here to seek the pleasures, the happiness of Divinity, must be inspired by this one Law, must all enter this one Kingdom of Happiness. We must be inspired by the same hope, the same freshness -though we may have clouds, though we may be shut out for the moment from the sun. This place must give forth a new creative energy, new ideas of life, ancient and forgotten solutions of our modern problems, a purer breath of life whose fragrance shall intoxicate the world.
You must all enter into that Kingdom of Happiness and drink at the same source and worship at the same altar, because He whom we worship is our altar, because He is the Source of all things. He is above arguments, above discussions, above personal ambitions, above personal struggles; He is our self. As long as you recognize that Law, and as long as you are struggling, and there is nobility in that struggle, you will then bring a new understanding to life, a new impetus and happiness to those who are in sorrow. That is why you must come here -to gain strength to build, to still the wounds of your life; and the moment they are stilled, the moment you are pacified, the moment you have that peace, you can give it to others.
This is not the place to seek new labels, to satisfy personal vanities; this must be the place where each should live as dangerously as he can, as forcefully as he can, as adventurously as he can, according to this eternal Law. You must not make of this place a wilderness of false ideals, or yourselves into tame beings; you must not create little gods and worship at little shrines -this you can do elsewhere, this is not what is wanted here; this is the wrong kind of worship, the wrong kind of attitude, the wrong kind of devotion. When once you have drunk at this source, you do not want to drink anywhere else; when once you have worshipped here, you do not want to worship anything else in the world. Who wants to worship by the light of one candle, when he can have the sun? But that is just what you are doing all day long -justifying the small worship, in small houses, in small cells. Here we are trying to build the greater altar where all humanity can worship.
I feel more and more that you must find this for yourself. It must be a part of you. I can preach, I can talk, I can shout, I can feel, I can feel the thrill of happiness of this Kingdom for myself -perhaps I can kindle a little enthusiasm in you; but you must make the effort. You must have the true and lasting ambition, the ambition to arrive at your goal, to enter this Kingdom of Happiness, where there is beauty which gives real joy, where there is the only Truth worth seeking, where there is the Law by which alone you can live. You must be free to grow, free to feel, free to strive. It is no good my drinking and my eating to keep you healthy. In that way the world could be saved tomorrow. I could fill myself with all the best foods in the world; but it is you who must nourish your own soul, must give the proper conditions, the proper environment, the proper adventures to that soul to enable it to advance, to live greatly. Each one of you must find, if you have not already found, your own Voice, your own ray of the sun; you must have this turmoil, this longing and this ambition. When you have found it, I assure you, whether you are living in a castle, or whether you are going naked with a begging bowl, it will make no difference, because you will have found the one thing by which you can live forever; and then only will you be able to make others feel and live happily.
* Eerde, Omnen, Holland.
The Kingdom of Happiness
THE ALTAR OF THE WORLD
The Kingdom of Happiness
Talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti in Eerde Castle, Holland, 1926. philosophy castle talks hapiness kingdom truth right spiritual