The Kingdom of Happiness
SACRIFICE AT THE ALTAR
If you have followed me with interest, I think it must have dawned on you, and you must have realized, that to enter this abode of Happiness you must be free from all those things that fetter, that keep you down to the earth -to the sorrows, to the pleasures, and to the various turmoils; and that to escape from them and to be liberated means enlightenment, the attainment of Nirvana, the obeying of that one Law and the entering into that one and absolute Kingdom of Happiness. It means also that you must be free of karma; it means that in the past, over which now you have no control, you may have committed errors and so-called sins, made bad judgments, which have brought in their wake the fetters and sorrows which karma always brings. But over the present and the future you have power; you can control the future by the present, and thus eliminate the illusion of time and space. You, who are trying to understand, who are trying to reach this abode, who are trying to be part of this realm where there is Eternal Happiness, must realize that neither in the present nor in the future should you accumulate more karma, should you create new barriers between yourself and your goal. That means that you must watch, that you must be full of self-recollection, full of solemn and joyful examination of yourself, so that whatever your feelings, whatever your thoughts, whatever your deeds, they may in no way bar your entrance to that Kingdom. The gates of that Kingdom are not shut -for there are no real gates to that Kingdom, no barriers; it is you who create the barriers, the gates, and the gate-keeper. You can only control karma by careful thought, by introspection, by examination of all the little things of life, of all your thoughts and your happiness and the pleasures of your daily life.
Introspection does not mean morbidity or self-centeredness or being engrossed in yourself and excluding everyone else; this faculty should help you to cultivate, and encourage you to grow, your mental, emotional, and physical bodies according to the one supreme desire. Like a vine, whose instinct is to grow in all directions instead of along one particular path, you will tend more and more to wander, unless, like a wise gardener, you control your mind and your heart as he would control the vine.
Introspection, as I said, must not tend towards morbidity or depression; this faculty should be used with absolute impersonal feeling, like a student who goes through his daily routine to achieve his end. Without introspection, without this solemn questioning and cross-examination, you do not build character; and without character, without qualities well-developed to their fullest extent, logically and systematically, you will be like dead wood, without life, without the inherent qualities that are necessary for those who wish to follow, to create, to live nobly.
Each one of you must be capable of offering something at the altar, each one of you must bring flowers in your basket when you come to the temple -flowers fully blossomed, giving out their delicious fragrance, beauteous and dignified. When you arrive with such flowers at the altar, then you will be acceptable men; if you arrive with a basket but with no flowers, and are willing merely to adore in a sentimental fashion, without divine capacities well-developed, you will be useless. You must have something to give. You cannot merely say: "I have given myself." Every one of us can say that, because we possess very little to give. It is like a man who has nothing that says: "I give up the world." But if a man of experience, if a man who has understood and conquered the world, if such a man gives up his riches, his glories, then his renunciation has value; because he has experience, has suffered, and his giving up becomes an example to all. When the man who has no roses in his garden says, "I give up all that I possess", it has but little value, because his devotion and his intelligence are backward; and when such a person offers to give up, there is no beauty in his gesture. Whereas if a man of intelligence, of devotion, energy, and power, gives up everything and follows his ideal, that man will be acceptable.
Though you may not have great capacities, may not have great intelligence or be full of devotion, or have immense energy, you can at least offer a formed character, a definite deed, a flower which you have cultivated in your own garden, which you have kept alive through trouble times. When you come to the altar with such a gift, however small it is, it is of value, because it means that you have learned to give those things that are acceptable, that are worthy, that are dignified. And as I said before, a time must come, a time will come, when that Voice, that Tyrant, will tell you to give up everything and follow; and for that time you must be prepared. You must have your garden well weeded and cultivated and its flowers ready to be plucked. Then you can give of your devotion, of your intelligence, with greater certainty, with greater knowledge that it will be used, because you have trained it, because you have cultivated it, because you know what are its capacities; and you yourself are then the master of these things. And when you make a sacrifice -if it can be called a sacrifice, because you are following your own delight, your own happiness, and in that there is no sacrifice- when you come with these flowers to the temple, then the High Priest of that temple, who is your own inner Voice, your own Ruler, your own Lawgiver, will take these and will use them, nourish them, and make them more beautiful, and breathe on them and give them Divinity.
While you are still wandering and groping, it is essential that you should be all the time forming this character, that you should be ripening this fruit, so that when the time comes it may be plucked, it may give nourishment and delight to others. For this reason it is that self-recollectedness, that constant watchfulness, constant wakefulness, is so necessary. We must not go to sleep, but we can dream; we must keep awake, but we can have our own quiet visions. The more you are watching, the more you are alert, the better you can fight the little things that create karma, that bind you to this wheel of birth and death, to this turmoil, to this everlasting something that gives sorrow. By throwing off all these things you can live in that Kingdom; and you can only do it if you have the mind well-trained and cultivated, the emotions well-nourished and refined, and a body that is well-subjugated.
This self-recollection, this introspection, this examination of all things small or big, must be done every day; and so you must meditate, you must think, you must ponder, in order that every day those little barriers, little weaknesses, may disappear; and thus through meditation you can create. It is the same with emotion; you must purify it, make it impersonal, make it strong, and remove from it any tinge of pettiness, of selfishness, of jealousy, of little angers, and all little disturbances that grow into great barriers. Your mind and your emotions must function with perfect ease. And when you have such a mind and such emotions, it is very easy to control your body; it is very easy to detach yourself from the bodily desires, wants, sufferings, and to treat it as you would treat a beautiful garment. If you will pardon my talking about a personal affair -I remember when I was at Ooty, in the Nilgiris in India, I was experimenting with myself, not very successfully at first, trying to discover how I could detach myself and see the body as it is. I had been experimenting with it for two or three days, it may have been a week; and found that for a certain length of time I could quite easily be away from the body and look at it. I was standing beside my bed, and there was the body on the bed -a most extraordinary feeling. And from that day there has been a distinct sense of detachment, of division between the ruler and the ruled, so that the body, though it has its cravings, its desires to wander forth and to live and enjoy separately for itself, does not in any way interfere with the true self. And that is why you must train all your bodies -mental, emotional, and physical- to have an independent existence of their own, and yet to be cooperative. So that the mind can say to the emotions: You shall feel such and such a thing, and you shall go so far and no further. And the same demands the emotions can make of the body. So you are three different beings; and you have much more fun, there is a much more adventurous spirit in this knowledge. Instead of being one person, you are three separate beings; so that you have the point of view of three, the karma of three, and interests of three, the delights of three. You thus learn to become part of the world, part of the whole system, instead of being one particular individual; so that you lose yourself, your three selves, in the innumerable millions of selves. They are all struggling along the same lines, though expressing themselves in different ways. And if you can experience this delight, if you can train all these three beings, you will be free from many of the fetters of your karma; you will find that you are liberated, that you can wander away from all things, that you can enter and abide forever in that Kingdom. It gives you a different understanding, different delights, a different breath of life. You want to taste the sorrows of experience, you want to imbibe, you want to learn, you want to observe, you want to do all things and yet be free from the fetters which they bring in their wake. You are an outside observer, using discrimination, weighing, balancing, and judging; and if you are able to do that all day long and every second, not with too much seriousness, not with a lack of humor, you will find that the gates of this abode are open and that you can wander in and out, that you can sit down and worship where and when you like. And that is the only pleasure in life, the only delight that an intelligent man can possibly have; for after all, an intelligent man can never be satisfied for very long with the world; he must have something beyond, he must have dreams, he must have visions, he must have great longings. And though very few of us are really intelligent, though very few of us have this sense of adventure, of longing to discover something new, we can always create it; we can always break down the barriers, and open the shutters which keep away the light, which hide away the Truth. And then we can take a delight, a real pleasure, in dreaming, in having great visions; because those dreams and those visions are the Truth, they are the realities, they are the nourishment, and by that alone we can live, by that alone we can survive. We must have dreams, we must have visions. However practical, however direct we may be, we must have this mysticism, this life hidden away from all. We must have our own canvas on which we are painting a picture that we are improving and altering through Eternity, which always gives us the satisfaction of creating, of renewing, of doing what we really desire to do; and which guards us against that terrible thing, self-satisfaction, that sense of always remaining in the same circle, in the same fold. That is the only Truth that any one of us need possess. Once we have entered, once we have seen, once we have dreamed, we can always go back and live in our Kingdom.
The Kingdom of Happiness
SACRIFICE AT THE ALTAR
The Kingdom of Happiness
Talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti in Eerde Castle, Holland, 1926. philosophy castle talks hapiness kingdom truth right spiritual