The Pool of Wisdom
THE POOL OF WISDOM
1. OMMEN CAMP FIRE TALK, 1926
What is the Kingdom of Happiness, where does it exist and how can we attain it? What does it mean, and in what manner can we conquer it? By what thoughts and by what feelings, by what control and by what steady straining, shall we attain that perfection of eternal Happiness, and enter that garden where there are many shadows that give peace, where there is beauty, tranquillity, where there is destruction of the separate self?
I want from the very outset to say that I speak in all humility, though I may perhaps use strong phrases, that I do not want you to obey blindly or listen without thought, that I speak in the sincerity which I feel and that you must listen likewise if you would properly understand. It is, as it were, that I am looking through a larger opening at the same sky that is seen by each one of you. You are perhaps looking through a smaller opening and perceiving only a part of the firmament, while perhaps I may be looking through a wider window, which shows me the beauty and glory of that sky. In all friendship, in all sincerity, I invite you to my window and I ask you to quit your small opening, to come and look through a bigger opening at a more beautiful view. In that spirit only do I speak.
I would ask you to look at it, not emotionally, not sentimentally, not mesmerized by words, but with your minds, not to be carried away by mass hypnotism, not to act as one of a crowd, but to use your minds individually and think the problem out for yourselves. Where there are large crowds gathered, we find people all thinking alike; when their feelings are stirred, they are apt to be forced along a particular line laid down by the speaker who is for the moment on the platform. You will be doing a great injury, a great injustice, to yourselves if you do that. If you are carried along by the mass, you will fail to understand even that which is very simple.
The mind is the true ruler, the true helper, the true guide; but the mind is also the destroyer, if misused. The mind, when properly used, should be the guiding force for the majority of us. Though we may not be intellectual giants, we have ordinary intelligence, ordinary perception and the power to balance things. When you use the mind in this manner, you have a tremendous helper, a great power to build, to create. It gives power to direct, to control, as do the reins of a fast-running horse; and for this reason you must use your mind and not be merely emotional, if you would understand the subject that I want to put before you.
It is also the mind that gives us the proper ambition. Most of us are not ambitious -we think it is wrong to be ambitious, unspiritual to be ambitious. I say it is not, if ambition is used rightly. If you use your mind to drive you to your particular goal, along the right path, in the right direction, then that ambition is worth possessing; and that is what I mean when I say that ambition of the right kind should be cultivated by all of us. The right kind of ambition gives power, gives vitality, gives that training which is essential for progress. Ambition, which is selfish, which desires to dominate, which desires to shine, which is petty -that ambition is wrong. But the ambition that makes you work unselfishly, that gives you power to help, the will, the determination to bear with anything -that is worth possessing. Such an ambition is necessary for growth. It is the greatest force in each one of us, the creator of energy. Such ambition, being unselfish, is spiritual.
To understand gives you a power, a sense of tremendous vitality. It is always necessary, essential and important to understand and not merely to feel. You must use your intelligence from the very beginning, from the very first step of the ladder, from the very lowest slopes of that mountain which we are all going to climb.
My ambition is to gain the Kingdom of Happiness, that Kingdom which must be attained by each one of us, which must be part of us, in which we must dwell eternally. It is not to be found in a particular country, or along the shores of the sea, or in some secluded spot away from humanity, or to be found on a beautiful still evening. Like the generations of old who went out to seek treasures, you must go forth in search of this Happiness. You must apply your mind and your heart to discover this hidden garden, this Kingdom of Happiness, which lies within each one of us.
It is not a Kingdom that lies far off, nor an abode for which we need make a voyage to the ends of the earth. You must find the key that opens all the gates of Heaven, all the gardens of ecstasy; and that key is your own inner Voice, that key is your intuition, and with that key you can enter and live everlastingly in that garden. If you have that Voice, clear, perfect and well-trained -the Voice that is born of many experiences, many sorrows, many ecstasies, many pleasures and many pains- if you have that Voice perfected and cultivated, and if that Voice is the only tyrant that you obey, then that Kingdom of Happiness is within the reach of every one of you.
As the river dances down to the sea, every rock causing the waters to give forth music, every pebble making a new song at every bend of the shore, there is a new enjoyment and at every fall there is a roar. As the river dances down to the sea, enjoying, having ecstasies on its way, it has but one aim, one purpose. Though meandering, it is always sedulously seeking the shortest course to the ocean, to that sea of infinity where there is no individuality, no sense of separation, no sense of solitude and loneliness. Until that river enters into the sea, it is always an individual stream, having its own ecstasies, its own troubles, its own songs. As the river, so must you be.
As the tremendous roar a great river is, enticing, beautiful and magnificent, so is the Voice of him, who is struggling towards that sea of Infinity, of Nirvana, of Moksha, of Heaven, where there is no separate self. Though you may have many experiences in going towards the sea, for you must have experiences, you, like the river, should have but one thought, one purpose, one determination -to reach that vast ocean.
So each one of us must seek, so each one of us must dance through life, must have tremendous ecstasies, great sorrows and pains and great pleasures: and the greater and stronger they are, the more quickly shall we arrive at that stage of Nirvana, that absolute oneness with Life.
When once you have drunk at the fountain of all knowledge, of all wisdom, which is Happiness, nothing else in the world will ever satisfy you. Everyone who is struggling, who is living, who is dancing through life, has that Happiness in store for him. But everyone who seeks that Happiness must obey that Voice whose dominion, whose power, whose authority he alone can recognize.
For many years I have searched for that Happiness, I have wandered through many climes, I have read many books, I have perhaps suffered a little; but I have always desired that Vision, that Happiness, which no pleasures of this earth can ever give. And for some months past, I have found it; for some months past I have lived in that Kingdom and that Kingdom has become real.
For this reason, I would have you breathe that scented air, that air of divinity, that scent of perfection. I would urge you to come with me, and would make you enjoy and sport yourselves in the shadows of that garden, and then it will not matter what you are, whether you are a Sannyasi -the man who has given up the world- or whether you have great possessions and live in a palace. You are then detached from everything, but you are at the same time interested in all things.
For this reason, it is important, essential that you should understand with your mind. It is so easy to weep, so easy to cry, so easy to be emotional over such things, but if you once understand with your mind, it gives you the strength to guide yourself. You are the Absolute, you are the Path, you are in every tree in that garden, in every plant, in every creature.
If you would understand, you must obey only that Voice within each one of you. If you would see that Vision, you must obey that Voice, absolutely and completely. But you must take care that that Voice is the Real Voice, that has become purified and ennobled through great experiences, great sorrows, great pains and great pleasures. That Voice will have such power, such dominion, such authority over you, that you can but obey its commands. And then you will enter that garden, enter that Kingdom of Happiness; and when once you have tasted its delights, when once you have seen the vision within, you need not be held down by anything on earth, you are at the source of eternal Happiness.
I would make you all come to know my Happiness, take you all with me to that garden, show you that vision, make you see the glory and perfection of it, and when once you have walked in that garden, you will have the power, the authority to bring others to it.
You will then not only receive, but have the power to give.
The Pool of Wisdom
THE POOL OF WISDOM, 1. OMMEN CAMP FIRE TALK, 1926
Jiddu Krishnamurti The Pool of Wisdom; philosophy revolutionary truth public talks pool wisdom.