The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage
PART 2. The Eternal Teachings
Why should you know someone else's teachings? You know, there is only one truth and therefore there is only one way which is not distant from that truth; there is only one method to that truth, because the means are not distinct from the end.
Why do you want to be students of books instead of students of Life? Find out what is true and false in your environment with all its oppressions and its cruelties and then you will find out what is true.
J. Krishnamurti, 31st March, 1934 New Zealand
What makes a place religious?
A religious brain has no shelter, it is not scattered; it is unshackled; it has no schedule; it is utterly free of all ritual, dogma, faith; it is wholly free in its own independence, and it is that quality of love and compassion which has intelligence.
If you have such a brain... then wherever you are, that would be the religious centre.
20th November, 1984 Varanasi
Chapter 1. Do you want to understand life as a whole? Then...
You must be one thing or the other; you cannot be neutral
The majority of you have been listening to me... and yet you cannot maintain your certainty against anybody. You are uncertain, you do not know what I say is the real... I don't want people who merely agree. But if you agree, you must agree so entirely that you will oppose everything else. You must be one thing or the other, you cannot be neutral. If you are this flame, then your whole being, your countenance, your attitude, your affection, your thoughts, your physical environment, everything must be the expression of that.
You must be either one thing or the other, be hot or be cold. If you are hot, then you must burn out all external things, destroy all the weeds, fears, gods, superstitions, unrealities. If you are cold, then leave aside what I am saying, be selfish, narrow, fearful. It is no good all the time trying to grasp one thing and after grasping it twisting it to suit the other. You can't twist it, you can't reconcile the two, the old and the new... It does not matter whether you agree with me or not -you will eventually. If you don't now, you will in a hundred million years.
You must come with the intention of climbing to great heights; not of bringing the truth down...
Do not think that liberation, happiness, life, can be twisted and utilised to suit your old ideas... The Truth I set before you is much too lovely to be rejected and much too great to be accepted without thought. If you would understand, you must come with the intention, not of bringing the truth down to your understanding, but rather of climbing to the great heights where it is to be found.
I tell you that Truth is much too serious to play with; it is much too dangerous to have one part of your heart in the temple of truth and another part in the temple of unrealities and half-truths. For that is the way of sorrow, is the way of contention, is the way of vain beliefs which shall decay... Either you want the loveliness, the perfection of life or you do not want it. If you do not want it, leave it. If you want it, have it so burningly that you sacrifice everything for this one thing...
I cannot fill you, if you do not want to be filled
It cannot be a one-sided affair. I cannot fill you if you do not want to be filled... The deeper you drop the vessel of your desire into the well of understanding, the more will you have the capacity to receive... If on your part, you have the desire to put one idea of which I speak into practice, then you will see for yourselves the tremendous possibilities, the implications, the half-hidden meanings which to an unreflecting consciousness give but a superficial understanding...
Do not waste time in compromise
Most of you belong to various societies, various organisations. To me, life is not realisable through any organisation... I want to make my meaning once again perfectly clear. Truth to me is only realisable through your own self-recollectedness, through your own strength, through your own mindfulness...
It is realised through reason, which is gradually denuded of all personality, of all personal inclinations. Such reason leads to that inward perception... and because of that, you cannot find it through any organised religion, through priests, through ceremonies, through personal gods, worship, institutions, societies...
But if you have all these things, which to me are illusions, as your background... you cannot expect me to fall in with your systems, your standardisation, your images... If you want to understand my point of view you will reason, examine, reflect, but you will not waste time and energy in compromise. You cannot bring the dead wood and the living tree together.
Find out if what I say is true and if it is false, then leave it...
Completeness is the freedom from all ideals, from all cravings, from all illusions, from all self-deceptions. Before you can understand and realise this completeness, there must be a cessation of the idea of imitation, of following a system, a method, a path... Find out if what I say is true and if it is false, then leave it...
You believe that there is a supreme being apart from man and the world. Then you separate yourself, the individual, from the world; you think that by making yourself a perfect instrument, you can help the world... You say that Truth lies outside all this chaos, conflict, this struggle, this competitive hatred of peoples... I say, on the contrary, that through all this alone is Truth to be found, that when you are the master of yourself, completely responsible in yourself, you will find truth...
You cannot find truth by all the time adjusting it to illusions
Why this compromise and desire for reconciliation? From the questions that have been put to me day after day it is apparent that there is still in your minds the desire for compromise. Each one of you has a background of some kind. When any new idea or experience is put before you, you immediately translate it into terms of your preconceived ideas of Truth. Hence there is a constant battle of adjustment, not to discover what is true, but to try to reconcile what I say with what you have already found, with what is already established for you by another. If you would examine what I say, if you would diligently follow it mentally, then there must be a complete cleavage from preconceived ideas.
But you cannot reconcile certain things. There cannot be a compromise in certain things. In those things which to you are apparent facts, in the sense that are based on your own experience, on your own examination -impersonal, unbiased, free of authority- there is no longer the desire to compromise. Please realise why I am laying such emphasis on compromise. You cannot find truth by all the time adjusting it to illusions. You have to find out what is illusion and what is reality. To do this you must have a free mind. Reconciliation becomes but the dissipation of energy.
Your excuse for such a waste of energy is that you are seeking for a 'practical way' as you call it. The practical way of understanding life is to be impersonal and with that impersonal idea stripped of all this reaction of separateness, with that energy you can carry your ideas into action. Such energy makes all things practical, because you are no longer trying to balance those things, which it is impossible to reconcile. A compromise is the result of fear born of uncertainty, dread and doubt.
Because you are in conflict, continually fighting with unrealities, with uncertainties tortured in yourselves, with innumerable delusions, I put this forward, I offer it to you either to take it or leave it. If you take it, you must live it every moment of the day, not for a few weeks only. You must be uncompromising, strong, full of energy and interest, because truth is for those who come to it freely without fear, stripped of all delusions, void of all attachment. But if you are imprisoned in your own personal vanities, fears, ambitions, you will not find it. Then you will go away more certain of your own delusions.
You can really understand when you see the absolute necessity for cessation from all escapes
You are seeking a method, a system, which will enable you to keep awake at the moment of action. System and action cannot exist together, they kill each other. You are asking me: Can I take a sedative and yet be awake at the moment of action? How can a system keep you awake, or anything else except your own intensity of interest, the necessity of keeping awake? Please see the significance of this question. If you are aware that your mind is biased, then you do not want any discipline or system or mode of conduct. Your very discernment of a prejudice burns away that prejudice, and you are able to act sanely and clearly. But because you do not perceive a bias, which causes suffering, you hope to rid yourself of sorrow by following a system, which is but the development of another bias, and this new bias you call the process of keeping awake, becoming conscious. The so-called religious teachers have given you systems. You think that by following a new system you will train the mind to discern and accept new values. When you succeed in doing this, what you have really done is to deaden the mind, put it to sleep, and this you mistake for happiness, peace.
One listens to all this, and yet there remains a gap between everyday life and the pursuit of the real. This gap exists because change involves not only physical discomfort but mental uncertainty, and we dislike to be uncertain.
Because this uncertainty creates disturbance, we postpone change, thus exaggerating the gap. So we go on creating conflict and misery, from which we desire to escape. The gap between ourselves and the real is bridged only when we see the absolute necessity for cessation from all escapes and hence the necessity for integral action, out of which is born true human relationship with individuals, with society.
The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage
PART 2. The Eternal Teachings
Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage is a very rare selection of Krishnamurti writings.