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Paris, talks in Europe 1967

Talks in Europe 1967 5th Public Talk Paris 30th April 1967

THE RELIGIOUS MIND is entirely different from the mind that believes in religion. The religious mind is psychologically free from the culture of society; it is also free from any form of belief, any form of demand for experience or self-expression. And man - it seems to me - throughout the ages has created through belief, a concept, which is called God. To man, the belief in the concept called God has been necessary because he finds life a sorrowful affair, an affair of constant battles, conflict, misery - with an occasional spark of light, beauty, and joy.

Belief in a concept, in a formula, in an idea, has become necessary, because life has very little significance. The everyday routine, going to the office, the family, sex, the loneliness, the burden, the conflict of self-expression - all these have very little meaning; and there is always death at the end of it all; so man has to believe, as an imperative necessity.

According to the climate, to the intellectual capacity of the inventors of these ideas and formulas, the concept of the God, the Saviour, the Master, took shape, and man has always been trying to reach thereby a state of bliss, of truth, the reality of a state of mind that must never be disturbed. So he has posited an end and worked towards it. The authors of these ideas and concepts have laid down either a system or a path that must be followed in order to achieve that ultimate reality. And man has tortured his mind - through discipline, through control, through self-denial, through abstinence, austerity - inventing different ways of approach to that reality. In Asia, there are many ways leading to that reality (at least they are said to) depending on temperament and circumstances, and those paths are followed to that reality that cannot be measured by man, by thought. In the Occident, there is only one Saviour; through Him alone is to be found that ultimate something. All the systems of the East and of the West imply constant control, constant twisting of the mind to conform to a pattern laid down by the priest, by the sacred books, by all those unfortunate things which are of the very essence of violence. Their violence is not in the denying of the flesh but also in the denial of every form of desire, every form of beauty; in controlling and conforming to a certain pattern laid down.

They have had some kind of miracles - but miracles are of the easiest things to achieve, whether in the West or in the East. And they that achieve these miracles are anointed as saints; they have broken the record in that they have so completely conformed to the pattern, which is expressed in their daily life. They have very little humility, for humility cannot be shown outwardly - the putting on of a loincloth or a robe is not an indication of humility at all. Like any virtue, humility is from moment to moment, it cannot be calculated, established, and laid down as a pattern to be followed.

But man, throughout the ages, has done this; the originator, the original person who experienced something called reality, has laid down a system, a method, a way - and the rest of the world has followed. His disciples, through cunning propaganda, through cunning ways of capturing the mind of man, have established a search and dogmas, rituals. And man is caught in that. Any man - any man who wishes to find that which mind is always seeking - must go through some kind of twisting, some kind of suppression, some kind of torture, to come upon that ultimate beauty. And so, intellectually, one sees the absurdity of all this; intellectually, verbally, one sees the absurdity of having any belief at all; one sees the idiocy of any ideology. Intellectually, the mind may say it is nonsense, and discard it, but inwardly there is always, deep down, the seeking, beyond the rituals, beyond the dogmas, the beliefs, beyond the saviours, beyond all the systems which are so obviously the invention of man. One sees that his Saviour, his Gods, are inventions, and one can discard these comparatively easily - and modern man is doing so. (I don't know why one uses the word `modern' - man has existed much as he is now for generations upon generations. But the present day climate is such that he is denying totally the authority of priest, belief and dogma, at the very root concept; to him, God is dead, and he died very young.) And as there is neither God nor belief, there is no concept other than of the actual physical enjoyment, and physical satisfaction, and a developed society; man lives for the present, denying the whole of religious conception.

One begins by denying the outward gods, with their priests, of any organized religion - one must completely deny these because they have no value at all, they have bred wars, have separated men, whether the Jewish religion, the Hindu religion, or the Christian religion, or Islam - they have destroyed man, they have separated man, they have been one of the major causes of war, of violence; and seeing all this, one denies it, one puts it aside as something childish and immature. Intellectually one can do this very easily - living in this world, observing the exploiting methods of the churches, temples - who can but deny? But it is much more difficult to be free of belief and of seeking at the psychological level. We all want to find something that is untouched by man, untouched by cunning thought; something which is not contaminated by any social, intellectual or cultural society; something that cannot be destroyed by reason. We all seek it, deeply, for this life is a travail, a battle, a misery, a routine. One may have the capacity to express oneself verbally, or in painting, in sculpture, in music, but even that be- comes rather empty. Life, as it is now, is very empty and we try to fill it with music and literature, with amusement, with entertainment, with ideas, with knowledge; but when one goes into it a very little more deeply and widely, one discovers how empty one is, how shallow the whole of existence is - though one may have titles, possessions, capacities.

Life is empty, and realizing that, we want to fill it, we are seeking - seeking ways and means, not only to fill this emptiness but also to find something that is not to be measured by man. Some may take drugs, LSD, or another of the diverse forms of psychedelic drugs that give expansion of consciousness; and in that state one acquires or experiences certain states, because a certain sensitivity has been given to the brain. But these are chemical results. They are the results of extraneous outside agents. One takes drugs hopefully, then inwardly one has these experiences; as one has certain beliefs, so one experiences according to those beliefs; the processes are similar. Both produce an experience, yet man again gets lost in belief - in the drug of belief itself, or in the belief in the chemical drug. He is inevitably caught in his thoughts. And one sees through all that and discards it - that is, one is completely free of any belief. That does not mean that one becomes agnostic, that one becomes cynical or bitter. On the contrary, you see the nature of belief and why belief becomes so extraordinarily important; it is because we are afraid - basically that is the reason. Fear - not only in life, the daily grind, the fear of not becoming, of not achieving psychically, not becoming, not having power, position, prestige, fame - all this causes a great deal of fear, and one puts up with that fear - but also because of this inward fear, belief has become so important. Faced with the complete emptiness of life one still holds on to belief - though one may discard the outward authority of belief, the belief in, vented by the priest throughout the world - one creates for oneself one's own belief, in order to find and to come upon that extraordinary thing for which man has been searching, searching, searching.

And so one seeks. The nature, the structure of search, is very clear. Why does one seek at all? It is essentially self-interest - enlightened self-interest, but it is still self-interest. For one says: `Life is so tawdry, empty, dull, stupid, there must be something more, I will go to that temple, to that church, to that...' And then one discards all that, and one begins to seek deeply. But seeking, in any form, becomes, psychologically, a hindrance. I think that must be understood very simply and clearly. One may objectively discard the authority of any outward agency that claims to lead to the ultimate truth, and that one does. But to discard because one understands the nature of searching, to discard all seekings, is necessary - because, one asks - what is one seeking? If you examine what it is we are groping after, what it is that we want, is there not the implication of seeking something that you already know, that you have already lost, and you are trying to get at it? That is one of the implications of seeking. In seeking, there is involved the process of recognition - that is to say, when you find it, whatever it is, you must be able to recognize it - otherwise seeking has no meaning. Do, please, follow this. One seeks something, hoping to find and on finding it, to recognize it; but recognition is the action of memory; therefore there is the implication that you have already known it, that you have already had a glimpse; or as you are so heavily conditioned by the intense propaganda of all the organized religions, you mesmerize yourself into that state. So when you are seeking, you already have a concept, an idea of what you are seeking; and when you find it, it means that you already know it, otherwise you can't recognize it; for this reason it is not true at all. Therefore one needs to find that state of mind that is really free from all search, from all belief - without becoming cynical, without stagnating. For we tend to think that if we do not seek, strive, struggle, grope after - endlessly - we shall wither away. And I don't know why we should not wither away - as though we are not withering away now. One does wither away, as one dies, as one grows older, the physical organism comes to an end. One's life is the process of withering, because in it, in daily life, we imitate, copy, follow, obey, conform, which are forms of withering. So a mind that is no longer caught in any form of belief, not caught in self-created belief, not seeking, not seeking anything - though it may be a little more arduous - is tremendously alive. Truth is something which is only from moment to moment, like virtue, like beauty, it is something which has no continuity. That which has continuity is the product of time, and time is thought; and time being sorrow, time...

Seeing what man has done to himself, how he has tortured himself, brutalized himself - becoming nationalistic, getting lost in some form of entertainment, whether it is literature, or this or that - seeing all this pattern of his life, one asks oneself, must one go through all this? Do you understand the question? Must a human being go through all this process, step by step - discarding belief, (if you are at all alert) discarding any form of search, discarding the torturing of the mind, discarding indulgence - seeing what man has done to himself in order to find what he calls reality, one asks (please ask yourself and not me) one asks, is there a way, or is there a state of explosion, that discards it all at one breath - because time is not the way.

Search implies time, the eventual finding - taking perhaps ten years - more; or the eventual finding through reincarnation, as the whole of Asia believes. All this implies time - the gradual throwing away of these conflicts, these problems, becoming more wise, more cunning, getting to know slowly - slowly, gradually unconditioning the mind. Time implies that. Obviously time is not the way, nor belief, nor the artificial disciplines imposed by a system, by a guru, by a teacher, by a philosopher, by a priest - all that is so childish. So, is it possible not to go through all this at all and yet come upon that extraordinary thing? - because that thing cannot be invited. Please do understand this very simple fact; it cannot be invited, it cannot be sought after; because the mind is too stupid, too small, our emotions are too shoddy, our ways of life are too confused for that enormity, for that immense something to be invited into that little house, into a petty though tidy room. One cannot invite it - to invite it, you must know it, and you cannot know it (it does not matter who says it) because the moment you say `I know', you don't know. The moment you say you have found it, you have not found it. If you say you have experienced it, you have never experienced it. Those are all cunning ways of exploiting another man - the other man, your friend or your enemy.

Seeing all this - not formally, but in daily life, in your daily activities, when you pick up the pen, when you talk, when you go out for a drive or when you are walking alone in the woods - seeing all this at one glance - you don't have to read volumes to find it out - seeing all this with one breath, with one look, you can understand the whole thing. And you can only really understand this as a whole when you know yourself; know yourself as you are, very simply, as the result of the whole of mankind, whether you are a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, or whatever you are. There it is, when you know yourself as you are, then you understand the whole structure of man's endeavour, his deceptions, his hypocrisies, his brutality, his search.

And, one asks, is it possible to come upon this thing without inviting, without waiting, without seeking, exploring? - for that just to be, just for it to happen, like a cool breeze that comes when you leave the window open - you cannot invite that breeze, but you must leave the window open. This does not mean that we are in a state of waiting - that is another form of deception - it does not mean that one must open oneself to receive - that again is another way of thought.

But if one has asked oneself without seeking, without believing, then, in that very asking is the finding. But we do not ask. We want to be told, we want to have everything corroborated, affirmed; fundamentally, deep down, we are never free from every form of outward or inward authority. That is one of the most curious things in the structure of our psyche; we all want to be told; we are the result of what we have been told. What we have been told is the propaganda of thousands of years. There is the authority of the ancient book, of the present leader, or of the speaker. But if really deep down one denies all authority, it means one has no fears. To have no fear is to look at fear, for as with pleasure, we never come directly into contact with fear - we never actually come into contact with fear as you come in contact when touching a door, a hand, a face, a tree; we only come into contact with fear through the image of fear which we have created for ourselves. We only know pleasure through half-pleasures. We are never directly in contact with anything I do not know if you have observed when you touch a tree - as you do when you are walking in the woods - if you are really touching the tree? Or is there a screen between you and the tree, although you are touching it? In the same way, in order to come directly into contact with fear there must be no image, which means actually having no memory of yesterday's fear. Then only do you come into actual contact with the actual fear of today. Then, if there is no memory of the fear of yesterday, you have the energy to meet the immediate fear; and you have to have a tremendous energy to meet the present. We dissipate this vital energy - which all of us have - through this image, through this formula through this authority; and it is the same in the seeking pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure is to us very important the greatest pleasure of all is God - supposed to be - and that may be the most frightening thing you could ever know - but we have imagined it, the ultimate, so we never come upon it. Again, it is as when you have already recognized a pleasure as a pleasure of yesterday, you are really never in contact with actual experience, with an actual state. It is always the memory of yesterday that covers and screens the present.

So, seeing all this, is it possible not to do a thing, not strive, not seek - to be totally negative, totally empty, without any action? - because all action is the result of ideation. If you had observed yourself acting, you will have seen that it takes place because of a previous idea, a previous concept, a previous memory. There is a division between the idea and the action - an interval however small, however minute - because of that division there is conflict. Can the mind be so completely quiet, neither thinking, nor afraid and therefore extraordinarily alive, intense?

You know the word `passion; that word so often signifies suffering; the Christians have used that word to symbolize certain forms of suffering. We are not using that word `passion' in that sense at all. In this complete state of negation is the highest form of passion; that passion implies total self-abandonment. For such complete self-abandonment there must be tremendous austerity; austerity that is not the harshness of the priest agonizing people, of saints who have tortured themselves, who have become austere because they have brutalized their mind. Austerity is really an extraordinary simplicity; not in clothes, not in food - but inwardly. This austerity, this passion, is the highest form of total negation. And then perhaps if you are lucky - (if you are lucky!) - there is no luck there - the thing comes uninvited. Then the mind is no longer capable of striving. Then you do what you will, because then there will be love.

Without this religious mind a true society cannot be created. We must create a new society in which this terrible activity of self-interest has very little place. It is only with such a religious mind that there can be peace, outwardly as well as inwardly.

Is there anything to talk over, as this is the last talk, at least for this year?

Questioner: Experiencing and expressing....(remainder inaudible)

Krishnamurti: What do we mean by expression, and what are we expressing? I know there is an idea that one must express oneself; and self-expression has become extraordinarily important. But what are we expressing, some capacities? If you are a painter you express yourself on a canvas, and the owner of the gallery exploits you. Or if you have certain capacity with a pen, you write a book. What are we expressing? - the same old patterns of yesterday: that is all we have; routine in different ways - so what is the need to express? I am not saying one should not, or one should - but what is implied in self-expression; what is implied when one uses the word `self-expression,?

The self is always the past, it is nothing new; you may express it very cleverly in a new way, using new words, a new technique, a new jargon - but it is essentially the same thing. So that is one side. Then, when you say, `I must give expression to myself', what is the thing you are expressing? - what is the self which is constantly demanding to be expressed, sexually or in books? Obviously the `self' is a bundle of memories - unfortunately it is nothing other then that. And in self expression, there is pleasure, so that when we talk about self expression we mean the pleasure of the self, which is the memory, which is a dead thing. But is there an expression which is not self seeking, which is not of the self at all? - the self being (we know what it is) memories, accumulated experience, pleasure - then expression may be entirely different.

Questioner:.. without motive?

Krishnamurti: `Expression without a motive' - most people pretend that expression is without motive, and are at the same time cunning enough to realize that expression without motive is a rather questionable thing. But we are asking something entirely different. Is there an expression without the self-activity which expresses itself And what is there to be expressed? When you love, you don't talk of self-expression. But if love is tinged with desire, pleasure, then you want it expressed, sexually or in books; it needs to be expressed. But if there is no self-centred activity in expression then it may not express at all - you will live and living itself is expression.

30th April 1967


Paris, talks in Europe 1967

Talks in Europe 1967 5th Public Talk Paris 30th April 1967

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