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Krishnamurti on Thought - Quotes

" When the mind ceases giving a continuity to the thought, when it is in an immobility which is not imposed, which does not have an acting cause, there is then a state freed from the background. "


" the thinker is the thought. We would like it to be different so that the thinker may explain the things to himself by means of the thought. "


" true understanding is possible only when we are fully conscious of our thought, not as an operative observer on this thought, but completely and without the intervention of a choice."


Question: why is your teaching so purely psychological? There is no cosmology, no theology, no ethics, no aesthetics, no sociology, no political science, not even hygiene. Why do you concentrate only on the mind and its workings?

Krishnamurti: For a very simple reason, Sir. If the thinker can understand himself, then the whole problem is solved. Then he is creation, he is reality; and then what he does will not be antisocial. Virtue is not an end in itself; virtue brings freedom, and there can be freedom only when the thinker, which is the mind, ceases. That is why one has to understand the process of the mind, the I, the bundle of desires that create the I, my property, my wife, my ideas, my God. Surely it is because the thinker is so confused that his actions are confused; it is because the thinker is confused that he seeks reality, order, peace.
Because the thinker is confused, ignorant, he wants knowledge; and because the thinker is in contradiction, in conflict, he pursues ethics to control, to guide, to support him. So, if I can understand myself, the thinker, then the whole problem is solved, is it not?


Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Vol IV. 1948 6th Public Talk, Bombay
 


I suggested that to slow down the mind in order to examine the thought-feeling process, you should write down every thought-feeling. If one wishes to understand, for example, a machine of high revolution one has to slow it down, not stop it for then it becomes merely a dead matter; but make it turn gently, slowly, to study its structure, its movement. Likewise if we wish to understand our mind, we must slow down our thinking - not put a stop to it - slow it down in order to study it, to follow it to its fullest extent. And to do this I suggested that you write down every thought-feeling.

The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Vol III; Ojai 1944,
8th Public Talk, Oak Grove Talks. CD-rom code OJ44T8


 Since most of us are unconsciously seeking a shelter, a place of safety in which we shall not be hurt, since most of us are seeking in false values an escape from continual conflict, therefore I say, become conscious that the whole process of thought, at the present time, is a continual search for shelter, for authority, for patterns to conform to, for systems to follow, for methods to imitate.


 To be in conflict and at the same time to be vibrantly still, neither accepting nor denying it, is not easy. Being in a state of conflict and at the same time seeking no remedy or escape, brings about integral thought. This is right effort.


 We must not think and feel horizontally but vertically. That is, instead of following the course of lazy, selfish, ignorant thought-feeling of gradualism, of slow enlightenment through the process of time, of following this stream of continual conflict and misery, of constant mass murder and a period of rest from it - called peace - and an eventual paradise on earth; instead of thinking-feeling along these horizontal lines, can we not think - feel vertically? Is it not possible to pull ourselves out of the horizontal continuance of confusion and strife and to think-feel away from it, anew, without the sense of time, vertically?


 Thought creates the thinker, thought is always seeking a permanent state seeing its own state of transition, of flux, of impermanence, thought creates an entity which it calls the thinker, the Atman, the Paramatman, the soul - a higher and higher security. That is, thought creates an entity which it calls the observer, the experiencer, the permanent thinker as distinct from the impermanent thought; and the wide distance between the two creates the conflict of time.


 You have chosen one particular thought, thinking it is noble, spiritual, and that you should concentrate on it and resist other thoughts. But the very resistance creates conflict between the thought that you have chosen to think about, and other interests; so you spend your time concentrating on one thought and keeping off the others, and this battle between thoughts is considered meditation. If you can succeed in completely identifying yourself with one thought and resisting all others, you think you have learned how to meditate.


 Seeing all this, that thought is the result of memory, of collected experience which is very limited, and that the seeking of Reality, God, Truth, Perfection, Beauty is really the projection of thought - in conflict with the present and going towards an idea of the future - and seeing that the pursuit of the future creates time; seeing all this, surely it is obvious that thought must be suspended. There must be something, surely, which thought cannot capture and put into memory, something totally new, completely unknowable, unrecognizable?


 Conflict must end. It is only when the mind is completely quiet, and not in a state of conflict - it is only then that the mind can go very far into the realms that are beyond time, beyond thought, beyond feeling.


 In the same way if I really see what thought does, thought comes to an end. Whatever thought does it breeds misery, sorrow, conflict, and when thought realizes that, it will come to an end by itself, the vicious circle is broken; thought, which means time, has come to an end.


 All these are the factors which condition us. Our conscious and unconscious responses to all the challenges of our environment - intellectual, emotional, outward and inward - all these are the action of conditioning. Language is conditioning; all thought is the action, the response of conditioning.


 So thought is the instrument of pleasure, and thought is the instrument of pain, fear - consciously or unconsciously. Then there is the whole question of hidden fears, unconscious, deep rooted fears inherited through the environment, through culture, through the race, through family, you know, the stored up fears. Now how is one to be free of all that?


.....what place has thought in the whole of consciousness? How deeply the unconscious, the hidden parts of our minds, the secret recesses, how deeply they are contaminated by the environment, by the society in which we live, by or through education and so on. How deeply the whole mind is polluted and whether it is possible to free the mind altogether from this pollution of civilization.


Do you understand, do you follow this? That is, at the moment of attention you have seen and acted - perception, action - but thought says, "How extraordinary: I wish I could continue that attention all the time, as I see in it a way of acting without all this conflict". And so thought wants to cultivate attention.


 Analysis, by its very nature, implies an analyser and the person or thing analysed, whether the analyser is the analyst, the psychologist, or you yourself; and the analyser in his examination nourishes and sustains the division, and therefore increases the conflict. Analysis implies all these things: time, evaluation of every experience and of every thought completely (which is not possible), and the division between the observer and the observed that increases conflict.


 Through complete rest the brain is made fresh, to respond without reaction, to live without deterioration, to die without the torture of problems. To look without thought is to see without the interference of time, knowledge and conflict. This freedom to see is not a reaction; all reactions have causes; to look without reaction is not indifference, aloofness, a cold-blooded withdrawal.


4th April 1976: So one wants to find out a way of living in which there is no conflict, in which thought, which is the movement in time as measure, which creates division, and whether thought can realize its own limitation, and function where it is absolutely necessary, and not enter into the psychological field at all. Are you getting all this?


You understand my question? Not analytical perception, not intellectual observation of the conflict, various types of conflict, nor an emotional response to conflict, but we are asking: is there a perception not of remembrance, which is time, which is thought, is there a perception which is not of time or thought, which can see the whole nature of conflict, and that very perception is the ending of that conflict? That is my question.


So thought, time, space, psychologically is the source of conflict and sorrow. After examining it, is it possible for thought - please listen to this - for thought to realize its own place, which is in the world of technique and it has no place psychologically?


Only when thought naturally, without conflict, without struggle comes to an end, which is time, then there is a possibility of that which is eternal. So you say, `Tell me how to end thought; tell me the system, the practice, I'll do it for the rest of my life.' So you are back again to the same old thing.


16 July 1982?: Is there a perception not of remembrance, which is time, which is thought? Is there a perception which is not of time or thought, which can see the whole nature of conflict, and with that very perception bring about the ending of conflict? Thought is time.


If I am ambitious, greedy, envious, wanting to fulfil, achieve, how can there be love? So to see the truth of it, not take time over it, not analyse it, go into step by step, explanation after explanation, but to see instantly that as long as the brain is caught in time and thought, which is limited, what ever it does will create more conflict. See it instantly, the truth of it, which is to have an insight into it, the whole movement of it.


 No. The whole point - this is where I am saying something which we are probably putting in different words - if you have an insight that the movement of thought and time are divisive, at whatever level, in whatever realm, in whatever area, it is a movement of endless conflict. ... Now as long as that movement exists there is fear of being nothing. But when one really sees the insight of the fallacy, the illusion of becoming something, therefore that very perception, that insight to see that there is nothing, this becoming is endless time/thought and conflict, there is an ending of that. That is, the ending of the movement which is the psyche, which is time/thought. ... But the truth is I am memories. If I had no memory, either I am in a state of amnesia, or I understand the whole movement of memory, which is time/thought, and see the fact as long as there is this movement there must be endless conflict, struggle, pain. And when there is an insight into that nothing means something entirely different.


Insight is not of time - right?

Time is thought, time is memory, time is experience, knowledge, and as long as we depend on time, which is divisive, therefore conflict, and to see this, to perceive the actuality of this, then only is there an insight into it.


 That thinking about oneself is very limited and therefore in our relationship there is always conflict. Therefore thought and time we said is the causation of one of the major reasons of conflict. If one understands that deeply, not verbally, not merely repeating something somebody has said but actually your own perception, seeing the truth of it, that very perception frees the brain from conflict.


 Don't also forget that conflict is the `I'. Ultimately society and all can go down the drain. Ultimately it is `I'. All experience, all search, centres round that which is thought, caught in time as conflict.


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