Think on These Things
By Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1964
Self-Knowledge comes when you observe yourself in a relationship with your situation, you teachers are all those around you. It comes when you observe the manner of another, his gestures, the way he talks, his contempt or fluttering and your response to it. It comes when you watch everything in you and about you see yourself as you are.
Life is an extraordinary mystery—not the mystery in books that people talk about—but a mystery that one has to discover for one’s self.
How can we realize the truth in our lives? So, if you want to discover the truth in that vital process that is your own life, you will have to inquire deeply into all these things: you will have to give your mind and heart to it. You will have to think independently and clearly without prejudice…
Now why do you get angry? Because you don’t want to be hurt, which is a normal human demand for survival. You feel you should not be used, crushed, or destroyed by an individual, a government or society. When someone slaps you, you feel hurt. First of all, anger is a natural response to avoid being hurt. Why should anybody exploit you? So, in order to not be hurt, you protect yourself. You begin to develop a defense and barriers. Inwardly, you build a wall around yourself by not being open, therefor, you are incapable of exploration of feeling. You say that anger is very bad and you condemn it and other feelings; so gradually you become empty. You have no strong feelings at all.
But happiness is not something you can seek; it is a byproduct. If you pursue happiness, it will have no meaning. Happiness comes invited.
Keep An Open Mind: If you have no prejudice bias, if you are open, then everything around you becomes extraordinarily interesting and tremendously alive.
You Cannot Learn From A Book: You and I must understand ourselves and we can only do that when we are fully alive, very alert, watchful and observant, taking interest in everything around us. Then we shall have a discourse in what it is really is to be happy.
Most people are unhappy and they are because there is no love in their hearts. Love will arise in your hearts when you have no barriers in your heart and when we meet other people you will not judge him.
What is important is to be inwardly very simple, which is to have a mind NOT clogged with beliefs, with numerable wants, for only such a mind is that is simple is capable of real thinking, exploration and discovery.
What is Education? Why do we go to School? Is it merely in order to pass examinations and get a job? Or is it the function of education to prepare us while we are young to understand the process of life? Having a job and earning one’s livelihood is necessary—but that isn’t all. Are we being educated just for a job or occupation? Life is not meant to be just about a job. Life is something extraordinarily profound. It is a great mystery, a vast realm in which we function as human beings. If merely prepare ourselves to earn a livelihood, we shall miss the point in life. The point in life is to understand that life and life is much more important than preparing for exams and becoming proficient in math, physics or whatever you will.
And so what does life mean? Is not life an extraordinary thing? The birds, the flowers, the flourishing trees, the heavens, the stars, the rivers and the fish in those rivers? All this life. Life is meditation. Life is what we call religion and it is also the subtle and the hidden things of the mind. The ambitions, the passion, the fears, the fulfillments and the anxieties. All this and more is life. But we generally only prepare ourselves to understand a small corner of it. We pass certain examinations. Find a job, get married and have children and become more like machines seems to be all we are prepared for. We remain fearful, anxious and frightened of life. So it is the function of education to help us understand the process of life
Do You Know What Intelligence Is? It is the capacity to think freely without fear or formula. So you begin to discover for yourself what is real and true. Because if you are frightened you’ll never be intelligent. (Getting over fear or facing your fear is intelligence, I might rephrase or add here).
The world is torn by conflicting beliefs, by caste and by class, by stupidity and by cruelty. And this is the world you are being educated to fit into.
Life itself is your teacher. You learn from EVERYTHING. You are in state of constant learning.
The importance of finding out WHAT to do is relatively new in society.
Sir, anything truly revolutionary is created by those who see what is true and are not only willing to live according to the truth, but to discover that freedom demands freedom from tradition and all fears.
Only he who has love, he who abandons himself—forgets himself completely, and thereby brings about the state of creative beauty.
There is an inward beauty only when you feel love for all people and all things of the earth and with that love comes consideration, watchfulness and patience.
But to acquire a technique or develop a capacity without paying attention to the inner state brings about ugliness and chaos in the world. If we awaken creative beauty inwardly, it expresses itself outwardly, and then there is order instead of chaos.
If your parents really loved you they would see to it that you had no cause to fear, that you were healthy and happy human beings, they would see that there was no war, no poverty in the world….It is because parents truly do not love their children that there are wars and that there are rich and poor…If parents were really concerned about their children, there would be transformations overnight. We would have a different kind of education and different kinds of homes and a world without war.
You are a prisoner of dos and don’ts. Where there is fear, there is no joy and no creativity.
You who are fairly well to do, why don’t you revolt? Not as a communist or a socialist, but revolt against the whole system of society? You can afford to do so. Why don’t you use your intelligence to find out what is true and create a new society? The poor are not going to revolt because they don’t have the energy or the time to think—he is wholly occupied. But you who have leisure and have intelligence, why don’t you revolt? Why not find out what is a right society, a true society and a new civilization? If it does not begin with you, it will not begin with the poor.
You see most of us have not this spirit or this urge to break through, to find out, and it is this spirit that is important.
As I have told you, if you watch your own mind, it is all there. But have you ever thought what would happen if you did not name a feeling? You try it. The next time you are angry, don’t call it anger. Just be aware of the feeling without giving it a name and see what happens.
So the Indian Culture is somewhat different from the European culture, but underneath the movement is the same. This movement may express itself differently in America because the demands are different.
It is not a great tragedy that almost all of us are concerned without how to fit into society or how to form it.
Laziness is not wrong. Listen intentionally and you will here. You must be watchful and observant. You must have knowledge to communicate it.
To Revolt within a society in order to make it a little better is to bring about certain reforms. So there is a vast difference between the actin of a creative revolution and the revolution or mutiny in society.
Never stop asking questions or you will be dead.
But what matters is not the pleasure or the pain, but rather it is to be in a communication with everything. It is to be sensitive both to the ugly and the beautiful.
Inward Beauty that gives grace, an exquisite gentleness to outward movement.