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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Understand the process of your thinking

Suppose you had never read a book, religious or psychological, and you had to find the meaning, the significance of life. How would you set about it? Suppose there were no Masters, no religious organizations, no Buddha, no Christ, and you had to begin from the beginning. How would you set about it?

First, you would have to understand your process of thinking, would you not? -and not project yourself, your thoughts, into the future and create a God, who pleases you; that would be too childish. So first you would have to understand the process of your thinking. That is the only way to discover anything new, is it not? When we say that learning or knowledge is an impediment, a hindrance, we are not including technical knowledge -how to drive a car, how to run machinery -or the efficiency, which such knowledge brings. We have in mind quite a different thing: that sense of creative happiness, which no amount of knowledge or learning will bring.

To be creative, in the truest sense of that word, is to be free of the past from moment to moment, because it is the past that is continually shadowing the present. Merely to cling to information, to the experiences of others, to what someone has said, however great, and try to approximate your action to that -all that is knowledge, is it not? But, to discover anything new you must start on your own; you must start on a journey completely denuded, especially of knowledge, because it is very easy, through knowledge and belief, to have experiences; but these experiences are merely the products of self-projection and therefore utterly unreal, false.

Very deeply, not just brush it aside, then what is involved? Why is one angry? Because one is hurt, someone has said an unkind thing; and when someone says a flattering thing you are pleased. Why are you hurt? Self-importance, is it not? And why is there self-importance? Because one has an idea, a symbol of oneself, an image of oneself, what one should be, what one is or what one should not be. Why does one create an image about oneself? Because one has never studied what one is, actually. We think we should be this or that, the ideal, the hero, the example. What awakens anger is that our ideal, the idea we have of ourselves, is attacked. And our idea about ourselves is our escape from the fact of what we are. But, when you are observing the actual fact of what you are, no one can hurt you. Then, if one is a liar and is told that one is a liar it does not mean that one is hurt; it is a fact. But, when you are pretending you are not a liar and are told that you are, then you get angry, violent. So we are always living in an ideational world, a world of myth and never in the world of actuality. To observe what is, to see it, actually be familiar with it, there must be no judgement, no evaluation, no opinion, no fear.