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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Knowledge assumes authority

There is no movement of learning, when there is the acquisition of knowledge; the two are incompatible, they are contradictory. The movement of learning implies a state,in which the mind has no previous experience stored up as knowledge. Knowledge is acquired, whereas learning is a constant movement, which is not an additive or acquisitive process; therefore, the movement of learning implies a state, in which the mind has no authority.

All knowledge assumes authority, and a mind, which is entrenched in the authority of knowledge, cannot possibly learn. The mind can learn only when the additive process has completely ceased. It is rather difficult for most of us to differentiate between learning and acquiring knowledge. Through experience, through reading, through listening, the mind accumulates knowledge; it is an acquisitive process, a process of adding to what is already known, and from this background of knowledge we function.

Now, what we generally call learning is this very same process of acquiring new information and adding it to the store of knowledge we already haveÓ. But I am talking about something entirely different. By learning I do not mean adding to what you already know. You can learn only when there is no attachment to the past as knowledge, that is, when you see something new and do not translate it in terms of the known.The mind that is learning is an innocent mind, whereas the mind that is merely acquiring knowledge is old, stagnant, corrupted by the past. An innocent mind perceives instantly, it is learning all the time without accumulating, and such a mind alone is mature.