The Mirror of Relationship
5th Public Talk 6th August, 1937
Why does the mind seek the cause of sorrow? Obviously to overcome it. Yet in the moments of ecstasy there is no search for its cause; if there were, ecstasy would cease. In craving for ecstasy, we grope after those causes that stand in the way. This very craving for ecstasy and the intense desire to overcome sorrow prevent their fulfilment.
A mind that is burdened with the desire for reality, for happiness, for love, cannot free itself from fear. Fear deadens sorrow as also it distorts joy. Is our whole being in direct contact with sorrow as it is with happiness, with joy?
We are aware that we are not integral with sorrow; that there is a part of us which is trying to run away from it. In this process the mind has accumulated many treasures to which it clings desperately. When we realize this process of accumulation, then there is an urge to put a stop to it. Then we begin to seek methods, the way to get rid of these burdens. The very search for a method is another form of escape.
The choice of methods, of a way to rid yourself of those accumulated burdens, which cause resistance, this very choice is born of a desire not to suffer and is therefore prejudicial. This prejudice is the outcome of the desire for refuge, comfort.
Questioner: I think that nobody has thought what you have said just now. It is too complicated.
Krishnamurti: We are trying to perceive, to feel truth which shall liberate man, not merely to find out what are the causes of sorrow. If what I have said, which may sound complicated, is the truth, then it is liberating.
The discovery of truth is a complex process, for the mind has enveloped itself in many illusions.
The dawning of truth does not lie in the choice of the essential as against the unessential. But when you begin to perceive the illusion of choice itself, then that revelation is liberating, spontaneously destroying the illusion upon which the mind nourishes itself.
Is it love that, when it is thwarted, suffers, and there is bitterness, there is emptiness? It is the exposure of one's own smallness of love that is hurting.
Whenever the mind chooses, its choice must be based on self-protective prejudice, and as we desire not to suffer, its acts are based on fear. Fear and reality cannot exist together. One destroys the other. But it is one of the illusions of the mind that creates the hope of something beyond its own darkness. This something, this hoped-for reality, is another form of refuge, another escape from sorrow. The mind perpetuates its own conditioned state through fear.
Questioner: What you say leads to a very materialistic form of life.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by a materialistic form of life?
That there is only this life, that there is no reality, no God, that morality must be based on social and economic convenience, and so on. Now, what is the non-materialistic attitude towards life? That there is God, that there is a soul which continues, that there is a hereafter, that the individual holds within himself the spark of the eternal. What is the difference between the two, the materialistic and the religious?
Questioner: Both are beliefs.
Krishnamurti: But why then do you despise the materialistic form of life?
Questioner: Because it denies persistence.
Krishnamurti: You are merely reacting to prejudice. Your religious life is fundamentally an irreligious one. Though you may cover it up by talking about God, love, the hereafter, in your heart it means nothing, just so many phrases which you have learnt as the materialistic man has learnt his ideas and phrases. Both the religious and the materialistic mind are conditioned by their own prejudices which prevent the integral comprehension of truth and the communion with it.
Questioner: Yesterday you asked us to say why we tried to escape from suffering, and suddenly I saw the whole significance of it. If we give ourselves over to suffering instead of trying to escape from it, we break up the resistance within us. Krishnamurti: Yes, if it is not the effort of the will. But is not this giving oneself over to sorrow artificial, an effort of the intellect to gain something? Surely you do not give yourself over to ecstasy? If you do, it is not ecstasy.
Questioner: I did not mean that. I meant that instead of trying to escape, you just suffer.
Krishnamurti: Why do you feel that you must suffer? When you say to yourself that you must not escape, you are hoping that out of suffering you will achieve something. But when you are integrally aware of the illusion of all escape, then there is no will to resist the desire to escape, nor the will to achieve something through suffering.
Questioner: Yes, I see that.
Questioner: Will you please repeat what you have just now said.
Krishnamurti: One does not give oneself over to joy. There is no duality in ecstasy. It is a state which spontaneously comes into being without our willing it. Suffering is an indication of duality. Without understanding this, we perpetuate duality through the many intellectual efforts and processes of overcoming it, giving oneself over to its opposite, developing virtues, and so forth. All such attempts only strengthen duality.
Questioner: Do not the resistances which we put up against suffering also act as resistances against ecstasy?
Krishnamurti: Of course. If there is a lack of sensibility to ugliness, to sorrow, there must also be deep insensitiveness to beauty, to joy. Resistance against sorrow is also a barrier to happiness.
What is ecstasy? That state of being when the mind and heart are in complete union, when fear does not tear them asunder, when the mind is not withholding.
Questioner: Is there a better way of suffering? A better way of living?
Krishnamurti: There is, and this is what I have been trying to explain. If each one becomes aware of his own conditioned state, then he will begin to free himself from hate, ambition, attachment, from those fears which cripple life.
If the mind destroys one conditioned state, only to enter into another, life becomes utterly vain and hopeless. This is what is happening to most of us, wandering from cage to cage, thinking that each is more free than the one before, while in reality each is but a different kind of limitation. That which is free cannot grow from the less to the more.
Questioner: I accept the conditioned state in the same manner as that the globe is revolving, as a necessary part of development. Krishnamurti: Then we are not using intelligence. By merely asserting that all existence is conditioned, we shall never find out if there is a state that may not be conditioned. By becoming integrally aware of the conditioned state, each one will then begin to comprehend the freedom that comes through the cessation of fear.