Is There Such Thing as Progress?

From Krishnamurti’s Book THINK ON THESE THINGS

Question: What is the significance of the word ‘progress’?

KRISHNAMURTI: Is there such a thing as progress? You see the bullock cart moving at two miles an hour, and that extraordinary thing called the jet plane travelling at 600 or more miles per hour. That is progress, is it not? There is technological progress: better means of communication, better health and so on. But is there any other form of progress? Is there psychological progress in the sense of spiritual advancement through time? Is the idea of progress in spirituality really spiritual, or merely an invention of the mind?

You know, it is very important to ask fundamental questions; but unfortunately we find very easy answers to fundamental questions. We think the easy answer is a solution, but it is not. We must ask a fundamental question and let that question operate, let it work in us to find out what is the truth of it.

Progress implies time, does it not? After all, it has taken us centuries to come from the bullock cart to the jet plane. Now, we think that we can find reality or God in the same way, through time. We are here, and we think of God as being over there, or somewhere far away, and to cover that distance, that intervening space, we say we need time. But God or reality is not fixed, and neither are we fixed; there is no fixed point from which to start and no fixed point towards which to move. For reasons of psychological security we cling to the idea that there is a fixed point in each of us, and that reality is also fixed; but this is an illusion, it is not true. The moment we want time in which to evolve or progress inwardly, spiritually, what we are doing is no longer spiritual, because truth is not of time. A mind which is caught up in time demands time to find reality. But reality is beyond time, it has no fixed point. The mind must be free of all its accumulations, conscious as well as unconscious, and only then is it capable of finding out what is truth, what is God.