What Is the Easiest Way of Finding God?

From Krishnamurti’s Book LIFE AHEAD

Questioner: What is the easiest way of finding God?

Krishnamurti: I am afraid there is no easy way, because to find God is a most difficult, a most arduous thing. Is not what we call God something which the mind creates? You know what the mind is. The mind is the result of time, and it can create anything, any illusion. It has the power of creating ideas, of projecting itself in fancies, in imagination; it is constantly accumulating, discarding, choosing. Being prejudiced, narrow, limited, the mind can picture God, it can imagine what God is according to its own limitations. Because certain teachers, priests and so-called saviours have said there is God and have described him, the mind can imagine God in those terms; but that image is not God. God is something that cannot be found by the mind.

To understand God, you must first understand your own mind – which is very difficult. The mind is very complex, and to understand it is not easy. But it is easy enough to sit down and go into some kind of dream, have various visions, illusions, and then think that you are very near to God. The mind can deceive itself enormously. So, to really experience that which may be called God, you must be completely quiet; and have you not found out how extremely difficult that is? Have you not noticed how even the older people never sit quietly, how they fidget, how they wiggle their toes and move their hands? It is difficult physically to sit still; and how much more difficult it is for the mind to be still ! You may follow some guru and force your mind to be quiet; but your mind is not really quiet. It is still restless, like a child that is made to stand in the corner. It is a great art for the mind to be completely silent without coercion; and only then is there a possibility of experiencing that which may be called God.

Questioner: Is God everywhere?

Krishnamurti: Are you really interested to find out? You ask questions, and then subside; you do not listen. Have you noticed how the older people almost never listen to you? They rarely listen to you because they are so enclosed in their own thoughts, in their own emotions, in their own satisfactions and sorrows. I hope you have noticed this. If you know how to observe and how to listen, really listen, you will find out a lot of things, not only about people but about the world.

Here is this boy asking if God is everywhere. He is rather young to be asking that question. He does not know what it really means. He probably has a vague inkling of something – the feeling of beauty, an awareness of the birds in the sky, of running waters, of a nice, smiling face, of a leaf dancing in the wind, of a woman carrying a burden. And there is anger, noise, sorrow – all that is in the air. So he is naturally interested and anxious to find out what life is all about. He hears the older people talking about God, and he is puzzled. It is very important for him to ask such a question, is it not? And it is equally important for you all to seek the answer; because, as I said the other day, you will begin to catch the meaning of all this inwardly, unconsciously, deep down; and then, as you grow up, you will have hints of other things besides this ugly world of struggle. The world is beautiful, the earth is bountiful; but we are the spoilers of it.

Questioner: What is the real goal of life?

Krishnamurti: It is, first of all, what you make of it. It is what you make of life.

Questioner: As far as reality is concerned, it must be something else. I am not particularly interested in having a personal goal, but I want to know what is the goal for everybody.

Krishnamurti: How will you find out? Who will show you? Can you discover that by reading? If you read, one author may give you a particular method, while another author may offer quite a different method. If you go to a man who is suffering, he will say that the goal of life is to be happy. If you go to a man who is starving, who has not had sufficient food for years, his goal will be to have a full tummy. If you go to a politician, his goal will be to become one of the directors, one of the rulers of the world. If you ask a young woman, she will say, ‘My goal is to have a baby’. If you go to a sannyasi, his goal is to find God. The goal, the underlying desire of people is generally to find something gratifying, comforting; they want some form of security, safety, so that they will have no doubts, no questions, no anxiety, no fear. Most of us want something permanent to which we can cling, do we not.

So, the general goal of life for man is some kind of hope, some kind of safety, some kind of permanency. Don’t say, ‘Is that all?’ That is the immediate fact, and you must first be fully acquainted with that. You must question all that – which means, you must question yourself. The general goal of life for man is embedded in you, because you are part of the whole. You yourself want safety, permanency, happiness; you want something to which to cling.

Now, to find out if there is something else beyond, some truth which is not of the mind, all the illusions of the mind must be finished with; that is, you must understand them and put them aside. Only then can you discover the real thing, whether there is a goal or not. To stipulate that there must be a goal, or to believe that there is a goal, is merely another illusion. But if you can question all your conflicts, struggles, pains, vanities, ambitions, hopes, fears, and go through them, go beyond and above them, then you will find out.

Questioner: If I develop higher influences will I eventually see the ultimate?

Krishnamurti: How can you see the ultimate as long as there are many barriers between you and that? First you must remove the barriers. You cannot sit in a closed room and know what fresh air is like. To have fresh air you must open the windows. Similarly, you must see all the barriers all the limitations and conditionings within yourself; you must understand them and put them aside. Then you will find out. But to sit on this side and try to find out what is on the other, has no meaning.