Meditation and Measurement

From Krishnamurti’s Book MIND WITHOUT MEASURE

What is meditation, what does that word mean? If you look up the dictionary, you’ll find it means to ponder over, to be able to think clearly, not with confusion, not with personal objectives, but clearly, to think. It needs clarity. Meditation also means measurement, to measure. We are always measuring, which is comparing – I am this, I will be that, I will be better – which is a form of measurement. The word ‘better’ is measurement. To compare yourself with another is a measurement. When you tell your son or somebody that you must be like your elder brother, that is measurement. We live by measurement; we always compare. That is a fact. Our brain is conditioned to measure – I am this today, I hope I will be different in a year’s time, not physically but psychologically. That is a measurement.

Now, to live without measurement, to be totally, completely, free of all measurement, is part of meditation. Not that ‘I am practising this, I will achieve something in a year’s time.’ That is measurement which is the very nature of one’s egotistic activity. In schools we compare, in universities we compare. We compare ourselves with somebody who is more intelligent, more beautiful physically – there is this constant measurement going on. Either you know it consciously or you are not aware of this movement of measurement. Meditation is the ending of measurement, ending of comparison, completely. See what is implied in it – that there is no psychological mark. Tomorrow is the measurement of what is in time. Do you understand this? So measurement, comparison, and the action of will must end completely. There is no action of will in meditation. Every form, every system, of meditation is an activity of the will.

What is will? I will meditate, I will sit down quietly, control myself, narrow down my thoughts and practise – all that is the action of desire, which is the essence of will. In meditation there is no activity of the will. Do you understand the beauty of all this? When there is no measurement, no comparison, no achieving or becoming, there is the silence of the negation of the self. There is no self in meditation. So a mind, a brain, that is in the act of meditation is whole. The whole of life is meditation, not one period of meditation when you meditate. Meditation is the whole movement of living. But you have separated meditation from your life: It is a form of relaxation like taking a drug. If you want to repeat, repeat ‘Coca Cola’, or any other cola, which has the same effect to dull the mind, whereas in meditation, when there is no measurement, when there is no action of the will and mind, the brain is entirely free from all systems. Then there is a great sense of freedom. In that freedom there is absolute order, and that you must have in life. Then, in that state of mind, there is silence, not wanting, desiring to have a quiet mind, but there is freedom from measurement. In that freedom there is absolute order, there is silence.

Then, is there something sacred, not invented by thought? There is nothing sacred in the temple, in the mosque, in the churches. They are all the inventions of thought. When you discard all that, is there something sacred that is nameless, timeless, something that is the outcome of great beauty and total order which begins in our daily life? That is why meditation is the movement of living. If you do not understand the basis of all this that is our life, our everyday reactions or behaviour, your meditation has no meaning whatsoever. You can sit on the banks of the Ganga or some place and do all kinds of tricks with yourself. That is not meditation. Meditation is something that is of daily life. It is your movement of life, and then there is in that movement freedom, order, and out of that flowers great silence. Only when you have come to that point, one finds there is something absolutely sacred.