We Are Always Comparing


Krishnamurti: Here are two facts, one, I am this, the other that I want to be that, whether it is a big thing or a little thing. And that also implies space and time. And the other is getting from here to the house, distance to cover, involving time say to myself, both seem to be true, true in the sense that I have a goal, I want to be powerful, I want to be rich, I want to be famous, and I drive towards that. To become famous takes time, because the image which I have created of fame is there in the distance and I must cover it, through time, because I am not that image now, but I will be in the future. I am not at the house now. I am here. It will take time. And now I want to be famous. Psychologically, that is my projection, the image which I have created of fame. You see that, there it is. I have projected it, it is my image because I have compared other famous people and I want to be like them.

And that implies struggle, competitiveness and ruthlessness. it is an actual thing I want, do I not? I want that and I struggle to get it. I do not question why I have created that image. I do not question what is involved in arriving at that image. I just say, ‘I must be that image’. So in this there is a great deal of conflict, pain, suffering, and brutality. And that is my conditioning, because people have told me from childhood that I must be this, I must pass my exams, I must be a great man, I must be a business man, a lawyer, a professor, whatever it is.

So I have created that image and I have not found out why I have done so. If I see the absurdity of that image, if I see the futility, the pain, the agony, the anxiety, everything that is involved in it, I do not create the image, therefore I abolish.

Questioner: What is wrong with learning Italian in time?

Krishnamurti: No, please, do not mix up the two, please keep it…

Questioner: Two psychological states, I am nobody and tomorrow I will be somebody.

Krishnamurti: I am nobody and tomorrow I will be somebody. The ‘tomorrow’ is there in my mind. I am waiting for tomorrow to happen. So there is time (or I think there is). I will be famous. The words ‘will be’ are in the future. So, I ask myself, is there a tomorrow at all? Tomorrow exists only when I want to be something.

Questioner: Can I be free of psychological time?

Krishnamurti: I am showing it to you, Sir. Can man be free from psychological time? Find out for yourself, Sirs; you can see it. If I want to be famous, I cannot be free from time. If I say, I am nobody, and I want to be somebody, I am a slave to time. Now I am nobody, why should I be someone? – I am nobody.

The somebody has a bigger car, a bigger house. Don’t let’s mix up words. I am nobody, but I want to be somebody. There is in this the whole process of time. If I do not want to be anybody, is there psychological time? I am what I am. But if I want to change myself into something, then time begins. But I must change, I cannot remain as I am. Are you following all this?

Look, I am nobody. Please follow this step by step. I am nobody and I want to be somebody. In that is involved time, pain and the rest. The demand for being somebody, for change from being nobody, that kind of change I discard as it is absurd, unintelligent, immature. So I say, I am nobody. If I remain as nobody, there is nothing. I am nobody, there is nothing in me. But that quality must also change. Those poor chaps in those huts, (I do not know how you can stand those huts around here!) – that poor chap in that hut he is nobody. He cannot become anybody because he is uneducated, he is this and he is that. But he also wants to become somebody because he sees the house next door is a bigger house. So the wanting to be somebody is through comparison. We all look at this through comparison. Now, can the mind eliminate all comparison? Then I will not say, ‘I am nobody’.

Why should I project? I want to learn Italian and I will learn it. It will take time and I will work at it. I have to be in New York on the 23rd of this month. I will plan, I will buy a ticket. There is no projection, there is no image, I have to do the practical things that will get me there. But I might say to myself: ‘I am going to New York and it will be much more exciting than living here and all the rest of it’. Now is it possible for the mind not to compare and therefore – but you do not see the beauty of it – and therefore have no time at all. Am I answering your question, Sir?

When you say you are nobody, you have already compared yourself with someone who is somebody. If you eliminate all comparison you will have completely changed. I am still living in that filthy little hut. So the man who lives in that filthy little house, if he comes to this point of saying, ‘All comparison has come to an end’, will be out of that house.

Questioner: How?

Krishnamurti: He will work more intelligently.

Questioner: Why would he work if he had not seen the bigger house next door?

Krishnamurti: That is just it. If there is no comparison, what takes place? This is the first question; what actually takes place when you do not compare?

Questioner: You are not blocking yourself anymore.

Krishnamurti: He says, you are not blocking yourself any more. Look, let us begin. Why do you compare? You begin at school, the teacher tells you you are not doing well, not as well as the other boy. The whole process of examinations, marks and all that is comparison. From childhood you are conditioned to compare, compare the little house with the big house; always comparing. That is your conditioning. And it brings about a series of struggles, of success and failure, of miseries, which society and yourself have imposed. That is your conditioning. You see the poor boy becoming President. That is a tremendous advertisement; and you say, ‘What a marvellous competitive society this is!’ That is our conditioning. And we maintain it because sometimes it is profitable, sometimes it is painful, but it is incurable. We never question why we compare. Please question it now and find out.

Why do you compare?

Questioner: One feels insufficient.

Krishnamurti: Take this up – when you feel insufficient you compare. But how do you know that you are insufficient, if you do not compare? Please go into this. Do we compare because we are insufficient? Do we compare because it is part of our conditioning? Every newspaper says, look, so and so is so powerful and you are nobody. So we accept comparison as the norm, as the inevitable process of existence. I do not. Why should I compare? If I do not compare, am I a nobody? I only compare with something superior and therefore I feel inferior. And if I have no comparison I am…

Questioner: Unique?

Krishnamurti: No, it has nothing to do with uniqueness. How do I know I am unique? Because I have compared with those people who are not unique? How do I know? To use this word – please Sir, stick to this, it is very interesting to go into it. Look, I compare two pieces of cloth when I buy a coat. Black and White. I compare. I compare this country, saying, ‘It is very hot here; but I can say that this is a very hot country without comparing. If I compare this country with a cooler country, I resist this heat, and then this heat becomes intolerable. Can one eliminate comparison, psychologically, and keep away from comparison with regard to big house, little house, bigger carpet…

Questioner: What is the mechanism of comparison?

Krishnamurti: You can see why we compare because, for one thing, we are conditioned, and also through comparison we think we are living. It is part of our struggle; by comparing we feel that we are acting. We say, if I do not compare, if I do not become like Mr. Smith, my God, what shall I be? So comparison is the system in which we have been born, which either says, ‘You must be an executive, you must have millions’, or on the other hand, ‘You must be a saint and have nothing’.

Questioner: Can one be satisfied with what one is and not be concerned with the neighbour?

Krishnamurti: Are you really concerned with the neighbour? That neighbour down below? Are you? Obviously not. And you are not satisfied with what you are. The moment you use the word ‘satisfied’ and ‘not satisfied’ there is comparison. Obviously. So, you eliminate altogether words like ‘better’, ‘the more’. So you see, time, psychological time exists only when there is a state of comparison and that includes dissatisfaction, feeling of inferiority, feeling that you must achieve, that you must be – all that is implied in comparison. And when you say, ‘I am nobody’, that word is a comparative word, otherwise you would not use that word. So time, psychological time exists when there is this comparative mind, the mind that measures psychologically. Now, can I, can the mind exist without measuring – exist, live, not just go to sleep – be tremendously active, alive to its fullest depth? That is only possible when there is no comparison.

Psychological time exists only when there is comparison, when there is a distance to be covered between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’, which is the desire to become somebody or nobody, all that involves psychological time and the distance to be covered. So one says, is there a tomorrow, psychologically? And this you will not be able to answer. Is there tomorrow – ‘tomorrow’ having come into being because I have had a moment of complete freedom, a complete feeling of something, and it has gone. I would like to keep it, to make it last. Making it last is a form of greed. We struggle to achieve that thing again. All this is implied in psychological time. When you have some experience of joy, of pleasure or whatever it is, live it completely and do not demand that it should endure, because then you are caught in time.

So, is there tomorrow? That is, tomorrow is ahead and I have had a feeling today of great happiness and want to know if it will last. How can I keep it so that it will always last? Memory of that pleasure makes you want that memory to continue and if it continues, you prevent further experience altogether. It is fairly simple, this.

Questioner: How can I understand resistance?

Krishnamurti: Again, what do you mean by that word ‘resist’? First, let us look at that word, what it means, not what you feel or I think or somebody else thinks – first, see what the word ‘to resist’ means. To resist involves time; to oppose, to resist, to put a barrier, to put it away from you. To resist – I resist the rain, I resist the sunshine, I do not like it, I resist temptation, I resist; I want a bigger house and I say ‘How stupid, I am not going to have it’. So I resist, rebel against something which I want, or don’t want. Why should I resist at all? Please put this to yourself: ‘Why should I resist’? That has been all my life, I have resisted this and I have accepted that, I don’t like this and I like that. So I have built a wall of resistance all round myself, obviously. I don’t want to go into this too deeply but let’s touch on it briefly; I have resisted everything, I have resisted this and that, so I have built a wall around myself, And the wall is the ‘me’ and the ‘me’ is the very essence of resistance. So why do I resist?

I resist. I resist temptation. But what I want to know is why there is resistance at all. Why can’t I look at some. thing and understand it – why should I resist it? Do look at it, Sir – I resist only something which I don’t understand. I say ‘Ecco’ – I understand that. To maintain a particular state I resist; I was happy yesterday and I resist anything that will prevent me having that experience again. If I could look at everything with clarity, then there would be no resistance, would there? If I look with clarity at the process of the modern, or of the old world, there everybody wants to be somebody, or nobody, look at it, see everything involved in it, the pain, ugliness, brutality, failure, and bitterness of it all, if I understand it all then it is finished – I will no longer resist anything. Anything else, Sirs?

Questioner: We go from one conditioning to another…

Krishnamurti: Yes, is not freedom from one conditioning a form of another conditioning? If I understand or am aware choicelessly of my conditioning, would I fall into another? Then I recognise all conditioning, whether it is from this or from that, recognise it, understand it, look at it, go into it. You know, it is like those people who go from one religion to another, from one sect to another, and they think they are becoming tremendously religious. But that is childish.