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Quotes by Krishnamurti

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Conditioning

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We are second-hand human beings

It begins at school and you go through life repeating what others have said. You are therefore second-hand human beings.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book Flight of the Eagle

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So that is the factor of conditioning, through propaganda, newspapers, magazines, from the pulpit, and one becomes tremendously aware how necessary it is not to rely on outside influences at all. You then find out what it means not to be influenced. When you read a newspaper you are influenced, consciously or unconsciously. When you read a novel or a book you are influenced; there is pressure, strain, to put what you read into some category. That is the whole purpose of propaganda. It begins at school and you go through life repeating what others have said. You are therefore second-hand human beings. How can such a second-hand human being find out something that is original, that is true? It is very important to understand what conditioning is and to go into this very deeply; as you look at it you have the energy to break down all those conditionings that hold the mind.
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Freedom to observe conditioning

When you have no motive you are free to observe your conditioning.
—KRISHNAMURTI

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The word ‘motive’ means to move. I realise I am conditioned, actually realise, not just verbally say yes, I am conditioned. I am conditioned because I was born in India, as a Hindu, as a Brahmin and all the rest of it, I am conditioned by the Western culture, I am conditioned by etc., etc. Now that is a fact. That is the actual daily fact that I am conditioned. Now I explained I am conditioned and the result of that conditioning is, I am separate from humanity. I know all the reasons why that conditioning is dangerous, but it is still descriptive. So can I look at my conditioning without any kind of motive, which is to be free of it, which is to rationalise it, just to observe it without any motive? Unless I do that I will only move from one conditioning to another conditioning. So the importance is to find out: is it possible to observe without motive. If you say, that is impossible, then you give up, throw in the sponge and walk away. If you are serious, if you are really earnest, want to find out the truth of it, you have to find out if you can live without a motive. When you have no motive then you are free to observe.
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Knowing you are conditioned

When you struggle against disturbance, or defend yourself against outer or inner threat, you know you are conditioned.
—KRISHNAMURTI

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You will be able to see for yourself how you are conditioned only when there is a conflict in the continuity of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. If everything is perfectly happy around you, your wife loves you, you love her, you have a nice house, nice children and plenty of money, then you are not aware of your conditioning at all. But when there is a disturbance – when your wife looks at someone else or you lose your money or are threatened by war or any other pain or anxiety – then you know you are conditioned. When you struggle against any kind of disturbance or defend yourself against any outer or inner threat, then you know you are conditioned. And as most of us are disturbed most of the time, either superficially or deeply, that very disturbance indicates that we are conditioned. So long as the animal is petted he reacts nicely, but the moment he is antagonized the whole violence of his nature comes out.
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If conditioned, life is a battlefield

Without freedom from conditioning, humanity will always remain a prisoner and life will remain a battlefield.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book The Whole Movement of Life is Learning – Purchase / Read online
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What is important is to inquire into why the mind still remains heavily conditioned after so many millions of years. This is the prison in which it lives. The mind is conditioned by society with its cultures, laws, religious sanctions, economic pressures, and so on. The mind is, after all, the result of the past, and this past is tradition. It lives in this tradition with all its strife, wars and agonies. One must ask if it can be free from its own conditioning. Some have said that it must always remain conditioned, and can never be free, and others have said this freedom from conditioning can never be found here but only in some future heaven, or at the end of some long sacrifice, discipline, programme of further conformity to a pattern of so-called religious practice. Without freedom from conditioning, humanity will always remain a prisoner and life will remain a battlefield.
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When we interpret according to conditioning

It is when we begin to interpret, to translate according to our conditioning, according to our prejudice, that we miss the truth.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book The First and Last Freedom – Purchase / Read online
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If during this discourse, anything is said which is opposed to your way of thinking and belief just listen; do not resist. You may be right, and I may be wrong; but by listening and considering together we are going to find out what is the truth. Truth cannot be given to you by somebody. You have to discover it; and to discover, there must be a state of mind in which there is direct perception. There is no direct perception when there is a resistance, a safeguard, a protection. Understanding comes through being aware of what is. To know exactly what is, the real, the actual, without interpreting it, without condemning or justifying it, is, surely, the beginning of wisdom. It is only when we begin to interpret, to translate according to our conditioning, according to our prejudice, that we miss the truth. After all, it is like research. To know what something is, what it is exactly, requires research – you cannot translate it according to your moods. Similarly, if we can look, observe, listen, be aware of what is, exactly, then the problem is solved. And that is what we are going to do in all these discourses. I am going to point out to you what is, and not translate it according to my fancy; nor should you translate it or interpret it according to your background or training. Is it not possible, then, to be aware of everything as it is?
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