Quotes by Krishnamurti

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Belief is not necessary to understand confusion

To understand confusion, belief is not necessary. Belief only acts as a screen between ourselves and our problems.

From the book The Book of Life – Purchase / Read online
You believe in God and another does not believe in God, so your beliefs separate you from each other. Belief throughout the world is organized as Hinduism, Buddhism, or Christianity, and so it divides man from man. We are confused, and we think that through belief we shall clear the confusion; that is, belief is superimposed on the confusion, and we hope that confusion will thereby be cleared away. But belief is merely an escape from the fact of confusion; it does not help us to face and to understand the fact but to run away from the confusion in which we are. To understand the confusion, belief is not necessary, and belief only acts as a screen between ourselves and our problems. So, religion, which is organized belief, becomes a means of escape from what is, from the fact of confusion. The man who believes in God, the man who believes in the hereafter, or who has any other form of belief, is escaping from the fact of what he is. Do you not know those who believe in God, who do puja, who repeat certain chants and words, and who in their daily life are dominating, cruel, ambitious, cheating, dishonest? Shall they find God? Are they really seeking God? Is God to be found through repetition of words, through belief? But such people believe in God, they worship God, they go to the temple every day, they do everything to avoid the fact of what they are – and such people you consider respectable because they are yourself.
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We want someone to get us out of confusion

Being in a state of confusion, we want someone to get us out of that confusion. So we become concerned with how to escape or avoid the state in which we are.

Krishnamurti in London 1955, Talk 5

We accept the necessity for dependence; we say it is inevitable. We have never questioned the whole issue at all, why each one of us seeks some kind of dependence. Is it not that we really, deep down, demand security, permanency? Being in a state of confusion, we want someone to get us out of that confusion. So, we are always concerned with how to escape or avoid the state in which we are. In the process of avoiding that state, we are bound to create some kind of dependence, which becomes our authority. If we depend on another for our security, for our inward wellbeing, there arise out of that dependence innumerable problems, and then we try to solve those problems – the problems of attachment. But we never question, we never go into the problem of dependence itself. Perhaps if we can really intelligently, with full awareness, go into this problem, then we may find that dependence is not the issue at all – that it is only a way of escaping from a deeper fact.
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Action without consideration creates greater confusion

He who plunges into action without considering the problem, thinking that he is reforming the world – it is he who is creating greater confusion and misery.

Krishnamurti in Poona 1948, Talk 4

We are afraid to be inactive; and to withdraw for a period to consider the whole problem requires extraordinary intelligence. If you were to withdraw for a time to reconsider, to revaluate the problem, your friends, your associates, would consider you an escapist. You would become a nonentity, socially you would be nowhere. If when there is flag-waving you do not wave a flag, if when everyone puts on a particular cap you do not have that cap, you feel left out; and as most of us do not like to remain in the background, we plunge into action. So, the problem of action and inaction is quite important to understand. Is it not necessary to be inactive to consider the whole issue? Obviously, we must carry on with our daily responsibility of earning bread; all the necessities must be carried on. But the political, religious, social organisations, the groups, committees, and so on – need we belong to them? If we are very serious about it, must we not reconsider, revalue the whole problem of existence? And to do that, must we not for the time being withdraw in order to consider, ponder, meditate? Is that withdrawal, inaction? Is not that withdrawal really action? In that so-called inaction there is the extraordinary action of reconsidering the whole question, revaluing, thinking over the confusion in which one live? Why are we so afraid to be inactive? Is it inaction to reconsider? Obviously not. Surely, the man who is avoiding action is he who is active without reconsidering the issue. He is the real escapist. He is confused, and in order to escape from his confusion, from his insufficiency, he plunges into action, he joins a society, a party, an organization. He is really escaping from the fundamental issue, which is confusion. So, we are misapplying words. The man who plunges into action without reconsidering the problem, thinking that he is reforming the world by joining a society or a party – it is he who is creating greater confusion and greater misery; whereas, the so-called inactive man who withdraws and is seriously considering the whole question – surely, such a man is much more active. In these times especially, when the whole world is on the edge of a precipice and catastrophic events are taking place, is it not necessary for a few at least to be inactive, deliberately not to allow themselves to be caught in this machine, this atomic machine of action, which does not produce anything except further confusion, further chaos?
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What is our response to confusion?

Being aware of the confusion all over the world, what is our response?

From the book The First and Last Freedom – Purchase / Read online
One is aware, without too much discussion, too much verbal expression, that there is individual as well as collective chaos, confusion and misery. It is right throughout the world; in India, China, America, England, Germany, all over the world, there is confusion, mounting sorrow. It is not only national, it is all over the world. There is extraordinarily acute suffering, and it is not individual only but collective. So it is a world catastrophe, and to limit it merely to a geographical area, a coloured section of the map, is absurd; because then we shall not understand the full significance of this worldwide as well as individual suffering. Being aware of this confusion, what is our response today? How do we react? There is suffering, political, social, religious; our whole psychological being is confused, and all the leaders, political and religious, have failed us; all the books have lost their significance. You may go to the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible or the latest treatise on politics or psychology, and you will find that they have lost that ring, that quality of truth; they have become mere words.
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The cause of confusion

If the observer is differentiated from the thing observed then there is a contradiction. That very contradiction is the cause of confusion

From the book Beyond Violence – Purchase / Read online
One is confused and one tries to bring about a state of mind which is not confused. One tries this, that, ten different things – drugs, drink, sex, worship, escapes, throws bombs, anything. The first thing is to stop action, to stop doing something. Also, one must stop all movement away from confusion so that there is no action springing to, or away from, confusion. So all action then stops; there is only confusion. There is no escape from it, neither is there trying to find a way out of it, nor trying to replace that confusion by clarity; there is no movement of thought away from this, causing further confusion; thought is not concerned with action for the moment. Then the question arises: are you aware of this confusion as being something outside of you as the observer, or are you part of this confusion? Is the observer’ different from the thing observed – the confusion? If the observer is differentiated from the thing observed then there is a contradiction – that very contradiction is the cause of confusion. So, how the mind looks at this confusion is important. Does it observe it as something apart, separated from itself, or is the observer the observed? Please do understand this most important thing. Once you have understood this you will see what a tremendous difference it makes in life; all conflict is removed. The observer no longer says, ‘I must change it,’ I must bring about clarity,’ ‘I must overcome it,’ ‘I must try to understand it,’ ‘I must escape from it.’ All such activity is that of the observer who has separated himself from the confusion and has generated conflict between himself and the confusion.
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