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Quotes by Krishnamurti

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Thought

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Thought distorts everything

Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience.
—KRISHNAMURTI

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Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience. Thought in its demand for pleasure brings its own bondage. Thought is the breeder of duality in all our relationships: there is violence in us which gives us pleasure but there is also the desire for peace, the desire to be kind and gentle. This is what is going on all the time in all our lives. Thought not only breeds this duality in us, this contradiction, but it also accumulates the innumerable memories we have had of pleasure and pain, and from these memories it is reborn. So thought is the past, thought is always old.
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Conceptual thinking has divided us

All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual word, which has so unfortunately divided us.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book You Are the World – Purchase / Read online
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There are the whole separate worlds, the ideological divisions of the Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian and the Communist, which have brought about such incalculable harm, such hatred and antagonism. All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual word, which has so unfortunately divided man. These ideologies have brought about wars; although there may be religious tolerance, it is up to a certain point only; after that, destruction, intolerance, brutality, violence – the religious wars. Similarly there are the national and tribal divisions caused by ideologies, the black nationalism and the various tribal expressions.
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Thought has made the thinker

There is no thinker apart from thought; thought has made the thinker.
—KRISHNAMURTI

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There is no thinker apart from thought; thought has made the thinker, the experiencer, the analyser. The thinker, the one who is watching, the one who acts, is the past, with all the inheritance of man, genetically, biologically – the traditions, the habits and all accumulated knowledge. After all, the past is knowledge, and the thinker is not separate from the past. Thought has created the past, thought is the past; then thought divides the thinker and the thought, which the thinker must shape, control. But that is a fallacy; there is only thought. The self is the ‘me’, the past. Imagination may project the future but it is still the activity of thought. So thought, which is the outcome of knowledge, has not changed man and will never change him because knowledge is always limited and will always be limited.
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Thought is never free

Thought is never free because it is based on knowledge, and knowledge is always limited.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book The Network of Thought – Purchase / Read online
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What is thinking? It is a response, a reaction, of memory. If you had no memory, you would not be able to think. Memory is stored in the brain as knowledge, the result of experience. This is how our brain operates. First, experience; that experience may have been from the beginning of man, which we have inherited. That experience gives knowledge, which is stored up in the brain. From knowledge there is memory and from the memory thought. From thought you act. From that action you learn more. So you repeat the cycle. Experience, knowledge, memory, thought, action; from that action learn more and repeat. This is how we are programmed. We are always doing this: having remembered pain, in the future avoid pain by not doing the thing that will cause pain, which becomes knowledge, and repeat that. Sexual pleasure – repeat that. This is the movement of thought. See the beauty of it, how mechanically thought operates. Thought says to itself, ‘I am free to operate.’ Yet thought is never free because it is based on knowledge, and knowledge is obviously always limited. Knowledge must also be always limited because it is part of time. I will learn more, and to learn more I must have time. I do not know Russian, but I will learn it. It may take me six months or a year or a lifetime. Knowledge is the movement of time. Time, knowledge, thought, and action – in this cycle we live. Thought is limited, so whatever action thought generates must be limited, and such limitation must create conflict, must be divisive.
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Can thought discover its right place?

One can only find out what is sacred when thought has discovered its right place, without effort or will, and there is this immense sense of silence; the silence of the mind without any movement of thought.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book The Wholeness of Life – Purchase / Read online
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That which is sacred has no division, not one a Christian, another a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and all the rest of the divisions. That which thought has put together is of time, is fragmentary, is not whole, therefore it is not holy. Though you worship the image on a cross that is not holy, that is invested with sacredness by thought; the same with the images that the Hindus have put together, or the Buddhists and so on. What then is sacred? One can only find out when thought has discovered itself, its right place, without effort, without will and there is this immense sense of silence; the silence of the mind without any movement of thought. It is only when the mind is absolutely free and silent that one discovers that which is beyond all words, which is timeless. Then out of that comes the vastness of true meditation.
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