Time and the timeless

As long as a human being lives in the river of sorrow and does not end it, humanity will go on endlessly in that stream. But when there is an ending to that, there is a totally different dimension in which there is no beginning and no ending, and that is absolutely timeless. This you have to come upon by living it. When you are attached to something, end it today, not tomorrow. And one can. There is pleasure in attachment and possession. Look at this pleasure and see what the implications of that pleasure are: fear of losing, fear of not having the same thing tomorrow, jealousy, anxiety, hatred—all that comes out of that attachment. Seeing all this as a whole and instantly ending it is dying to it all now, and therefore there is a totally different dimension in which there is neither an ending nor a beginning, which is eternity.

Krishnamurti in Saanen 1976, Talk 6

There is no gradual process towards freedom or peace

Time is a very strange phenomenon. Space and time are one; the one is not without the other. Time to us is extraordinarily important, and each gives to it one’s own significance. To a scientist, time is one thing; to a layman, it is another. To a historian, time is the study of the past; to a man on the stock market, it is the ticker; to a mother, it is the memory of her son; to an exhausted man, it is rest in the shade. Each translates it according to one’s needs and satisfaction, shaping it to suit our cunning minds. Yet we cannot do without time. If we are to live at all, chronological time is as essential as the seasons. But is there psychological time, or is it merely a deceptive convenience of the mind? Surely there is only chronological time, and all else is deception. There is time to grow and time to die, time to sow and time to reap; but is not psychological time, the process of becoming, utterly false?

Knowledge is never out of time, but always in time and of time.

‘What is time to you? Do you think of time? Are you aware of time?’

Can one think of time at all except in the chronological sense? We can use time as a means, but in itself it has little meaning. Time as an abstraction is mere speculation, and all speculation is vain. We use time as a means of achievement, tangible or psychological. Time is needed to go to the station, but most of us use time as a means to a psychological end, and the ends are many. We are aware of time when there is an impediment to our achievement, or when there is the interval of becoming successful. Time is the space between ‘what is’ and what might, should, or will be. The beginning going towards the end is time.

‘Is there no other time? What about the scientific implications of time-space?’

There is chronological time and psychological time. The chronological is necessary, but the other is quite a different matter. Cause-effect is said to be a time process, not only physically but also psychologically. It is considered that the interval between cause and effect is time; but is there an interval? The cause and the effect of a disease may be separated by time, which is again chronological; but is there an interval between psychological cause and effect? Is not cause-effect a single process? There is no interval between cause and effect. Today is the effect of yesterday and the cause of tomorrow; it is one movement, a continuous flowing. There is no separation, no distinct line between cause and effect, but inwardly we separate them in order to become or achieve. I am this and I shall become that. To become that, I need time. This is chronological time used for psychological purposes. I am ignorant, but I shall become wise. Ignorance becoming wise is only progressive ignorance; for ignorance can never become wise, any more than greed can ever become non-greed. Ignorance is the very process of becoming.

Is not thought the product of time? Knowledge is the continuation of time. Time is continuation. Experience is knowledge and time is the continuation of experience as memory. Time as continuation is an abstraction, and speculation is ignorance. Experience is memory, the mind. The mind is the machine of time. The mind is the past. Thought is ever of the past; the past is the continuation of knowledge. Knowledge is ever of the past; knowledge is never out of time, but always in time and of time. This continuation of memory and knowledge is consciousness. Experience is always in the past. It is the past. This past in conjunction with the present is moving to the future. The future is the past, modified perhaps, but still the past. This whole process is thought, the mind. Thought cannot function in any field other than that of time. Thought may speculate upon the timeless, but it will be its own projection. All speculation is ignorance.

‘Then why do you even mention the timeless? Can the timeless ever be known? Can it ever be recognised as the timeless?’

Recognition implies an experiencer, and the experiencer always of time. To recognise something thought must have experienced it, and if it has experienced it, then it is the known. The known is not timeless. The known is always within the net of time. Thought cannot know the timeless; it is not a further acquisition, a further achievement; there is no going towards it. It is a state of being in which thought, time, is not.

‘What value has it?’

None at all. It is not marketable. It cannot be weighed for a purpose. Its worth is unknown.

‘But what part does it play in life?’

If life is thought, then none at all. We want to gain the timeless as a source of peace and happiness, as a shield against all trouble, or as a means of uniting people. It cannot be used for any purpose. Purpose implies a means to an end, and so we are back again with the process of thought. Mind cannot formulate the timeless, shape it to its own end; it cannot be used. Life has meaning only when the timeless is; otherwise life is sorrow, conflict and pain. Thought cannot solve any human problem, for thought itself is the problem. The ending of knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is not of time; it is not the continuation of experience, knowledge. Life in time is confusion and misery; but when that which is is timeless, there is bliss.

From the book Commentaries on Living Series 1 by J. Krishnamurti — Purchase here

VIDEO: Would you speak further on time, measure and space?

Time is not the means to the timeless

I would like to talk a little about time, because the enrichment, the beauty and significance of that which is timeless, of that which is true, can only be experienced when we understand the whole process of time. After all, we are seeking, each in our own way, a sense of happiness and enrichment. A life that has significance, the riches of true happiness, is not of time. Like love, such a life is timeless; and to understand that which is timeless, we must not approach it through time but rather understand time. We must not utilise time as a means of attaining, realising or apprehending the timeless. But that is what we are doing most of our lives: spending time trying to grasp that which is timeless. So, it is important to understand what we mean by time, because I think it is possible to be free of time. It is very important to understand time as a whole and not partially.

It is interesting to realise that our lives are mostly spent in time, not in the sense of chronological sequence, of minutes, hours, days and years, but in the sense of psychological memory. We live by time and are the result of time. Our minds are the product of many yesterdays, and the present is merely the passage of the past to the future. So our mind, our activity and our being are founded on time; without time we cannot think, because thought is the result of time, the product of many yesterdays, and there is no thought without memory. Memory is time; for there are two kinds of time, the chronological and the psychological. There is time by the watch and as yesterday by memory. You cannot reject chronological time, which would be absurd—then you would miss your train. But is there any time at all apart from chronological time? There is time as yesterday, but is there time as the mind thinks of it? That is, is there time apart from the mind?

To realise that which is eternal, time must stop.

Psychological time is the product of the mind. Without the foundation of thought, there is no time—time merely being memory as yesterday in conjunction with today, which moulds tomorrow. That is, the memory of yesterday’s experience in response to the present is creating the future, which is still the process of thought, a path of the mind. So, the thought process brings about psychological progress in time; but is it as real as chronological time? And can we use that time of the mind as a means of understanding the eternal, the timeless? Happiness is not of yesterday; happiness is not the product of time; happiness is always in the present, a timeless state. I do not know if you have noticed that when you have ecstasy, a creative joy, at that moment there is no time but only the immediate present. But the mind, coming in after experiencing in the present, remembers and wishes to continue it, gathering more and more of itself, thereby creating time. So, time is created by the ‘more’. Time is acquisition and time is also detachment, which is still an acquisition of the mind. Therefore, merely disciplining the mind in time, conditioning thought within the framework of time, which is memory, surely does not reveal that which is timeless.

So, there is chronological time, and there is time of the mind, time which is the mind itself, and we confuse these two issues. Chronological time is confused with the psychological, with the psyche of one’s being, and with that chronological mentality we try to become and achieve. This whole process of becoming is of time, and one must inquire if there is such a thing as becoming, becoming in the sense of finding reality, God, happiness. Can you use time as a means to the timeless? That is, through a wrong means, can the right end be achieved? The right means must be employed for the right end because the means and the end are one. When we try to find the timeless in terms of becoming, which implies disciplining, conditioning, rejecting, accepting, acquiring and denying, all of which involves time, we are using the wrong means for the right end; therefore our means will produce a wrong end. As long as you are using the wrong means, which is time, to find the timeless, the timeless is not; for time is not the means to the timeless. Therefore, to find the timeless, to realise that which is eternal, time must stop—which means the whole process of thinking must come to an end. If you examine it closely, widely and intelligently, this is not as difficult as it appears. There are moments when the mind is absolutely still.

Without memory, there is no time.

For thought to come to an end and for the timeless to be, you must understand memory, for without memory there is no thought. Without memory, there is no time. Memory is merely incomplete experience; for that which you experience fully, completely, is without any response, and in that state there is no memory. At the moment you are experiencing something, there is no memory, there is no experiencer apart from the experienced, there is neither the observer nor the observed; there is only a state of experiencing in which time is not. Time comes in only when experiencing has become a memory; and most of you are living on the memory of yesterday’s experiencing, either your own or that of your guru, and so on and on. Therefore, if we understand this psychological functioning of memory, which springs from chronological action, we cannot confuse the two. We must see the whole problem of time without apprehension and without a desire to continue. Most of us desire to continue, and it is this continuity that must come to an end. Continuity is merely time, and continuity cannot lead to the timeless.

To understand time is to understand memory, and to understand memory is to become aware of our relationship to all things—to nature, people, property, and ideas. Relationship reveals the process of memory and the understanding of that process is self-knowledge. Without understanding the process of the self, at whatever level that self is placed, you cannot be free of memory, and therefore you are not free of time, and hence the timeless is not.

Krishnamurti in Pune 1948, Talk 8

We have to find out in meditation if there is something, or if there is nothing, which is eternal, timeless. Which means, can the mind, cultivated in the area of time, find out, come upon or see the thing that is from everlasting to everlasting? Can the mind be without time, that very same mind which operates in time? Can that mind be without the past, without the present, without the future? Can that mind be in absolute nothingness? Don’t be frightened of that word. Have you ever looked at an empty cup? Before you pour coffee into it, have you seen the emptiness of it? Because it is empty, it can receive. Because it is empty, it has got space. Have you observed if you have any space in your own mind? Just space, or is everything crowded? Crowded by your worries, by sex or no sex, by your achievements, knowledge, ambitions, fears, anxieties, pettiness. How can such a mind have space?

 

Space is always enormous. I don’t know if you understand this. A mind that has no space in daily life cannot come upon that which is eternal, timeless. That is why meditation becomes extraordinarily important. Not the meditation you practise, which is not meditation at all. The meditation we are talking about transforms the mind, and only such a mind is the religious mind. Only a religious mind can bring about a different culture, a different way of life, a different relationship, a sense of sacredness and therefore great beauty and honesty. All this comes naturally, without effort, without battle, without sacrifice, without control. This is the beginning and the ending of meditation.

 

Question: Sir, how can the timeless mind function in a world pressured according to time?

Krishnamurti: How easily you accept such a state not knowing anything about it. Not having the breath, perfume and beauty of such a mind, you ask how such a can mind operate here. Together we have to create a new world. Together. Therefore you have to have such a mind, not the speaker, who is not important. What is important is that you have such a mind. Then you will find out how to operate, how to live a life in this world, of a mind that is religious. So first bring order in your life, be aware of the disorder that you live in, saying one thing, doing another, thinking something and professing something else—the dishonesty, the unscrupulous way of living when you are talking about God, going to ceremonies but living in corruption. To be aware of all that is to bring order in your life. Without that order in your daily life, meditation has no place. You cannot come upon that which is nameless, timeless, which is the very essence of beauty and love, if you have no order, beauty or love in your daily life.

Krishnamurti in Madras 1974, Talk 4

VIDEO: Meditation, the timeless and love

Understanding the nature of time

Is there psychological time at all? And what do we mean by time in that sense? We understand what we mean when we say yesterday, today and tomorrow, by the watch. That is very simple. But is there such thing as psychological time? And if there is, what is it, and is it related to mutation, this tremendous, radical revolution? If we do not understand the whole significance of time, we shall not be able to understand the implication of mutation.

Wherever there is an action of will, time is involved.

Chronological time is a fact, but is there any other time? And if there is, what do we mean by that? To investigate, to go into it deeply, we have to consider something different, which is, there is a division, a separation, fragmentation between the observer and the observed. Please, this is not an abstract subject, so don’t go to sleep or become vague. It needs very clear thinking, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. A clear mind that wants to find out neither agrees nor disagrees, but follows, examines. So we need a mind that is willing to think this out, right to the end. It is only such a mind that is serious; and it is only the serious mind that is going to find the answer, not the mind that discusses the question of time philosophically.

Is it possible to put an end to time? We are used to thinking in terms of a gradual process: I will change, I will be good, I should be, I must not be, and so on. All that involves time. That is, I will, in the future, do it. The very action of will is time. The action of ‘should’ and ‘should not’ is time, because there is an interval between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’. To arrive at ‘what should be’ involves time. Time is involved when you have to get from here to your house. And when you want to change ‘what is’, you think of it in terms of time. Therefore the ‘should’ implies time, which is, after gathering experience, having learnt, you act. It is not learning and acting. So the time we know, psychological time, involves will—the ‘should’ and ‘should not’, the must and must not, which is to move from one centre to another, a distance to be covered by time. Therefore, wherever there is an action of will, time is involved. When you have time, other factors enter into it, other influences that modify ‘what should be’. So the cause produces the effect, and the effect then becomes the cause.

As we said, unless we understand this question of time, mutation becomes meaningless. Then we are only concerned with self-improvement, with becoming better, nobler, more kind, this or that—which involves time. So we see that where there is the function of knowledge as will, time is involved. And when time is involved between the actor and the action, other factors come into being and therefore action is never complete. If I intend to give up something, that means I will do it tomorrow. What takes place between now and tomorrow? There is an interval, and in that space other factors come in, other pressures and strains. Therefore ‘what should be’ is already modified, and so is my action. So the action is never complete. I start out to do something tomorrow, inwardly—to give up, conform, imitate, and so on—and there are other factors, pressures, strains and circumstances that interfere. Through habit, tradition and acquiring knowledge technologically, we have the habit of saying to ourselves, ‘I will do it another day,’ ‘I will change gradually.’ So again, this idea of gradualness involves time, and in that the whole business of modification is involved. So one has to find out much more deeply what time is.

If there is no tomorrow, there is a tremendous revolution inwardly.

We see chronological time. We see time as will in action. We also see that the mind, through laziness and indolence, has invented time to postpone action: the idea and the action. There is the idea based on organised thought, according to tradition, knowledge and information. According to that idea, there is action, which involves gradualness. But is there is time at all? If I can understand this, or if there is an ending to time, there is immediate action. The mind then is not indolent; it has not the energy to be indolent. If I know I am going to die tomorrow, I act immediately. So I have to brush aside this superficial explanation of time. Is there time? If there is no ending to time, there is no freedom and no end to sorrow. Then life is merely a series of reactions, responses, and so on. So, is there an ending to time? If the mind can discover it, understand it, then action has a totally different meaning.

If your house were on fire, you would not be sitting here! If you were told there is no tomorrow, you would be horrified! There is a tomorrow chronologically, but there is no psychological tomorrow. If there is no tomorrow, there is a tremendous revolution inwardly. Then love, action, beauty, space and freedom have a totally different meaning. So that is what we are going to discover. Discover, not learn, not accumulate information with which you agree or disagree. You are going to discover it, feel your way into it, and then it will set you free from time.

Time by the watch, we know is a fact. We also know time as will, which is also a fact. We also know the gradual process of time when thought says, ‘Do it tomorrow, that is good enough.’ Now, what is time beyond this? Is there such thing? To find out, not merely theoretically, intellectually or emotionally, but actually to feel your way into it, one has to go into the question of the observer and the observed. When you look at a sunset, there is the observer and the fact, the observed; there is a division between the observer and the observed. That division is time. The observer is not a permanent entity. Don’t say that the observer existed first. Please let me caution you here. Look at it all as though you have never read a single sacred book. Look at it as though you are looking for the first time. Do not translate what somebody else said, that there is the original observer, the original entity, the silent watcher. You can spin a lot of words and theories, but don’t do it because then you are missing the whole point.

As you watch anything—a tree, your wife or husband, your children, your neighbour, the stars at night, the light on the water, the bird in the sky, anything—there is always the observer, the censor, the thinker, the experiencer, the seeker, and the thing observed; the observer and the observed, the thinker and the thought. So there is always a division. It is this division that is time. That division is the very essence of conflict. And when there is conflict there is contradiction. The observer and the observed is a separation, a contradiction, a conflict. When there is conflict there is always the urgency to get beyond it, to conquer it, overcome it, escape from it, do something about it—and all this activity involves time. So as long as there is the observer and the observed as two separate entities, there is always time. This does not mean that the observer identifies himself with the observed, because in that process of identification time is also involved.

Love is not of time.

So, one sees this division within oneself, and one sees that as long as this division exists, time will inevitably continue and can never come to an end. Is it possible for this division to cease, which is, the observer is the observed, the seeker is the sought? As long as there is this division, time will go on, and time is sorrow. One who understands the end of sorrow must understand this, must go beyond the duality between the thinker and the thought, the experiencer and the experienced. What is one to do? I see within myself the observer is always watching, judging, censoring, accepting, rejecting, disciplining, controlling, shaping. That observer, that thinker, is the result of thought. Thought is first, not the observer. If there were no thinking at all, there would be no observer, no thinker; there would only be complete, total attention. So, how is it possible for this division between the thinker and the thought, the observer and the observed, to come to an end? Here no time must be involved. If I do certain practices to break down this division, time is involved, and therefore I perpetuate the division as the thinker and the thought. So, what is one to do? You put that question, not verbally but with astonishing urgency. You are urgent, only when you feel something very strongly. There is this question of sorrow, not only individual sorrow but the sorrow of humanity, living for so many millennia, suffering, tortured, never finding a way out. To find a way out is an immensely urgent question. So, one must understand this question very deeply, which is to listen to it.

Do you know what it is to listen? To listen to the breeze among the leaves, without any resistance, without interpretation, without distraction. There is no such thing as distraction when you are listening. When you listen to the breeze among the leaves, listen with complete attention and therefore there is no time involved at all. You are listening, you are not translating or interpreting, not agreeing or disagreeing, not saying, ‘I will think about it tomorrow.’ You are in a state of actual listening, which means you are so concerned, if I may use that word, because you are in sorrow. So you give your whole mind, your whole body and nerves, everything you have, to listen.

In the field of righteousness, time does not exist.

If you have listened that way, we can go to another problem which will help the understanding of division and the ending of the division between the observer and the observed. We must have order. Without order you cannot function. Order is virtue. Order is righteousness, and without order you cannot function efficiently. So order, both in society and inwardly, is essential. Order is virtue, and virtue cannot be cultivated. When you cultivate virtue, it is no longer virtue. You cannot cultivate love; you can cultivate hate, greed, envy; you can be more polite, more gentle, more kind, more generous, but that is not love. Love is something not of time or memory. And that quality of love is compassion, in which is included tenderness, kindness, generosity, and so on. But generosity is not love; kindliness is not love. As you cannot cultivate love or humility, so you cannot possibly cultivate virtue. And yet all our habits, all our tradition, is to cultivate virtue, which is merely resisting the fact. The fact is, in spite of what you have said for centuries, you are violent. You may not hit another because you are afraid to go to jail, but you are violent because you are ambitious, greedy, envious, and when your country is attacked you sit up and take notice and identify yourself with the country.

Now, to bring order in violence is to end violence. The ending of violence must be immediate, not tomorrow. The ending of violence, which is order, does not involve time. Please understand this. If time is involved, which is will, which is postponement, which is gradualness—gradually, through ideas and conformity, I will get rid of violence—you are not really free of violence. To be free of violence is now, not tomorrow.

So, there must be the feeling of righteousness, which comes into being without motive when you understand the nature of time. When you are good, because you are going to be punished or rewarded, there is a motive. Therefore it is not goodness but fear. So righteousness is always without motive. And in the field of human relationship, of righteousness, time does not exist. When you love somebody, what does it mean? To love somebody, an animal, a human being, a tree, the sky, the open space, when you love something, what does it mean? It means not intellection, not the reaction of memory, but an intensity between two individuals or between two objects, intensity at the same level and at the same time. Then there is a communication, non-verbal, non-intellectual, non-sentimental. Love is not sentiment; love is not emotion; love is not devotion.

Time prevents living.

So when one understands the nature of time, what is involved in it, virtue then is order, which is immediate. When you understand this virtue, which is order, which is immediate, then you are beginning to see that the division between the observer and the observed is non-existent. Therefore time has come to a stop. And it is only such a mind that can know what is new.

We know space only because there is the object which creates the space around it. There is this microphone, and because of that, there is space round it. There is space inside the house because of the four walls, and there is space outside the house, which the house as an object creates. So, when there is space which an object has created, then there is time. Is there space without the object? You have to discover this; this is a challenge; find out. Because one’s mind is so petty, small, it is always functioning within the limits of its self-centred activities. All the activities are within that centre and around that centre, in the space which the centre creates within itself and round itself, as the microphone does. Therefore when there is space which an object, thought or image has created, that space can never give freedom, because in that space there is always time.

So time ceases when there is space without the object, without the centre, without the observer and therefore without the object. It is only such a mind that can know what beauty is. Beauty is not a stimulant; it is not brought about or put together by architecture, a painting, by looking at the sunset or by seeing a beautiful face. Beauty is something entirely different. It can only be understood when the experiencer is no longer there, and therefore experience ceases to exist. It is like love: the moment you say that you love, you cease to love. Because then love is merely mentation, a feeling, an emotion, in which there is jealousy, hate, envy and greed.

So, you have to understand the nature of time, not theoretically or intellectually, but actually, inwardly. Because when you understand the nature and the structure of time, then action is immediate, and therefore there is the ending of sorrow, now, not tomorrow. And to understand time, you also have to understand space and also beauty. There is very little beauty in the world, just a lot of decoration, and without beauty there is no love. So one has to understand all these things.

It is only time that prevents living. If you have gone into this very deeply, not verbally but actually, then you will see this sense of timelessness comes into being without your asking. When time has stopped, you will find that sorrow, conflict and contradiction come to an end.

Krishnamurti in Madras 1966, Talk 4

AUDIO: When the mind is completely quiet, how can there be time?

Time and continuity

‘What is the source beyond time, that state of being not within the reasoning of the mind? What is the timeless, that creativity of which you have spoken?’

Is it possible to be aware of the timeless? What is the test of knowing or being aware of it? How would you recognise it? By what would you measure it?

‘We can only judge by its effects.’

Judging is of time, and are the effects of the timeless to be judged by the measurement of time? If we can understand what we mean by time, perhaps it may be possible for the timeless to be; but is it possible to discuss what that timeless is? Even if both of us are aware of it, can we talk about it? We may talk about it, but our experience will not be the timeless. It can never be talked about or communicated except through the means of time, but the word is not the thing. Through time, the timeless cannot be understood. Timelessness is a state which only comes when time is not. So let us rather consider what we mean by time.

‘There are different kinds of time: time as growth, time as distance, time as movement.’

Time is chronological and also psychological. Time as growth is the small becoming large, the bullock cart evolving into the jet plane, the baby becoming the man. The heavens are filled with growth, and so is the earth. This is an obvious fact, and it would be stupid to deny it.

Experiencing of the new is the absence of the old.

Yesterday using today as a passage to tomorrow, the past flowing through the present to the future, is one movement of time, not three separate movements. We know time as chronological and psychological, growth and becoming. There is the growth of the seed into the tree, and there is the process of psychological becoming. Growth is fairly clear, so let us put that aside. Psychological becoming implies time. I am this, and I shall become that, using time as a passage, as a means—what has been becoming what will be. We are very familiar with this process. So thought is time, the thought that has been and the thought that will be, the ‘what is’ and the ideal. Thought is the product of time, and without the thinking process, time is not. The mind is the maker of time. It is time.

‘That is true. Mind is the maker and user of time. Without the mind-process, time is not. But is it possible to go beyond the mind? Is there a state which is not of thought?’

Let us together discover whether there is such a state or not. Is love thought? We may think of someone we love; when the other is absent, we think of them, or we have an image, a photograph of them. The separation makes for thought.

‘Do you mean that when there is oneness, thought ceases and there is only love?’

Oneness implies duality, but that is not the point. Is love a thought process? Thought is of time, and is love time-binding? Thought is bound by time, and you are asking if it is possible to be free from the binding quality of time.

‘It must be. Otherwise there could be no creation. Creation is possible only when the process of continuity ceases. Creation is the new, the new vision, the new invention, the new discovery, the new formulation, not the continuity of the old.’

Continuity is death to creation.

‘But how is it possible to put an end to continuity?’

What do we mean by continuity? What makes for continuity? What is it that joins moment to moment, as the thread joins the beads in a necklace? The moment is the new, but the new is absorbed into the old, and so the chain of continuity is formed. Is there ever the new, or only recognition of the new by the old? If the old recognises the new, is it the new? The old can recognise only its own projection; it may call it the new, but it is not. The new is not recognisable; it is a state of non-recognition, non-association. The old gives itself continuity through its own projections; it can never know the new. The new may be translated into the old, but the new cannot be with the old. The experiencing of the new is the absence of the old. The experience and its expression is thought, idea; thought translates the new in terms of the old. It is the old that gives continuity; the old is memory, the word, which is time.

‘How is it possible to put an end to memory?’

Is it possible? The entity that desires to put an end to memory is itself the forger of memory; it is not apart from memory. That is so, is it not?

‘Yes, the maker of effort is born of memory, of thought. Thought is the outcome of the past, conscious or unconscious. Then what is one to do?’

Please listen, and you will do naturally, without effort, what is essential. Desire is thought; desire forges the chain of memory. Desire is effort, the action of will. Accumulation is the way of desire; to accumulate is to continue. Gathering experience, knowledge, power or things, makes for continuity and to deny these is to continue negatively. Positive and negative continuance are similar. The gathering centre is desire, the desire for the more or the less. This centre is the self, placed at different levels according to one’s conditioning. Any activity of this centre only brings about the further continuity of itself. Any move is time-binding, preventing creation. The timeless is not with the time-binding quality of memory. The limitless is not to be measured by memory or experience. There is the unnameable only when experience and knowledge have wholly ceased. Truth alone frees the mind from its own bondage.

From the book Commentaries on Living Series 2 by J. Krishnamurti — Purchase here

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