Krishnamurti on Thought

Episode Notes

‘If thought is the cause of this chaos, thought can end and something totally new can begin.’

This week’s podcast has seven sections. The first extract (2:09) is from Krishnamurti’s first talk at Brockwood Park in 1984, titled ‘What is thinking?’

The second extract (9:06) is from the second talk in Madras 1979, titled ‘Thought is limited’.

The third extract (23:48) is from Krishnamurti’s first talk in Saanen 1980, titled ‘Is thought the cause of chaos?’

The fourth extract (33:16) is from the first question and answer meeting in Bombay 1984, titled ‘You are thought’.

The fifth extract (43:26) is from Krishnamurti’s second question and answer meeting at Brockwood Park in 1979, titled ‘Can thought be aware of itself as it arises?’

The sixth extract (50:00) is from the seventh talk in Saanen 1971, titled ‘Can thought be completely silent?’

The final extract this week (1:24:40) is from the sixth talk at Rajghat in 1962, titled ‘Letting every thought flower in freedom’.

Part 1

What Is Thinking?

What is thinking? We spend our days and nights and years thinking. All our actions are based on thinking. In our relationship with each other, thinking plays an immense part. Thinking is part of recognition and knowledge. Thinking has done extraordinary things objectively, from the latest bomb, the atom bomb to the most complicated ceramic structure, the great battleships, submarines and computers. And also thinking has given mankind great medicines, surgery and so on.

So we have to inquire: what is thinking? When the question is asked, are you thinking, or listening to the question and observing thinking? Someone is asking you: what is thinking? Do you immediately find what thinking is, work at it, inquire, search, or do you listen to the question? Listen, which means there must be a quality of silence when you are listening.

We are asking: what is thinking? Probably you have never asked this question of yourself, or perhaps the professionals have not written about it. Perhaps you are used to being told by the professionals what thinking is and then you will repeat. But that prevents inquiry into what thinking is – you are just merely repeating. That is not thinking. So what is thinking? What is the origin of thought? The thought that has put man on the moon, the thought that has divided the world into nationalities, the thought that has made wars, the thought between you and your wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend and so on – what is this enormous energy of thought?

Is not thinking a process of memory? Process of memory. Memory is stored in the brain. Memory comes with knowledge. Knowledge is based on experience. All scientific knowledge is based on experiment, theories, hypothesis, knowledge, always adding more and more and more. In any field, whether it be in the mathematical world, biological or aerodynamics and so on, every field knowledge is based on experience.

When there is knowledge it is being added all the time, accumulated. Therefore experience is limited, so knowledge is limited, both now and in the future. Because knowledge is always limited. So memory is limited, and thus thought is limited. Anything that is limited must cause conflict. If one is thinking about oneself from morning till night, as most people do: their worries, their problems, their likes and dislikes, perpetually concerned with their own self – that is a very, very limited way of living. That which is limited must inevitably cause conflict.

Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park in 1984, Talk 1

Part 2

Thought Is Limited

Thought is always active, it is never still. And man has said: you must make it still in order to find higher spiritual consciousness – which I doubt. There is no higher spiritual consciousness, there is only consciousness. Man has invented super, super, super-consciousness, but that invention is the product of thought. And the people who talk about super-consciousness are worshipped, made into extraordinary gurus because you also want super-consciousness. But you never examine that thought has produced this whole area of consciousness. Whatever it thinks is still part of that consciousness.

Are we moving along together or are you tired? If you are, let us take a rest. I can go on talking to myself because I am investigating as I go along. If you are tired, please take a rest because we are asking your brain to think anew, to look at things afresh, not in the old traditional way, to look at your life as it is anew, afresh, and that is a challenge that the brain may get tired of. It says: give me a moment, let me be quiet so that I can recapture.

So, we are saying that thought has created our society and all the miseries contained in that society: the class division, the rich, the poor, the man of power, of position, of greatness, and the poor, the downtrodden, and all that. And all the gods on the earth are created by thought; the temples in which the gods are supposed to live are the construction of thought. All the rituals, the dogmas, the beliefs, the puja that you perform every day in the hope of having some kind of peace, and all the so-called meditations, the transcendental and the other nonsensical meditations are based on thought, and thought is always limited. There is no limitless thought. Thought can think it is limitless, that it can find the immeasurable; that is part of its illusion because thought is the outcome of knowledge and memory, and therefore it is time-binding, and therefore limited.

When I ask a question, your thought comes into activity and it is beginning to ask, search to find the answer, and to find the answer it goes back to memory – where did I read it, who told me? The activity goes on. Whereas if you are asked a question that you do not know, and you cannot find it in books, from your guru, from anything, then your brain naturally says: I really don’t know. Are you in that position now? Can you ever say to yourself, ‘I don’t know’? Because the quality of mind that says, ‘I don’t know,’ is not seeking to know because the moment it seeks, thought is in operation and then it will project what it wants, and will say, ‘I have found it.’

So, to inquire is to have a mind that doesn’t know. And we are inquiring into an action of which we are not aware at all. We know our actions based on memory; that is simple, clear. And we know the technological activity of knowledge, the accumulation of thousands of people, scientists working, accumulating. And from that accumulation, we have created the extraordinary things, the most marvellous surgery, the most delicate extraordinary things they are doing. Also technologically, they are preparing the destructions of war, material for war. And also thought has created the illusions: I believe in God, I am a nationalist, I belong to this party, which is going to save mankind, my guru is the most marvellous entity, and so on and on and on. All that is the movement of thought. So, whatever the thought, in its action it must inevitably be limited.

Now, have you an insight into that? If you attend very carefully to what is being said, then you will see the whole movement of thought: the hidden thoughts, the open thoughts, the thoughts that are extraordinarily secretive, hidden, don’t want to be open – the whole structure and nature of thought. When you have an insight into it, thought gives itself its own place.

The meaning of the word ‘art’ means to put everything in its right place – the art of living, not the painting and sculptures – that has its own art, but we are talking about the art of living, and in that, art means to put all things in their place so as to give order. So the art of living is for thought to find out its own place. Can you do it? That is, to give knowledge its right place – and psychologically knowledge has no place. Have you understood? No? At least somebody says she doesn’t – I am glad.

I think most of us have never looked at the movement of thought. Most of us have never asked what thinking is, why man has given such extraordinary importance to thinking. And the very process of thinking, born of experience, knowledge and memory, stored in the brain, that process of thinking is always limited. Thought is limited. Thought is fragmentary. Fragment: I mean something broken, like a vase – when you break it, there are pieces of it. So thought is broken, limited because it is born out of knowledge, and knowledge is the past. Knowledge is not the whole. It can never be the whole. So thought, whatever it does, must be limited, and any action born out of that limitation must have regret, confusion, the feeling of guilt, anxiety, and never-ending conflict because thought in its action is limited. Is this clear? Clear not verbally but inside, where you know it as you know your language, as you know your eyes, your face – you know it.

So thought can never lead to the immeasurable, that which is not measurable. Thought is measurable, and therefore that which is measurable is limited.

Krishnamurti in Madras 1979, Talk 2

Part 3

Is Thought the Cause of Chaos?

You have to exercise thought when you drive a car. You have to exercise thought when you do your business in the office, in the factory or at home, when you cook, when you wash dishes – whatever one does physically, one must have knowledge. Psychologically is knowledge necessary at all? And is the origin, the cause of all this existence with all its chaos, misery, confusion, uncertainty, insecurity, etc., etc. – is thought the cause of all this? And if thought is the cause of it then thought can be ended. Where there is a cause there is an end. Where there is a beginning there is an ending. If you are addicted, if you are a smoker, there was a cause, and you can end it. Similarly, if thought is the cause of this state of the world then that can be ended. And with the ending, there is a new beginning, totally different from that which thought has put together. So is thought the origin of all this?

Would you like the speaker to go into all this?

Questioner: Yes, please.

Krishnamurti: Not for you to follow; I am not your guru, thank God! I am not your leader, I am not your philosopher. But the speaker has gone into this matter very, very deeply. All his life he has done this; has come to a point where he has found for himself – found, realised – the cause of all this. And meditation is only when you have discovered the cause and the ending of the cause. Then meditation begins. Meditation isn’t what you are all doing. Forgive me pointing it out. Trying to concentrate, trying to follow methods, systems, and all that, is not meditation. Meditation comes naturally, uninvited when you have finished with all the cause.

So the function of the speaker, without any vanity, without any sense of doing propaganda, he says: let us walk together and find out. Let us walk together on the same road, on the same path. Not your path and my path but the path of intelligence, which is not your intelligence or the speaker’s. That intelligence is to discover the cause. When there is the discovery of that cause, there is that supreme intelligence, which in its very nature is compassionate love.

So we are asking one question. Perhaps there is no other cause but this one cause: thought.

You see, man has never gone into this question of thought. They are just beginning, scientists are beginning to inquire. The Hindus have gone into it up to a certain point, the ancient Hindus, and stopped somewhere else. But we, the common people, ordinary people with our daily problems and anxieties, our attachments, our griefs and our pains, we are asking this question: is all this the result of thought? Thought includes feeling, sensation, pleasures, fears – all that is part of thought. And thought has created this world in which we live, some of it with great beauty, the marvellous cathedrals, the mosques, the temples, the poems, the literature. But what is inside the cathedrals, the mosques and temples is put there by thought.

The speaker some years ago, in India, was speaking all over India and he happened to be behind Mr Gandhi. And Mr Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, whatever you like to call him, was saying that everybody could enter the temples. At that time only the Brahmins could enter the temples, and he was saying, ‘Gods are in the temple, anybody can enter.’ So the speaker was following him and the next week he came to the same town, and so they asked me, to catch me out – they said, ‘What do you say, should non-Brahmanas enter temples?’ And it was a very simple answer, ‘God doesn’t exist in temples! If he exists at all it is somewhere else, totally, which is outside of man’s thought.’ But they didn’t like that! So it goes on.

So I am asking you if thought is the result of this chaos. And if thought is the cause of this chaos, thought can end and something totally new can begin. And it is your responsibility as a human being – not as an individual but as a human being, a human being who is in China, in India, in the Asiatic world, in the Middle East, in the West – that human being is asking this question: is that the cause? And if it is the cause then how that cause can be dissipated, and therefore the ending of it. Therefore from the ending of it, a new beginning, a totally new beginning, which is the real revolution, not the communist, not the terrorists and so on. What is your responsibility and what is your answer to that question? The ball is in your court! You understand that term? When they are playing tennis, the ball is in the opposite court.

So how will you answer this question? Together during all these talks and question and answer meetings, we will help each other to find it out – for you to find it out so that you are not a follower, so that you have no authority over you to tell you what to think and what to do. Then you are a complete human being.

Krishnamurti in Saanen 1980, Talk 1

Part 4

You Are Thought

What are you? If you are really frank, serious, when that question is put to you, what are you? Aren’t you your name? Aren’t you your face, your eyes, your nose, your hair and so on, physically? Aren’t you anger? Aren’t you greed? Or is greed separate from you? When there is anxiety, aren’t you that anxiety? When you are suffering, when one loses one’s wife, husband, children or grandmother, are you not suffering? Is that suffering something separate from you? Aren’t you all that? Or do you think – think – that you are separate from all that? Are you separate from all that? Are you separate from your anger, your jealousy, your bank account? You are your bank account, aren’t you? If I take away your bank account you say, ‘That’s not me’. Would you say that? ‘You can take my bank account because it is not me.’ How you would howl if I took away your bank account! So you are your bank account, you are your furniture, you are your house, your insurance, your mortgage, your money. But if you say, ‘I am not all that, there is something in me that is watching all this,’ is that a fact? Or have you invented it?

Many people say there is super-super-consciousness above all this consciousness. That is, is that not invented by thought? Is not your bank account – not the coins and notes –the result of thought? Is not your recognition of your wife or husband thought? So aren’t you all the memory of the past, all the tradition of the past – as a Hindu, you know, Brahmin, non-Brahmin and all that business – aren’t you all that? Of course you are.

So, you are the knowledge, which is the past. You are nothing but memories. Would you accept that? Of course not. Aren’t you? If all your memories were taken away, what are you? You would be a vegetable. So your memories, which are always the past, are what you are. Your tradition as a Hindu, as a Parsi, as a Muslim and so on, that is the result of years of propaganda, years of tradition, which is the activity of thought. So you are thought. If you don’t think at all, what are you?

So you are the whole content of the past. That past is modifying itself in the present and continues as the future. So you are the past, the present and the future. In you, all time is contained. Oh, you don’t understand all this! Doesn’t matter. And the self, the ‘me’, my name, my quality, my achievement, my ambition, my pain, my sorrow, is all the past. And so the self is the essence of the past, which is memory, knowledge, and therefore the self is very, very, very limited. And that is why the self is causing so much mischief in the world. Each self is out for itself. You are out for your own self, aren’t you? If you were honest, see this clearly, aren’t you out for yourself? Your ambition, your achievement, your fulfilment, your satisfaction.

So thought is you. Thought is limited because all knowledge is limited. Therefore your self is the most limited thing. And therefore you are causing enormous sorrow, enormous conflict because the self is separative, divisive.

So, the speaker has explained. The explanation is not the fact. The fact is for you to see this for yourself. If you see this for yourself and say, ‘I like the way I am going on,’ perfectly all right, but you know for yourself that you are creating havoc in the world, and if you prefer to live that way, good luck to you. But there might be some who say that is not the way to live.

One must live with a global brain, without any division, without any nationality, without any self. Don’t make that into some kind of heightened illumination and only a few can reach it. Anybody who sets their brain and heart to understand the nature of the self, and be free of that self, anybody can do it if they put their mind to it.

Krishnamurti in Bombay 1984, Question and Answer Meeting 1

Part 5

Can Thought Be Aware of Itself as It Arises?

Can thought be aware of itself as it arises? Not after, which is fairly simple, which is what most of us do, but the question is: can there be awareness of thought as it arises? Do you understand the question? Can you be aware – please listen to this – of your thought? That is, can thought be aware of itself as it arises?

One’s whole life is based on thought, thought recognising the emotions, the sentiments, the romantic feelings, the imagination and so on. Thought is recognising all this – ‘Oh, I am very emotional,’ and so on.

Thought is our instrument of all action. Therefore there is no spontaneity. If you look into yourself seriously, spontaneity can only exist when there is complete, total freedom psychologically.

So can your mind be aware of itself as thought arises? That is, is there an awareness when you begin to be angry? Can there be an awareness as jealousy arises? Can there be an awareness as greed comes – be aware of that? Can there be, or you are aware that you have been jealous, that you have been greedy or that you have been angry? That is fairly simple; most of us do that. But to be aware so attentively, you can see for yourself the anger coming in, the adrenaline and all the processes, the whole movement of anger. You can see greed come into being: you see something you want and there is a reaction. To be aware of that. Of course one can, as it arises.

Now the question is a little more difficult, more deep. You can be aware as anger arises, that is fairly simple, but is there an awareness of thought itself? You understand what I am saying? You are thinking now, aren’t you, or are you absent-minded? You are thinking now, aren’t you? Now as you are thinking, find out if that thinking can be aware of itself. Not you aware of thinking. Do you understand the problem? I wonder if you see this. This is really great fun if you go into it. Not only fun – it is very, very serious because we can go very, very deeply into all this. That is, you are thinking about something – about your dress, how you look, what people have said, who you are going to meet, this and that – thinking is there. Now take one thought and see if that thought can know itself. Ah, yes, this requires tremendous attention which you are not used to.

You are thinking about a dress you are going to buy. Thought arises. Can that thought say, ‘Yes, I am awake. I see myself’? Itself, not you observe the thought because you are also thought. So you are not aware as thought arises, but thought itself is aware as it comes into being.

Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park in 1979, Question and Answer Meeting 2

Part 6

Can Thought Be Completely Silent?

One must have noticed what little space one has. How crowded it is in ourselves. Please watch it in yourself. How is one, being isolated in that little space, with enormous, thick walls of resistance, ideas and aggression, how is one to have space that is immeasurable?

As we said, thought is measurable. Thought is measure, and any form of self-improvement is measurable. And self-improvement is the most callous form of isolation. One sees that thought cannot bring about the vast space in which there is complete and utter silence. Thought cannot bring it. Thought can only progress, evolve in ratio to the end it projects, which is measurable. And that space, which thought creates, imaginatively or of necessity, can never enter or come into a dimension in which there is space which is not of thought.

Thought has built through centuries a space that is very, very limited, narrow, isolated, and because of this very isolation, narrowness, it creates division. Where there is division there is conflict, nationally, religiously, politically, in relationship, in every way. That conflict is measurable – less conflict and more conflict and so on. My question is: how can thought enter into the other? Or the other is not… thought can never enter into it.

I am the result of thought; all my activities are based on thought – logic, illogic, neurotic, or highly educated, sophisticated, rational, scientific, technological. I am the result of all that. And that has space within the walls of resistance. Now, how is the mind to change all that and discover something which is a totally different dimension? You have understood my question? Can the two come together? The freedom in which there is complete silence and therefore vast space, and the walls of resistance which thought has created, with its narrow little space – can the two come together and flow together? This has been the problem of man, religiously. When we inquire at great depth, this is the problem.

Can I hold on to my little ego, to my little space, to the things that I have collected – knowledge, experiences, hopes, pleasures – and move into a different dimension where the two can operate? I want to sit at the right hand of God and yet I want to be free of God. I want to live a life of great delight and pleasure and beauty, and yet I want to have joy which is not measurable, which cannot be caught by thought. I want pleasure and joy. I know the movement of pleasure, the demands of pleasure, the pursuit of pleasure, with all its fears, travails, sorrow, agony, anxiety, and I also know that joy which is totally uninvited, which thought can never capture (if it does capture it, it becomes pleasure and then the old thing, the old routine begins.) So I want to have both: the things of the world and the other world.

I think this is the problem with most of us, isn’t it? To have a thumping good time in this world – why not? – and avoid all pain, all sorrow because I also know other moments when there is a great joy which cannot be touched, which is not corrupt: I want both. That is what we are seeking: carrying all our burdens and yet seeking freedom. And can I do this? Can I through will? You understand what we said about will? Will has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘what is’. Will has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual, with ‘what is’, but will is the expression of desire as ‘me’. And we think somehow through will we shall come upon the other, so we say to ourselves, ‘I must control thought, I must discipline thought.’ When the ‘I’ says, ‘I must control, I must discipline thought,’ it is still thought separating itself as the ‘I’, thought as something separate. But it is still thought: the ‘I’ and the ‘not I’. Thought, one realises, being measurable, being noisy, chattering, running all over the place, has created the space of a little rat, a monkey that chases its own tail. So one says: how is thought to become quiet?

Thought has created the technological world and the world of chaos, the world of war, the national divisions, the religious separations; thought has brought about misery, confusion, sorrow. Thought is time. So time is sorrow. And one sees all this, if you have gone very, very, deeply – not at the instruction of another but merely observing this in the world and in yourself.

Then the question arises: can thought be completely silent and only function when necessary? When necessary, when it has to use knowledge, technology, going to the office, talking and all the rest of it; and the rest of the time absolutely quiet. The more there is that space and silence, the more it can function logically, sanely, healthily, with knowledge. Otherwise knowledge becomes an end in itself and brings about chaos.

Are you following all this? Not agreeing with me; you see it yourself.

Thought is the response of memory, knowledge, experience, time, and thought is the content of consciousness. Thought must function with knowledge – it can only function with the highest intelligence only when there is space and silence, and from there function. So that is my problem: there must be vast space and silence because when there is that space and silence beauty comes. Love then is. Not the beauty put together by man – the architecture, the tapestry, the porcelain, the painting, the poem, the line of architecture – but that sense of beauty, of vast space and silence. And yet thought must act, function. There is no living there and then coming down.

So that is my problem. I am making it a problem so that we can investigate it together, so that both you and I discover in this investigation something totally new. Each time one investigates, not knowing, one discovers something. But if you investigate with knowing then you will never discover anything.

Can thought become silent? And can that thought, which must function in the field of knowledge, totally, completely objectively, sanely, healthily, rationally, can that thought end itself? That is, can thought, which is the past, which is memory, which is a thousand yesterdays, can all that past come totally to an end, all that conditioning, so that there is silence, there is space, there is a sense of extraordinary dimension?

So I am asking myself, and you are asking it with me: how is thought to end? Not in the very ending of it pervert it and go off into some imaginative state and become rather lopsided, neurotic and vague – thought must function with great vitality, great energy, logically, sanely. And so I am asking: how is that thought, which must function, at the same time to be completely motionless? This has been the problem of every serious religious person – not the man who belongs to some sect, whether Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever it is, which are based on organised belief and propaganda, and therefore not religion at all. This has been the problem. As one digs very, very, deeply, can the two operate together? Can the two move together, not coalesce, not join together, but move together? They can only move together if thought doesn’t separate itself as the observer and the observed.

Life is a movement in relationship, constantly moving, changing, and that movement can sustain itself, move freely when there is no division between the thinker and the thought. That is, when thought doesn’t divide itself as the ‘me’ and the ‘not me’, when thought doesn’t divide itself as the observer, the experiencer, and the observed, the experienced. Because in that there is division and therefore conflict. When thought sees the truth of that, then it is not seeking experience. Then it is moving in experiencing.

Thought with all the knowledge, always accumulating, is a living thing, not a dead thing. Therefore the vast space can move together with thought. And when thought separates itself as the thinker, as the experiencer, then the experiencer, the observer, the thinker becomes the past, and therefore there is a division and conflict, and the past, which is stationary, therefore cannot move. In this examination, the mind sees that where there is division in thought, movement is not possible. Movement. Where there is division, the past comes in, and therefore the past becomes stationary – the centre, the immovable centre. The immovable centre can be modified, added to, but it is an immovable state and therefore it has no free movement.

So my next question, to myself and therefore to you, is: does thought see this, or is perception something entirely different from thought?

One sees division in the world – national, religious, economic, social, class, and all the rest of it – and in this division there is conflict. That is clear. And when there is division in myself, fragmentation, there must be conflict. When in myself I am divided as the observer and the observed, the thinker and the thought, the experiencer and the experienced, that very division is created by thought, which is the result of the past. Now I see the truth of this. My question is: does thought see this, or some other factor sees this? I say I see this, the truth of this. Does thought see the truth, or some other factor sees the truth? Is the new factor intelligence and not thought? Now, what is the relationship between thought and intelligence?

I am terribly interested in this, personally. You can come with me or not. It is extraordinary to go into this.

Thought has created this division: the past, the present, the future. Thought is time. And thought says to itself, ‘I see this division outwardly and inwardly, and I see this division is the factor of conflict, and it is not capable to go beyond it.’ Therefore it says, ‘What is the point? I am where I began. I am still with my conflicts.’ Thought says, ‘I see the truth of division and conflict.’ Now, does thought see that, or a new factor of intelligence sees that? If it is intelligence that sees that, what is the relationship between thought and intelligence? Is intelligence personal? Is intelligence the result of book knowledge, logic, living, experience, or is intelligence the freedom from the division which thought has created? And logically seeing that and not being able to go beyond it, it remains with it, does not try to struggle with it, and does not try to overcome it. Out of that comes intelligence.

We are asking: what is intelligence? Is intelligence cultivable? Is intelligence innate? And does thought see the truth of conflict, division and all the rest of it, or is it the quality of mind? It is the quality of mind that sees the fact, and is completely quiet with the fact. Completely silent with the fact, not trying to go beyond it, overcome it, change it, but completely still with the fact. It is that stillness that is intelligence. So intelligence is not thought. Intelligence is this silence, and therefore totally impersonal. It doesn’t belong to any group, to any person, to any race, to any culture.

So the mind has found that where there is silence, not put together by thought, discipline, practice and all that terrible horror, but seeing that thought cannot possibly go beyond itself because thought is the result of the past, and where the past is functioning it must create division, conflict, sorrow, and all the rest of it – seeing that and remaining completely still with that.

It is like being completely still with sorrow. You know somebody whom you love or for whom you care, whom you have looked after, cherished, loved, been concerned with. When that person dies, there is the shock of loneliness, despair, a sense of isolation – everything falls around you. In that sorrow, to remain with it. Not seeking explanation, the cause, why should they go and not I – to remain completely still with it. To remain with it completely still is intelligence. And that intelligence then can operate in thought, using knowledge, and that knowledge and thought will not create division.

Krishnamurti in Saanen 1971, Talk 7

Part 7

Letting Every Thought Flower in Freedom

Thought creates all the divisions that exist in life – godly love, human love, and all the rest of it. Has not the quality of the mind that has complete leisure come into being through understanding, through observing, quietness, a sense of silence? For me, this whole process of investigation into oneself is meditation. Meditation is not the repetition of words and formulas, mesmerising oneself into all kinds of fanciful states. If you take opium, a tranquilliser, it will give you marvellous visions, but that is not meditation. Meditation is actually this process of investigation into oneself.

If you go into it deeply yourself, you are bound to come across all this, when it is possible to think without the centre, to see without the centre, to act so completely without idea and approximation, to love without the centre and therefore without thought and feeling. When you have gone through all that, you find out for yourself a mind that is completely free and has no borders, no frontiers – a mind that is free, which has no fear and which does not come about through discipline. If one has gone that far, one begins to see – or rather, the mind itself begins to observe the thing itself which unfolds thought, that the quality of time, the quality that is yesterday, today and tomorrow, has completely changed, and therefore action is not in terms of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Such action has no motive. All motive has its root in the past, and any action born out of that motive is still an approximation.

So, meditation is the total awareness of every movement of thought and never denying thought, which means letting every thought flower in freedom. It is only in freedom that every thought can flower and come to an end. So out of this labour – if it can be called labour; which is really out of this observation, the mind has understood all this. Such a mind is a quiet mind. Such a mind knows what it is really to be quiet, to be really still.

Krishnamurti at Rajghat in 1962, Talk 6

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