Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Indian Philosopher, Holy Man

"All relationship is based on the image that you have built around another and the other has built about you... What is relationship? If the image has come to an end, which is the content of consciousness that makes up your consciousness, when the various images you have about yourself, about everything, come to an end, then what is the relationship between you and her? Then is there an observer observing apart from the thing it has observed? Or is it a total movement of love in relationship? Are you getting it? So love is a movement in relationship in which the observer is not."

"An attentive mind is an empty mind."

"Fear exists only in relationship to something, it does not exist by itself."

"Freedom is in the moment of action, which is behavior. It is not related to yesterday or tomorrow."

"Happiness is not pleasure, it is order. With order come freedom, and with freedom there is responsibility."

"Ideologies, beliefs, organized religions, separate people."

"Life is serious, and in that seriousness there is great laughter. And it is only the serious mind that is living, that can solve the immense problem of existence."

"Love comes into being only when there is total harmony in oneself, in whatever action one is doing, and so there is no conflict between the outer and the inner."

"Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end."

"Our inward values and judgments are based on pleasure, not on any great, tremendous principles, but just on pleasure... The active principle of our life is pleasure."

"Reality comes into being only when the mind is still, not made still. Therefore, there must be no disciplining of the mind to be still. When you discipline yourself, it is merely a projected desire to be in a particular state. Such a state is not the state of passivity... Liberation is from moment to moment in the understanding of what is, when the mind is free, not made free. It is only a free mind that can discover, not a mind molded by a belief or shaped according to a hypothesis. Such a mind cannot discover. There can be no freedom is there is conflict, for conflict is the fixing of the self in relationship."

"Relationship based on mutual need brings only conflict. However interdependent we are on each other, we are using each other for a purpose, for an end. With an end in view, relationship is not."

"Relationship is surely the mirror in which you discover yourself."

"Relationship means contact, communion. There cannot be communion where people are divided by ideas. A belief may gather a group of people around itself. Such a group will inevitably breed opposition and so form another group with a different belief. Ideas postpone direct relationship with the problem."

"Relationship means to respond. The root meaning of that word, not what we have made of that word, is to respond completely to another, like responsibility. Do we ever respond totally with each other, or it is always a fragmentary response, a partial response?"

"Right thinking, surely, is entirely different from right thought. Right thought is static... Right thinking is the understanding of relationship from moment to moment, which uncovers the whole process of the self."

"Self-knowledge brings tranquillity to the mind, and then only can truth come into being. Truth cannot be sought after. Truth is the unknown, and that which you seek is already known. Truth comes into being unsought when the mind is without prejudice, when there is the understanding of the whole process of ourselves."

"The experience of another is not valid for the understanding of reality. But the organized religions throughout the world are based on the experience of another and, therefore, are not liberating man but only binding him to a particular pattern that sets man against man. Each one of us has to start anew, afresh, for what we are, the world is. The world is not different from you and me. This little world of our problems, extended, becomes the world and the problems of the world."

"The self is revealed only in relationship."

"The truth of not-knowing is the only factor from which one can move. The truth of that is stable. A mind that does not know is in a state of learning. The moment I say I have learned, I have stopped learning and that stopping is the stability of division."

"The world is your problem and to comprehend it you must understand yourself... You exist only in relationship; otherwise you are not... Relationship is the mirror in which you can see yourself as you are... Preconception of what relationship should be... prevents the uncovering, the unfoldment of “what is.”"

"To most of us, relationship is a term for comfort, for gratification, for security, and in that relationship we use property, ideas, and persons for our gratification. We use belief as a means of security."

"We are raised on comparison; our education is based on it; so is our culture. So we struggle to be someone other than who we are."

"We are slaves to tradition."

"What is important is to free ourselves from ideas, from nationalism, from all religious beliefs and dogmas, so that we can act, not according to a pattern or an ideology, but as needs demand... It is only when the mind is free of idea and belief that it can act rightly... and freedom from ideas can take place only through self-awareness and self-knowledge."

"Where there is love there is no conflict, because love has no image. Love doesn’t build images because love is not touched by thought. Love is not of time."

"Without the appreciation of beauty and without the sensitive awareness of it, there is no love."

"A mind that is safe, secure, is a bourgeois mind, a shoddy mind. Yet that is what all of us want: to be completely safe."

"I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect."

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem."

"Knowledge in relationship creates division... knowledge becomes a barrier in relationship... Where there is division there must be conflict. And therefore an action born out of conflict is a non-intelligent action. So intelligent action is an action that is without friction, without conflict... Dependence is an action of a mind that is not intelligent."

"Learning is constant movement."

"Life is a process of challenge and response."

"Life is relationship. Without relationship you cannot exist. But we have reduced that relationship to mere sensory responses."

"Meditation is like a river. It cannot be tamed. It flows and flows and overflows its banks. It is music without sound. It is the silence in which the observer ceases to be immediately he plunges in."

"Organized religion obviously prevents the understanding of a problem because the mind is conditioned by dogma and belief."

"Religion is really experiencing a state in which there is creation. This is not an idea, a process. It can be realized when there is freedom from self. There can be freedom from self only through understanding the self in relationship; but there can be no understanding in isolation."

"The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear."

"The description is not what is described."

"The eye says I."

"Thought is not sacred, thought is a material process. This is where our difficulty lies. Thought is a movement in time."

"Truth is not to be known. What is known is a thing of the past; it is already dead. Truth is living, not static; therefore you cannot know truth. Truth is a constant movement, it has not abode, a mind that is tethered to a belief, to knowledge, to a particular conditioning, is incapable of understanding what truth is."

"We are aware according to what we like and dislike."

"Wisdom comes into being only when there is an understanding of knowledge and the freedom from the known... When there is freedom from the known then relationship changes totally."

"Wisdom is alone, but a lonely path does not lead to wisdom. Isolation is death, and wisdom is not found in withdrawal. There is no path to wisdom, for all paths are separative, exclusive. In their very nature, paths can only lead to isolation, though these isolations are called unity, the whole, the one, and so end is as the means. The means is not separate from the goal, the “what should be.” Wisdom comes with the understanding of one’s relationship with the field, with the passer-by, with the fleeting thought. To withdraw, to isolate oneself in order to find, is to put an end to discovery. Relationship leads to an aloneness that is not of isolation. There must be an aloneness, not of the enclosing mind, but of freedom. The complete is the alone, and incompleteness seeks the way of isolation."

"You cannot have complete knowledge about anything."

"Discard all theologies and belief...the whole principle that someone else knows and you do not know, that the one who knows is going to teach you."

"Happiness is a state of which you are unconscious, of which you are not aware. The moment you are aware that you are happy, you cease to be happy. . . . You want to be consciously happy; the moment you are consciously happy, happiness is gone. "

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. "

"Learning is movement from moment to moment. "