Jiddu Krishnamurti on Immediate Realization of Truth
Question: Can we realize on the spot the truth you are
speaking of, without any previous preparation?
: What do you mean by truth? Do not let us use a word
of which we do not know the meaning; we can use a simpler word, a more
direct word. Can you understand, can you comprehend a problem directly?
That is what is implied, is it not? Can you understand what is,
immediately, now? In understanding what is, you will understand the
significance of truth; but to say that one must understand truth has
very little meaning.
Can you understand a problem directly, fully, and be
free of it? That is what is implied in this question, is it not? Can you
understand a crisis, a challenge, immediately, see its whole
significance and be free of it? What you understand leaves no mark;
therefore understanding or truth is the liberator. Can you be liberated
now from a problem, from a challenge? Life is, is it not?, a series of
challenges and responses and if your response to a challenge is
conditioned, limited, incomplete, then that challenge leaves its mark,
its residue, which is further strengthened by another new challenge.
So there is a constant residual memory, accumulations,
scars, and with all these scars you try to meet the new and therefore
you never meet the new. Therefore you never understand, there is never a
liberation from any challenge.
The problem, the question is, whether I can understand a challenge
completely, directly; sense all its significance, all its perfume, its
depth, its beauty and its ugliness and so be free of it. A challenge is
always new, is it not? The problem is always new, is it not? A problem
which you had yesterday, for example, has undergone such modification
that when you meet it today, it is already new. But you meet it with the
old, because you meet it without transforming, merely modifying your own
Let me put it in a different way. I met you yesterday. In the
meantime you have changed. You have undergone a modification but I still
have yesterday's picture of you. I meet you today with my picture of you
and therefore I do not understand you - I understand only the picture of
you which I acquired yesterday. If I want to understand you, who are
modified, changed, I must remove, I must be free of the picture of
yesterday. In other words to understand a challenge, which is always
new, I must also meet it anew, there must be no residue of yesterday; so
I must say adieu to yesterday.
After all, what is life? It is something new all the time, is it
not? It is something which is ever undergoing change, creating a new
feeling. Today is never the same as yesterday and that is the beauty of
life. Can you and I meet every problem anew? Can you, when you go home,
meet your wife and your child anew, meet the challenge anew? You will
not be able to do it if you are burdened with the memories of yesterday.
Therefore, to understand the truth of a problem, of a relationship, you
must come to it afresh - not with an `open mind', for that has no
meaning. You must come to it without the scars of yesterday's memories -
which means, as each challenge arises, be aware of all the responses of
yesterday and by being aware of yesterday's residue, memories, you will
find that they drop away without struggle and therefore your mind is
Can one realize truth immediately, without
preparation? I say yes - not out of some fancy of mine, not out
of some illusion; but psychologically experiment with it and you will
see. Take any challenge, any small incident - don't wait for some great
crisis - and see how you respond to it. Be aware of it, of your
responses, of your intentions, of your attitudes and you will understand
them, you will understand your background. I assure you, you can do it
immediately if you give your whole attention to it.
If you are seeking the full meaning of your
background, it yields its significance and then you discover in one
stroke the truth, the understanding of the problem. Understanding comes
into being from the now, the present, which is always timeless. Though
it may be tomorrow, it is still now; merely to postpone, to prepare to
receive that which is tomorrow, is to prevent yourself from
understanding what is now. Surely you can understand directly what is
now, can't you? To understand what is, you have to be undisturbed,
undistracted, you have to give your mind and heart to it. It must be
your sole interest at that moment, completely. Then what is gives you
its full depth, its full meaning, and thereby you are free of that
If you want to know the truth, the
psychological significance of property, for instance, if you really want
to understand it directly, now, how do you approach it? Surely
you must feel akin to the problem, you must not be afraid of it, you
must not have any creed, any answer, between yourself and the problem.
Only when you are directly in relationship with the problem will you
find the answer.
If you introduce an answer, if you judge, have a
psychological disinclination, then you will postpone, you will prepare
to understand tomorrow what can only be understood in the `now'.
Therefore you will never understand. To perceive truth needs no
preparation; preparation implies time and time is not the means of
understanding truth. Time is continuity and truth is timeless,
non-continuous. Understanding is non-continuous, it is from moment to
I am afraid I am making it all sound very difficult, am I not? But
it is easy, simple to understand, if you will only experiment with it.
If you go off into a dream, meditate over it, it becomes very difficult.
When there is no barrier between you and me, I understand you. If I am
open to you, I understand you directly - and to be open is not a matter
of time. Will time make me open? Will preparation, system, discipline,
make me open to you? No. What will make me open to you is my intention
to understand. I want to be open because I have nothing to hide, I am
not afraid; therefore I am open and there is immediate communion, there
is truth. To receive truth, to know its beauty, to
know its joy, there must be instant receptivity, unclouded by theories,
fears and answers.
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