Jiddu Krishnamurti discourse on Truth
Question: There is a prevalent assumption these days
that everything is relative, a matter of personal opinion, that there is
no such thing as truth or fact independent of personal perception. What
is an intelligent response to this belief?
Jiddu Krishnamurti - Is it that we are all
so personal that what I see, what you see, is the only truth? That my
opinion and your opinion are the only facts we have? That is what the
question implies; that everything is relative; goodness is relative,
evil is relative, love is relative. If everything is relative (that is,
not the whole complete, truth) then our actions, our affections, our
personal relationships are relative, they can be ended whenever we like,
whenever they do not please us.
Is there such a thing as truth apart from personal belief, apart from
personal opinion? Is there such a thing as truth? This question was
asked in the ancient days by the Greeks, by the Hindus and by the
Buddhists. It is one of the strange facts in the Eastern religions that
doubt was encouraged - to doubt, to question - and in religion in the
West it is rather put down, it is called heresy.
One must find out for oneself, apart from personal opinions,
perceptions, experiences, which are always relative, whether there is a
perception, a seeing, which is absolute truth, not relative. How is one
going to find out? If one says that personal opinions and perceptions
are relative then there is no such thing as absolute truth, all is
relative. Accordingly our behaviour, our conduct, our way of life, is
relative, casual, not complete, not whole, fragmentary.
How would one find out if there is such a thing as truth which is
absolute, which is complete, which is never changing in the climate of
personal opinions? How does one's mind, the intellect, thought, find
out? One is enquiring into something that demands a great deal of
investigation, an action in daily life, a putting aside of that which is
false - that is the only way to proceed.
If one has an illusion, a fantasy, an image, a romantic concept, of
truth or love, then that is the very barrier that prevents one moving
further. Can one honestly investigate what is an illusion? How does
illusion come into being? What is the root of it? Does it not mean
playing with something which is not actual?
The actual is that which is happening, whether it is what may be called
good, bad or indifferent; it is that which is actually taking place.
When one is incapable of facing that which is actually taking place in
oneself, one creates illusions to escape from it. If one is unwilling or
afraid to face what is actually going on, that very avoidance creates
illusion, a fantasy, a romantic movement, away from that which is. That
word `illusion' implies the moving away from that which is.
Can one avoid this movement, this escape, from actuality? What is the
actual? The actual is that which is happening, including the responses,
the ideas, the beliefs and opinions one has. To face them is not to
Illusions can take place only when there is a movement away from the
fact, from that which is happening, that which actually is. In
understanding that which is, it is not one's personal opinion that
judges but the actual observation. One cannot observe what is actually
going on if one's belief or conditioning qualifies the observation; then
it is the avoidance of the understanding of that which is.
If one could look at what is actually taking place, then there would be
complete avoidance of any form of illusion. Can one do this? Can one
actually observe one's dependency; either dependency on a person, on a
belief, on an ideal, or on some experience which has given one a great
deal of excitement? That dependence inevitably creates illusion.
So a mind that is no longer creating illusion,
that has no hypotheses, that has no hallucinations, that does not want
to grasp an experience of that which is called truth, has now
brought order into itself. it has order. There is no confusion brought
about by illusions, by delusions, hallucinations; the mind has lost its
capacity to create illusions.
Then what is truth? The
astrophysicists, the scientists, are using thought to investigate the
material world around them, they are going beyond physics,
beyond, but always moving outward. But if one starts inwards one sees
that the `me' is also matter. And thought is
matter. If one can go inwards, moving from fact to fact, then one begins
to discover that which is beyond matter. Then there is such a thing as
absolute truth, if one goes through with it.
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