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Jiddu Krishnamurti on how to break through Habit completely

Question: Is not an immature mind one that is caught in habits?
Jiddu Krishnamurti : I wonder if you are exercising all your attention or are merely waiting for me to awaken your intelligence, your awareness. Are you working intensely in spite of this heat, or are you being rather slack?

The question is: ``Is not an immature mind one that is caught in habits?'' Now, I wonder why you put this question? Are you aware that you are immature, caught in habits, or are you merely pointing out what has already been explained? Please, I am not speaking derogatorily of the questioner. If you see that you are immature, caught in habits, as most people are, then the further question is how to be mature immediately, that is, how to break through habit completely, not at some future time, but now. Is that the question?

I see that I am caught in habit. Politically, religiously, as a writer, as a painter, as a man or a woman, I am caught in a particular way of thinking. Being an Englishman, I have a certain tradition with a fixed attitude towards life; or I am trained in Catholicism, in this or in that, and it has become a habit. Can that habit be broken immediately, or must it be done away with gradually over the years? If I say it will take time, that it must be done away with gradually over the years, what then is the state of my mind? Obviously my mind is lethargic, dull, thoughtless, unaware.

Nationalism, for example, is a habit, and it can be broken instantly; but it gives us pleasure, it gives us a sense of importance to be identified with a particular country, especially if it is a powerful one. Most of us like being identified with a particular government, with the flag, and all the rest of that nonsense, so we don't want to break the habit of nationalism, and then there is no problem. But if you want to break that habit - and you can only break it instantly, not over the years - then how is it to be done?

Is there a method by which to break a habit? Surely, a method implies time, moving from a beginning to an end. If you see for yourself that time does not free you from habit, and that methods or systems are therefore of no avail, then you are actually faced with the fact that your mind is caught in habit. You are faced with it, not through words, not through ideas, but you directly see the fact that your mind is crippled with habit; it is inescapably so. And then what happens?

You are not trying to change the habit; you are not trying to break it down. You are simply faced with the fact that your mind functions in the groove of habit. And what happens when you are directly faced with a fact? What happens if you come face to face with the fact that you are a liar, that you are jealous? If you don't try to change it, then the fact itself gives you enormous energy to break that fact completely.

Do you understand? When you are directly faced with the fact, your mind is no longer dissipating itself in escapes, in denials, in trying to change the fact through time, and all the rest of it; therefore, your attention is complete; all your energy has been gathered, and that energy totally shatters the fact.

Source: Jiddu Krishnamurti Talk at London, Saanen, 1962

Related Article:
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             Osho on How to Drop an Obsession with the help of Meditation
           Jiddu Krishnamurti - What matters is to be totally conscious of habits
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