Thoughts from Jiddu Krishnamurti


the enormity of sorrow

suffering and death

the origin of fear




why do we suffer?


J. Krishnamurti Online

Krishnamurti on Google Video


From Darkess to Light, preface

Neither time nor space exists for the man who knows the eternal.

Space and time are real for the man who is yet imperfect and space is divided for him into dimensions, time into past, present and future. He looks behind him and sees his birth, his acquisitions, all that he has rejected. That past is being continually modified by the future which is ever being added to it. From the past man turns his eyes to the future where death, the unknown, the darkness, the mystery, await him.

Fascinated by these he can no longer detach himself from them. The mystery of the future holds for him the fulfilment of all his desires, which the past has denied to him, and in his dreams he flies to that brilliant horizon where happiness must exist, where he must seek it.

Fatal error!

No one will ever pierce the infinite mystery of the future - impenetrable in its evanescent illusion - neither magician, prophet nor God! But on the contrary it will be the mystery which will engulf man, which will not let him escape, which will break the mainspring of his life.

Life is not to be approached through the past, nor through the mirage of the future. Life cannot be approached through intermediaries, nor conquered for another.

That discovery can only be made in the immediate present - by the individual for himself and not for others - by the individual who has become the eternal ``I''. That eternal ``I'' is created by the perfection of the self - perfection in which all things are contained, even human imperfections. Man, not yet having achieved that condition of life in the present, lives in the past which he regrets, lives in the future where he hopes, but never in the present which he ignores. This is the case with all men.

Balanced between the past and the future, the ``I'' is poised as a tiger ready to spring, as an eagle ready to fly, as the bow at the moment of releasing the arrow.
This moment of equilibrium, of high tension, is ``creation.'' It is the fullness of all life, it is immortality.

The wind of the desert sweeps away all trace of the traveller.
The sole imprint is the footstep of the present. The past, the future... sands blown by the wind.

Death and Life

You cannot be frightened of the unknown because you do not know what the unknown is and so there is nothing to be afraid of. Death is a word, and it is the word, the image, that creates fear. So can you look at death without the image of death? As long as the image exists from which springs thought, thought must always create fear. Then you either rationalize your fear of death and build a risistance against the inevitable or you invent innumerable beliefs to protect you from the fear of death. Hence there is a gap between you and the thing of which you are afraid. In this time-space interval there must be conflict which is fear, anxiety and self-pity. Thought, which breeds the fear of death, says, 'Let's postpone it, let's avoid it, keep it as far away as possible, let's not think about it'- but you are thinking about it. When you say, 'I won't think about it', you have already thought out how to avoid it. You are frightened of death because you have postponed it.

We have separated living from dying, and the interval between the living and the dying is fear. That interval, that time, is created by fear. Living is our daily torture, daily insult, sorrow and confusion, with occasional opening of a window over enchanted seas. That is what we call living, and we are afraid to die, which is to end this misery. We would rather cling to the known than face the unknown - the known being our house, our furniture, our family, our character, our work, our knowledge, our fame, our loneliness, our gods - that little thing that moves around incessantly within itself with its own limited pattern of embittered existence.

We think that living is always in the present and that dying is something that awaits us at a distant time. But we have never questioned whether this battle of everyday life is living at all. We want to know the truth about reincarnation, we want proof of the survival of the soul, we listen to the assertion of clairvoyants and to the conclusions of psychical research, but we never ask, never, how to live - to live with delight, with enchantment, with beauty every day. We have accepted life as it is with all its agony and despair and have got used to it, and think of death as something to be carefully avoided. But death is extraordinarily like the life we know how to live. You cannot live without dying. You cannot live if you do not die psychologically every minute. This is not an intellectual paradox. To live completely, wholly, every day as if it were a new loveliness, there must be dying to everything of yesterday, otherwise you live mechanically, and a mechanical mind can never know what love is or what freedom is.

Most of us are frightened of dying because we don't know what it means to live. We don't know how to live, therefore we don't know how to die. As long as we are frightened of life we shall be frightened of death. The man who is not frightened of life is not frightened of being completely insecure for he understands that inwardly, psychologically, there is no security. When there is no security there is an endless movement and then life and death are the same. The man who lives without conflict, who lives with beauty and love, is not frightened of death because to love is to die.