home | what's new | other sitescontact | about



Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Jiddu Krishnamurti
1895 - 1986

"If one is dependent on any stimulation, then it makes the mind dull, insensitive. All stimulation, whether of the church, drink or drug, will bring about a dependence. We all depend on something - a relationship, a book, certain ideologies, or we depend on solitude, denial, resistance. One has to find out why one depends on anything at all, psychologically."




return to contents page 



Editor’s prefatory comments:

Jiddu Krishnamurti has been an important teacher in my life. I began learning about the “true” and “false” selves about 15 years ago, and his insights served to inaugurate this vital area of enquiry.

He was the one to make clear that “guru” signifies merely “one who points,” not “infallible sage.” Pointing the way is what even the best teachers provide, but no more. One must walk the path of enlightenment alone, no one can do this for us.





Public Talk 2, Saanen, Switzerland - 11 July 1967

... The more one sees how complex society is the more it becomes obvious how complex the individual that lives in society is. The individual is part of the society he has created, his psychological structure is essentially of that society...

If one is dependent on any stimulation, for the energy which one needs, then that very stimulation makes the mind dull, insensitive, not acute. One may take the drug LSD or other forms of drugs and one may temporarily find enough energy to see things very clearly, but one reverts to one's former state and becomes dependent on that drug more and more.

All stimulation, whether of the church, of the drink or drug, or the speaker, will inevitably bring about a dependence and that dependence prevents one from having the vital energy to see clearly for oneself.

Any form of dependence on any stimulation lessens the quickness and vitality of the mind.

We all depend, unfortunately, on something, it may be dependence on a relationship, or on the reading of an intellectual book, or on certain ideas and ideologies we have formulated; or we depend on solitude, isolation, denial, resistance - these obviously distort and dissipate energy.

One has to become aware of what it is that one is dependent upon. One has to find out why one depends on anything at all, psychologically - I don't mean technologically, or depending on the milkman - but psychologically, why do we depend, what is involved in dependence?


Editor's note: We all depend on a host of service-providers in the course of ordinary civilization - like "the milkman" - but this is not the concern. It is is the psychological dependence, the support for one's inner being, that creates a dysfunction, and is the core issue with all forms of cultism. This automatic pathology as a function of dependence tells us that our spirits were made to be entirely free. See the "inferential life 4" page.


This question is essential in investigating the dissipation, deterioration and distortion of energy - the energy we need so vitally to understand the many problems.

What is it on which we so depend, is it a person, a book, a church, a priest, an ideology, a drink or a drug - what are the various supports which each one of us has, subtly or very obviously? Why do we depend and does discovering the cause of a dependence free the mind from that dependence? ...

One discovers [as a speaker] that one needs an audience [to provide applause and affirmation} because it is a very stimulating thing to address people - why does one need that stimulus? Because in oneself one is shallow, in oneself one has nothing, no source of energy which is always full, rich, vital, which is moving, living. In oneself one is enormously poor, one has discovered that, the cause of one's dependence.


Editor's note: This existential poverty will be found only at the egoic surface of life. Below, "truth is a living thing" with untold power and potential.


Does the discovery of the cause free one from being dependent or is the discovery of the cause merely intellectual, merely the discovery of a formula? If it is an intellectual investigation and the intellect has found the cause of the mind's dependence, through rationalization, through analysis, then does that free the mind from being dependent? Obviously it doesn't.

The mere intellectual discovery of the cause does not free the mind from its dependence on some thing which will give it stimulation, no more than a merely intellectual acceptance of an idea, or an emotional acquiescence in an ideology will [free the mind].

The mind is freed from dependence in seeing the totality of this whole structure of stimulation and dependence and in seeing that the mere intellectual discovery of the cause of dependence does not free the mind from dependence. Seeing the whole structure and nature of stimulation and dependence and how that dependence makes the mind stupid, dull, inactive, the seeing of the totality of it, alone, frees the mind.



dependent on nothing external, even good things

"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you.” - T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Editor’s note: The goodness of learning is just about the greatest gift to us. And yet, it is an external benefit – but one of those “sacred cows” that few would argue against. There’s a quote somewhere in the collection, to the effect, reading is the best antidote against all miseries of life. I will not vigorously protest against this assertion. However, what if there are no books? no opportunities for learning? But, even if there are, what about the primal sanctity, the “holy of holies” of one’s own mind, one’s link to Universal Consciousness, to God? As Krishnamurti rightly points out, we are to be essentially dependent on nothing. Our spirits, alone, awakened and alive, will see us through the “terrors of living forever,” with no other remedy to decisively avail, not even the good things of life.



Does one see the whole picture or does one see only a part of the picture, a detail? This is a very important question to ask oneself, because one sees things in fragments and thinks in fragments - all one's thinking is in fragments. So one must enquire into what it means to see totally.


Editor's note: This "seeing of the totality" is not part of ordinary thought but a "total field perception" as altered state of consciousness.


One asks if one's mind can see the whole, even though it has always functioned fragmentarily, as a nationalist, as an individualist, as the collective, as the Catholic, as German, Russian, French, or as an individual caught in a technological society, functioning in a specialized activity, and so on - everything broken up into fragments with good opposed to evil, hate and love, anxiety and freedom.

One's [egoic] mind is always thinking in duality, in comparison, in competition and such a mind functioning in fragments cannot see the whole. If one is a Hindu, if one looks at the world from one's little window as the Hindu, believing in certain dogmas, rituals, traditions, brought up in a certain culture and so on, obviously one does not see the whole of mankind.

So to see something totally, whether it is a tree, or a relationship or any activity that one has, the mind must be free from all fragmentation, and the very nature of fragmentation is the centre from which one is looking. The background, the culture as the Catholic, as the Protestant, as the Communist, as the Socialist, as my family, is the centre from which one is looking.

So as long as one is looking at life from a particular point of view, or from a particular experience which one has cherished, which is one's background, which is the 'me', one cannot see the totality.

Thus it is not a question of how one is to get rid of fragmentation. One's invariable question would be 'how am I who functions in fragments, not to function in fragments?' - but that is a wrong question.

One sees that one is dependent psychologically on so many things and one has discovered intellectually, verbally, and through analysis, the cause of that dependence; the discovery is itself fragmentary because it is an intellectual, verbal, analytical process - which means that whatever thought investigates must inevitably be fragmentary.

One can see the totality of something only when thought doesn't interfere, then one sees not verbally and not intellectually but factually, as I see the fact of this microphone, without any like or dislike, there it is. Then one sees the actuality, that one is dependent and one does not want to get rid of that dependence or to be free of its cause.

One observes and one observes without any centre [without any source of dependence], without any structure of the nature of thinking. When there is observation of that kind, one sees the whole picture, not just a fragment of that picture and when the mind sees the whole picture there is freedom.

Two things have been discovered. Firstly, there is a dissipation of energy when there is fragmentation. By observing, by listening to this whole structure of dependence one has discovered that any activity of a mind that works and functions in fragments - as a Hindu, a Communist or a Catholic, or as the analyser analysing - is essentially a dissipated mind, a mind that wastes energy. Secondly, that discovery gives one energy to face any fragments that may arise and therefore as one observes those fragments arise there is a resolving of them.

One has found the very source of dissipation of energy, that any fragmentation, any division, any conflict - for division means conflict - is waste of energy. Yet one may think there is no waste of energy if one imitates and accepts authority - depending on the priest, on rituals, on dogma, on the party, on an ideology - because there one accepts and follows.

But the following and the acceptance of an ideology, whether it is good or bad, whether it is holy or unholy, is a fragmentary activity and it therefore causes conflict. Conflict will inevitably arise for there will be a division between 'what is' and 'what should be' and that conflict is a dissipation of energy.

Can one see the truth of it? Again it is not 'how am I to be free of conflict?' If one puts that question to oneself 'how am I to be free of conflict?' then one creates another problem and hence increases conflict.

Whereas if one sees, - 'sees' as one sees the microphone, clearly, directly, - then one would understand the essential truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all.

Look, Sirs, let us put it differently. We are always comparing what "we are" with what "we should be". The "should be" is a projection of what we think ought to be. We compare ourselves with our neighbour, with the riches he has which we haven't. We compare ourselves with those who are more bright, more intellectual, more affectionate, more kind, more famous, more this and that.

The "more" plays an extraordinarily important part in our lives, and the measuring that takes place in each one of us; measuring ourselves with something is one of the primary causes of conflict. In this is involved competition, comparison with this and with that, and we are caught in this conflict.

Now, why is there comparison at all? Put this question to yourself. Why do you compare yourself with another? Of course one of the tricks of commercial propaganda is to make you think you are not what you should be and all the rest of it. And from a very young age it begins, you must be as clever as another, through examinations and so on. Why do we compare ourselves at all, psychologically? Please find out. If I don't compare, what am I? I should be dull, empty, stupid, I'll be what I am. If I don't compare myself with another I shall be what I am. But through comparison I hope to evolve, grow, become more intelligent, more beautiful, more this and more that.

Will I? The fact is that I am what I am and by comparing I am fragmenting that fact, the actuality, and that is a waste of energy; whereas not to compare, but to be what actually I am, is to have the tremendous energy to look. When you can look without comparison you're beyond all comparison - which doesn't imply a mind that is stagnant with contentment - on the contrary.

So, we see, in essence, how the mind wastes energy and how that energy is necessary to understand the totality of life, not just the fragments. It's like a vast field in which there are many flowers. Did you not notice, if you were here earlier, how, before they cut the hay, there were thousands of flowers of many colours? But most of us take one particular corner of a field and look in that corner at one flower - we don't look at the whole field. We give importance to one flower, and giving importance to that one flower we deny the rest. That's what we do when we give importance to our image of ourselves, then we deny all other images and are therefore in conflict with every other image.

So, as we said, energy is necessary, energy that is without a motive, without a direction. For this [they say] we must be poor inwardly [as the poverty of the saint], not rich with the things which society, which we have built up. As most of us are rich with the things of society there is no poverty in us at all. What society has built in us and what we have built in ourselves is greed, envy, anger, hate, jealousy, anxiety, and with that we are very rich.

To understand all this we must have an extraordinary vitality, both physical as well as psychological. Poverty is one of those strange things; the various religions throughout the world have preached poverty - poverty, chastity, and so on. The poverty of the monk who assumes a robe, changes his name, enters into a cell, picks up the Bible, reads that everlastingly - he's said to be poor. The same is done in different ways in the East, and that's considered poverty - the vow of poverty, to have one loincloth, one robe, one meal a day - and we all respect such poverty.

But those people who have assumed the robe of poverty are still [striving to be] rich with the things of society, inwardly, psychologically, because they are still seeking position, prestige; they belong to the category of the religious type and that type is one of the divisions of the culture of society. That is not [true spiritual] poverty - poverty is to be completely free of society, though you may have a few clothes, have a few meals.

Poverty becomes a marvellous and beautiful thing when the mind is free from the psychological structure of society for then there is no conflict, there is no seeking, there's no asking, no desire - there is nothing.

It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all. Such a life is a benediction, that benediction is not to be found in any church, in any temple...



Editor's last word: