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Relationship with Nature

The death of a tree is beautiful in its ending, unlike man's. A dead tree in the desert, stripped of its bark, polished by the sun and the wind, all its naked branches open to the heavens, is a wondrous sight. A great redwood, many, many hundreds of years old, is cut down in a few minutes to make fences, seats, and build houses or enrich the soil in the garden. The marvellous giant is gone. Man is pushing deeper and deeper into the forests, destroying them for pasture and houses. The wilds are disappearing. There is a valley, whose surrounding hills are perhaps the oldest on earth, where cheetahs, bears and the deer one once saw have entirely disappeared, for man is everywhere. The beauty of the earth is slowly being destroyed and polluted. Cars and tall buildings are appearing in the most unexpected places. When you lose your relationship with nature and the vast heavens, you lose your relationship with man.

J. Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Bulletin 56, 1989    
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Freedom is to stand alone

Freedom is to stand alone, unattached and unafraid, free in the understanding of desire which breeds illusion. There is a vast strength in being alone. It is the conditioned, programmed brain that is never alone, for it is filled with knowledge. That which is programmed, religiously or technologically, is always limited. This limitation is the major factor of conflict. Beauty is dangerous for a man of desire.

J. Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Bulletin 57, 1989    
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Freedom from the known

Now, freedom from all that, is freedom from the known; it is the state of a mind which says, "I do not know", and which is not looking for an answer. Such a mind is completely not seeking not expecting; and it is only in this state that you can say, "I understand". It is the only state in which the mind is free, and from that state you can look at the things that are known - but not the other way round. From the known you cannot possibly see the unknown; but when once you have understood the state of a mind that is free - which is the mind that says, "I don't know" and remains unknowing, and is therefore innocent - , from that state you can function, you can be a citizen, you can be married, or what you will. Then what you do has relevance, significance in life. But we remain in the field of the known, with all its conflicts, striving, disputes, agonies, and from that field we try to find that which is unknown; therefore we are not really seeking freedom. What we want is the continuation, the extension of the same old thing: the known.

J. Krishnamurti The Collected Works Vol. XIV Saanen 3rd Public Talk 11th July 1963    
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Innocence alone can be passionate.

Innocence alone can be passionate. The innocent have no sorrow, no suffering, though they have had a thousand experiences. It is not experiences that corrupt the mind but what they leave behind, the residue, the scars, the memories. These accumulate, pile one on top of the other, and then sorrow begins. This sorrow is time. Where time is, innocency is not. Passion is not born of sorrow. Sorrow is experience, the experience of everyday life, the life of agony and fleeting pleasures, fears and certainties. You cannot escape from experiences, but they need not take root in the mind. These roots give rise to problems, conflicts and constant struggle. There is no way out of this but to die each day to every yesterday. The clear mind alone can be passionate. Without passion you cannot see the breeze among the leaves or the sunlight on the water. Without passion there is no love.

Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Bulletin 4, 1969    
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There is no loss of energy in being in love

Q: Is it possible for a man and a woman to live together, to have sex and children, without all the turmoil, bitterness and conflict inherent in such a relationship? Is it possible for there to be freedom on both sides? I don't mean by freedom that the husband or wife should constantly be having affairs with someone else. People usually come together and get married because they fall in love, and in that there is desire, choice, pleasure, possessiveness and tremendous drive. The very nature of this in-loveness is from the start filled with the seeds of conflict.

Krishnamurti: Is it? Need it be? I very much question that. Can't you fall in love and not have a possessive relationship? I love someone and she loves me and we get married - that is all perfectly straightforward and simple, in that there is no conflict at all. (When I say we get married I might just as well say we decide to live together - don't let's get caught up in words.) Can't one have that without the other, without the tail as it were, necessarily following? Can't two people be in love and both be so intelligent and so sensitive that there is freedom and absence of a centre that makes for conflict? Conflict is not in the feeling of being in love. The feeling of being in love is utterly without conflict. There is no loss of energy in being in love. The loss of energy is in the tail, in everything that follows - jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion, doubt, the fear of losing that love, the constant demand for reassurance and security. Surely it must be possible to function in a sexual relationship with someone you love without the nightmare which usually follows. Of course it is.

Krishnamurti Foudation Trust Bulletin 3, 1969 Krishnamurti Foudation Trust Bulletin 4, 1969    
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Opening the door to creation

Learning in the true sense of the word is possible only in that state of attention, in which there is no outer or inner compulsion. Right thinking can come about only when the mind is not enslaved by tradition and memory. It is attention that allows silence to come upon the mind, which is the opening of the door to creation. That is why attention is of the highest importance. Knowledge is necessary at the functional level as a means of cultivating the mind, and not as an end in itself. We are concerned, not with the development of just one capacity, such as that of a mathematician, or a scientist, or a musician, but with the total development of the student as a human being. How is the state of attention to be brought about? It cannot be cultivated through persuasion, comparison, reward or punishment, all of which are forms of coercion. The elimination of fear is the beginning of attention. Fear must exist as long as there is an urge to be or to become, which is the pursuit of success, with all its frustrations and tortuous contradictions. You can teach concentration, but attention cannot be taught just as you cannot possibly teach freedom from fear; but we can begin to discover the causes that produce fear, and in understanding these causes there is the elimination of fear. So attention arises spontaneously when around the student there is an atmosphere of well-being, when he has the feeling of being secure, of being at ease, and is aware of the disinterested action that comes with love. Love does not compare, and so the envy and torture of `becoming' cease.

J. Krishnamurti Life Ahead Saanen 4th Public Dialogue 3rd August 1974.    
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Living in the past

Now, one sees all that by observing, by being aware, watching, one is aware of all this. Then out of that awareness you see there is no division between the observer and the observed. It is a trick of thought which demands security. Please don't madam, please. And by being aware it sees the observer is the observed, that violence is the observer, violence is not different from the observer. Now how is the observer to end himself and not be violent? Have you understood my question so far? I think so. Right? The observer is the observed, there is no division and therefore no conflict. And is the observer then, knowing all the intricacies of naming, linguistically caught in the image of violence, what happens to that violence? If the observer is violent, can the observer end, otherwise violence will go on? Can the observer end himself, because he is violent? Or what reality has theobserver? Right sir? Is he merely put together by words, by experience, by knowledge? So is he put together by the past? So is he the past? Right? Which means the mind is living in the past. Right? obviously. You are living in the past. Right? No? As long as there is an observer there must be living in the past, obviously. And all our life is based on the past, memories, knowledge, images, according to which you react, which is your conditioning, is the past. And living has become the living of the past in the present, modified in the future. That's all, as long as the observer is living. Now does the mind see this as a truth, as a reality, that all my life is living in the past? I may paint most abstract pictures, write the most modern poems, invent the most extraordinary machinery, but I am still living in the past.

Saanen, Switzerland, 5 August 1973    
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Only observation

Q:You tell us to observe our actions in daily life but what is the entity that decides what to observe and when? Who decides if one should observe? Krishnamurti:Do you decide to observe? Or do you merely observe? Do you decide and say, `I am going to observe and learn'? For then there is the question: `Who is deciding?' Is it will that says, `I must'? And when it fails, it chastises itself further and says, `I must, must, must; in that there is conflict; therefore the state of mind that has decided to observe is not observation at all. You are walking down the road, somebody passes you by, you observe and you may say to yourself, `How ugly he is; how he smells; I wish he would not do this or that'. You are aware of your responses to that passer-by, you are aware that you are judging, condemning or justifying; you are observing. You do not say, `I must not judge, I must not justify'. In being aware of your responses, there is no decision at all. You see somebody who insulted you yesterday. Immediately all your hackles are up, you become nervous or anxious, you begin to dislike; be aware of your dislike, be aware of all that, do not `decide' to be aware. Observe, and in that observation there is neither the `observer' nor the `observed' - there is only observation taking place. The `observer' exists only when you accumulate in the observation; when you say, `He is my friend because he has flattered me', or, `He is not my friend, because he has said something ugly about me, or something true which I do not like,. That is accumulation through observation and that accumulation is the observer. When you observe without accumulation, then there is no judgement. You can do this all the time; in that observation naturally certain definite decisions are natural results, not decisions made by the observer who has accumulated.

J. Krishnamurti 5th Public Talk Saanen 26th July 1970    
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Look and be simple

Surely, since you have burnt yourself in politics, your problem is not only to break away from society, but to come totally to life again, to love and to be simple. Without love, do what you may, you will not know the total action which alone can save man. "That is true, sir: we don't love, we aren't really simple." Why? Because you are concerned with reforms, with duties, with respectability, with becoming something, with breaking through to the other side. In the name of another, you are concerned with yourself; you are caught in your own cockleshell. You think you are the center of this beautiful earth. You never pause to look at a tree, at a flower, at the flowing river; and if by chance you do look, your eyes are filled with the things of the mind, and not with beauty and love. "Again, that is true; but what is one to do?" Look and be simple.

J. Krishnamurti Commentaries on Living Series III    
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The immeasurable

The earth and everything upon it became holy. It was not that the mind was aware of this peace as something outside of itself, something to be remembered and communicated, but there was a total absence of any movement of the mind. There was only the immeasurable.

J. Krishnamurti Commentaries on Living Series III    
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To see the truth in the false

The craving for experience is the beginning of illusion. As you now realize, your visions were but the projections of your background, of your conditioning, and it is these projections that you have experienced. Surely this is not meditation. The beginning of meditation is the understanding of the background, of the self, and without this understanding, what is called meditation, however pleasurable or painful, is merely a form of self-hypnosis. You have practised self-control, mastered thought, and concentrated on the furthering of experience. This is a self-centred occupation, it is not meditation; and to perceive that it is not meditation is the beginning of meditation. To see the truth in the false sets the mind free from the false. Freedom from the false does not come about through the desire to achieve it; it comes when the mind is no longer concerned with success with the attainment of an end. There must be the cessation of all search, and only then is there a possibility of the coming into being of that which is nameless.

J. Krishnamurti Commentaries on Living Series III    
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Is there such thing as transformation?

Q: Is there such a thing as transformation? What is it to be transformed? Krishnamurti: When you are observing, seeing the dirt on the road, seeing how politicians behave, seeing your own attitude towards your wife, your children and so on, transformation is there. Do you understand? To bring about some kind of order in daily life, that is transformation; not something extraordinary, out of this world. When one is not thinking clearly, rationally, be aware of that and change it, break it. That is transformation. If you are jealous watch it, don't give it time to flower, change it immediately. That is transformation. When you are greedy, violent, ambitious, trying to become some kind of holy man, see how it is creating a world of tremendous uselessness. I don't know if you are aware of this. Competition is destroying the world. The world is becoming more and more competetive, more and more aggressive, and if you change it immediately, that is transformation. And if you go very much deeper into the problem, it is clear that thought denies love. Therefore one has to find out whether there is an end to thought, an end to time, not philosophize over it and discuss it, but find out. Truly that is transformation, and if you go into it very deeply, transformation means never a thought of becoming, comparing; it is being absolutely nothing.

Krishnamurti Foudation Trust Bulletin 42, 1982    
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The essence of goodness

The essence of goodness is a mind that is not in conflict. Examine it, look at it. Goodness cannot flower through another, through a religious figure, through dogma, through belief, it can only flower in the soil of total attention in which there is no authority. You are following all this? Is this all too complex? And goodness implies great responsibility. You cannot be good and allow wars to take place. So a man that is really good is totally responsible for all his life.

This Light in Oneself, conversation 1316, Ojai, April 1979    
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Goodness, love and intelligence

The only thing that really matters is that there be an action of goodness, love and intelligence in living. Is goodness individual or collective, is love personal or impersonal, is intelligence yours, mine or somebody else? If it is yours or mine then it is not intelligence, or love, or goodness. If goodness is an affair of the individual or of the collective, according to one s particular preference or decision, then it is no longer goodness. Goodness is not in the backyard of the individual nor in the open field of the collective; goodness flowers only in freedom from both.

The Urgency of Change, Conversation 5.    
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Goodness has no opposite

Goodness has no opposite. Most of us consider goodness as the opposite of the bad or evil and so throughout history in any culture goodness has been considered the other face of that which is brutal. So man has always struggled against evil in order to be good; but goodness can never come into being if there is any form of violence or struggle.

Letters to the Schools vol I    
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Goodness shows itself in behaviour

Goodness shows itself in behaviour and action and in relationship. Generally our daily behaviour is based on either the following of certain patterns - mechanical and therefore superficial - or according to very carefully thought-out motive, based on reward or punishment. So our behaviour, consciously or unconsciously, is calculated. This is not good behaviour. When one realizes this, not merely intellectually or by putting words together, then out of this total negation comes true behaviour.

Letters to the Schools vol I    
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What is goodness?

Goodness can flower only in freedom. It cannot bloom in the soil of persuasion in any form, nor under compulsion, nor is it the outcome of reward. It does not reveal itself when there is any kind of imitation or conformity, and naturally it cannot exist when there is fear. Goodnessshows itself in behaviour and this behaviour is based on sensitivity. This goodness is expressed in action. The whole movement of thought is not goodness. Thought, which is so very complex, must be understood, but the very understanding of it awakens thought to its own limitation.

J. Krishnamurti Letters to Schools Volume One 1st September, 1978    
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To remain with a fact without trying to change

To say, I am angry and remain with that fact without trying to change, without trying to explain it away, is very difficult. I do not know if you have noticed that to live with an ugly thing without its corrupting you is very difficult. To live with an ugly picture and not let it pervert your sensitivity is very difficult because to live with an ugly thing releases a tremendous amount of energy, just as living with a beautiful thing does. You see a lovely tree in your garden, and you are proud of it, or you are used to it. Or, you see a filthy road, and you get used to it. To live with it and not let that dirty road corrupt you, or to live with something very beautiful without getting used to it, you need a great deal of energy, you need a great deal of sensitive awareness, don't you? Otherwise you get used to both; you become dull to beauty and to ugliness. So a mind that has become accustomed to ideals has become dull; it accepts postponing, and postponement is a facile habit. If you deny ideas, if you deny ideals, then you are free to face the fact.

The Collected Works vol XII, p 290    
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That is not change

For most of us, change implies the continuation of ourselves in a modified form. If we are dissatisfied with a particular pattern of ideas, of rituals, of conditioning, we throw it aside and pick up the same pattern in a different milieu, a different colour, with different rituals, different words. Instead of Latin it is Sanskrit, or some other language, but it is still the old pattern repeated over and over and over again; and within this pattern we think we are moving, changing. Because we are dissatisfied with what we are, we go from one teacher to another. Seeing confusion about us and in ourselves, seeing perpetual wars, ever-increasing destruction, devastation and misery, we want some haven, some peace; and if we can find a refuge that gives us a sense of security, a sense of permanency, with that we are satisfied.
So, when the mind projects an idea and clings to it, struggles towards it, surely that is not change, that is not transformation, that is not revolution, because it is still within the field of the mind, the field of time. To clear away all that, we must be conscious of what we are doing, we must be aware of it.

The Collected Works vol VII, pp 7-8    
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The self is nothing but words and memories

So what are you? You are a name, a form, the result of a society, a culture which has emphasized throughout the ages that you are separate, something indefinitely identifiable. Right? You have your character, your particular tendency, either aggressive or yielding. Is that not put together by the culture which has been brought about by thought? It is very difficult for people to accept a very simple, logical examination, because they would like to think that the self is something most extraordinary. We are pointing out that the self is nothing but words and memories.

On Mind and Thought, pp 68-69    
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