Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do you believe in God?

Question: Do  you believe in God?
Krishnamurti: It is easy to ask questions, and it is very important to know how to ask a right question.  In this particular question, the words ‘believe’ and ‘God’ seem to me so contradictory.  A man who merely believes in God will never know what God is, because his belief is a form of conditioning – which again is very obvious.   In Christianity you are taught from childhood to believe in God, so from the very beginning your mind is conditioned.  In the communist countries, belief in God is called sheer nonsense – at which you are horrified.  You want to convert them, and they want to convert you.  They have conditioned their minds not to believe, and you call them godless, while you consider yourself God-fearing, or whatever it is.  I do not see much difference between the two.  You may go to church, pray, listen to sermons, or perform certain rituals and get some kind of stimulation out of it – but none of that,  surely,  is the experiencing of the unknown.  And can the mind experience the unknown, whatever name one may give it?  The name does not matter.  That is the question – not whether one believes or does not believe in God.
One can see that any form of conditioning will never set the mind free, and that only the free mind can discover, experience.  Experiencing is a very strange thing.  The moment you know you are experiencing, there is the cessation of that experience.  The moment I know I am happy, I am no longer happy.  To experience this immeasurable  Reality, the experiencer must come to an end.  The experiencer is the result of the known, of many centuries of cultivated memory;  he is an accumulation of the things he has experienced.  So when he says, ‘I must experience Reality’, and is cognizant of that experience, then what he experiences is not Reality, but a projection of his own past, his own conditioning.
That is why it is very important to understand that the thinker and the thought, or the experiencer and the experience, are the same; they are not different.  When there is an experiencer separate from the experience, then the experiencer is constantly pursuing further experience, but that experience is always a projection of himself.
So Reality, the timeless state, is not to be found through mere verbalization, or acceptance, or through the repetition of what one has heard – which is all folly.  To really find out, one must go into this whole question of the experiencer.  So long as there is the ‘me’ who wants to experience, there can be no experiencing of Reality.  That is why the experiencer – the entity who is seeking God, who believes in God, who prays to God – must  totally cease.  Only then can that immeasurable Reality come into being.
~ J. Krishnamurti, from his second talk in Brussels (June 25th, 1956)