Thursday, February 4, 2010

How can I experience God

Question: How can I experience God, which will give a meaning to my weary life?  Without that experience, what is the purpose of living?
Krishnamurti: Can I understand life directly, or must I experience something which will give a meaning to life?  Do you understand , sirs?  To appreciate beauty,  must I know what its purpose is?  Must love have a cause?  And if there is a cause to love,  is it love?  The questioner says he must have a certain experience that will give a meaning to life – which implies that for him life in itself is not important.  So in seeking God,  he is really escaping from life, escaping from sorrow,  from beauty,  from ugliness,  from anger,  pettiness,  jealousy and the desire for power,  from the extraordinary complexity of living.  All that is life, and as he does not understand it, he says, ‘I will find some greater thing which will give a meaning to life.’
Please listen to what I am saying,  but not just at the verbal,  intellectual level,  because then it will have very little meaning.  You can spin a lot of words about all this,  read all the sacred books in the land,  but it will be worthless because it is not related to your life,  to your daily existence.
So,  what is our living?  What is this thing that we call our existence?  Very simply,  not philosophically,  it is a series of experiences of pleasure and pain, and we want to avoid the pains while holding on to the pleasures.  The pleasure of power,  of being a big man in the big world,  the pleasure of dominating one’s little wife or husband,  the pain,  the frustration,  fear and anxiety which come with ambition, the ugliness of playing up to the man of importance, and so on – all that goes to make up our daily living.  That is what we call living is a series of memories within the field of the known,  and the known becomes a problem when the mind is not free of the known.  Functioning within the field of the known – the known being knowledge,  experience and the memory of that experience – the mind says, ‘I must know God.’  So,  according to its tradition,  according to its ideas,  its conditioning,  it projects an entity which it calls God,  but that entity is the result of the known;  it is still within the field of time.
So you can find out with clarity,  with truth,  with real experience whether there is God or not, only when the mind is totally free from the known.  Surely, that something which may be called God or Truth must be totally new, unrecognizable, and a mind that approaches it through knowledge, through experience, through ideas and accumulated virtues,  is trying to capture the unknown while living in the field of the  known,  which is an impossibility,  All that the mind can do is to enquire whether it is possible to free itself from the known.  To be free from the known is to be completely free from all the impressions of the past, from the weight of tradition.  The mind itself is the product of the known, it is put together by time as the ‘me’ and the ‘not-me’, which is the conflict of duality,  If the known totally ceases, consciously as well as unconsciously – and I say,  not theoretically,  that there is a possibility of its ceasing – then you will never ask if there is God, because such a mund is immeasurable in itself; like love, it is its own eternity.
~ J. Krishnamurti