Monday, March 1, 2021

observation of ourselves becomes very superficial

 
 

 
 
Everywhere society is conditioning the individual, 
and this conditioning takes the form of self-improvement, 
which is really the perpetuation of the 'me', 
the ego, in different forms.
 
 Self-improvement may be gross, or it may be very, 
very refined when it becomes the practice of virtue,
 goodness, the so-called love of one's neighbor, 
but essentially it is the continuance of the 'me', 
which is a product of the conditioning influences of society. 
 
 All your endeavor has gone into becoming something, 
either here, if you can make it, or if not, in another world;
 but it is the same urge, the same drive to maintain and continue the self.
  ...
 
Being free of society implies not being ambitious, 
not being covetous, not being competitive; 
it implies being nothing in relation to that society 
 which is striving to be something.  
 
But you see, it is very difficult to accept that because you may be trodden on, 
you may be pushed aside; you will have nothing.  In that nothingness
 there is sanity, not in the other...  
 
As long as one wants to be part of this society, 
one must breed insanity, wars, destruction, and misery; 
but to free oneself from this society - the society of violence,
 of wealth, of position, of success - requires patience, inquiry, 
discovery, not the reading of books, the chasing after teachers,
 psychologists, and all the rest of it.
 ...
 
If one is capable of studying, watching oneself,
 one begins to discover how cumulative memory is acting 
on everything one sees; one is forever evaluating,
 discarding or accepting, condemning or justifying, 
so one's experience is always within the field
 of the known, of the conditioned. 
 
  But without cumulative memory as a directive, most of us feel lost, 
we feel frightened, and so we are incapable of observing ourselves as we are. 
 
 When there is the accumulative process, which is the cultivation of memory, 
our observation of ourselves becomes very superficial.  Memory is helpful
 in directing, improving oneself, but in self-improvement there can never 
 be a revolution, a radical transformation. It is only when 
the sense of self-improvement completely ceases, 
but not by volition, that there is a possibility
 of something transcendental, 
something totally new coming into being.
.
 
 
 
~ J. Krishnamurti
from talks given:
August 7th, 1955
 August 28th, 1955
 
 
 

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