Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes 

on mind, self-knowledge and thought

The mind that has put its hous in order, has understood the nature of knowledge. Such a mind is completely silent. And that silence has no cause. You see, "silence" can be illusory; it can be put together by a thought that is determined to be silent. You have the silence between the two whistles of a train, the silence between two notes, between two noises, between two sounds, between two thoughts - but that kind of silence is still withhin the realm of cognition. But when the mind is completely silent, it is nto even aware that it is silent. If it were, it would merely be playing tricks. The mind that has put its house in order is silent. That silence has no cause and, therefore, has no end. Only that which has a cause can end. That silence - which has no ending - is absolutely necessary, because it is only in that silence that there is no movement of thought. It is only in that silence that that which is sacred, that which is nameless, and that which is not measurable by thought, is. And that which is, is the most sacred. That is meditation.

The mind is conditioned, is it not? All your environment is shaping the mind; the climate, the customs, the tradition, the racial influences, the family, - innumerable conscious and unconscious pressures are shaping the mind. You are a Hindu, a Parsi, a Mussulman, a Christian or whatever you are, because you have been influenced by your environment.

So thought is the instrument of pleasure, and thought is the instrument of pain, fear - consciously or unconsciously. Then there is the whole question of hidden fears, unconscious, deep rooted fears inherited through the environment, through culture, through the race, through family, you know, the stored up fears. Now how is one to be free of all that?

You may know the superficial layers of your mind; but to know the unconscious motives, drives, fears, the hidden residue of tradition, of racial inheritance - to be aware of all that and to give it close attention is very hard work, it demands a great deal of energy. Most of us are unwilling to give close attention to these things, we have not the patience to go into ourselves step by step, inch by inch, so that we begin to know all the subtleties, the intricate movements of the mind.

But it is only the mind which has understood itself in its totality and is therefore incapable of self-deception - it is only such a mind that can free itself of its past and go beyond its own movements within the field of time. This is not very difficult, but it requires a great deal of hard work.

"So, self-knowledge is the technique of meditation, and without self-knowledge there is no meditation."

"Self-knowledge begins in understanding oneself from moment to moment, and that understanding requires one's full attention to be given to each thought at any particular moment without an end in view; because, there cannot be complete attention when there is condemnation or justification. When the mind condemns or justifies, it does so either to deny or to escape what it perceives."

"To discover what is eternal, the process of the mind must be understood. You cannot think about the unknown; you can think only about the known, and what is known is not the real. Reality cannot be thought about, meditated upon, pictured, or formulated; if it is, it is not real, because it is merely the projection of the mind. It is only when the thought process ceases, when the mind is literally and utterly still - and stillness can come about only through self-knowledge - , that reality is understood; and it is the real that resolves our problems, not our cunning distractions and formulated escapes."