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Jiddu Krishnamurti on Immediate Realization of Truth

Question: Can we realize on the spot the truth you are speaking of, without any previous preparation?
Jiddu Krishnamurti : What do you mean by truth? Do not let us use a word of which we do not know the meaning; we can use a simpler word, a more direct word. Can you understand, can you comprehend a problem directly? That is what is implied, is it not? Can you understand what is, immediately, now? In understanding what is, you will understand the significance of truth; but to say that one must understand truth has very little meaning.

Can you understand a problem directly, fully, and be free of it? That is what is implied in this question, is it not? Can you understand a crisis, a challenge, immediately, see its whole significance and be free of it? What you understand leaves no mark; therefore understanding or truth is the liberator. Can you be liberated now from a problem, from a challenge? Life is, is it not?, a series of challenges and responses and if your response to a challenge is conditioned, limited, incomplete, then that challenge leaves its mark, its residue, which is further strengthened by another new challenge.

So there is a constant residual memory, accumulations, scars, and with all these scars you try to meet the new and therefore you never meet the new. Therefore you never understand, there is never a liberation from any challenge.

The problem, the question is, whether I can understand a challenge completely, directly; sense all its significance, all its perfume, its depth, its beauty and its ugliness and so be free of it. A challenge is always new, is it not? The problem is always new, is it not? A problem which you had yesterday, for example, has undergone such modification that when you meet it today, it is already new. But you meet it with the old, because you meet it without transforming, merely modifying your own thoughts.

Let me put it in a different way. I met you yesterday. In the meantime you have changed. You have undergone a modification but I still have yesterday's picture of you. I meet you today with my picture of you and therefore I do not understand you - I understand only the picture of you which I acquired yesterday. If I want to understand you, who are modified, changed, I must remove, I must be free of the picture of yesterday. In other words to understand a challenge, which is always new, I must also meet it anew, there must be no residue of yesterday; so I must say adieu to yesterday.

After all, what is life? It is something new all the time, is it not? It is something which is ever undergoing change, creating a new feeling. Today is never the same as yesterday and that is the beauty of life. Can you and I meet every problem anew? Can you, when you go home, meet your wife and your child anew, meet the challenge anew? You will not be able to do it if you are burdened with the memories of yesterday. Therefore, to understand the truth of a problem, of a relationship, you must come to it afresh - not with an `open mind', for that has no meaning. You must come to it without the scars of yesterday's memories - which means, as each challenge arises, be aware of all the responses of yesterday and by being aware of yesterday's residue, memories, you will find that they drop away without struggle and therefore your mind is fresh.

Can one realize truth immediately, without preparation? I say yes - not out of some fancy of mine, not out of some illusion; but psychologically experiment with it and you will see. Take any challenge, any small incident - don't wait for some great crisis - and see how you respond to it. Be aware of it, of your responses, of your intentions, of your attitudes and you will understand them, you will understand your background. I assure you, you can do it immediately if you give your whole attention to it.

If you are seeking the full meaning of your background, it yields its significance and then you discover in one stroke the truth, the understanding of the problem. Understanding comes into being from the now, the present, which is always timeless. Though it may be tomorrow, it is still now; merely to postpone, to prepare to receive that which is tomorrow, is to prevent yourself from understanding what is now. Surely you can understand directly what is now, can't you? To understand what is, you have to be undisturbed, undistracted, you have to give your mind and heart to it. It must be your sole interest at that moment, completely. Then what is gives you its full depth, its full meaning, and thereby you are free of that problem.

If you want to know the truth, the psychological significance of property, for instance, if you really want to understand it directly, now, how do you approach it? Surely you must feel akin to the problem, you must not be afraid of it, you must not have any creed, any answer, between yourself and the problem. Only when you are directly in relationship with the problem will you find the answer.

If you introduce an answer, if you judge, have a psychological disinclination, then you will postpone, you will prepare to understand tomorrow what can only be understood in the `now'. Therefore you will never understand. To perceive truth needs no preparation; preparation implies time and time is not the means of understanding truth. Time is continuity and truth is timeless, non-continuous. Understanding is non-continuous, it is from moment to moment, unresidual.

I am afraid I am making it all sound very difficult, am I not? But it is easy, simple to understand, if you will only experiment with it. If you go off into a dream, meditate over it, it becomes very difficult. When there is no barrier between you and me, I understand you. If I am open to you, I understand you directly - and to be open is not a matter of time. Will time make me open? Will preparation, system, discipline, make me open to you? No. What will make me open to you is my intention to understand. I want to be open because I have nothing to hide, I am not afraid; therefore I am open and there is immediate communion, there is truth. To receive truth, to know its beauty, to know its joy, there must be instant receptivity, unclouded by theories, fears and answers.

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