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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Meeting sorrow

How do you meet sorrow? I'm afraid that most of us meet it very superficially. Our education,our training, our knowledge, the sociological influences to which we are exposed, all make us superficial. A superficial mind is one that escapes to the church, to some conclusion, to some concept, to some belief or idea. Those are all a refuge for the superficial mind that is in sorrow. And if you cannot find a refuge, you build a wall around yourself and become cynical, hard, indifferent, or you escape through some facile, neurotic reaction. All such defenses against suffering prevent further inquiry.

Please watch your own mind; observe how you explain your sorrows away, lose yourself in work, in ideas, or cling to a belief in God, or in a future life. And if no explanation, no belief has been satisfactory, you escape through drink, through sex, or by becoming cynical, hard, bitter brittle.

Generation after generation it has been passed on by parents to their children, and the superficial mind never takes the bandage off that wound; it does not really know, it is not really acquainted with sorrow. It merely has an idea about sorrow. It has a picture, a symbol of sorrow, but it never meets sorrow-it meets only the word sorrow.