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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


Question: Why does the mind so readily accept trivial answers to deeply felt problems?

Why does one accept a trivial explanation where a deep problem is concerned? Why does one live in words? That is the real problem. Why have words become so immensely important? One suffers, goes through great agonies and someone comes along and gives explanations and in these explanations one seeks comfort. There is god, there is reincarnation, there is this, there is that, there is something else. One accepts the word, the explanation, because it gives one comfort; the belief gives one comfort when one is in agony, in a state of anxiety. The explanations by philosophers, by psychologists, by priests, by gurus and teachers - it is on these that one lives; which means that one lives secondhand. One is a secondhand person and one is satisfied, The word `god' is a symbol. Symbols become extraordinarily important, like the flag. Why does the mind do this? One reads a great deal about what other people have thought; one sees on the television what is taking place. It is always others, somebody else out there, telling one what to do. One's mind is crippled by this and one is always living at secondhand.

One has never asked: "Can I be a light to myself - not the light of someone else, the light of Jesus or the Buddha?" Can one be a light to oneself? Which means that there is no shadow, for to be a light to oneself means it is never put out by any artificial means, by circumstances, by sorrow, by accident. Can one be that to oneself? One can be that to oneself only when one's mind has no challenge because it is so fully awake.

But most of us need challenges because most of us are asleep - asleep because we have been put to sleep by all the philosophers, by all the saints, by all the gods and priests and politicians. One has been put to sleep and one does not know that one is asleep; one thinks that is normal. A man who wants to be a light to himself has to be free of all this. One can be a light to oneself only when there is no self. Then that light is the eternal, everlasting, immeasurable light.