Inquiry and Belief

Is there anything sacred in life? Not invented by thought, because man, from time immeasurable, he has always asked this question: is there something beyond all this confusion, misery, darkness, illusions, beyond the institutions and reforms; is there something really true, something beyond time, something so immense that thought cannot come to it? Man has enquired into this. And only apparently very, very, very, very few people have been free to enter into that world. And the priest from ancient of times comes in between the seeker and that which he is hoping to find. He interprets, he becomes the man who knows, or thinks he knows. And he is side-tracked, diverted; lost.

So if we want to enquire into that which is most holy, which is nameless, timeless, one must obviously belong to no group, no religion, have no belief, no faith, because belief and faith is accepting as true something which does not or may not exist. That is the nature of belief: taking for granted, accepting something to be true when your own enquiry, your own vitality, energy, has not found out, you believe. Because in belief there is some form of security, comfort. But a man who is seeking merely psychological comfort, such a man will never come upon that which is beyond.

Public Talk 6 Ojai, California, USA - 16 May 1982


And then you have found out.

I’m not sure what you mean here.

When Krishnamurti said, “when your own enquiry, your own vitality, energy, has not found out, you believe”, wasn’t he saying that when you fail to find out, instead of staying with your failure, you pretend to have found out, and that pretense is what we call “belief”?

The believer believes their belief.

Are you you saying that in trying and failing to find out, one becomes a believer because one was never interested in finding out of the prison of self, but only in finding out how to feel better about being a prisoner by calling one’s lies, beliefs?

That’s a pretty complicated way of putting it.

What I observe in others and even in myself is that having expended a great deal of energy on acquiring intimate knowledge of a religious body of work like K’s teaching, and then that knowledge failing to translate into what it (apparently) promises, it is not too far a stretch to start repeating your understanding as if it were a living reality. It is not pleasant to remain with mere unknowing understanding. To go back to the drawing board once again to see if you missed something. Some are lucky enough to have friends, and I count K amongst my friends, to give them a gentle nudge when they slip up. Otherwise, life will give you a more vigorous yank as belief brushes up against reality.

To quote Marcus Aurelius, “Stand up or be set up.”


I think these are the key lines.

The first line reminds us not to be full of ourselves for having small awakenings, and to distrust others who claim to be transformed.

The second line reminds us not to take words as realities. We can be open to the possibility of something sacred, of something immense. But unless we have actually, for ourselves, realised this sacred, this immensity, with its full significance, to pretend to oneself one has done is a form of stupidity.

This is the danger for all of us. Even those of us who are not claiming to be transformed, or to have touched the sacred, betray the truth when we merely repeat the things that Krishnamurti has said without their full significance. To repeat a truth without being present to its living actuality, is to betray it.

I take this to mean that one lives honestly, without giving a thought to consequences, or is too calculating to be anything but a pawn in some game.

So those who (as K said in his last words) are “living the teaching” are betraying it?

In the present case, the context is taking something which one isn’t living, and pretending one is living it, or acting as though one were living it.

For instance, to say I know what love is, when I am hating, is obviously a betrayal of truth.

But even further, to repeat anything that Krishnamurti has said as though it were an accepted fact - without looking at it afresh - is to betray the truth.

I think this is what Dev is getting at in his post.

When I look afresh at K’s statement that even though no one got it, that some will be “living the teaching” is something of value, it still conveys the same thing: people faking it to make it.

What do you make of it?

I understand it to mean that even though Krishnamurti didn’t feel that anyone had had the radical transformation he was pointing to, he nevertheless felt that by living out whichever parts of the teachings people are able to do, that this ‘living out’ might bring people somewhat into contact with the energy he talked about.

Okay. That’s a more charitable reading - less cynical than mine, which I don’t hold to.