Knowing one-self

K said the more you know about a car engine the freer you are from that engine.
He said in the same way the more you know about yourself the more free you are from the self.
For the matter of investigation how is one to know about one-self?

Knowing oneself is extremely difficult to do because there is no guideline out there to use.

“The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self-knowledge has no end - you don’t come to an achievement, you don’t come to a conclusion. It is an endless river. And as one studies it, as one goes into it more and more, one finds peace. Only when the mind is tranquil - through self-knowledge and not through imposed self-discipline - only then, in that tranquillity, in that silence, can reality come into being. It is only then that there can be bliss, that there can be creative action. And it seems to me that without this understanding, without this experience, merely to read books, to attend talks, to do propaganda, is so infantile - just an activity without much meaning. Whereas, if one is able to understand oneself, and thereby bring about that creative happiness, that experiencing of something that is not of the mind, then perhaps there can be a transformation in the immediate relationship about us, and so in the world in which we live.”

Public Talk 1 Ojai, California, USA - 16 July 1949

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The key is am I " able " to understand myself or am I not " able " to understand myself ?

There are 3 possibilities:

  • I am able to understand my self
  • I am not able to understand my self
  • I don’t know
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Anyone could have said that. How do we know K said it?

Almost like saying the more you know, the freer you are from the known.

Yea… the paradox of knowing:
Knowing is bondage.
Not knowing is bondage.

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Sounds like we need to be aware of bondage.

”the more I know the less I know” - another way to express this paradox

Is it saying: the more I look at the content the more I see it is unlimited, hence it can’t be known, so “the known” and the unknown”, collide as one and the same thing ???

Only knowing (observing) remains …

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We’ve been using “content” to refer to one’s psychological conditioning. Why do you see it as “unlimited”?

I can’t count the content, I will never finish counting, seeing, observing piece by piece the content of the human mind. It is an endless process “the flowing river” K talks about.
Or, with my words, this is like counting/observing the stars of the universe.

Seen from this perspective, the content is unlimited and I (as an observer) am limited in time, so the content to me is unlimited. It is unlimited … anyways !!

So I the limited ( in time ) observer wants to know the unlimited, ever growing content. And as the observer tries to do it, it limits the unlimited into ideas, this is how the observer thinks he/she can control/own…. the unlimited !

Something about: Observing , learning without accumulation.

Questioner P: Yesterday, while you were on a walk, you said the first step is the last step. To understand that statement, I think we should investigate the problem of time and whether there is such a thing as a final state of enlightenment. The confusion arises because our minds are conditioned to think of illumination as the final state. Is understanding or illumination a final state?

Krishnamurti: You know, when we said that the first step is the last step, were we not thinking of time as a horizontal or a vertical movement? Were we not thinking of movement along a plane? We were saying yesterday, when we were walking, if we could put aside height, the vertical and the horizontal altogether, and observe this fact that wherever we are, at whatever level of conditioning, of being, the perceiving of truth, of the fact, is at that moment the last step.

I am a clerk in a little office, with all the misery involved in it; the clerk listens and perceives. The man listens and at that moment really sees. That seeing and that perception is the first and the last step. Because, at that moment he has touched truth and he sees something very clearly.

But what happens afterwards is that he wants to cultivate that state. The perception, the liberation and the very perception bringing about liberation; he wants to perpetuate, to turn it into a process. And therefore he gets caught and loses the quality of perception entirely…

Krishnamurti: I see; I perceive something that is extraordinary; something that is true. I want to perpetuate that perception; give it a continuity so that perception – action continues throughout my daily life. I think that is where the mistake lies. The mind has seen something true. That is enough. That mind is a clear, innocent mind, which has not been hurt. Thought wants to carry on that perception through the daily acts. The mind has seen something very clearly. Leave it there. The next step is the final step. The leaving of it is the next final step. Because my mind is already fresh to take the next final step. In the daily movement of life, it does not carry over. The perception has not become knowledge…

Krishnamurti: Die to the thing that is true. Otherwise it becomes memory, which then becomes thought, and thought says how am I to perpetuate that state. If the mind sees clearly, and it can only see clearly when the seeing is the ending of it, then the mind can start a movement where the first step is the last step. In this there is no process involved at all. There is no element of time. Time enters when, having seen it clearly, having perceived it, there is a carrying over and the applying of it to the next incident…

K: Perceiving is light to this mind. It is not concerned with perception any more because if it is concerned, it becomes memory. Can the mind, seeing something very clearly, end that perception? Then, here the very first step is the last step. The mind is fresh to look. To such a mind, is there an end to all troubles? It does not ask such a question. When it happens, it will see. See what takes place. When I ask the question “Will this end all trouble?” I am already thinking of the future and therefore I am caught in time. (end of quote)

The all text is here: ( from Tradition and Revolution)


( from the same quotation)

P: What is it that makes one movement totally dissolve conditioning and another to strengthen it?

Krishnamurti: How do I listen to that question? First of all, I do not know. I am going to learn. If I learn in order to acquire knowledge, from which I am going to act, that action becomes mechanical. But when I learn without accumulating – which means perceiving, hearing, without acquiring – the mind is always empty. Then what is the question?

Can the mind which is empty ever be conditioned and why does it get conditioned? A mind which is really listening, can it ever be conditioned? It is always learning, it is always in movement. It is not a movement from something towards something. A movement cannot have a beginning and an ending.

It is something which is alive, never conditioned. A mind that acquires knowledge to function is conditioned by its own knowledge.

P: Is it the same instrument which is operating in both?

Krishnamurti: I do not know. I really do not know. The mind which is crowded with knowledge sees according to that knowledge, according to that conditioning.

P: Sir, seeing is like switching on light. It has no conditioning in itself.

Krishnamurti: The mind is full of images, words, symbols. Through that, it thinks, it sees.

P: Does it see?

Krishnamurti: No. I have an image of you and I look through that image. That is distortion. The image is my conditioning. It is still the same vessel with all the things in it, and it is the same vessel which has nothing in it.

The content of the vessel is the vessel. When there is no content, the vessel has no form.

P: So it can receive “what is”.

Krishnamurti: Perception is only possible when there is no image. That is very simple. You see, to go back, perception is only possible when there is no image – no symbol, no idea, word, form, which are all the image. Then perception is light. It is not that I see light. There is light. Perception is light. So perception is action. And a mind which is full of images cannot perceive. It sees through images and so is distorted.

What we have said is true. It is logically so. I have listened to this. In the factor of listening there is no “I”. In the factor of carrying it over, there is the “I”. The “I” is time’

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Yes we never know if K ever said that but so what?
What is important is to see the fact as fact. K is dead and we are not here to advocate him at all .

“Krishnamurti: Die to the thing that is true. Otherwise it becomes memory, which then becomes thought……”

You said that K said it, and we do know what K said.

but so what?

So you’re a liar, and defiant, too.

And what are you? Not intelligent enough to converse with…

Oh my
I’ll say this: I am a liar too, then…

What is lying ?

What is lying ?

Is it a kind of manipulation of the content of the mind to satisfy the ego ?
Ego, manipulating the content of the mind ?
Ultimately, lying is lying to oneself.
It is self deception.