The two shores


Questioner: I should like, suddenly, to find myself in a totally different world, supremely intelligent, happy, with a great sense of love. I’d like to be on the other bank of the river, not to have to struggle across, asking the experts the way. I have wandered in many different parts of the world and looked at man’s endeavours in different fields of life. Nothing has attracted me except religion. I would do anything to get to the other shore, to enter into a different dimension and see everything as though for the first time with clear eyes. I feel very strongly that there must be a sudden break through from all this tawdriness of life. There must be!
Recently when I was in India I heard a temple bell ringing and it had a very strange effect on me. I suddenly felt an extraordinary sensation of unity and beauty such as I had never felt before. It happened so suddenly that I was rather dazed by it, and it was real, not a fancy or an illusion. Then a guide came along and asked me if he could show me the temples, and on that instant I was back again in the world of noise and vulgarity. I want to recapture it but of course, as you say, it is only a dead memory and therefore valueless. What can I do, or not do, to get to the other shore?
Krishnamurti: There is no way to the other shore. There is no action, no behaviour, no prescription that will open the door to the other. It is not an evolutionary process; it is not the end of a discipline; it cannot be bought or given or invited. If this is clear, if the mind has forgotten itself and no longer says - the other bank or this bank - if the mind has stopped groping and searching, if there is total emptiness and space in the mind itself - then and only then is it there.
Questioner: I understand what you say verbally, but I can’t stop groping and longing, for deep within me I do not believe that there is no way, no discipline, no action that will bring me to the other shore.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by “I do not believe there is no way”? Do you mean a teacher will take you by the hand and carry you over?
Questioner: No. I do hope, though, that someone who understands will directly point to it, for it must actually be there all the time since it is real.
Krishnamurti Surely all this is supposition. You had that sudden feeling of reality when you heard the temple bell, but that is a memory, as you said, and from that you are drawing a conclusion that it must be there always for it is real. Reality is a peculiar thing; it is there when you are not looking, but when you do look, with greed, what you capture is the sediment of your greed, not reality. Reality is a living thing and cannot be captured, and you cannot say it is always there. There is a path only to something which is stationary, to a fixed, static point. To a living thing which is constantly in movement, which has no resting place how can there be a guide, a path? The mind is so eager to attain it, to grasp it, that it makes it into a dead thing. So, can you put aside the memory of that state which you had? Can you put aside the teacher, the path, the end - put it aside so completely that your mind is empty of all this seeking? At present your mind is so occupied with this overwhelming demand that the very occupation becomes a barrier. You are seeking, asking, longing, to walk on the other shore. The other shore implies that there is this shore, and from this shore to get to the other shore there is space and time. That is what is holding you and bringing about this ache for the other shore. That is the real problem - time that divides, space that separates, the time necessary to get there and the space that is the distance between this and that. This wants to become that, and finds it is not possible because of the distance and the time it takes to cover that distance. In this there is not only comparison but also measurement, and a mind that is capable of measuring is capable also of illusion. This division of space and time between this and that is the way of the mind, which is thought. Do you know, when there is love space disappears and time disappears? It is only when thought and desire come in that there is a gap of time to be bridged. When you see this, this is that. Questioner: But I don’t see it. I feel that what you say is true, but it eludes me.
Krishnamurti: Sir, you are so impatient, and that very impatience is its own aggressiveness. You are attacking, asserting. You are not quiet to look, to listen, to feel deeply. You want to get to the other shore at any cost and you are swimming frantically, not knowing where the other shore is. The other shore may be this shore, and so you are swimming away from it. If I may suggest it: stop swimming. This doesn’t mean that you should become dull, vegetate and do nothing, but rather that you should be passively aware without any choice whatsoever and no measurement - then see what happens. Nothing may happen, but if you are expecting that bell to ring again, if you are expecting ail that feeling and delight to come back, then you are swimming in the opposite direction. To be quiet requires great energy; swimming dissipates that energy. You need all your energy for silence of the mind, and it is only in emptiness, in complete emptiness, that a new thing can be.


Wanting what I desire, is different from absence of fear and desire.

The clarity of freedom, is different from the discomfort of selfish need.

If I may be so tautological :innocent:

Thanks for this passage, Dan. Reminded me of the many times a rainbow appears in the same spot, as if it is always there, but only seen with the right conditions.


Damn! Thats a good one - about the rainbow - its got me in a twist. Is the rainbow still there when its not? Is refraction fundamental?

The important thing it seems is that the potential for awareness is not affected by the absence of, or desire for rainbows.