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Words of Wisdom

Freedom through Self-knowledge – From “The Book of Life” by Jiddu Krishnamurti (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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Jiddu Krishnamurti was an internationally renowned spiritual figure, born in 1895, in southern India, who, to this present day, is still considered one of the greatest thinkers and spiritual teachers of all time. Krishnamurti’s only concern was to set humanity “absolutely, unconditionally free.” His vision was for humans to have a more profound understanding of themselves and of the art of living, so as to bring about a new and peaceful generation. Today, we will read a selection from Jiddu Krishnamurti’s book, “The Book of Life,” where the teacher shares insights on the matters of true freedom and virtue, as well as the roots of our challenges in experiencing them.

“Wisdom is something that has to be discovered by each one, and it is not the result of knowledge. Knowledge and wisdom do not go together. Wisdom comes when there is the maturity of self-knowing. Without knowing oneself, order is not possible, and therefore there is no virtue. Now, learning about oneself, and accumulating knowledge about oneself, are two different things....”

“To be free, you have to examine authority, the whole skeleton of authority, tearing to pieces the whole dirty thing. And that requires energy, actual physical energy, and also, it demands psychological energy. But the energy is destroyed, is wasted when one is in conflict. ... So, when there is the understanding of the whole process of conflict, there is the ending of conflict, there is abundance of energy. Then you can proceed, tearing down the house that you have built throughout the centuries and that has no meaning at all.”

“If so, this puts an end to imitation, which becomes mechanical. After all, virtue, ethics, is not a repetition of what is good. The moment it becomes mechanical, it ceases to be virtue. Virtue is something that must be from moment to moment, like humility.”

“...The old mind is essentially the mind that is bound by authority. I am not using the word authority in the legalistic sense; but by that word I mean authority as tradition, authority as knowledge, authority as experience, authority as the means of finding security and remaining in that security, outwardly or inwardly, because, after all, that is what the mind is always seeking — a place where it can be secure, undisturbed.”

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