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Words of Wisdom

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

2021-06-10
Language:English

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The philosopher’s keen perception of the nature of the human mind points out a major aspect in our psychological life which would influence the experience of real self-knowledge.

“We listen with hope and fear; we seek the light of another but are not alertly passive to be able to understand. If the liberated seems to fulfill our desires, we accept him; if not, we continue our search for the one who will; what most of us desire is gratification at different levels. What is important is not how to recognize one who is liberated but how to understand yourself. No authority here or hereafter can give you knowledge of yourself; without self-knowledge there is no liberation from ignorance, from sorrow.”

“Even when I have rejected all the outward expressions of authority — books, teachers, priests, churches, beliefs — I still have the feeling that at least I can rely on my own judgment, on my own experiences, on my own analysis. But can I rely on my experience, on my judgment, on my analysis? My experience is the result of my conditioning, just as yours is the result of your conditioning, is it not? I may have been brought up as a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu, and my experience will depend on my cultural, economic, social, and religious background, just as yours will.”

“The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself, there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as one is, not as one wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and therefore fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is, that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be.”

“The understanding of what you are, whatever it be — ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous — the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.”

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