Truth is a Pathless Land

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J. Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park, UK, August 29, 1985

Questioner: K says there is no path to truth. Is the faculty to see this outside myself? My consciousness and means of perception are entirely within me. How can I go without any means or tools towards the unknown goal? What will give me the need, the energy to move in this direction?

Krishnamurti: K says there is no path to truth. Do you accept that? There is no path to truth. Is the faculty to see this outside of myself? My consciousness and means of perception are entirely within me. How can I go without any means or tools towards the unknown goal? What will give me the need, the energy to move in this direction? Good Lord! (Laughter) There are so many things in this question.

First of all, as we said the other day, the answer is not outside the question. The answer is not outside the problem. The answer is in the problem, in the question. Please let’s talk that over briefly. We are always trying to find an answer, satisfactory, outside the problem, that is convenient, that is happy, that is pleasurable and so on. If we could put aside all this rather than escaping from the problem, if you could look at the problem, look at this question together . . . K says there is no path to truth. Why do you believe him? Why do you accept it? Why do you repeat it? K says. Who is K to say it? What right? Or is it a reaction? You understand? Because he sees so many paths to truth . . . I won’t go into that. As long as there are human beings they have different opinions. So it may not be true. Let’s first find that out.

There are the various Christian paths – right? The Catholic, the Protestant and the various divisions of Protestantism – innumerable, many of them. And there is the Buddhist, several paths according to the Buddha. One never really knows what the Buddha actually said, or what the Bible says, one never knows. So. Then there are the Tibetan paths – right? There are the Buddhist paths, the Muslim, with their divisions. So all these paths are spread out before you to truth – whatever that may mean – to God, to illumination, to enlightenment and so on. There are dozens of paths – right? How will you choose? How will you choose which is the right path? Please tell me.

Questioner: You have to know yourself.

Krishnamurti: Somebody says you have to know yourself. So why bother about paths? Why bother about truth? Why bother about what K says? Why don’t you know about yourself? And how will you know about yourself? What manner? How will you look at yourself as you will look at yourself in a mirror. How would you look at yourself? It is easy to say, Look at yourself. Socrates and ancient Greeks and still further ancient Israelites, and still further ancient Egyptians and so on and so on, the Hindus – they have all said in different ways, “Know Yourself.” And there are these paths in front of us. And we all want to achieve truth, whatever that thing is. And all these paths lead to that. That means truth is fixed – right? Must be, otherwise there would be no path to it. It must be stationary, it must have no movement. It must be dead, then there can be paths to it. (Laughter) No, no don’t laugh, this is what we do. So somebody like K comes along and says, Look, don’t bother about the paths. It may be like you are on a ship with a rudder and you move, you find out, learn, move, move, keep on going, find out, not become stationary and make truth something permanent – right? And we want something permanent. Permanent relationship: I am attached to my husband, wife, I want it permanent. We don’t admit any change. Right? And we are changing all the time, both biologically as well as psychologically, but we want to remain with something that is completely satisfactory, permanent, enduring, giving me security. And as I find there is really no security, then I have truth as the permanent entity towards which I am going. And there are all the disciples, gurus and the priests, all help you to go. I don’t know where, but they help you.

So using one’s own capacity to reason, capacity to have logic, see things step by step, and not escape any step. Or – that is much more complicated – see that which is true, accurate. Well, that is a different matter.

So the questioner asks what are the tools necessary to reach truth – which is pathless? The moment you have tools you have already created the path – right? Do you see this? No? The moment I have a means to do that, to achieve that, the means then becomes the tool and I have already got the truth towards which I am working – right? So the moment you have a tool, a means, a system, then you know what truth is. Therefore there is no point in having a tool. (laughs) Do we see this? Or is this too illogical? Or too dastardly reasonable? (laughter) The means is the end. The means is not different from the end. Right?

So. Another question in this is: My consciousness and means to perception are entirely within me. What do you mean by the word consciousness? You don’t mind going into all this? It is fun if you go into all this. Not only the understanding of one’s own brain’s capacity but also to delve. You dig very deeply to find oil, go through all that trouble, and we won’t even spend a second doing this in ourselves, for ourselves. So what do we mean by that word consciousness? Is that consciousness different from you, from the me?

Do you get bored by all this on a lovely morning, instead of being on a golf course, or on a walk or something? Since you are here and we are here, let’s go on! What do you mean by consciousness? Books have been written about it by experts. And we are not experts – right? Let’s understand this: you and the speaker are not experts. God forbid! Not professionals – professional gurus, professional followers with their peculiar dresses and all the rest of it. We are just enquiring together, like two friends. What do you mean by consciousness? All that you are, isn’t it? Your consciousness is made up of all its content – right? Anger, jealousy, faith, belief, anxiety, aspiration, all the innumerable experiences that one has had, all the accumulation of all the little things of life, and also suffering, pain, insecurity, confusion, and the desire to escape from all this, and find something enduring. And in it also there is the fear of death, and enquiring what is there beyond. Right? All that, this vast bundle, is our consciousness – no? No? Yes? Go on, sirs, there is no disagreement about this. Don’t be nervous. We are our consciousness. And the content of consciousness makes up the whole entirety of consciousness, whether it is higher consciousness, lower consciousness, the desire to expand consciousness (laughs), and all the rest of it. It is still within the field of consciousness – right? And that consciousness is me. There is no me without that. So when you say “me” is different, my consciousness is different, then you have a battle with it – struggle, conflict, all that ensues.

So our question then is: Is it possible, first, to discover for ourselves the content, to see the content? That is fairly easy – the habits, the way you comb your hair, the habits of speech, of thought. It is fairly simple to observe those. And also to become aware of one’s own conditioning as a British, as a Frenchman, as a Russian et cetera et cetera. It is also fairly easy to see our various religious inclinations – Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, following something or other – you follow? – that is fairly easy. But to go beyond that . . . we don’t need an aqualung. You have to go very deeply, but to go very deeply one must understand the superficial thing first, whether it is possible to be free from influence which conditions us – right? Is it possible? Find out. Work sir, don’t listen. Work at it. Put your tremendous energy into it. You have got tremendous energy, you don’t want more. It took a lot of energy to come here. Use some of that energy, if one may respectfully point out, use some of that energy to go into this. When you want something, you go after it. That means one has to be not quite indolent, one has to be a little active. And there is nobody to help you, no tool, no instrument, no leader, nothing to help you. You must really become helpless to find the real thing. I don’t know if you understand what I am talking about. If you are helpless, actually helpless, that means there is no help whatsoever from anybody, from any book, from any person, from any environment. Then you are in that state of real helplessness; then something else takes place; then you begin to see things.

The questioner says, asks: What will give me the need, the energy, to move in the direction of truth. Direction of truth – that means it is already over there (laughter). I am not laughing, I am not disrespectful or cynical, but it is like that – when we use words like direction it is already there. It is already preconceived, already existing there because of your conviction – or somebody told you, and so on. Truth is really a pathless land. And that can only exist when fear and all the rest of it is not.

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