Freedom From The Known Quotes

I read this book for the first time as I was traveling through Mexico and it made a lot of sense. I was at a strange place in my life reexamining  faith and superstition and reading Jiddu Krishnamurti’s book Freedom From The Known was liberating. A lot of these excerpts still ring true.

What follows is a collection of Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes taken from the book Freedom From The Known (you can purchase it by clicking here).

Faith invariably breeds violence. (p.9)

The primary cause of disorder is the seeking of reality promised by another. (p.11)

Immaturity lies only in total ignorance of self. (p.12)

The whole history of man is written in ourselves. (p.13)

We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives. (p.14)

Truth has no path, and that is the beauty of truth, it is living. (p.15)

It seems to me that all ideologies are utterly idiotic. (p.16)

If I were foolish enough to give you a system and if you were foolish enough to follow it, you would merely be copying, imitating, conforming, accepting, and when you do that you have set up in yourself the authority of another and hence the conflict between you and that authority. (p.17)

If you try to study yourself according to another you will always be a secondhand human being. (p.17)

Order imposed from without must always breed disorder. (p.17)

If you reject all authority it means you are no longer afraid. (p.18)

When you reject something false which you have been carrying about with you for generations, …you have more energy, you have more capacity, you have more drive. …if you do not feel this, then you have not thrown off the burden, you have not discarded the dead weight of authority. But when you have thrown it off you have ….no fear of making a mistake, no fear of doing right or wrong. (p.18)

We need tremendous amount of energy and we dissipate it through fear but when there is this energy which comes from throwing off every form of fear, that energy itself produces the radical inward revolution. You don’t have to do a thing about it. (p.18)

Freedom is entirely different from revolt. (p.19)

All authority of any kind, especially in the field of thought and understanding, is the most destructive, evil thing. Leaders destroy the followers and followers destroy the leaders. (p.21)

If you do not follow somebody you feel very lonely. Be lonely then. Why are you frightened of being alone? Because you are faced with yourself as you are. (p.21)

I have to study myself in actuality – as I am, not as I wish to be. (p.22)

Learning is a constant movement without the past. (p.23)

We may be sensitive about certain things that touch us personally but to be completely sensitive to all the implications of life demands that there be no separation between the organism and the psyche. It is a total movement. (p.23)

A confident man is a dead human being. (p.25)

Do you know that even when you look at a tree and say, “The is an oak tree”, or “that is a banyan tree”, the naming of the tree, which is botanical knowledge, has so conditioned your mind that the word comes between you and actually seeing the tree? To come in contact with the tree you have to put your hand and the word will not help you to touch it. (p.26)

We are afraid of death – and we invent all kinds of theories, hopes, beliefs, to disguise the fact of death, but the fact is still there. (p.27)

You talk about loving your neighbors, yet kill him with competition. (p.30)

Attention is not the same thing as concentration. Concentration is exclusion; attention, which is total awareness, excludes nothing. (p.31)

Verbally we can go only so far: what lies beyond cannot be put into words because the word is not the thing. (p.33)

Never judging means watching without any choice. (p.33)

A mind that is all the time seeking pleasure must inevitably find its shadow, pain. The cannot be separated, although we run after pleasure and try to avoid pain. (p.35)

Pleasure comes into being through four stages — perception, sensation, contact and desire. (p.35)

Thought creates and sustains pleasure through desire, and gives it continuity, and therefore the natural reaction of desire to any beautiful thing is perverted by thought. (p.36)

A mind which is not crippled by memory has real freedom. (p.36)

Anything that is the result of memory is old and therefore never free. There is no such thing as freedom of thought. It is sheer nonsense. (p.36)

If you can look at all things without allowing pleasure to creep in, without wanting the experience to be repeated, then there will be no pain, no fear, and therefore tremendous joy. (p.37)

The very demand for the repetition of pleasure brings about pain. (p.37)

To end pleasure is to end pain. (p.38)

Joy is an immediate thing and by thinking about it, you turn it into pleasure. (p.30)

Living in the present is the instant perception of beauty and the great delight in it without seeking pleasure from it. (p.38)

Is fear the result of thought? If it is, thought, being always old, fear is always old. (p.44)

One of the functions of thought is to be occupied all the time with something. Most of us want to have our minds continually occupied so that we are prevented from seeing ourselves as we actually are. We are afraid to be empty. We are afraid to look at our fears. (p.45)

The objects of desire change, but desire is always the same. (p.45)

The mind can look at this total fear only when there is no movement of thought. (p.46)

If you look merely at the details of fear or try to deal with your fears one by one, you will never come to the central issue which is to learn to live with fear. (p.47)

The observer is fear. (p.48)

When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are bing violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. (p.51)

A man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or political system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind. (p.52)

Can I look at you if I am antagonistic to you or if I am thinking what a marvelous person you are? I can see you only when I look at you with a certain care in which neither of these things is involved. (p.53)

First you have to learn how to look at anger without condemning or justifying. (p.54)

The mind has been made dull by all this justifying and condemning. (p.54)

What makes your mind dull and stupid is this sense of invulnerability. (p.55)

One hasn’t the eyes to see the whole thing at a glance; this clarity of the eye is possible only if one can see the details, then jump. (p.55)

To investigate the fact of your own anger you must pass no judgment on it. (p.56)

Images are fictitious and one cannot live in an abstraction. And yet that is what we are doing: living in ideas, in theories, in symbols, in images which we have created about ourselves and others and which are not realities at all. All our relationships, whether they be with property, ideas or people, are based essentially on this image-forming, and hence there is always conflict. (p.59)

If we are dependent on any stimulus that very stimulus makes the mind dull and insensitive. (p.61)

The discovery of the cause is merely intellectual, so obviously it does not free the mind from its dependency. (p.62)

Any conflict is a dissipation of energy. (p.63)

This measuring ourselves all the time against something or someone is one of the primary causes of conflict. (p.64)

Why do you compare yourself with another? This comparison has been taught from childhood. In every school X is compared with Y, and X destroys himself in order to be like Y. when you do not compare at all, when there is no ideal, no opposite, no factor of duality, when you no longer struggle to be different than what you are — what has happened to your mind? Your mind has ceased to create the opposite and has become highly intelligent, highly sensitive, capable of immense passion, because effort is a dissipation of passion — passion which is vital energy — and you cannot do anything without passion. (p.64)

The very nature of desire, if not properly understood, must inevitably lead to conflict. (p.64)

It is the ideal that creates the opposite to what is, so if you know how to be with ‘what is’, then the opposite is not necessary. (p.66)

Inaction is complete action. (p.66)

Freedom comes only when you see and act, never through revolt. (p.68)

Freedom is a state of mind — not freedom from something but a sense of freedom, a freedom to doubt and question everything. (p.68)

You are never alone because you are full of all the memories, all the conditioning, all the muttering of yesterday; your mind is never clear of all the muttering of yesterday; your mind is never clear of all the rubbish if has accumulated. To be alone you must die to the past. When you are alone, totally alone, not belonging to any family, any nation, any culture, any particular continent, there is that sense of being an outsider. The man who is completely alone in this was is innocent and it is this innocency that frees the mind from sorrow. (p.69)

We carry about with us the burden of what thousand of people have said. (p.69)

It is like a man saying ‘I am happy’. The moment he says, ‘I am happy’ he is living in a memory of something that has gone. (p.71)

Freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness. (p.71)

Man lives by time. Inventing the future has been his favorite game of escape. (p.72)

There is no tomorrow for us to be peaceful in. We have to be orderly on the instant. (p.72)

Do you know what time is? It is the interval between idea and action. (p.74)

Thought creates that interval which is time. (p.74)

Time is the interval between the observes and the observed. (p.75)

To discover that nothing is permanent is of tremendous importance for only then is the mind free. (p.75)

You cannot be frightened of the unknown because you do not know what the unknown is and so there in noting to be frightened of. (p.75)

The interval between the living and the dying is fear. (p.76)

You cannot live if you do not die psychologically every minute. (p.77)

We don’t know how to live, therefore we don’t know how to die. As long as we are frightened of life we shall be frightened of death. (p.77)

To love is to die. (p.77)

When you worship God you are worshiping yourself. (p.79)

What sex gives you momentarily is the total abandonment of yourself, then you are back again with your turmoil, so you want a repetition over and over again of that state in which there is no worry, no problem, no self. (p.81)

Where there is respectability there is no order. (p.83)

Sorrow is self-created, sorrow is created by thought, sorrow is the outcome of time. (p.84)

Sorrow and love cannot go together, but in the Christian world the have idealized suffering, put it on a across and worshiped it, implying that you can never escape from suffering except through that one particular door, and this is the whole structure of an this is the whole structure of an exploiting religious society. (p.85)

If you know how to love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems. (p.86)

What you have always thought of as love is not love at all; it is a mutual gratification, a mutual exploitation. (p.88)

There is no observer at all; there is only attention. (p.90)

If I have an image about you and you have an image about me, naturally we don’t see each other at all as we actually are. What we see is the images we have formed about each other which prevent us from being in contact, and that is why our relationships go wrong. (p.92)

It is important to understand, not intellectually but actually in your daily life, how you have built images about your wife, your husband, your neighbor, your child, your country, your leaders, your politicians, your gods — you have nothing but images. These images create the space between you and what you observe and in that space there is conflict. (p.92)

When you give your complete attention there is no observer at all. There is only the state of attention. (p.92)

There is no leader, there is no teacher, there is nobody to tell you what to do. You are alone in this mad brutal world. (p.94)

We are afraid of living and therefore the past, as ideas, has become so important to us. (p.100)

Does a flower full of beauty, light and loveliness say, ‘I’m giving, helping, serving? It is! And because it is not trying to do anything it covers the earth. (p.101)

As every challenge in met in terms of the past — a challenge being always new — our meeting of the challenge will always be totally inadequate, hence contradiction, conflict and all the misery and sorrow we are heir to. Our little brain is in conflict whatever it does. Whether it aspires, imitates, conforms, suppresses, sublimates, takes drugs to expand itself — whatever it does — it is in a stane of conflict and will produce conflict. (p.101)

Those who think a great deal are very materialistic because thought is matter. Energy functioning in a pattern becomes matter. (p.101)

It is only when you are completely quiet, right through your being, having put that question, ‘What is thought?’, that you will begin to see, out of that silence, how thought takes shape. If there is an awareness of how thought begins then there is no need to control thought. (p.103)

Goodness can only flower in space …inwardly we are not free and therefore there is no space. No virtue, no quality that is worth while, can function or grow without the vast space within oneself. (p.106)

There is actually no such thing as security. …to realize that psychologically there is nothing permanent — gives a totally different approach to life. (p.107)

Control and outward discipline are not the way, nor has an undisciplined life any value. (p.107)

Discipline must be without control. (p.107)

Freedom from the conformity of discipline, is discipline itself. (p.108)

A living mind is a still mind, a living mind is a mind that has no center and therefore no space and time. Such a mind is limitless and that is the only truth, that is the only reality. (p.110)

We think that through experiences we can escape from ourselves but these experiences are conditioned by what we are. (p.111)

Anything measurable is within the limits of thought and is apt to create illusion. (p.112)

To seek further experiences through expansion of consciousness, as is being done through various psychedelic drugs, is still within the field of consciousness and therefore very limited. (p.113)

Only the frustrated, narrow, shallow mind, the conditioned mind, is always seeking the more. (p.114)

Investigation into this whole question is meditation. That word has been used both in the East and the West in a most unfortunate way. There are different schools of meditation, different methods and systems. There are systems which say, ‘Watch the movement of your big toe, watch it, watch it, watch it’; there are other systems which advocate sitting in a certain posture, breathing regularly or practicing awareness. All this is utterly mechanical. Another method gives you a certain word and tells you that if you go on repeating it you will have some extraordinary transcendental experience. This is sheer nonsense. It is a form of self-hypnosis. By repeating Amen or Om or coca-Cola indefinitely you will obviously have a certain experience because by repetition the mind becomes quiet. It is a well known phenomenon which has been practiced for thousand of years in India — Mantra Yoga it is called. By repetition you can induce the mind to be gentle and soft but it is still a petty, shoddy, little mind. You might as well put a piece of stick you have picked up in the garden on the mantelpiece and give it a flower every day. In a month you will be worshiping it and not put a flower in front of it will become a sin. (p.115)

Meditation is not concentration. (p.115)

You should be attentive to every movement of the mind wherever it wonders. (p.115)

The religious mind is a state of mind in which there is no fear and therefore no belief whatsoever but only what is — what actually is. (p.119)

The artificial discipline imposed by a system, a teacher, a philosopher or priest — all that is so very childish. (p.121)

One of the most curious things in the structure of our psyche is that we all want to be told because we are the result of the propaganda of ten thousand years. (p.121)

It is a brutal thing to have ideals. If you have any ideals, belief or principles you cannot possibly look at yourself directly. (p.122)

Through complete negation alone, which is the highest form of passion, that thing which is love, comes into being. (p.124)

A man who knows what it is to have humility is a vain man. (p.124)

A man who knows that he is silent, who knows that he loves, does not know what love is or what silence is. (p.124)

(From the book “Freedom From The Known” by Jiddu Krishnamurti published by HarperOnein Copyright 1969 by Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Limited)