Intelligence is Only Possible when there is Real Freedom from the Self

jiddu_krishnamurti_walking

Most of us think that intelligence is the outcome of acquiring knowledge, information, experience. By having a great deal of knowledge and experience we think we shall be able to meet life with intelligence. But life is an extraordinary thing, it is never stationary; like the river, it is constantly flowing, never still. We think that by gathering more experience, more knowledge, more virtue, more wealth, more possessions, we shall be intelligent. That is why we respect the people who have accumulated knowledge, the scholars, and also the people who are rich and full of experience. But is intelligence the outcome of the `more’? What is behind this process of having more, wanting more? In wanting more we are concerned with accumulating, are we not?

Now, what happens when you have accumulated knowledge, experience? Whatever further experience you may have is immediately translated in terms of the `more’, and you are never really experiencing, you are always gathering; and this gathering is the process of the mind, which is the centre of the `more’. The `more’ is the `me’, the ego, the self-enclosed entity who is only concerned with accumulating, either negatively or positively. So, with its accumulated experience, the mind meets life. In meeting life with this accumulation of experience, the mind is again seeking the `more’, so it never experiences, it only gathers.

As long as the mind is merely an instrument of gathering, there is no real experiencing. How can you be open to experience when you are always thinking of getting something out of that experience, acquiring something more?

So the man who is accumulating, gathering, the man who is desiring more is never freshly experiencing life. It is only when the mind is not concerned with the `more’, with accumulating, that there is a possibility for that mind to be intelligent. When the mind is concerned with the `more’, every further experience strengthens the wall of the self-enclosing `me’, the egocentric process which is the centre of all conflict, please follow this. You think that experience frees the mind, but it does not. As long as your mind is concerned with accumulation, with the `more’, every experience you have only strengthens you in your egotism, in your selfishness, in your self-enclosing process of thought.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti (You can read the whole talk at J. Krishnamurti Online: Life Ahead Part One Chapter 19)

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