Nisargadatta on Acceptance

Whatever may be the situation, if it is acceptable, it is pleasant. If it is not acceptable, it is painful. What makes it acceptable is not important; the cause may be physical, or psychological, or untraceable; acceptance is the decisive factor. Obversely, suffering is due to non-acceptance. Why [shouldn’t pain be acceptable]? Did you ever try? Do try and you will find in pain a joy which pleasure cannot yield, for the simple reason that acceptance of pain takes you much deeper than pleasure does. The more we are conscious, the deeper the joy. Acceptance of pain, non-resistance, courage and endurance – these open deep and perennial sources of real happiness, true bliss.

Pain is physical, suffering is mental. Beyond the mind there is no suffering. Pain is essential for the survival of the body, but none compels you to suffer. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting; it is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life. As a sane life is free of pain, so is a saintly life free from suffering. A saint does not want things to be different from what they are; he knows that, considering all factors, they are unavoidable. He is friendly with the inevitable and, therefore, does not suffer. Pain he may know, but it does not shatter him. If he can, he does the needful to restore the lost balance, or he lets things take their course.

Nature is neither pleasant nor painful. It is all intelligence and beauty. Pain and pleasure are in the mind. Change your scale of values and all will change. Pleasure and pain are mere disturbances of the senses; treat them equally and there will be only bliss. And the world is what you make it; by all means, make it happy. Only contentment can make you happy, desires fulfilled breed more desires. Keeping away from all desires and contentment in what comes by itself is a very fruitful state, a precondition to the state of fullness. Don’t distrust its apparent sterility and emptiness. Believe me, it is the satisfaction of desires that breeds misery. Freedom from desires is bliss.

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

We Do Not Listen

We do not listen. There are too many noises about us; inside us, there is too much talk, too much questioning, too much demanding, too many urges, compulsions. We have so many things and we never listen to any one of them completely, totally, to the very end. And if you would kindly so listen, you will see that, in spite of yourself, the mutation, that emptiness, that transformation, the perception of what is true, comes into being. You don’t have to do a thing, because what you do will interfere, because you are greedy, you are envious, you are full of hate, ambition, and all the mischief that thought can make. So if you can listen happily, effortlessly, then perhaps in the quiet, deep, silence you will know what is truth. And it is only that truth that liberates, and nothing else. That is why you must stand completely alone. You cannot listen through another; you cannot see with the eyes of another; you cannot think with the thoughts of others. But yet you listen through others, see through the activities, through the saints, through the dictum of others. So if you can put away all these secondary things, the activities of others, and be simple, quiet, and listen, then you will find out.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Sorrow Has to be Understood and Not Ignored

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Sorrow has to be understood and not ignored. To ignore it is to give continuity to suffering; to ignore it is to escape from suffering. To understand suffering needs an operational, experimental approach. To experiment is not to seek a definite result. If you seek a definite result, experiment is not possible. If you know what you want, the going after it is not experimentation. If you seek to get over suffering, which is to condemn it, then you do not understand its whole process; when you try to overcome suffering, your only concern is to avoid it. To understand suffering, there must be no positive action of the mind to justify or to overcome it: the mind must be entirely passive, silently watchful, so that it can follow without hesitation the unfolding of sorrow. Mind cannot follow the story of sorrow if it is tethered to any hope, conclusion or remembrance. To follow the swift movement of what is, the mind must be free; freedom is not to be had at the end, it must be there at the very beginning. “What is the meaning of all this sorrow?”

Is not sorrow the indication of conflict, the conflict of pain and pleasure? Is not sorrow the intimation of ignorance? Ignorance is not lack of information about facts; ignorance is unawareness of the total process of oneself. There must be suffering as long as there is no understanding of the ways of the self; and the ways of the self are to be discovered only in the action of relationship. “But my relationship has come to an end.”

There is no end to relationship. There may be the end of a particular relationship; but relationship can never end. To be is to be related, and nothing can live in isolation. Though we try to isolate ourselves through a particular relationship, such isolation will inevitably breed sorrow. Sorrow is the process of isolation. “Can life ever be what it has been?”

Can the joy of yesterday ever be repeated today? The desire for repetition arises only when there is no joy today; when today is empty, we look to the past or to the future. The desire for repetition is desire for continuity, and in continuity there is never the new. There is happiness, not in the past or in the future, but only in the movement of the present.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Look at Your Fear

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Do please listen to this, it is not complicated. It demands attention, and attention has its own discipline; you don’t have to introduce a system of discipline. You know, sirs, what this world needs is not politicians or more engineers, but free human beings. Engineers and scientists may be necessary, but it seems to me that what the world needs is human beings who are free, who are creative, who have no fear. And most of us are ridden with fear. If you can go profoundly into fear and really understand it, you will come out with innocency, so that your mind is clear. That is what we need, and that is why it is very important to understand how to look at a fact, how to look at your fear. That is the whole problem, not how to get rid of fear, not how to be courageous, not what to do about fear, but to be fully with the fact.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

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David Bohm on Proprioception of Thought

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The word proprioception means a kind of self-perception. The word is derived from ‘proprio’ and ‘ception’. Proprio comes from Latin ‘proprius’, meaning ‘one’s own’. So proprioception means an awareness or perception of oneself. In the case of the body proprioception means the awareness of one’s own body. But we will also use it in a psychological sense to mean the awareness of one’s own thoughts and the awareness of one’s own felts.

Proprioception is to be aware of every movement. Not only physical movements of the body but also the movements of thought. Emotions are movements as well. So, there could be proprioception of emotions also.

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True Happiness Cannot be Found in Things That Change

Questioner: Yet I want happiness.

Maharaj: True happiness cannot be found in things that change and pass away. Pleasure and pain alternate inexorably. Happiness comes from the Self and can be found in the Self only. Find your real Self (swarupa) and all else will come with it.

Questioner: If my real self is peace and love, why is it so restless?

Maharaj: It is not your real being that is restless, but its reflection in the mind appears restless because the mind is restless. It is just like the reflection of the moon in the water stirred by the wind. The wind of desire stirs the mind and the ‘me’, which is but a reflection of the Self in the mind, appears changeful. But these ideas of movement, of restlessness, of pleasure and pain are all in the mind.
The Self stands beyond the mind, aware, but unconcerned.

Questioner: How to reach it?

Maharaj: You are the Self, here and now. Leave the mind alone, stand aware and unconcerned and you will realise that to stand alert but detached, watching events come and go, is an aspect of your real nature.

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