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This Light in Oneself

This Light in Oneself

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by J. Krishnamurti

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These selections present the core of Krishnamurti's teaching on meditation, taken from discussions with small groups, as well as from public talks to large audiences. His main theme is the essential need to look inward, to know ourselves, in order really to understand our own—and the world's—conflicts. We are the world, says Krishnamurti, and it is our


These selections present the core of Krishnamurti's teaching on meditation, taken from discussions with small groups, as well as from public talks to large audiences. His main theme is the essential need to look inward, to know ourselves, in order really to understand our own—and the world's—conflicts. We are the world, says Krishnamurti, and it is our individual chaos that creates social disorder. He offers timeless insights into the source of true freedom and wisdom.

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Publication date:
Shambhala Publications
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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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Eternally, Timelessly Sacred

brain, which is so very old, which is extraordinarily capable, which has
infinite capacities, has evolved through time, acquiring a great deal of
experience, knowledge. Can that brain that is so heavily conditioned and
constantly wearing itself out rejuvenate itself? Can your brain unburden itself
of continuity, end continuity, to begin totally anew? Can the brain become
totally innocent? I am using the word
the sense of not capable of being hurt; that is, a brain that is not only not
able to hurt others, but also not capable of being hurt.

brain, which is the brain of all human beings, evolved through immemorial time,
conditioned by cultures, by religions, by economic and social pressures. That
brain has had a timeless continuity till now, and in that duration it has found
a sense of being safe. That is why you accept tradition, because in tradition
there is safety, in imitation there is safety, in conformity there is safety.
And there is also safety in an illusion. Obviously all your gods are illusions
put up by thought. A belief or a faith is an illusion. There is no need for
belief or faith, but having a belief—in God, in Jesus, in Krishna, or whatever
you like—gives a sense of being protected, being in the womb of God; but it is
an illusion.

are asking if the brain can discover an ending of the continuity of time. That
continuity, based on the continuity of knowledge, is considered advancement,
progress, evolution, and we are challenging that. When the brain seeks
continuity it becomes mechanical. All thought is mechanical because all thought
is based on memory, which is the response of knowledge. So there is no new

"I," the "me," is a continuity. The "I" has been
handed down for millennia, generation after generation; it is a continuity, and
that which is continuous is mechanical, there is nothing new in it. It is
marvelous if you see this.

listen quietly; don't agree, just listen. As long as the brain is registering
hurts, pain, that gives it continuity. That gives the idea that "I"
am continuing. As long as the brain registers, like a computer, it is
mechanical. When you are insulted or praised, it is registering, as it has done
for millennia after millennia. That is our conditioning, that is our whole
progressive movement. Now we are asking if it is possible to register only what
is relevant and nothing else? Why should you register when you are hurt? Why
should you register when somebody insults or flatters you? When you
registration prevents the observation of the other who has insulted. That is,
you observe the person who has insulted you or praised you, with the mind, the
brain that has registered, so you never actually
other person. The registration is a continuity and in that continuity there is
safety. The brain says, "I have been hurt once and therefore I'll register
it, keep it, and so avoid being hurt in the future." This may be relevant
physically, but is it relevant psychologically? One has been hurt because hurt
is the movement in time of the building up of the image you have about
yourself, and when that image is pricked, you are hurt. As long as you have
that image you are always going to be hurt. So is it possible not to have the
image and therefore have no registration? We are laying the foundation to
discover what meditation is.

it possible not to register psychologically, but to register only what is
necessary and relevant? When you have established order—when there

your life, there is freedom. It is only the disordered mind that
When there is total order, then that very order

go into this very deeply, you need to understand the nature of your
consciousness. Your consciousness is its content: without its content it is
not. The content makes up our consciousness. The content is our tradition, our
anxiety, our name, our position. That is the content and that is our
consciousness. Can this whole consciousness, including the brain and the mind,
with all its content, realize its content, realize its duration, and take one
part of that consciousness, such as attachment, and end it voluntarily? That
means you are breaking continuity. We are asking if it is possible to register
only what is necessary, relevant, and nothing else. Understand the beauty of
that question, the implications of that question, the depth of that question. I
say it is possible. I'll explain, but the explanation is not the fact. Don't be
caught up in the explanation, but through the explanation come to the fact.
Then the explanation is no longer important.

movement of time, the movement of thought, the movement of knowledge from the
past, modifying itself in the present and proceeding, is continuity. That is
the whole movement of registration of the brain, otherwise we could not have
knowledge. Knowledge is continuity and the brain has found safety in this
continuity and therefore it must register. That movement has taken over the
psychological field. But knowledge is always limited. There is no omnipotent
knowledge, but the brain, having found security in the movement of knowledge,
clings to it, and translates every incident and accident according to the past.
Therefore, the past has tremendous importance for the brain, because the brain
itself is the past.

your own intellect, logically, sees very clearly that what has continuity has
nothing new. There is no new perfume; there is no new heaven; there is no new
earth. And so the intellect says, "Is there an ending of continuity
without bringing danger to the brain, because without continuity it gets
lost?" It says, "If I end continuity, what then?" The brain
demands to be secure, so what then? The brain has said that it can only
function in security, whether it is false or true security, and the continuity
of the registration process has given it security. And you say to the brain,
"Register only what is necessary, relevant, and don't register anything
else." So the brain is suddenly at a loss. Because it is functioning out
of need for security it says, "Give me security and I will go after

is security, but not that kind of security. It is to put knowledge, thought, in
its right place. The very orderliness of life is possible only when the brain
has understood that it is living in disorder, which it calls security. When it
realizes that security implies putting everything in order, which is
registering everything relevant and nothing irrelevant, then the brain says,
"I have understood this, I have got it, I have an insight into this whole
movement of continuity." It has an insight. That insight is the outcome of
complete order, which is when the brain has put everything in its right place.
Then there is total insight into the whole movement of consciousness. And
therefore the brain will register only what is necessary and nothing else. In
that is implied that the activity of the brain undergoes a change, the very
structure of the brain undergoes a change, because seeing something new for the
first time brings a new function to operate. When the brain sees something new,
there is a new function, a new organism being born. It is wholly necessary for
a mind, for a brain, to become very young, fresh, innocent, alive, youthful,
and that is when there is no psychological registration at all.

love within this consciousness? Has love a continuity? We said consciousness is
continuity, tradition. Is love part of this field or is it entirely outside the
field? I am asking, I am challenging. I don't say it is or it is not. If it is
within the field of our consciousness, isn't it still part of thought? The
content of our consciousness is put together by thought. Beliefs, gods,
superstitions, traditions, fear, are all part of thought. And is love part of
thought, part of this consciousness? That means, is love desire, is love
pleasure, sex? Is love part of the thought process? Is love a remembrance?

cannot possibly exist or come into being like the fresh morning dew if the
intellect is supreme. And our civilization has worshipped the intellect because
it has created theories about God, because it has created principles, ideals.
So is love part of this stream, this consciousness? Can love exist when there
is jealousy? Can love exist when there is attachment to a wife, to a husband,
to children? Can love exist when there is the memory of sexual attraction, a
remembrance, a picture. Has love a continuity? Please go into it and find out,
because that thing does not exist in your heart and that is why the world is in
such a mess.

come upon this love, the whole stream of consciousness must come to an end:
your jealousy, your antagonism, your ambition, your desire for position, your
desire to become better, nobler, or your seeking power—whether it is the power
to levitate or the power of business, position, politics, religion, or power
over your wife, over your husband, over your children. Where there is any sense
of egotism, the other is not. And the essence of egotism is the process of
registration. The ending of sorrow is the beginning of compassion, but we have
used sorrow as a means of advancement, becoming better. On the contrary, in the
ending something infinitely new takes place.

must be space, not physical space only, but space within the mind, which means
not being occupied. Our minds are always occupied: "How shall I stop

must have space." "I must be silent." A housewife is occupied
with her cooking, with her children; a devotee is occupied with his God; a man
is occupied with his profession, with sex, with his job, with his ambition,
with his position. The mind is wholly occupied, and so there is no space in it.
We establish order in our life that is not the order of discipline, control. We
have seen intelligently that order can come only out of the understanding of
disorder. We bring about order in our life, order in our relationship, which is
very important, because life is relationship, a movement, an action in
relationship. If there is no order in your relationship with your wife, with
your husband, with your children, with your neighbor—whether that neighbor is
near or very far away—forget about meditation. Without order in your life, if
you try to meditate you will fall into the trap of illusions. If you have been
serious, and you have order—not temporary order, but absolute order—that
order can look to the cosmic order, that order has relationship with the cosmic
order. Cosmic order is the setting of the sun, the rising of the moon, the
marvelous sky of the evening with all its beauty. Merely examining the cosmos,
the universe through a telescope, is not order. If there is order here, in our
life, then that order has an extraordinary relationship with the universe. When
a mind is occupied, there is no order, there is no space. When the mind is full
of problems, how can it have space? To have space, every problem must be
immediately solved as it arises. That is part of meditation—not to carry
problems over day after day. Is it possible not to be occupied, which does not
mean irresponsibility? On the contrary, when you are not occupied you give your
attention to responsibility. It is only the occupied mind that is confused and
therefore responsibility becomes ugly, responsibility then has the possibility
of guilt. Please don't ask how not to be occupied, for then you will be
occupied with a system, with a method, with slogans. But if you see, if you
have an insight, that an occupied mind is a destructive mind, is not a free
mind, that it has no space, it happens.

we can look at attention. Are you attending now? What does
If you are really deeply attending, there is no center from which you are
attending. And that attention cannot continue, as you would like it to. The
continuity is inattention. When you are attending, which means listening, in
that attention there is no center that says, "I am learning, I am hearing,
I am seeing." There is only the enormous sense of wholeness, which
listening, learning. In that attention there is no movement of thought. That
attention cannot be sustained. When thought says it must find out how to arrive
at or achieve attention, the movement of wanting to capture attention is
inattention, is lack of attention. To be aware of the movement away from
attention is to be attentive. Have you captured it?

mind must have great space, limitless space, and that can only take place when
there is no chattering, when there is no problem because all problems have been
resolved as they arose. You can have great space only when there is no center.
The moment you have a center, there must be circumference, there must be
diameter, a movement from the center to the periphery. Space implies no center;
therefore it is absolutely limitless. Attention implies giving all your energy
to listen, to see, and in that there is no center. Then comes a mind that has
understood order and is free of fear, that has ended sorrow, has understood the
nature of pleasure and given it its right place.

the question is: What is the quality of a mind that is completely silent? Not
how to achieve silence, how to have peace of mind—we are speaking of the
quality of a mind that is absolutely, timelessly silent.

is silence between two notes; there is silence between two thoughts, between
two movements; there is the silence between two wars; there is silence between
husband and wife before they begin to quarrel. We are not talking of that
quality of silence, because they are temporary, they go away. We are speaking
of a silence that is not produced by thought, that is not cultivable, that
comes only when you have understood the whole movement of existence. In that
there is silence, there is no question and answer, there is no challenge, there
is no search, everything has ended. In that silence, there is a great sense of
space and beauty and extraordinary sense of energy. Then there comes that which
is eternally, timelessly sacred, which is not the product of civilization, the
product of thought.

is the whole movement of meditation.

Meet the Author

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986) was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. He traveled and lectured throughout the world until his death at the age of ninety. His talks and works are preserved in more than seventy books.

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This Light in Oneself: True Meditation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After I read this book,my life now is complete.There is nothing else to say.I came across this book just by browsing through Barnes and Noble Eastern philosophy. After reading a few pages, I found myself reading the book for at least 30 minutes at the store's book shelf. I purchased this book that same day and when I got home I read the whole book from beginning to end at 3 times over that weekend. Now I will be purchasing all of Mr. Krishnamurti's works.
ww42 More than 1 year ago
My feeling is that in order to apppreciate this book readers may need to have a real longing for a view of meditation that transcends anything they think they may already know. J. Krisnamurti has an excellent command of english and speaks in a clear and authoritative way, he speaks to our innate intelligence and can resonate with it completely if allowed to....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
How can one express, describe or convey the miraculously real effect of the Teachings? Reading and studying them is a never-ending journey into oneself and into the self of the whole humanity. Krishnamurti is a truthful mirror to all of us. Our life as a whole is deeply affected by his teachings. When I first saw him in 1982 in Saanen, I was dazzled by the splendour of the light that emanated from him, his head was like a fire ball, shining like the sun. Later on I read in one of his diaries that a fire ball was being put into his head and brain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book points to the great Truth all seekers ponder for while staying clear of religious dogma and abstraction. If you are looking for pointers on specific instructions on how to meditate you might want to hold off on this book. Krishnamurti claims no path can bring you salvation for the road is a pathless one. For this reason he does not drone on about formulaic meditative practices. But you may never find writing that so deliberately reflects what an enlightened mind actually is. It is not as if an author is explaining Truth but, rather, reads as if Truth were speaking itself.