In our relationship to truth, we often find ourselves in the position of somebody who, on waking up, tries to remember his dream. Any searching, any effort to remember, the slightest doing towards that goal, is pushing the dream away, dislocating it irremediably.
The problem is that we want something. This is our state. Our unnoticed pathology. One that we have inherited from society, and that we have integrated to the point of being it — this wanting, craving, searching. We mind what happens and want to control it. Fair enough. But we should do it from a position of truth, of relaxation, of not minding. We should let the story go, the one that tells us that we are incomplete, not enough, needy of a thousand things, and that prevents us from seeing clearly this presence that we are now and of all eternity.
We cannot even say that we will let go of all seeking and just sit down doing nothing, for our ‘not doing anything’ is already a cathedral of doing that we have patiently and methodically put together over the years. As French philosopher Blaise Pascal once noticed, “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
‘Doing’ has become our very nature. We are plagued with an obsessive searching disorder (OSD), or a chronic doing disorder (CDD). An unconscious, escaping, highly disruptive behaviour which now needs, for most of us, that we repeatedly dis-habituate the mind from its thinking and behaving pattern. Doing so will help recalling in ourself our true identity, the feeling of this presence that permeates all of our living experiences and that is unfortunately hidden by our deeply ingrained habit of searching and securing in our life some form of peace or happiness.
We have made this searching and escaping such an overwhelming, all encompassing activity, and we have done so for one reason only: To soothe our sense of lack and distract ourselves from our fear of disappearing. This unfortunate activity has made our rocklike peace of being into something that appears only fleetingly. And the ten thousand expressions of our desperate search for a better, happier life has overwhelmed us so outrageously that it has become our rocklike everyday experience and reality. A tough correction is needed. That’s how Krishnamurti could once say that “you have to put your teeth into it.” Because this dis-habituation from our Obsessive Searching Disorder requires nothing less than a small death. And it is frightening. That’s why we escape with such fervour.
We somehow intimate that this moment of not doing anything is a form of death. It is death but there lies not the tragedy. The tragedy resides in the fact that all there is to me, all that I am, at the existing level, is this searching, this activity of wanting, craving. If it goes, I go with it. Our life, and therefore our sense of self, is made of this activity, this tension, and all the suffering that goes with it. All the insecurity, the hopes, the disappointments, the endless thoughts which, when made into a bundle, constitute the whole of my apparent self, at least for what I am objectively aware of.
So let’s leave it, let’s stop this doing and fall back into the ever present self that was sustaining us all along without our noticing. For if we don’t, we live in blindness, in darkness, unaware of both the extent of our searching, craving activity and of our true and peaceful self in the background. We live as in a dream, not knowing the fabricated nature and purpose of our character in the dream, nor the true nature of our being as the quiet person generating it through its peaceful activity of sleep.
Even in our language, we have equated the word and the activity of ‘dreaming’ with a subtle search, a hope, or some kind of achievement. To dream is to project a better, enviable state in our life, just as to exist is to be in a state of search. But the realisation of the dream is in the ending of it. Always. The realisation of our true being comes when all search, all projection, all tension as self has receded. Or when we have let go of our apparent self’s illusory existence. In other words, we need to fall, to die as a seeking self, in order to be raised in and as our true nature.
This fall equates to death from the standpoint of the separate self. But it is in fact the pure ecstasy of being, and its expressions are are ones of peace and happiness, which we had been searching frantically in objective experience but would never find. In fact could never find — other than fleetingly.
To want peace, to create a movement — any movement — towards happiness, is to be unconscious. By bringing this searching, escaping mindset into our spiritual quest, we are perverting it. For all searching is a veil on our true nature. There is no searching activity left once the dream is realised, once our false identity is seen through, once we have brought our illusory nature into the nakedness of the now. To live in the now is to be wholly accomplished. It is the realisation of everything we ever wanted or dreamt of, which is to be without desire or hope, and therefore not searching, not doing, not escaping, not wanting, not minding. For none of these things is found to be an ingredient in the recipe for happiness. This realisation marks the end of our unnoticed pathology. And the coming of the sublime, inborn, and natural health of being.
“There is a marvellous story in India, of a boy who leaves home in search of truth.
He goes to various teachers, to various parts of that country,
walking endlessly, every teacher asserting something or other.
And after many years, as an old man, he comes back to his house,
after searching, searching, searching,
taking certain postures, breathing rightly,
fasting, no sex, all that.
At the end of the time, he comes home to his old house.
As he opens the door, there it is:
The Truth is just there!
Do you understand?
You might say:
It wouldn’t have been there if he had not wandered all over the place.
That’s a cunning remark!
But you miss the beauty of that story
if you don’t see that truth is not to be sought after.
Truth is not to be sought after.
Truth is not something to be attained,
to be experienced,
to be held.
It is there for those who can see.“
~ J. Krishnamurti
Text and photos by Alain Joly
Quote by J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. krishnamurti – (Rider Book)
– ‘Pensées’ – by Blaise Pascal – (Penguin Classics)
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