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Commentaries On Living Series 3

J. Krishnamurti


  But when a petty mind thinks there is a part of itself which is not petty, it is only sustaining its pettiness. In asserting that there's the Atman, the higher self, and so on, a confused, ignorant mind is still held in the bonds of its own confused thought, which is based mostly on tradition, on what it has been taught by others.  




  "Yes, sir," replied the brother, "but is there not a part of me which has not been taught?" Is there?
Surely, that which you call the Atman, the soul, the higher self, and so on, is still within the realm of what you have read or been taught.




  The physicist knows more than I about the structure of matter, and if I want to learn the facts in that field, I go to him. If I have a toothache, I go to a dentist. If I am inwardly confused, which often happens, I seek the guidance of the higher self, the Master, and so on. What's wrong with that?  




  But why do you look to the authority of what you call the higher self, or the Master?
"Because I am confused."
Can a confused mind ever seek out what is true?
"Why not?"
Do what it will, a confused mind can only find further confusion; its search for the higher self, and the response it receives, will be according to its confused state. When there's clarity, there's an end to authority.




  You are saying, in effect, that you are not totally confused, that there is a part of you which is clear; and this supposedly clear part is what you call the higher self, the Master, and so on. I am not saying this in any derogatory manner. But can there be one part of the mind which is confused and another part which is not? Or is this just wishful thinking?  




  Learning is a movement, but not from one fixed point to another, and this movement is impossible if the mind is burdened with an accumulation of the past, with conclusions, traditions, beliefs. This accumulation, though it may be called the Atman, the soul, the higher self, and so on, is the 'me', the ego, the self. The self and its maintenance prevent the movement of learning.  




  Is not this very disciplining of desire the breeder of contradiction? To discipline is to resist, to suppress; and is not resistance or suppression the way of conflict? When you discipline desire, who is the 'you' that is doing the disciplining?
"It's the higher self."
Is it? Or is it merely one part of the mind trying to dominate the other, one desire suppressing another desire? This suppression of one part of the mind, by another which you call the 'higher self', can only lead to conflict. All resistance is productive of strife. However much one desire may suppress or discipline another, that so-called higher desire breeds other desires which soon are in revolt. Desire multiplies itself; there isn't just one desire. Haven't you noticed this?




  It's the entity who enjoys and suffers, who has practiced virtues, acquired knowledge, gathered experience, the entity who has known fulfilment and frustration, and who thinks there is the soul, the Atman, the higher self. This entity, this 'me', this ego, is the product of time. Its very substance is time. It thinks in time, functions in time and builds itself up in time. This 'me', which is memory, thinks that through time it will reach the Supreme. But its 'Supreme' is something it has formulated, and is therefore also within the field of time, is it not?