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. . . To live in the present

The Teachings of Krishnamurti
Is it possible to live in the present without bringing time into it, which is the past? Surely you can live in the totality of the present only when you understand the whole of the past. To die to time is to live in the present, and you can die to time only if you have understood the past, which is to understand your own mind– not only the conscious mind that goes to the office every day, gathering knowledge and experience, has superficial reactions, and all the rest of it, but also the unconscious mind, in which are buried the accumulated traditions of the family, of the group, of the race. Buried in the unconscious also are the enormous sorrow of man and the fear of death. All that is the past, which is yourself, and you have to understand it. If you do not understand that, if you have not inquired into the ways of your own mind and heart, into your greed and sorrow, if you do not know yourself completely, you cannot live in the present.. . .

. . . To live in the present is to be without despair, because there is no hankering after the past, and there is no hope in the future. Therefore the mind says, “Today is enough for me.” It does not avoid the past or bind itself to the future, but it has understood the totality of consciousness, which is not only the individual but also the collective; and therefore there is no “me” separate from the many. In understanding the totality of itself, the mind has understood the particular as well as the universal. Therefore it has cast aside ambition, snobbishness, social prestige; all that is completely gone from a mind that is living wholly in the present and therefore dying to everything it has known, every minute of the day. Then you will find, if you have gone that far, that death and life are one. You are living totally in the present, completely attentive, without choice, without effort; the mind is always empty, and from that emptiness you look, you observe, you understand, and therefore living is dying. What has continuity can never be creative. When life is also death, there is love, there is truth, there is creation; because death is the unknown, as truth and love and creation are.

J Krishnamurti
Saanen, 21 July 1963

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