Friday, June 4, 2010

Learning from suffering?

Krishnamurti: I see it, you can learn nothing from suffering, though you should not withdraw from it. The function of suffering is to give you a tremendous shock; the awakening caused by that shock gives you pain, and then you say, ''Let me find out what I can learn from it.'' Now if, instead of saying this, you keep awake during the shock of suffering, then that experience will yield understanding. Understanding lies in suffering itself, not away from it; suffering itself gives freedom from suffering.

Comment: You said the other day that self-analysis is destructive, but I think that analyzing the cause of suffering gives one wisdom.

Krishnamurti: Wisdom is not in analysis. You suffer, and by analysis you try to find the cause; that is, you are analyzing a dead event, the cause that is already in the past. What you must do is find the cause of suffering in the very moment of suffering. By analyzing suffering you do not find the cause, you analyze only the cause of a particular act; then you say, ''I have understood the cause of that suffering."But in reality you have only learned to avoid the suffering; you have not freed your mind from it. This process of accumulation, of learning through the analysis of a particular act, does not give wisdom. Wisdom arises only when the 'I' consciousness, which is the creator, the cause of suffering, is dissolved. Am I making this difficult?

What happens when we suffer? We want immediate relief, and so we take anything that is offered. We examine it superficially for the moment, and we say that we have learned. When that drug proves insufficient in providing relief, we take another, but the suffering continues. Isn't that so? But when you suffer completely, wholly, not superficially, then something happens; when all the avenues of escape which the mind has invented have been understood and blocked, there remains only suffering, and then you will understand it. There is no cessation through an intellectual drug. As I said the other day, life to me is not a process of learning; yet we treat life as though it were merely a school for learning things, merely a suffering in order to learn, as though everything served only as a means to something else. You say that if you can learn to contemplate you will meet life fully; whereas, I say that if your action is complete, that is, if your mind and heart are in full harmony, then that very action is contemplation, effortlessness.

(From Verbatim Reports of Talks and Answers to Questions by Krishnamurti Italy and Norway 1933: Third Talk at Frognerseteren)

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