Simplicity of the heart is of far greater importance and significance than simplicity of possessions. To be content with few things is a comparatively easy matter. To renounce comfort, or to give up smoking and other habits, does not indicate simplicity of heart. To put on a loincloth in a world that is taken up with clothes, comforts and distractions, does not indicate a free being. There was a man who had given up the world and its ways, but his desires and passions were consuming him; he had put on the robes of a monk, but he did not know peace. His eyes were everlastingly seeking, and his mind was riven by his doubts and hopes.
Outwardly you discipline and renounce, you chart your course, step by step, to reach the end. You measure the progress of your achievement according to the standards of virtue: how you have given up this or that, how controlled you are in your behavior, how tolerant and kind you are, and so on and on. You have learnt the art of concentration, and you withdraw into a forest, a monastery or a darkened room to meditate; you pass your days in prayer and watchfulness. Outwardly you have made your life simple, and through this thoughtful and calculated arrangement you hope to reach the bliss that is not of this world.
But is reality reached through external control and sanctions? Though outward simplicity, the putting aside of comfort, is obviously necessary, will this gesture open the door to reality? To be occupied with comfort and success burdens the mind and the heart, and there must be freedom to travel; but why are we so concerned with the outward gesture? Why are we so eagerly determined to give an outward expression of our intention? Is it the fear of self-deception, or of what another might say? Why do we wish to convince ourselves of our integrity? Does not this whole problem lie in the desire to be sure, to be convinced of our own importance in becoming?
The desire to be is the beginning of complexity. Driven by the ever-increasing desire to be, inwardly and outwardly, we accumulate or renounce, cultivate or deny. Seeing that time steals all things, we cling to the timeless. This struggle to be, positively or negatively, through attachment or detachment, can never be resolved by any outward gesture, discipline or practice; but the understanding of this struggle will bring about, naturally and spontaneously, the freedom from outward and inward accumulation with their conflicts. Reality is not to be reached through detachment; it is unattainable through any means. All means and ends are a form of attachment, and they must cease for the being of reality.
Excerpted from J. Krishnamurti's Commentaries on Living.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that "reality is unattainable through any means"? Can you share a personal story of a time you experienced simplicity of heart beyond all inner and outer desires to be? How do you reconcile the teachings that focus on being with this message that a desire to be is also an attachment that takes us away from the being of reality?
This sounds great and in isolation I agree. In the reality I live in, I see people need food, shelter, education, healthcare, transportation for one and one's loved ones. This gets ine into the means and end dynamic bc of spending your time on these needs. So how do you reconcile being forced to have these means and ends with having none?
I have learned to simply be myself and to let others be themselves.
Reality shifts as we construct and deconstruct it each day through our perceptions and experiences and how we react. Simplicity of the heart happens when we do not try to control it. I've had this experience when allowing myself to fully immerse in the present. Example, yesterday at a dance in a park I felt fully free, alive, happy and filled with joy. There was no attachment to dancing a certain way, it was allowing the rhythms to fully connect internally and just move however my body decided. Liberating!
Beyond my understanding,creating more confusion than resolving it. Let us demystify the mysticism of spirituality. Let us not complicate it further & further.Let us help ourselves the common beings you and me with simple ,straight easy to follow guidance from the enlightened. Love
Recently I have spent a lot of time with a three year old grand daughter, a puppy and a new born. Just watching them go through daily life is a lesson in pure joy that comes from just being and having very simple minds with no agenda, no show and no outward or inward fear. There is pure joy in just being and having the simplicity of heart, I wish I could learn from them and not the other way around.
I think in this passage reality is the Ground of Being, and reality is unattainable through goal-directed behavior, whatever that may be. Goal directed behavior is a means to an end, and being attached to goal directed behavior gets in the way of pure being which unites us with the reality of the Ground of Being. Reality is attainable in being purposeless in the moment. I guess the closest I've come to simplicity beyond all inner and outer desires has been in moments of intimacy with nature or with another and in moments of meditation. Attachment to desire is attachment. 'Reality' is attainable by letting go of desire and simply being. As I see it, that is what the teachings that focus on being teach. To attain 'reality' we must purposelessly be what the teachings are about and not be attached to any means.
This morning, a friend cited Krishnamurthi as a defense for him not engaging in social action. My invitation to him was to connect to a 'larger' cause, to respond to the challenges and avoidable suffering that he sees rather than a self-indulgent form of spirituality.
Krishnamurthi and Gandhi both seem to be approaching Truth from different ways - here, there is a tangential reference to Gandhi's experiments with truth as yet another 'trap' of the mind, a non-simplicity of the heart that desires to be 'more' virtuous
That seems like the scientific method, though in that method too is a 'desire' to arrive at Truth, which Krishnamurthi insisted is a pathless land. Though again I wonder if Gandhi's experiments were with the intent to reach a land of bliss or just to arrive closer to Truth?
Moreover, in K's observations is an inward-outward, me-other dichotomy, that I guess disappears in some way in a beyond-language Truth-land that K speaks about. The irony seems to be the challenge of communicating about a reality beyond language, through concepts creating potential verbal traps (like the seed question itself?)
Natural way of living is a free way of living. It is a way of living different from the habitual and conditioned way of living. It is a way of living without getting attached to our desires. Our attachment to desires makes us bound by our desires. And we all know that when we are bound by the desires, we go through the inevitable swings of pleasure and pain, elation and depression, ups and down in our life. Suffering arises from our attachment to desires.
Wisdom traditions have offered different ways of liberating ourselves from the clutches of our desires. If we pay our full attention to what is happening in our body, mind and heart. We get helpful feed back from our own selves. We pause, recognize, and allow ourselves to witness without judging what is happening in the present moment. We inquire and get an insight and an answer from within. This process helps us to make a wise choice. We learn not to make a self hurting tight fist.If we don't make a tight fist, we don't hurt ourselves.In the quiet inner space, we make a conflict free wise choice.
It is my understanding that it is the self that liberates itself. Such ongoing non-judgmental awareness has helped me to walk on the samyak- the right path.We need to remain awake inwardly to enlighten our path.This is my everyday practice of living.
May we let the light within us shine to guide us to walk on the natural, wholesome, and blissful way of living!
Jagdish P Dave'