Fear: Its Beginning, Middle and End

J. Krishnamurti
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Fear is never an actuality; it is either before or after the active present. When there is fear in the active present, is it fear? It is there and there is no escape from it, no evasion possible. There, at that actual moment, there is total attention at the moment of danger, physical or physiological. When there is complete attention there is no fear. But the actual fact of inattention breeds fear; fear arises when there is an avoidance of the fact, a flight; then the very escape itself is fear.

Fear and its many forms, guilt, anxiety, hope, despair, is search for security; it is there in so-called love and worship; it is there in ambition and success; it is there in life and in death; it is there in physical things and in psychological factors. (...)

Though it is sought after, blindly and with reason, is there ever inward certainty, inward continuity, permanency? There is not. The flight from this reality is fear. The incapacity to face this reality breeds every form of hope and despair.

Thought itself is the source of fear. Thought is time; thought of tomorrow is pleasure or pain; if it’s pleasurable, thought will pursue it, fearing its end; if it is painful, the very avoidance of it is fear. Both pleasure and pain cause fear. Time as thought and time as feeling bring fear. Thought is the whole process of consciousness, the open and the hidden; thought is not merely the thing thought upon but the origin of itself. Thought is not merely belief, dogma, idea and reason but the centre from which these arise, This centre is the origin of all fear. (...)

When this whole process of thought, time and fear is seen, not as an idea, an intellectual formula, then there is total ending of fear, conscious or hidden. Self-understanding is the awakening and ending of fear.

And when fear ceases, then the power to breed illusion, myth, visions, with their hope and despair also ceases, and then only begins a movement of going beyond consciousness, which is thought and feeling. It is the emptying of the innermost recesses and deep hidden wants and desires. Then when there is this total emptiness, when there is absolutely and literally nothing, no influences, no value, no frontier, no word, then in that complete stillness of time-space, there is that which is unnameable.

--J. Krishnamurti, From 'Krishnamurti’s Notebook'

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