=== JKrishnamurti.org – Daily Quote ===
The act of listening is the act of learning. One has to learn so much about life, for life is a movement in relationship. And that relationship is action. We have to learn—not accumulate knowledge from this movement that we call life and then live according to that knowledge, which is conformity.
To conform is to adjust, to fit into a mould, to adjust oneself to the various impressions, demands, pressures of a particular society. Life is meant to be lived, to be understood. One has to learn about life, and one ceases to learn the moment one argues with life, comes to life with the past, with one’s conditioning as knowledge. So there is a difference between acquiring knowledge and the act of learning.
You must have knowledge; otherwise you will not know where you live, you will forget your name, and so on. So at one level knowledge is imperative, but when that knowledge is used to understand life—which is a movement, which is a thing that is living, moving, dynamic, every moment changing—when you cannot move with life, then you are living in the past and trying to comprehend the extraordinary thing called life. And to understand life, you have to learn every minute about it and never come to it having learned.
The Collected Works vol XV, pp 13-14
=== Thoughts ===
Without the use of practical knowledge, daily living would be a disaster. Without access to that accretion of past experience to guide ourselves through the variety of tasks, challenges, and problems that we face on a daily basis, we’d be lost in a nightmare of total chaos.
Certain behaviors, like driving, speaking a language, typing, and playing a musical instrument require knowledge of the past; they require that we rely on previous experience. And it would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
But what place has knowledge, what place has the past in our search for Truth, Reality, or Enlightenment?
If everything in the universe is impermanent (in a constant state of change) then how could the past (which is fixed) possibly guide our understanding of the present?
Real wisdom (understanding) cannot possibly be captured by a book, a concept, or an idea. Reality cannot be described by a painting, a photograph, a play, or a film. And Truth is not disseminated in speeches, lecture halls, or mp3 files.
Wisdom, Truth, Reality, or Enlightenment (call it what you will) cannot be wrapped up, packaged, and prepared for distribution like the “fixed” commodities we’re used to dealing with, because it’s constantly evolving. Truth is not a commercial entity, it can’t be bought or sold, it can’t be given, and it certainly can’t be set in stone. It is constantly evolving.
And even though our inventory of knowledge is also constantly evolving- expanding, growing, becoming more profound, or more exciting- as our our beliefs, concepts, and ideas are transformed by our continued life experience, by what we read, see, hear, feel, taste, and touch, that inventory is still essentially based on the past.
That inventory of knowledge is funded exclusively based on our previous experience, which is essentially fixed, or dead. There is no possibility that fixed notions, stable ideas, conceptions, and conclusions can provide a complete illumination of the present.
Thus knowledge cannot possibly shed light on Truth, Reality, or Enlightenment. The stagnant cannot fully illuminate the fluid. The stable cannot fully illuminate the moving. And the fixed cannot fully illuminate the impermanent.
Let go of that knowledge which you’re so attached to. Stop with your clinging to the past. Put aside your systems and training, your ideas, beliefs, conclusions, and intellectual concepts galore.
Face yourself and your life for what it is- something unique, unprecedented, and new. Something which requires your complete attention, careful consideration, and total observation, at each and every moment.
Follow along with the movement of your life, the movement of the world, and the relationship that connects the two.
Illuminate your understanding, and live in total Freedom.
You can do it, if you’d only try.