The First Step is the Last Step
(from J Krishnamurti’s Inward Revolution)

road in a field

The first step is the last step.  The first step is the step of clear perception, and that clear act of clear perception is the last act.  When you see danger, a serpent, that very perception is complete action.  We said the first step is the last step.  The first step is to perceive–perceive what you are thinking, perceive your ambition, perceive your anxiety, your loneliness, your despair, the extraordinary sense of sorrow.  Perceive it without any condemnation, justification, without wishing it to be different, just perceive it as it is.  When you perceive it as it is, then there is a totally different kind of action taking place, and that action is the final action.  That is, when you perceive something as being false or as being true, that perception is the final action, which is the final step.

Now, listen to this, I perceive the falseness of following somebody else’s instructions–Krishna, Buddha, Christ, it doesn’t matter who it is.  There is the perception of the truth that following somebody is utterly false.  Your reason, your logic, and everything points out how absurd it is to follow somebody.  Now, that perception is the final step; when you have perceived, you leave it, forget it, because the next minute you have to perceive anew, which is again the final step.  Because if you don’t drop what you have learned, what you have perceived, then there is a continuity of the movement of thought.  The movement and the continuity of thought is time.  And when the mind is caught in the movement of time, it is in bondage.

So one of the major problems is whether the mind can be free of the past; the past regrets, the past pleasures, the past memories, remembrances, incidents, and experiences, all the things that one has built up.  The past is also the “me.”  The “me” is the past.  Thought gives continuity to something that has been perceived clearly.  Not being able to put it aside, it gives it a continuity which becomes the means of perpetuating thought.  You have had a happy incident yesterday.  You don’t forget it; you don’t drop it. You take it with you; you think about it.  The very thinking about something that is of the past gives continuity to the past.  Therefore there is no ending to the past.  But if you have the most,  extraordinary, happy incident, see it, perceive it, and completely end it, not carry it over, then there is no continuity as the past which thought has built.  Therefore every step is the last step.

So we have to go into the question of whether thought, which is giving continuity to memory–memory is the past–can ever come to an end.  That is part of meditation.  It is part of a total mutation of the brain cells themselves.  If there is continuity of the movement of thought it is a repetition of the old, because thought is memory; thought is the response of memory; thought is experience; thought is knowledge.


Inner Life Exercise

Become aware of yourself as you walk through a doorway.  Come wide awake and know where you are.  Know that you have entered a new environment as you simultaneously have left behind the old.  Hold no remnant of the past.



  1. Steve on June 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    These men of higher thinking are telling us the same thing. They are using different words to describe the self made psychological bricks (the old, the past) we carry into our fresh new day which is the root of our frustrations, anxiety, and general discontent. Murray Oxman says; “Because in Reality there is no past or future only what you do right now is important.” And Vernon Howard says; “We can wake up to an entirely new world of wonder.” Mr Krishnamurti’s; “The first step is the last step.” All are pointing to the problem: a confused mind that thinks it is a clear mind. Thank God for the existence of these men that direct us to learn more about ourselves.

  2. Lisa on June 9, 2017 at 1:55 am

    I know I’m having a good day when I dare to drop what’s hurting me. A fearful thought, getting my feelings hurt, an angry accusation. Who cares what our mind says. Lunatics also believe what their mind tells them is true. We don’t have to feel bad about anything. ANYTHING!
    Dare to drop it and go about your business in a relaxed way. You just might have a nice day! Really.

  3. Max on June 10, 2017 at 6:14 am

    By discovering yourself in the Here and Now, you automatically establish yourself in the There and Forever. ~Vernon Howard.

    The weary and the dreary life is one in which the individual man
    or woman has no personal relationship to something that is outside
    and higher than himself. So, NOW, you know how to be happy. ~Vernon Howard.

    You must die, give it up, no longer exist as a lover of hellfire. If you will die you will live. If you will give up your hellfire love you will then have eternal love which has no center, no you in it.
    NOW, your mind cannot grasp that because your mind is time and hell is always time. Eternity is without fire.
    Do you grasp? Only dying to death will give you Life with a capital ‘L’. ~Vernon Howard, Talk.

    Wake up right NOW! I don’t want you to be as you were 3 seconds ago! But no self-created acts of ‘cheerfulness’. Creation belongs to God. When did you create your physical body, the sun or moon? You don’t originate anything at all. Wake yourself up, not giving permission to your ego-nature. You are acted upon! As yet, you have no intelligence or creative power of your own. You talk your life away- blabbing to others or yourself! ~Vernon Howard, Talk.

  4. Melodie Machovina on June 11, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Great post! You have to get really serious about your day to even begin to understand what Krishnamurti is saying. It’s scary to leave everything you know or think to be your self behind. But that’s one way to know you should do it. Take the leap!

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