by Jiddu Krishnamurti
Our problems – social, environmental, political, religious – are so complex that we can solve them only by being simple, not by becoming extraordinarily erudite and clever. A simple person sees much more directly, has a more direct experience, than the complex person. Our minds are so crowded with an infinite knowledge of facts, of what others have said, that we have become incapable of being simple and having direct experience ourselves. These problems demand a new approach; and they can be so approached only when we are simple, inwardly really simple. That simplicity comes only through self-knowledge, through understanding ourselves; the ways of our thinking and feeling; the movements of our thoughts; our responses; how we conform, through fear, to public opinion, to what others say, what the Buddha, the Christ, the great saints have said – all of which indicates our nature to conform, to be safe, to be secure. When one is seeking, one is obviously in a state of fear and therefore there is no simplicity.
Without being simple, one cannot be sensitive – to the trees, to the birds, to the mountains, to the wind, to all the things which are going on about us in the world; if one is not simple one cannot be sensitive to the inward intimation of things. Most of us live so superficially, on the upper level of our consciousness; there we try to be thoughtful or intelligent, which is synonymous with being religious; there we try to make our minds simple, through compulsion, through discipline. But that is not simplicity. When we force the upper mind to be simple, such compulsion only hardens the mind, does not make the mind supple, clear, quick. To be simple in the whole, total process of our consciousness is extremely arduous; because there must be no inward reservation, there must be an eagerness to find out, to inquire into the process of our being, which means to be awake to every intimation, to every hint; to be aware of our fears, of our hopes, and to investigate and to be free of them more and more and more. Only then, when the mind and heart are really simple, not encrusted, are we able to solve the many problems that confront us.