Krishnamurti in conversation with a young man:
K: The lark and the eagle in their flight leave no mark; the scientist leaves a mark, as do all specialists. You can follow them step by step and add more steps to what they have found and accumulated; and you know, more or less, where their accumulation is leading. But truth is not like that; it is really a pathless land; it may be at the next curve of the road, or a thousand miles away. You have to keep going and then you will find it beside you. But if you stop and trace out a way for another to follow, or a design for your own way of life, it will never come near you.
Young Man: “Is this poetic, or actual?”
K: What do you think? For us everything must be cut and dried so that we can do something practical with it, build something with it, worship it. You can bring a stick into the house, put it on a shelf, put a flower before it every day, and after some days the stick will have a great deal of meaning. The mind can give meaning to anything, but the meaning it gives is meaningless. When one asks what is the purpose of life, it’s like worshipping that stick. The terrible thing is that the mind is always inventing new purposes, new meanings, new delights, and always destroying them. It is never quiet. A mind that is rich in its quietness never looks beyond what is. One must be both the eagle and the scientist, knowing well that the two can never meet. This doesn’t mean that they are two separate things. Both are necessary. But when the scientist wants to become the eagle, and when the eagle leaves its footprints, there is misery in the world.
You are quite young. Don’t ever lose your innocency and the vulnerability that it brings. That is the only treasure that man can have, and must have.
“Is this vulnerability the be-all and end-all of existence? Is it the only priceless jewel that can be discovered?”
K: You can’t be vulnerable without innocency, and though you have a thousand experiences, a thousand smiles and tears, if you don’t die to them, how can the mind be innocent? It is only the innocent mind – in spite of its thousand experiences – that can see what truth is. And it is only truth that makes the mind vulnerable – that is, free.
“You say you can’t see truth without being innocent, and you can’t be innocent without seeing truth. This is a vicious circle, isn’t it?”
K: Innocency can be only with the death of yesterday. But we never die to yesterday. We always have a remnant, a tattered part of yesterday remaining, and it is this that keeps the mind anchored, held by time. So time is the enemy of innocency. One must die every day to everything that the mind has captured and holds on to. Otherwise there is no freedom. In freedom there is vulnerability. It is not the one thing after the other – it is all one movement, both the coming and the going. It is really the fullness of heart that is innocent.