no tomorrow to think about


Ikarus by Matisse


“Can we live so completely

that there is no tomorrow

for thought to think about?”

The problem of time is a very important one to understand if we are to resolve this life which we have helped to make as monstrous and meaningless as it is.

The first thing to understand is that we can look at time only with that freshness and innocency of mind which we have already been into. We are confused about our many problems and lost in that confusion. Now if one is lost in a wood, what is the first thing one does? One stops, doesn’t one? One stops and looks round. But the more we are confused and lost in life the more we chase around, searching, asking, demanding, begging. So the first thing, if I may suggest it, is that you completely stop inwardly. And when you do stop inwardly, psychologically, your mind becomes very peaceful, very clear. Then you can really look at this question of time.

Problems exist only in time, that is when we meet an issue incompletely. This incomplete coming together with the issue creates the problem. When we meet a challenge partially, fragmentarily, or try to escape from it – that is, when we meet it without complete attention – we bring about a problem. And the problem continues so long as we continue to give it incomplete attention, so long as we hope to solve it one of these days.

Do you know what time is? Not by the watch, not chronological time, but psychological time? It is the interval between idea and action. An idea is for self-protection obviously; it is the idea of being secure. Action is always immediate; it is not of the past or of the future; to act must always be in the present, but action is so dangerous, so uncertain, that we conform to an idea which we hope will give us a certain safety.

Do look at this in yourself. You have an idea of what is right or wrong, or an ideological concept about yourself and society, and according to that idea you are going to act. Therefore the action is in conformity with that idea, approximating to the idea, and hence there is always conflict. There is the idea, the interval and action. And in that interval is the whole field of time.

That interval is essentially thought. When you think you will be happy tomorrow, then you have an image of yourself achieving a certain result in time. Thought, through observation, through desire, and the continuity of that desire sustained by further thought, says, `Tomorrow I shall be happy. Tomorrow I shall have success. Tomorrow the world will be a beautiful place.’ So thought creates that interval which is time.

Now we are asking, can we put a stop to time? Can we live so completely that there is no tomorrow for thought to think about?

(link to source: Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 59 – 60)







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