our poverty


Negating without resistance

this content of consciousness

is the beauty and compassion of intelligence.

It’s this intelligence that is in operation in the universe

if you leave it alone.


My reflections:

What does it mean to “negate this content of consciousness”? When Krishnamurti speaks of negating my understanding is that he means having the insight from moment to moment that all the content of our consciousness, our thoughts, opinions, fears, desires etc. have been created out of thin air. Our mind has conjured up the entire framework within which all of these concepts are couched. The very foundation of our worldview is something that is based on concepts, which are constructed of the past. Our past impressions serve as the reservoir for our so-called knowledge and on that foundation we build our world. 

When he speaks of ‘negating’ all of that he nudges us to consider what it often called “direct perception”. Having emptied our mind of all of these concepts, or at least having recognized how arbitrary they all are, can we then allow that ‘mysterious principle’ to enter our awareness. To negate without resistance is to see the invalidity of all of this and therefore it falls away, loses substance and is ‘negated’ on its own – with no activity on the part of the ego.

In that space the beauty and compassion of intelligence is the awareness and the action  of that mysterious principle which moves in all things.


Krishnamurti’s Journal April 2, 1975:

You may have a great deal of knowledge and be vastly poor. The poorer you are the greater the demand for knowledge. You expand your consciousness with great varieties of knowledge, accumulating experiences and remembrances and yet may be vastly poor. The skillful use of knowledge may bring you wealth and give you eminence and power but there may still be poverty. This poverty breeds callousness; you play while the house is burning. This poverty merely strengthens the intellect or gives to the emotions the weakness of sentiment. It’s this poverty that brings about imbalance, the outer and inner. There’s no knowledge of the inner, only of the outer. The knowledge of the outer informs us erroneously that there must be knowledge of the inner. Self-knowing is brief and shallow; the mind is soon beyond it, like crossing a river. You make a lot of noise in going across the river and to mistake the noise as knowledge of the self is to expand poverty. This expansion of consciousness is the activity of poverty. Religions, culture, knowledge, can in no way enrich this poverty.

The skill of intelligence is to put knowledge in its right place. Without knowledge it’s not possible to live in this technological and almost mechanical civilization but it will not transform the human being and his society. Knowledge is not the excellence of intelligence; intelligence can and does use knowledge and thus transforms man and his society. Intelligence is not the mere cultivation of the intellect and its integrity. It comes out of the understanding of the whole consciousness of man, yourself and not a part, a separate segment, of yourself. The study and the understanding of the movement of your own mind and heart give birth to this intelligence. You are the content of your consciousness; in knowing yourself you will know the universe.

This knowing is beyond the word for the word is not the thing. The freedom from the known, every minute, is the essence of intelligence. It’s this intelligence that is in operation in the universe if you leave it alone. You are destroying this sacredness of order through the ignorance of yourself. This ignorance is not banished by the studies others have made about you or themselves. You yourself have to study the content of your own consciousness. The studies the others have made of themselves, and so of you, are the descriptions but not the described. The word is not the thing.

Only in relationship can you know yourself, not in abstraction and certainly not in isolation. Even in a monastery you are related to the society which has made the monastery as an escape, or closed the doors to freedom. The movement of behaviour is the sure guide to yourself; it’s the mirror of your consciousness; this mirror will reveal its content, the images, the attachments, the fears, the loneliness, the joy and the sorrow. Poverty lies in running away from this, either in its sublimations. or in its identities.

Negating without resistance this content of consciousness is the beauty and compassion of intelligence.




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