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Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Purpose of Life

~by Krishnamurti

So, we must find out very clearly what we mean by purpose, if there is a purpose. You may say there is a purpose: to reach reality, God, or what you will. But to reach that, you must know it, you must be aware of it, you must have the measure, the depth, the significance of it. Do we know reality for ourselves, or do we know it only through the authority of another? So, can you say that the purpose of life is to find reality when you do not know what reality is? 

Since reality is the unknown, the mind that seeks the unknown must first be free from the known, must it not? If my mind is clouded, burdened with the known, it can only measure according to its own condition, its own limitation, and therefore it can never know the unknown, can it?

So, what we are trying to discuss and find out is whether life has a purpose, and whether that purpose can be measured. It can only be measured in terms of the known, in terms of the past; and when I measure the purpose of life in terms of the known, I will measure it according to my likes and dislikes. Therefore, the purpose will be conditioned by my desires, and therefore it ceases to be the purpose. Surely, that is clear, is it not?

I can understand what is the purpose of life only through the screen of my own prejudices, wants, and desires - otherwise I cannot judge, can I? So, the measure, the tape, the yardstick, is a conditioning of my mind, and according to the dictates of my conditioning, I will decide what the purpose is. But is that the purpose of life? It is created by my want, and therefore it is surely not the purpose of life.

To find out the purpose of life, the mind must be free of measurement; then only can it find out - otherwise, you are merely projecting your own want. This is not mere intellection, and if you go into it deeply, you will see its significance. After all, it is according to my prejudice, to my want, to my desire, to my predilection, that I decide what the purpose of life is to be. So, my desire creates the purpose. Surely, that is not the purpose of life.

Which is more important - to find out the purpose of life, or to free the mind itself from its own conditioning and then inquire? And perhaps when the mind is free from its own conditioning, that very freedom itself is the purpose. Because, after all, it is only in freedom that one can discover any truth.

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