Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The I Who Says "I suffer''

~Jiddu Krishnamurti

What is the meaning of suffering? What is it that suffers? When one says "I suffer," who is it that suffers? What is the center that says "I am in an agony of jealousy, of fear, of loss?" What is that center, that "essence,'' of a human being who says "I suffer?'' Is it the movement of thought, as time, which creates the center? How does that I come into being, which, having come into being says, "I suffer, I am anxious, I am frightened, I am jealous, I am lonely.'' That I is never stationary, it is always moving: "I desire this, I desire that and then I desire something else,'' it is in constant movement. That movement is time, that movement is thought.

There is a concept in the Asian world that the I is something which is beyond time; and further, the concept that there is a higher I still. In the Western world the I has never been thoroughly examined. Qualities have been attributed to it, Freud and Jung and other psychologists have given attributes to it but have never gone into this question of the nature and the structure of the I which says "I suffer.''

The I, as one observes, says "I must have that,'' a few days later it wants something else. There is the constant movement of desire; the constant movement of pleasure; the constant movement of what one wants to be and so on. This movement is thought as psychological time. The I who says "I suffer'' is put together by thought. Thought says, "I am John, I am this, I am that.'' Thought identifies itself with the name and with the form and is the I in all the content of consciousness; it is the essence of fear, hurt, despair, anxiety, guilt, the pursuit of pleasure, the sense of loneliness, all the content of consciousness. When one says "I suffer,'' it is the image that thought has built about itself, the form, the name, that is in sorrow.

Excerpt from The Wholeness of Life Part II: 5th Public Talk Ojai California 16th April 1977 `Out of negation comes the positive called love'

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