Jiddu Krishnamurti-Reading The Book of One’s Life


Would you please go into what you mean by reading the book of one’s life at a glance, or with a single look?

Would you please go into what you mean by reading the book of one’s life at a glance, or with a single look?

I think it is fairly obvious that we human beings are the history of mankind. Right? In us is the totality of all human psychological knowledge. Right? That is fairly obvious. I hope. Must I go into that?

That is, the story of mankind, which are wars, tears, bloodshed, pain, and grief, laughter, agony, anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, all that is part of me, I am that. I am the story of all that – right? The book of history is me, not the kings ,and, part of the kings too, I am all that. Now can I read that book, which is me, do I have to read it page by page, chapter by chapter, not missing a single line till I come to the end of the book? You understand my question? I am the story of all mankind, that is fairly simple. To see that even intellectually. Right? Do I see that intellectually? That I am the story of all mankind: all mankind suffers, has shed tears, laughter, imitation, conformity, every sense of indignity, vulgarity, superficiality, I am all that – otherwise I wouldn’t elect the politicians as they are – right? So I am all that, including the priest, and the gods that thought has invented. I am all that. Now that book is me. Have I to read page by page? Or can I understand that whole book with one glance, with one single look? You understand the two questions?

We are saying it is impossible to read that book page by page, chapter by chapter. That will take you all your life because all your life is a period of time. During that time you are adding more and more, or taking away little by little. But you are gathering more and more. So the book can never be read page by page. It can never be read – you understand? If you understand that, which is logical, objective, if you realize that it cannot be read page by page then you have only one issue: which is to look at it with eyes that comprehend from the beginning to the end, at a glance. You understand? What does that imply? What does it imply to look at yourself, which is the story of mankind, historia, mankind, to look at it? You understand? Again this requires patience. To look at it with a patient, silent brain so that the book itself unfolds rapidly.

Now, just a minute: when you have a map of…? Is it Switzerland? Yes (laughter) When you have a map of Switzerland, with all the lakes and the mountains and all that, the beauty of the land. If you have a particular direction from Gstaad to go to Bern you are only concerned with that route. You don’t look at the rest of the map. That is, you have a particular direction and if you have a particular direction you neglect to look at the rest of the map. Please understand this. But if you have no direction then you look all round. Vous avez compris? You have understood the thing? The moment you have a motive which gives you a direction, then you are only looking in a particular direction. But if you have no motive and also no direction then you look at the whole map at a glance. You understand? Now can you do this, the same, with one’s self – anger, jealousy, brutality, aggression, attachment – all that. That is the whole map of yourself. Which requires quietness of the brain and no direction. Then you see clearly the whole of it. You hear the whole tone of that history, and you have captured it immediately, the wholeness of it. Right? Have you got it? Shall we go on to the next question?

Post Author: Chad

A citizen of the universe. A student of life and death.