On Originality

I just encountered this quote from Krishnamurti. It goes right to the heart of the question of authority.

He was asked if he claimed anything new in his writing.

To find out for yourself is much more important than my asserting yes or no. It is your problem, not my problem. To me, all this is totally new because it has to be discovered from moment to moment; it cannot be stored up after discovery; it is not something to be experienced and then retained as memory – which would be putting new wine in old bottles. It must be discovered as one lives from day to day, and it is new to the person who so discovers it. But you are always comparing what is being said with what has been said by some saint, or by Shankara, Buddha, or Christ. You say, ‘All these people have said this before, and you are only giving it another twist, a modern expression’ – so naturally it is nothing new to you. It is only when you have ceased to compare, when you have put away Shankara, Buddha, Christ, with all their knowledge, information, so that your mind is alone, clear, no longer influenced, controlled, compelled, either by modern psychology or by the ancient sanctions and edicts – it is only then that you will find out whether or not there is something new, everlasting. But that requires vigor, not indolence; it demands a drastic cutting away of all the things that one has read or been told about truth and God. That which is eternal, new, is a living thing; therefore, it cannot be made permanent, and a mind that wants to make it permanent will never find it.

  1. ^J. Krishnamurti 1956b, para. 19. Retrieved on 2010-09-30.; Vernon 2001, pp. 214–215. “Krishnamurti taught nothing new. This does not mean that he was unoriginal … the essence of … his Truth, was not to be contained in what is implied by terms like old, new, original or derivative …. It was neither originality nor a logical system that Krishnamurti sought. His talks, instead, were intended to light a fuse, …”.
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