Questioner: Doesn’t the knowledge that life is impermanent bring suffering?
Krishnamurti: Right, sir. But it is a fact that life is impermanent, isn’t it? Your relations are impermanent, your thoughts are impermanent, your self-fulfillment, your ambitious drive, and achievements are impermanent, because there is death. And why should one suffer because of impermanency? The fact is that there is impermanency. It is so. But you don’t want to accept that fact, you say, “There must be something permanent”. You have a picture of what permanency is, and therefore, when you are faced with impermanency, there is a feeling of despair. You put death, which is the essence of impermanency, in the distance, so there is an interval, a gap between you and that which you call death. Here you are, living every day, carrying on with your routine, your worries, your frustrations, your ambitions, and there is death in the distance; and you think about that. You have seen death, and you know that you also will die one day, and you think about it. It is the thought of the future as impermanent that breeds fear.
Please listen to this. But if you bring death – which you have put in the future – into the present while you are active, vital, strong, not diseased, then you are living with death; you are dying every minute to everything you know. After all, only that which ends can have a new beginning. Look at the spring. When the spring comes after the long winter, there are new leaves, there is something fresh, tender, young, innocent. But we are afraid to end; and ending, after all, is death. Take just one thing, something that gives you great pleasure, or great pain; take a memory that you have of somebody, a memory which causes you pain or pleasure, and end it, die to it, not tomorrow, but instantly. When you do that you will find a new thing is happening, a new state of mind is coming into being.
Paris, France, 1965
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