What do we want?

 

                                                                     by Krishnamurti

 

                                            

 

          What is it that most of us are seeking?  What is it that each one of us wants?  Especially in this restless world, where everybody is trying to find some kind of peace, some kind of happiness, a refuge, surely it is important to find out, isnít it, what it is that we are trying to seek, what it is that we are trying to dicover?

 

          Probably most of us are seeking somekind of happiness, somekind of peace.  In a world that is ridden with turmoil, wars, contention, strife, we want a refuge where there can be some peace.  I think that is what most of us want.

 

          So we pursue, go from one leader to another, from one religious organization to another, from one teacher to another.

 

          Now, is it that we are seeking happiness or is it that we are seeking gratification of some kind from which we hope to derive happiness?  There is a difference between happiness and gratification.  Can you seek happiness?  Perhaps you can find gratification but surely you cannot find happiness.

 

          Happiness is derivative; it is a by-product of something else.  So, before we give our minds and hearts to something which demands a great deal of earthnes, attention, thought, care, we must find out, must we not, what it is that we are seeking; whether it is happiness, or gratification ?  I am afraid most of us are seeking gratification.  We want to be gratified, we want to find a sense of fullness at the end of our search.  After all, if one is seeking peace one can find it very easily.  One can devote oneself blindly to some kind of cause, to an idea, and take shelter there.  Surely that does not solve the problem.  Mere isolation in an enclosing idea is not a release from conflict.  So we must find what it is Ė inwardly, as well as outwardly- that each one of us wants.

 

          If we are clear on that matter, then we donít have to go anywhere, to any teacher, to any church, to any organization.  Therefore our difficulty is, to be clear in ourselves regarding our intention, is it not?  Can we be out what others say, from the highest teacher to the ordinary preacher in a church around the corner?  Have you got to go to somebody to find out? Yet that is what we are doing, is it not?  We read innumerable books, we attend many meetings and discuss, we join various organizations trying thereby to find a remedy to the conflict, to the miseries in our lives.  Or, if we donít do all that, we think we have found; that is, we say that a particular organization, a  particular tacher, a particular book satisfies us; we have found everything we want in that; and we remain in that, crystallized and enclosed.

 

          So donít let us be caught in words.  Leave that to the professional lecturers.  There is a search for something permanent, is there not, in most of us? Ė something we can cling to, something which will give us assurance, a hope, a lasting enthusiasm, a lasting certainty, because in ourselves we are so uncertain.  We do not know ourselves.  We know a lot about facts what the books have said; but we do not know for ourselves, we do not have a direct experience.  And what is it that we call permanent?  What is it that we are seeking, which will, or which we hope will give us permanency?  Are we not seeking lasting happiness, lasting gratification, lasting certainty?  We want something that will endure everlastingly, which will gratify us.  If we strip ourselves of all the words and phrases, and actually look at it, this is what we want: we want permanent pleasure.