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The mirror of our self

Jiddu Krishnamurti: “There is a mirror in which you can see yourself. Not your face, but everything you are thinking”

Question (Student): How can we get to know ourselves?

Krishnamurti: You know your face because you often see it in the mirror. Now, there is a mirror in which you can see yourself as a whole – not your face, but everything you are thinking, everything you are feeling, your motivations, your desires, your impulses and your fears.

This mirror is the mirror of relationships: the relationship between you and your parents, the relationship between you and your teachers, between you and the river, the trees, the land, between you and your thoughts.

Relationships are a mirror in which you can see yourself, not as you would like it to be, but as it really is. Maybe I expect, when I see myself in any mirror, to look prettier than I am, but that is not the case, because the mirror shows my face exactly as it is, and I cannot fool myself.

In the same way, I can see myself just as I am in the mirror of my relationships with others.
I can observe the way I talk to others: in a very polite way to those who I believe can give me something and indifferently or abruptly to those who are indifferent to me.
I watch how I treat the ones I fear. I show respect to important people, but I despise beggars.

Thus, by observing myself in my relationships, I realize at some point that I don’t really respect people, isn’t that right?

Similarly, I can discover how I am in my relationships with trees, with birds, with ideas and with books.
You can get all the university degrees in the world, but if you do not know yourself, you will be one of the most stupid people.
That is exactly the purpose of the education: For one to know his/her self.

Simply gathering information or taking notes and reading so you can pass the exams without learning about yourself is a stupid way to live.
You may have learned by heart excerpts from Bhagavat Gita and recite them at the first opportunity, but if you do not know yourself you are like a parrot just repeating words.

On the contrary, from the moment you start to know even a few things about yourself, an amazing course of creativity has already begun. It is a true discovery to suddenly see yourself as it really is: greedy, hot tempered, angry, jealous, stupid. Seeing this without trying to change, just seeing what you really are, is a startling revelation. From there you can go deeper and deeper, because there is no end to learning yourself.
As you learn yourself, you begin to discover what God is, what truth is, what the state that is beyond time is.

Your teacher can pass on the knowledge he or she has received from his or her teacher; and he or she can do well in your exams, you may get a diploma and all the rest, but without knowing yourself as you know your face by seeing it in the mirror, any other knowledge is of very little importance.

Those who know a lot of things but do not know themselves are not really intelligent people; they do not know what thinking means, what life means. That is why it is important that the teacher himself has been trained, in the proper meaning of the word, which means he must know the functions of his mind and heart, that he sees himself exactly as he is in the mirror of relationships.
Knowledge of the self is the beginning of wisdom. In the knowledge of the self lies the whole universe, which embraces every effort of humanity.

The Sense of Happiness
Krishnamurti
KASTANIOTI PUBLICATIONS

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