What are you doing with your life? This question that I found as the title of a book intrigued me. I had no idea what I am doing with my life, so I thought I would look into it without a second thought. The author of the book was Jiddu Krishnamurti, one of the world’s great philosophical teachers. He offers his inspiring wisdom on many of life’s hurdles from anxiety and loneliness to relationships and love. I was really fascinated by reading his book and so I am here penning down some of J. Krishnamurti’s thoughts on life.

What is the self?

Do we know what we mean by the self? By that, I mean the idea, the memory, the conclusion, the experience, the intentions, the conscious endeavour to be or not to be, the accumulated memory of the unconscious, the racial, the group, the individual, the clan, and the whole of it all, whether it is projected outwardly in action or projected spiritually as a virtue, the striving after all is the self. In it is included the competition, the desire to be. The whole process of that is the self.

What is the origin of thinking?

One can see very simply that all the thinking is a reaction to the past – the past being memory, knowledge, experience. All thinking is the result of the past. The past which is time, yesterday and that yesterday stretching out indefinitely into the past is what considered time: time as the past, time as the present and time as the future. Time has divided into three parts, and time is like a river, flowing. We have divided into these fragments and in these fragments, thought is caught.

Is interest same as ambition?

Ambition, as we generally know it, is the outcome of fear. Now, if I am interested as a boy in being an engineer because I love it, because I want to have the best irrigation in the world because I want to build the best roads, it means I love the thing; therefore, that is not ambition. In that, there is no fear. So, ambition and interest are two different things, are they not? I am interested in painting, I love it, I do not want to compete with the best painter or the most famous painter, I just love painting. You may be better at painting, but I do not compare myself with you. I love what I am doing; that in itself is sufficient for me.

What is the important thing to do?

When you are eating, eat. When you are going for a walk, walk. Don’t say, “I must be doing something else.” When you are reading, give your attention completely to that. The complete attention is a complete action, and there is no “I must be doing something else.” What is important is not what we are doing but whether we can give total attention.

All those above are just a drop in the bucket to his book, which is filled with insights. If you want to know more about your life, I suggest you read the book, What are you doing with your life? by one of the greatest thinkers of the age, Jiddu Krishnamurti.


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