Looking at Sorrow


Our spiritual and religious seeking is born out of the sorrow we perceive in our lives. But we have seen that all movement away from “What Is” is really nothing but the same movement of time and memory moving towards the opposite idea of ‘what is’. But ‘what is’ is a fact whereas “what should be” is an idea. When we make an effort to move away from ‘what is’ to ‘what should be’, we move away from a fact to an idea. Not only that, by bringing in the distance between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’, we bring in time and conflict. And in conflict there is dissipation of energy.

So, instead of seeking in time, can we just stay with the fact of sorrow? Can we stay with sorrow without trying to overcome it, rationalize it, wallow in it or escape it through some belief like God etc? Can we directly come in contact with the tremendous sorrow of our life.

One can come in contact with the great sorrow of man only when one has become free from all fears, not only the open fears but all the secret fears we have.

You know, man has lived with sorrow for millennia, many thousands, millions of years. You have lived with sorrow, you have not resolved it. Either you worship sorrow as a means to enlightenment or you escape from sorrow. You put sorrow on a pedestal, symbolically identified with a person, or you rationalize it, or you escape from it. But sorrow is there.

When we start going into the fact of sorrow, we see that there are various kinds of sorrow. The following quote by Krishnamurti shows the variety of sorrows one comes across if one has allowed sorrow to flower in one’s consciousness.

“I mean by sorrow the loss of someone, the sorrow of failure, the sorrow that comes upon you when you see that you are inefficient, incapable, the sorrow that you find when you have no love in your heart, that you live entirely by your ugly little mind; there is the sorrow of losing someone whom you think you love. We live with this sorrow night and day, never going beyond it, never ending it. Again, a mind burdened with sorrow becomes insensitive, becomes enclosed; it has no affection, it has no sympathy; it may show words of sympathy, but in itself, in its heart, it has no sympathy, no affection, no love. And sorrow breeds self-pity. Most of us carry this burden all through life, and we do not seem to be able to end it. And there is the sorrow of time. You understand? We carry this sorrow to the end of our life, not being able to resolve it.

There is also the sorrow of loneliness, being completely alone, lonely, companionless, cut off from all contacts, ultimately leading to a neurotic state and mental illness and psychosomatic diseases.”

However the most significant and deep sorrow which a person interested in finding out truth come across is the sorrow of knowing that one is living in falsehood ensnared in time. Krishnamurti words this beautifully,

And there is the sorrow of time. You understand? We carry this sorrow to the end of our life, not being able to resolve it. There is a much greater sorrow: to live with something which you cannot understand, which is eating your heart and mind, darkening your life.

So, the question is how does one resolve this sorrow?

There is only one way – to face it, come in contact with it, live it, know it intimately. One has to understand that all seeking is moving away from the fact of sorrow. There is no future for a man who is living with intelligence, who is sensitive, alive, young, fresh, innocent.

To end sorrow is to come into contact with that extraordinary feeling, without self-pity, without opinion, without formulas, without explanation – just to come directly into contact with it, as one would come into contact with a table. And that is one of the most difficult things for people to do: to put away ideas and to come into direct contact.

So one does not have to seek a state of bliss, one has to see the end of sorrow by coming in contact with it. With the ending of sorrow, the other is.

All quotes are from J Krishnamurti – To Live With Death, Fifth Talk in Bombay, 1965 at http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=817&chid=5133&w=to%20live%20with%20death

The picture is a painting  – Idle Hands, by Will Barnet, 1935 at http://dolazy.com/xe/index.php?page=412&listStyle=list&document_srl=509781&mid=just_married


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