So, having made life into a technical process, conforming to a particular pattern of action, which is merely technique, naturally we have lost confidence in ourselves, and therefore we are increasing our inward struggle, our inward pain and confusion. Confusion can be dissolved only through self-confidence, and this confidence cannot be gained through another. You have to undertake, for yourself and by yourself, the journey of discovery into the process of yourself, in order to understand it. This does not mean you are withdrawn, aloof. On the contrary, Sirs, confidence comes the moment you understand, not what others say, but your own thoughts and feelings, what is happening in yourself and around you. Without that confidence which comes from knowing your own thoughts, feelings and experiences – their truth, their falseness, their significance, their absurdity - , without knowing that, how can you clear up the whole field of confusion which is yourself?
Having lost self confidence, our problem is how to get it back – if we ever had it at all. Because, obviously, without the element of confidence we shall be led astray by every person we come across – and that is exactly what is happening.
To find out what is true in the various political actions, in the religious
assertions and experiences which you so easily accept - to find out the truth
of these things, must you not be burning with the desire to know the truth.
Therefore, never accept any authority. Sir, after all, acceptance of
authority indicates that the mind wants comfort, security. A mind that seeks
security either with a guru or in a party, political or any other, a mind
that is seeking safety, comfort, can never find truth, even in the smallest
things of our existence. So, a man who wants this creative self-confidence
must obviously be burning with the desire to know the truth of everything,
not about empires or the atomic bomb, which is merely a technical matter,
but in our human relationships, our relationship with others, and our
relationship to property and to ideas. If I want to know the truth, I begin
to enquire; and before I can know the truth of anything, I must have
confidence. To have confidence, - p. 26 – I must enquire into myself and
remove those causes that prevent each experience from giving its full
We are not self-confident, there is no confidence in us, that creative thing which gives sustenance, life, vitality, understanding. We have lost it, or we have never had it; and, because we do not know how to judge anything, we have been led here and pushed there, beaten up, driven, politically, religiously and socially. We don’t know – but it is difficult to say we don’t know.
So, that is the first requirement, is it not? To know the truth of anything
psychologically, you cannot seek comfort; because, the moment you want
comfort, security, a haven in which you are protected, you will have what
you want, but what you have will not be the truth. Therefore, you will be
persuaded by another who offers a greater comfort, a greater security, a
better refuge; and so you are driven from port to port, and that is why you
have lost confidence. You have no confidence because you have been driven
from one refuge to another by your own desire to be comfortable, to be
secure. So, a man who would seek the truth in relationship must be free of
the destructive and limiting desire to be comfortable, to be secure. This
fear of losing oneself psychologically must go. Only then can you find the
truth of reincarnation or of anything else, because you are seeking truth
and not security. Then truth will reveal to you what is right, and therefore
you will have confidence. Sir, is it not more important to find out the
truth than to believe that there is or is not continuity?
My point is that there must be self-confidence - and I have sufficiently
explained what I mean by self-confidence. It is not the confidence you
have through technical capacity, technical knowledge, technical training. The
confidence that comes with self-knowledge is entirely different from the
confidence of aggressiveness and of technical skill; and that confidence of
self knowledge is essential to clear up the confusion in which we live.
Obviously, you cannot have this self-knowledge given to you by another,
because that which is given to you is a mere technique.
That is the joy of discovering, the bliss of understanding, can come only when
I understand myself, the whole total process of myself; and to understand
oneself is not such a very complex business, one can begin at any level of
Krishnamurti Articles & Quotes