Can Truth be Found in Religion?

Question: Grains of truth are to be found in religions, theories, ideas and beliefs. What is the right way of separating them?

Krishnamurti:  The false is the false, and by seeking you cannot separate the false from the truth. You have to see the false as the false, and then only is there a cessation of the false. You cannot seek the truth in the false, but you can see the false as the false, and then there is a release from the false. Sir, how can the false contain the truth?  How can ignorance, darkness, contain understanding, light? I know we would like to have it so; we would like to think that somewhere in us there is eternity, light, truth, piety, all covered over with ignorance. Where there is light, there is no darkness; there is ignorance. Where there is light, there is no darkness; where there is ignorance, there is always ignorance, but never understanding. So there i release only when you and I see the false as the false, that is, when we see the truth about the false, which means not dwelling in the false as the false. Our seeing the false as the false is prevented by our prejudices, by our conditioning. With that understanding, let us proceed.

Now the question is, is there not truth in religions, in theories, in ideals, in beliefs? Let us examine. What do we mean by religion? Surely, not organised religion, not Hinduism, Buddhism, or Christianity - which are all organised beliefs with their propaganda, conversion, proselytism, compulsion, and so on. Is there any truth in organised religion?  It may engulf, enmesh truth but the organised religion itself is not true. Therefore, organised religion is false, it separated man from man. You are a Mussalman, I am a Hindu, another is a Christian or a Buddhist - and we are wrangling, butchering each other. Is there any truth in that? We are not discussing religion as the pursuit of truth, but we are considering if there is any truth in organised religion. We are so conditioned by organised religion to think there is truth in it that we have come to believe that by calling oneself a Hindu one is somebody, or one will find God. How absurd! Sir, to find God, to find reality, there must be virtue. Virtue is freedom, and only through freedom can truth be discovered - not when you are caught in the hands of organised religion, with its beliefs. And is there any truth in theories, in ideals, in beliefs? Why do you have beliefs? Obviously because beliefs give you security, comfort, safety, a guide. In yourself you are frightened, you want to be protected, you want to lean on somebody, and therefore you create the ideal, which prevents you from understanding that which is; therefore an ideal becomes a hindrance to action.

Sir, when I am violent, why do I want to pursue the ideal of non-violent? For the obvious reason that I want to avoid violence, escape from violence. I cultivate the ideal in order not to have to face and to understand violence. Why do I want the ideal at all? It is an impediment. If I want to understand violence, I must try to understand it directly, not through the screen of an ideal. The ideal is false, fictitious, preventing me from understanding that which I am. Look at it more closely, and you will see. If I am violent, to understand violence I do not want an ideal; to look at violence, I do not need a guide. But I like to be violent, it gives me a certain sense of power, and I will go on being violent, though I cover it up with the ideal of non-violence. So the idea is fictitious, it is simply not there. It exists only in the mind; it is an ideal, like a belief, is unreal, false.

Now, why do I want to believe? Surely a man who understands life does not want beliefs. A man who loves, has no beliefs - he loves. It is the man who is consumed by the intellect that has beliefs, because the intellect is always seeking security, protection; it is always avoiding danger, and therefore it builds ideas, beliefs, ideals behind which it can take shelter.

What would happen if you deal with the violence directly now? You would be a danger to society; and because the mind foresees the danger, it says, 'I will achieve the ideal of non-violence ten years later' - which is such a fictitious, false process.

So, theories - we are not dealing with mathematical theories, and all the rest of it, but the theories that arise in connection with our human, psychological problems - theories, beliefs, ideals, are false because they prevent us from seeing things as they are. To understand what is, is more important to create and follow ideals; because ideals are false, and that which is is the real . To understand what is requires an enormous capacity, a swift and unprejudiced mind. It is because we don't want to face and understand what is that we invent the many ways of escape and give them lovely names as the ideal, the belief, God.

Surely, it is only when I see the false as the false that my mind is capable of perceiving what is true. A mind that is confused in the false, can never find the truth. Therefore, I must understand what is false in my relationships, in my ideas, in the things about me; because, to perceive the truth requires the understanding of the false.

 Without removing the causes of ignorance, there cannot be enlightenment; and to seek enlightenment when the mind is unenlightened is utterly empty, meaningless. Therefore, I must begin to see the false in my relationships with ideas, with people, with things. When the mind sees that which is false then that which is true comes into being: and then there is ecstasy, there is happiness.

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