Krishnamurti On Creative Discontent

Robert Janz, black poster paint on torn posters, New York City

Krishnamurti was one of the more unusual spiritual teachers of the 20th century. As a young boy, in 1909, the Theosophists tabbed him as the next great spiritual teacher, a divine avatar even. Then, in 1922, he lapsed into a series of comas, which he described as a state of mystical union with "another world that is beyond all thought." After this he seemed to radiate some sort of spiritual power, and the Theosophists and others began to view him in messianic terms. But this struck the newly awakened Krishnamurti as wrong, and he refused to see himself in these exalted terms. He went on to become a sort of non-guru who urged direct experience with life. His book Think On These Things provides a nice introduction to his thinking. For example he talked about creative discontent:
Creativeness is not merely a matter of painting pictures or writing poems, which is good to do, but which is very little in itself. What is important is to be wholly discontented, for such total discontent is the beginning of the initiative which becomes creative as it matures; and that is the only way to find out what is truth, what is God, because the creative state is God.

So one must have this total discontent -- but with joy. Do you understand? One must be wholly discontented, not complainingly, but with joy, with gaiety, with love. Most people who are discontented are terrible bores; they are always complaining that something or other isn't right, or wishing they were in a better position, or wanting circumstances to be different, because their discontent is very superficial. And those who are not discontented at all are already dead.

If you can be in revolt when you are young, and as you grow older keep your discontent alive with with the vitality of joy and great affection, then the flame of discontent will have an extraordinary significance because it will build, it will create, it will bring new things into being. For this you must have the right kind of education, which is not the kind that merely prepares you to get a job or to climb the ladder of success, but the education that helps you to think and gives you space -- space not in the form of a larger bedroom or a higher roof, but space for your mind to grow so it is not bound by any belief, by any fear.


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