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Question: What is simplicity? Does it imply seeing very clearly the essentials and discarding everything else?

Krishnamurti: Let us see what simplicity is not. Don’t say—“That is negation” or “Tell us something positive”. That is immature, thoughtless reaction. Those people who offer you the ‘positive’ are exploiters; they have something to give you which you want and through which they exploit you. We are doing nothing of that kind. We are trying to find out the truth of simplicity. Therefore you must discard, put ideas behind and observe anew. The man who has much is afraid of revolution, inwardly and outwardly.

Let us find out what is not simplicity. A complicated mind is not simple, is it? A clever mind is not simple; a mind that has an end in view for which it is working, a reward, a fear, is not a simple mind, is it? A mind that is burdened with knowledge is not a simple mind; a mind that is crippled with beliefs is not a simple mind, is it? A mind that has identified itself with something greater and is striving to keep that identity, is not a simple mind, is it? We think it is simple to have only one or two loin-cloths, we want the outward show of simplicity and we are easily deceived by that. That is why the man who is very rich worships the man who has renounced.

What is simplicity? Can simplicity be the discarding of non-essentials and the pursuing of essentials—which means a process of choice? Does it not mean choice—choosing essentials and discarding non-essentials? What is this process of choosing? What is the entity that chooses? Mind, is it not? It does not matter what you call it. You say, ‘I will choose this, which is the essential’. How do you know what is the essential? Either you have a pattern of what other people have said or your own experience says that something is the essential. Can you rely on your experience? When you choose, your choice is based on desire, is it not? What you call ‘the essential’ is that which gives you satisfaction. So you are back again in the same process, are you not? Can a confused mind choose? If it does, the choice must also be confused.

Therefore the choice between the essential and the non-essential is not simplicity. It is a conflict. A mind in conflict, in confusion, can never be simple. When you discard, when you really observe and see all these false things, the tricks of the mind, when you look at it and are aware of it, then you will know for yourself what simplicity is. A mind which is bound by belief is never a simple mind. A mind that is crippled with knowledge is not simple. A mind that is distracted by God, by women, by music, is not a simple mind. A mind caught in the routine of the office, of rituals, of prayers, such a mind is not simple. Simplicity is action, without idea. But that is a very rare thing; that means creativeness. So long as there is not creation, we are centres of mischief, misery and destruction. Simplicity is not a thing which you can pursue and experience. Simplicity comes, as a flower opens at the right moment, when each one understands the whole process of existence and relationship. Because we have never thought about it, observed it, we are not aware of it; we value all the outer forms of few possessions but those are not simplicity. Simplicity is not to be found; it does not lie as a choice between the essential and the non-essential. It comes into being only when the self is not; when the mind is not caught in speculations, conclusions, beliefs, ideations. Such a free mind only can find truth. Such a mind alone can receive that which is immeasurable, which is unnameable; and that is simplicity.

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