A religious man does not seek God. The religious man is concerned with the transformation of society, which is himself. The religious man is not the one that does innumerable rituals, follows traditions, lives in a dead, past culture, explaining endlessly the Gita or the Bible, endlessly chanting, or taking sannyasa-that is not a religious man; such a man is escaping from facts. The religious person is concerned totally and completely with the understanding of society, which is himself. He is not separate from society. Bringing about in himself a complete, total mutation means complete cessation of greed, envy, ambition; and therefore he is not of circumstance-the food he eats, the books he reads, the cinemas he goes to, the religious dogma, beliefs, rituals, and all that business. He is responsible, and therefore the religious man must understand himself, who is the product of society that he himself has created. Therefore, to find reality he must begin here, not in a temple, not in an image-whether the image is graven by the hand or by the mind. Otherwise, how can he find something totally new, a new state?
Can we discover for ourselves what is the religious mind? The scientist in his laboratory is really a scientist; he is not persuaded by his nationalism, by his fears, by his vanities, ambitions, and local demands; there, he is merely investigating. But outside the laboratory, he is like anybody else with his prejudices, with his ambitions, with his nationality, with his vanities, with his jealousies, and all the rest of it. Such a mind cannot approach the religious mind. The religious mind does not function from a centre of authority, whether it is accumulated knowledge as tradition, or it is experience-which is really the continuation of tradition, the continuation of conditioning. The religious spirit does not think in terms of time, the immediate results, the immediate reformation within the pattern of society…. We said the religious mind is not a ritualistic mind; it does not belong to any church, to any group, to any pattern of thinking. The religious mind is the mind that has entered into the unknown, and you cannot come to the unknown except by jumping, you cannot carefully calculate and enter the unknown. The religious mind is the real revolutionary mind, and the revolutionary mind is not a reaction to what has been. The religious mind is really explosive, creative-not in the accepted sense of the word creative, as in a poem, decoration, or building, as in architecture, music, poetry, and all the rest of it-it is in a state of creation.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
(Krishnamurti often uses the word man for simplicity’s sake to improve the flow of conversation and understanding of the message he is trying to convey. He speaks of all humanity when he says ‘man’.)