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Daily Meditation with Krishnamurti


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Virtue has no authority


Can the mind be free from authority, which means free from fear, so that it is no longer capable of following? If so, this puts an end to imitation, which becomes mechanical. After all, virtue, ethics, is not a repetition of what is good. The moment it becomes mechanical, it ceases to be virtue. Virtue is something that must be from moment to moment, like humility. Humility cannot be cultivated, and a mind that has no humility is incapable of learning. So virtue has no authority. The social morality is no morality at all; it's immoral because it admits competition, greed, ambition, and therefore society is encouraging immorality. Virtue is something that transcends morality. Without virtue there is no order, and order is not according to a pattern, according to a formula. A mind that follows a formula through disciplining itself to achieve virtue creates for itself the problems of immorality.

An external authority that the mind objectifies, apart from the law, as God, as moral, and so on, becomes destructive when the mind is seeking to understand what real virtue is. We have our own authority as experience, as knowledge, which we are trying to follow. There is this constant repetition, imitation, which we all know. Psychological authority – not the authority of the law, the policeman who keeps order – the psychological authority, which each one has, becomes destructive of virtue because virtue is something that is living, moving. As you cannot possibly cultivate humility, as you cannot possibly cultivate love, so also virtue cannot be cultivated; and there is great beauty in that. Virtue is non-mechanical, and without virtue there is no foundation for clear thinking.

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