QUESTION 18 'SURRENDER TO 'WHAT IS'
Question: What is the difference between surrendering to the will of God and what you are saying about the acceptance of what is ?
Krishnamurti: Surely there is a vast difference, is there not? Surrendering to the will of God implies that you already know the will of God. You are not surrendering to something you do not know. If you know reality, you cannot surrender to it; you cease to exist; there is no surrendering to a higher will. If you are surrendering to a higher will, then that higher will is the projection of yourself, for the real cannot be known through the known. It comes into being only when the known ceases to be. The known is a creation of the mind, because thought is the result of the known, of the past, and thought can only create what it knows; therefore what it knows is not the eternal. That is why, when you surrender to the will of God, you are surrendering to your own projections; it may be gratifying, comforting but it is not the real.
To understand what is demands a different process - perhaps the word 'process' is not right but what I mean is this: to understand what is is much more difficult, it requires greater intelligence, greater awareness, than merely to accept or give yourself over to an idea. To understand what is does not demand effort; effort is a distraction. To understand something, to understand what is you cannot be distracted, can you? If I want to understand what you are saying I cannot listen to music, to the noise of people outside, I must give my whole attention to it. Thus it is extraordinarily difficult and arduous to be aware of what is, because our very thinking has become a distraction. We do not want to understand what is. We look at what is through the spectacles of prejudice, of condemnation or of identification, and it is very arduous to remove these spectacles and to look at what is. Surely what is is a fact, is the truth, and all else is an escape, is not the truth. To understand what is, the conflict of duality must cease, because the negative response of becoming something other than what is is the denial of the understanding of what is. If I want to understand arrogance I must not go into the opposite, I must not be distracted by the effort of becoming or even by the effort of trying to understand what is. If I am arrogant, what happens? If I do not name arrogance, it ceases; which means that in the problem itself is the answer and not away from it.
It is not a question of accepting what is; you do not accept what is, you do not accept that you are brown or white, because it is a fact; only when you are trying to become something else do you have to accept. The moment you recognize a fact it ceases to have any significance; but a mind that is trained to think of the past or of the future, trained to run away in multifarious directions, such a mind is incapable of understanding what is. Without understanding what is you cannot find what is real and without that understanding life has no significance, life is a constant battle wherein pain and suffering continue. The real can only be understood by understanding what is. It cannot be understood if there is any condemnation or identification. The mind that is always condemning or identifying cannot understand; it can only understand that within which it is caught. The understanding of what is, being aware of what is, reveals extraordinary depths, in which is reality, happiness and joy.