Alan Watts ~ Wake Up ~ Stop Sleeping Through Life

Channel: Study Yourself


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It is futile to fight one habit by another habit

Questioner: If I understand you rightly, awareness alone and by itself is sufficient to dissolve both the conflict and the source of it. I am perfectly aware, and have been for a long time, that I am 'snobbish.' What prevents my getting rid of snobbishness?Krishnamurti: The questioner has not understood what I mean by awareness. If you have a habit, the habit of snobbishness for instance, it is no good merely to overcome this habit by another, its opposite. It is futile to fight one habit by another habit. What rids the mind of habit is intelligence. Awareness is the process of awakening intelligence, not creating new habits to fight the old ones. So, you must become conscious of your habits of thought, but do not try to develop opposite qualities or habits. If you are fully aware, if you are in that state of choiceless observation, then you will perceive the whole process of creating a habit and also the opposite process of overcoming it. This discernment awakens intelligence, which does away with all habits of thought. We are eager to get rid of those habits which give us pain or which we have found to be worthless, by creating other habits of thought and assertions. This process of substitution is wholly unintelligent. If you will observe you will find that mind is nothing but a mass of habits of thought and memories. By merely overcoming these habits by others, the mind still remains in prison, confused and suffering. It is only when we deeply comprehend the process of self-protective reactions, which become habits of thought, limiting all action, that there is a possibility of awakening intelligence, which alone can dissolve the conflict of opposites. - Krishnamurti, Collected Works, Vol. III,73,Choiceless Awareness