Questioner: Would you please explain what you mean by dying daily?
Jiddu Krishnamurti: Why is it that we are so frightened of death? Because death is the unknown. We don't know what is going to happen tomorrow; actually, we don't know what is going to happen. Though we build for tomorrow, actually, realistically, we don't know; and so there is always the fear of tomorrow. So, fear is the guiding factor, which is the incapacity to meet the unknown, and therefore we continue taking today over into tomorrow. That is what we are doing, is it not? We give continuity to our idiosyncrasies, to our jealousies, to our stupidities, to our memories; wherever we are, we carry them over from day to day.
Don't we do that? And so there is no dying, there is only an assurance of continuity. That is a fact. Our names, our actions, the things that we do, our property, the desire to be - all these give a continuity. Now, that which continues obviously cannot renew. There can be renewal only when there is an ending. If you are the same tomorrow as you are today, how can there be renewal? That is, if you are attached to an idea, to an experience which you have had yesterday and which you desire to continue tomorrow, there is no renewal; there is a continuity of the memory of the sensation of that experience, but the experience itself is dead. There is only the memory of the sensation of that experience, and it is that sensation you want to continue. And where there is continuity, obviously there is no renewal. And yet it is what most of us want - we want to continue.
We want to continue with our worries, with our pleasures, with our memories; and so most Of us are actually uncreative. There is no possibility of a rebirth, a renewal. Whereas, if each day we died, finished at the end of the day all our worries, all our jealousies, all our idiocies and vanities, our cruel gossip - you know, the whole business - if each day we came to an end and did not carry all that over into tomorrow, then there would be a possibility of renewal, would there not?
So, why do we accumulate? And what is it that we accumulate, apart from furniture and a few other things? What is it that we accumulate? Ideas, words, and memories, do we not? And with these we live - we are those things. With those things we want to live, we want to continue. But if we did not continue, there would be a possibility of a new understanding, a new opening. This is not metaphysical, this is not something fantastic. Experiment with it yourself and you will see that an extraordinary thing takes place. How the mind worries over a problem, over and over and over again, day after day!
Such a mind is incapable, obviously, of seeing something new, is it not? We are caught in our beliefs - religious, sociological, or any other form of belief - and those beliefs are oneself. Beliefs are words, and the word becomes important, and so we live in a sensation which we want to continue, and therefore there is no renewal. But if one does not continue, if one does not give continuity to a worry, but thinks it out, goes into it fully and dissolves it, then one's mind is fresh to meet something else anew.
But the difficulty is that most of us want to live in the past, in past memories, or in the future, future hopes, future longings - which indicates that the present is not significant, and therefore we live yesterday and tomorrow, and give continuity to both. If one actually experiments with this thing, really dying each day, each minute, to everything that one has accumulated, then there is a possibility of immortality. Immortality is not continuity, which is merely time; there is continuity only to memory, to ideas, to words. But, when there is freedom from continuity, then there is a state of timelessness, which cannot be understood if you are merely the result of continuity.
Therefore, it is important to die every minute and to be reborn again - not as you were yesterday. This is really very important, if you would go into it seriously. Because, in this there is a possibility of creation, of transformation. And most of our lives are so unhappy because we don't know how to renew; we are worn out, we are destroyed by yesterday, by yesterday's memories, misfortunes, unhappiness, incidents, failures.
Yesterday burdens our minds and hearts, and with that burden we want to understand something which cannot be understood within the limits of time. And that is why it is essential, if one would be creative in the deep sense of that word, that there be death to all the accumulations of every minute. This is not fantastic, this is not some mystical experience. One can experience this directly, simply, when one understands the whole significance of how time as continuity prevents creativeness.
Source - Jiddu Krishnamurti talk at Ojai, August 27, 1949