7 Krishnamurti Quotes On… Nothing

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Jiddu Krishnamurti was a sage, philosopher, and free thinker who encouraged people to look within for solutions to their problems and the problems in the world. He was born to a middle class family in South India on May 11, 1895, and left this earth on February 17, 1986. (1)

As followers of his work might know, Krishnamurti was “discovered” as a child by Theosophical Society leaders Annie Besant and Bishop Leadbeater. They claimed he was the “world teacher” the society had been waiting for. He would go on to have “mystical experiences” as a young man that provided him with a new, unique vision on life. (1)

This would lead him to disconnect from all religions, organizations, and philosophy-driven movements, including the Theosophical Society, and set out on a lone mission to enlighten the people with his unique philosophy. (1)

Throughout this lifelong journey, he wrote, traveled, and spoke in front of audiences (as less of a leader figure and more of a friend or equal) from the 1920s all the way until his passing in 1986. (1)

People loved Krishnamurti’s perspective on life. Rather than being based on the guidelines of some religious movement, his words were based on self-empowerment and the peeling away of the layers of mind and ego to reveal the sacred, enlightened Self that can shine through.

Here are 7 quotes from Krishnamurti about nothing. In these quotes, he speaks about the power of nothingness and emptiness to induce spiritual awareness and bring about evolution. He also speaks about the extensive role the mind plays in maintaining this illusion we call life.

1. “We are empty in ourselves and we try to fill this emptiness with words, sensations, hopes and imagination; but the emptiness continues.” (2)

Everything you can think, imagine, or do, fills the inner emptiness we all feel and instinctively try to avoid. Little do we know, this emptiness – the isolation and sadness some people fear the most – is the key to true healing and evolution.

When we realize this, we’ll no longer be afraid to explore all that stuff we avoid.

2. “It is this fear of being nothing that drives the self into activity; but it is nothing, it is an emptiness.” (3)

The fear of death is rooted partially in the fear of nothingness; of being, feeling, experiencing, and thinking nothing at all. Since we try to cover up the emptiness through incessant mental or physical activity, we don’t realize we can already access that state of unconsciousness.

When we do finally access it, it reveals the spiritual “secrets” the mind covers up.

3. “The things to which we are attached – property, people, ideas – become all-important, for without the many things which fill its emptiness, the self is not. The fear of not being makes for possession; and fear breeds illusion.” (4)

Comedian Bill Hicks, who admittedly had a radically different personality from Krishnamurti’s, once said we have a choice between fear and love. Fear makes us defensive and closes our higher senses. Love opens them back up, but only if ego is out of the way.

Fear invades our inner sanctuary with infinite worries and concerns about all those things we’re attached to. But when we let go and let the mind be at peace, we discover an effortless state of being in which we can thrive.

4. “You are nothing. You may have your name and title, your property and bank account, you may have power and be famous; but in spite of all these safeguards, you are as nothing. You may be totally unaware of this emptiness, this nothingness, or you may simply not want to be aware of it; but it is there, do what you will to avoid it.

“You may try to escape from it in devious ways, through personal or collective violence, through individual or collective worship, through knowledge or amusement; but whether you are asleep or awake, it is always there.” (5)

We could easily take being called “nothing” in a bad way, but it’s not meant to be disempowering.

Nothingness is your true nature – the original state of mind you inhabited before everything you see around you came into form. You can return to this incredibly peaceful, blissful state with a few deep breaths and the willingness to sit in silence.

This brings us to our next quote:

5. “If we are able to face that emptiness, to be with that aching loneliness, then fear altogether disappears, and a fundamental transformation takes place. For this to happen, there must be the experiencing of that nothingness — which is prevented if there is an experiencer.” (6)

The mind – the experiencer – can block or prohibit awareness of the present moment through those fears and concerns we discussed earlier.

Krishnamurti consistently expressed that emptiness, a clear mind, and minimal ego were the keys to a peaceful life. The only real war we’re fighting is one within ourselves; between the mind and heart. Like Bill Hicks said, we can choose fear or love. We can be selfish or compassionate.

We can avoid the emptiness or consider that it has something real to offer. In all three cases, I choose the latter.

6. “When there is the discovery, the experiencing of this nothingness as you, then fear – which exists only when the thinker is separate from his thoughts and so tries to establish a relationship with them – completely drops away. Only then is it possible for the mind to be still; and in this tranquility, truth comes into being.” (7)

Complex, complicated philosophy is unnecessary. All we need is to surrender to simplicity. We can waste our time doing everything under the sun in the name of some belief or organization, or we can relax, simply be, and liberate ourselves.

You don’t even have to read or watch this to find what you truly need. It already exists in the void.

7. “Belief conditions experience, and experience then strengthens belief. What you believe, you experience. … Belief is another cloak of desire.

“Knowledge, belief, conviction, conclusion and experience are hindrances to truth; they are the very structure of the self. … The unknown can never be experienced by the known; the known, the experienced must cease for the unknown to be.” (8)

I could spend more words making a point that has long been made, but I think by now, you get the gist of it. This might have been meatier if there were a more complex philosophy to dive into, but the message for today is simple: the emptiness we fear is the path to the enlightenment we seek.

Here’s a bonus quote on the nature of violence:

“Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country.

“Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence.

“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.

“When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.” (9)


If I were asked to explain in so many words what Krishnamurti’s message was, it would be this: We should explore and fall in love with the emptiness we avoid. We should dive deep into the subconscious and all the “negative” stuff it contains.

We should be unafraid to sit in darkness or silence and be completely alone. In this non-activity most normal people would avoid, we find what every teacher and philosopher has tried to highlight.

We discussed this briefly in my , and I believe it’s at the heart of Krishnamurti’s philosophy. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and remember to make some time for silent soul searching.

You might find answers to problems that have been plaguing you for a long time.


  1. “About Krishnamurti” Kinfo. nethttp://www.kinfonet.org/krishnamurti/about
  2. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Bombay, etc.: B.I. Publications, 1972; c1974, 62.
  3. Ibid., 54.
  4. Ibid., 113.
  5. Ibid., 92.
  6. Ibid., 54.
  7. Ibid., 92.
  8. Ibid., 89.
  9. “Jiddu Krishnamurti Quotes About Violence”, AZ Quoteshttp://www.azquotes.com/author/8281-Jiddu_Krishnamurti/tag/violence

About the author: 

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.

I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

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