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“The truly religious man is not the one who practices so-called religion, who holds to certain dogmas and beliefs, who performs certain rituals or pursues knowledge, for he is merely seeking another form of gratification. The man who is truly religious is completely free from society, he has no responsibility towards society; he may establish a relationship with society, but society has no relationship with him. Society is organized religion, the economic and social structure, the whole environment in which we have been brought up, and does that society help man to find God, truth – it matters little what name you give it – or does the individual who is seeking God create a new society? That is, must not the individual break away from the existing society, culture, or civilization? Surely, in the very breaking away he discovers what is truth, and it is that truth which creates the new society, the new culture. I think this is an important question to ponder over. Can the man who belongs to society – it does not matter what society – ever find truth, God? Can society help the individual in that discovery, or must the individual, you and I, break away from society? Surely, it is in the very process of breaking away from society that there is the understanding of what is truth, and that truth then creates the ripples which become a new society, a new culture. The sannyasi, the monk, the hermit renounces the world, renounces society, but his whole pattern of thinking is still conditioned by society; he is still a Christian or a Hindu, pursuing the ideal of Christianity or of Hinduism. His meditations, his sacrifices, his practices are all essentially conditioned, and therefore what he discovers as truth, as God, as the absolute, is really his own conditioned reaction. Hence society cannot help man to find out what is truth. Society’s function is to limit the individual, to hold him within the boundary of respectability. Only the man who understands this whole process, whose action is not a reaction, can find out what is truth, and it is the truth that creates a new culture, not the man who pursues truth.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti