Most of us are rich with the things of society. What society has created in us and what we have created in ourselves is greed, envy, anger, hate, jealousy, anxiety - and with all these we are very rich.
The various religions throughout the world have preached poverty. The monk assumes a robe, changes his name, shaves his head, enters a cell and takes a vow of poverty and chastity; in the East he has one loin cloth, one robe, one meal a day - and we all respect such poverty. But those men who have assumed the robe of poverty are still inwardly, psychologically, rich with the things of society because they are still seeking position and prestige; they belong to this order or that order, this religion or that religion; they still live in the divisions of a culture, a tradition.
That is not poverty. Poverty it to be completely free of society, though one may have a few more clothes, a few more meals - good God, who cares? But unfortunately in most people there is this urge for exhibitionism. Poverty becomes a marvellously beautiful thing when the mind is free of society. One must become poor inwardly for then there is no seeking, no asking, no desire, nothing! It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all.
We must find out what is a religious mind, because a religious mind brings about a new world, a new civilization, a new culture, a new outburst of energy. One must find out for oneself what is a religious mind, not be told, not be directed, not explained to.
You can only find out if you deny totally all the present religious beliefs and ideas, because it is only a free mind that can find out what is the quality of the religious mind.
A prisoner wants freedom, which means first he is caught in a prison, and then he wants freedom to leave that prison. That is only reaction. That reaction is not freedom. Freedom implies the total ending of all illusions, of all beliefs, of all your accumulated wants, desires. A religious mind is sane, healthy.
Author: Jiddu Krishnamurti