What is Real Inquiry?

When I know the topic of my inquiry well - when I have already had deep insights - can I really discover anything new?

Is this real inquiry? 

Is inquiry a discovery in the present moment, or a casual rediscovering? Am I seeing through the shadow of conclusion? I share these established thoughts with others, and I call this, inquiry.

Is there a completely new way to inquire? Is there a very different way of communicating with each other in dialogue that goes beyond a mere exchange of psychological viewpoints? Can we look at something so that it is completely new? 

Conditioning informs me to look to others for answers or to look for a cause of my problems. What I “find” makes me feel safe and I assume it to be real. I remain informed by my own assumptions, and do not observe and gather information from what is actually taking place. For example: I am confused; my mind assumes a need for clarity, without observing the fact of confusion present. 

We shall be looking at all these questions – not as a conversational pursuit, but as a deeper observation. Looking and thinking together in dialogue, we shall carefully and patiently examine whether what I perceive can be faced directly, without thought dictating.

Can I see the fact of my own thinking operating and influencing as I listen to my friends in the dialogue? If I can’t, then I shall be honest and begin observing the barriers to this attention with a fresh energy. Can a completely new observation of the old me come into operation?

Inquiry is not a stairway to heaven; it begins with seeing the first step.


To understand the mind you cannot interpret it according to somebody else’s idea, but you must observe how your own total mind works. When you know the whole process of it, how it reasons, its desires, motives, ambitions, pursuits, its envy, greed and fear; then the mind can go beyond itself, and when it does there is the discovery of something totally new.

That quality of newness gives an extraordinary passion, a tremendous enthusiasm which brings about a deep inward revolution: and it is this inward revolution which alone can transform the world not any political or economic system.

J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life