I find the following passage by Krishnamurti extremely clear in its approach to why we are interested in the “spiritual” question. It is not just to immerse ourselves in narcissism–rather, there are profound consequences to our self-immersion as well as our attempts to explode our little bubble-worlds.
There is the difficulty that one’s brain functions in old habits,
like a gramophone record playing the same tune over and over
again. While the noise of that tune, of that habit is going on, one is
not capable of listening to anything new. The brain has been
conditioned to think in a certain way, to respond according to our
culture, tradition and education; that same brain tries to listen to
something new and is not capable of it. That is where our difficulty
is going to lie. A talk recorded on a tape can be wiped out and
begun again; unfortunately the recording on the tape of the brain
has been impressed on it for so long that it is very difficult to wipe
it out and begin again. We repeat the same pattern, the same ideas
and physical habits, over and over again, so we never catch
I assure you one can put aside the old tape, the old way of
thinking, feeling, reacting, the innumerable habits that one has.
One can do it if one really gives attention. If the thing one is
listening to is deadly serious, tremendously important, then one is
bound to listen so that the very act of listening will wipe out the
old. Do try it – or rather do it. You are deeply interested, otherwise
you would not be here. Do listen with full attention, so that in the
very act of listening the old memories, the old habits, the
accumulated tradition, will all be wiped away.
One has to be serious when confronted with the chaos in the
world, the uncertainty, warfare and destruction, where every value
has been thrown away in a society which is completely permissive,
sexually and economically. There is no morality, no religion;everything is being thrown away and one has to be utterly, deeply serious; if you have that seriousness in your heart, you will listen.
It depends on you, not on the speaker, whether you are sufficiently
serious to listen so completely as to find out for yourself a light
that can never be put out, a way of living that does not depend on
any idea, on any circumstance, a way of life that is always free,
new, young, vital. If you have the quality of mind that wants to
find out at any price, then you and the speaker can work together
and come upon this strange thing that will solve all our problems –
whether they be the problems of the daily monotony of life or
problems of the most serious nature.
Krishnamurti, The Impossible Question