Here Jiddu Krishnamurti discusses the human condition and the structure of fear. He asks us to see if, while living in this world with so much chaos and division, we can find out what the source of the violence is and what we can do about it. This Talk is J Krishnamurti first one of a series of 4 talks given in San Diego State College,5th April, 1970.
Excerpts from this talk ..
There is so much contradiction, not only outwardly but also inwardly. And what is one to do? I’m sure you must have asked this question many times – the more serious one is the more earnest, not seeking entertainment, one must have really deeply asked this question, confronted by a world that is so chaotic, contradictory, divided, knowing very well that one has lost faith, having no trust in anybody, no teacher, no professor, no priest or authoritarian Utopia.
If you are at all serious, and I hope you are at least for this afternoon, you must have not only asked such a question of yourself, but also have found a responding answer to the challenge: what is one to do, not having faith in another, not be dependent on some saviour, some teacher, some authority, then where are you to look for light, for an understanding? And if one’s action, and life is inevitably a continuous movement of action, the very living, what is one to do?
This meeting, and the subsequent ones are not a philosophical entertainment, nor a religious amusement, and in no way a philosophical examination of life. We’re not here – at least I am not – to be entertained by you or by my own particular ideas. What we are trying to do is to find out for ourselves, confronted with this extraordinary problem of living, with all its contradictions and complexities, what is the course of action which will not be contradictory, which will be whole, complete, which will not produce more agonies, more mischief, more confusion.
And to find that out is our problem – and I think that is the only problem in life. An action that is not broken up, that is not contradictory, that is continuous, whole, complete and total, so that it doesn’t bring more sorrow, more confusion. And if you will, we will go together into this question, bearing in mind that the speaker has no authority whatsoever, because both of us are going to examine, observe, this phenomenon called life, living, and find out the truth of the matter, if there is an action, a way of living, not at odd moments or in a great crisis but every day, every minute, a way of living in which there is joy, there is no violence, no brutality, no contradiction, and obviously no imitation and dependency.
Unless we find such a way of living, not an abstract idea, a philosophical concept, a theory, but rather an actual way of living, whether there can be an action so complete, so whole, so completely non-contradictory. And I feel to live that way is the only religious way, none other. We are using the word ‘religion’ not in the accepted sense of that word, which is to believe in something, believe in God or no God, or believe in some conceptual ideation – we are using that word as a way of life in which every action is whole, complete and full of ecstasy. We’re going to go into that.
If we are not to be dependent on some saviour or some authority then where do we look for light?
Being broken up with contradictory desires, having no love, how do we observe?
Does one fragment observe the rest?
Can you observve at the moment of violence, at the moment of your anger, without the censor?
Is there dullness if I don't compare at all?
Do you understand anything through comparison?
First of all, to understand all this, we must establish right relationship between us, between you and the speaker. He is not teaching you, in the ordinary sense of that word, telling you what to do. The word ‘teach’ is to give information, to make one understand, to point out, to inform. And one can teach mathematics, give you some scientific information. But here there is no teacher, and we really mean it, because each one of us has to be his own teacher and his own disciple. And this is a very serious matter. So that you are listening with quite a different attitude, you’re listening to the speaker, to the words he is using, and understanding those words, watching through those words all your own reactions and responses and conditioning, so that you yourself, through your own observation, learn, so the speaker becomes a mirror in which you are observing yourself.
So our relationship, between you and the speaker, is of a basic communication, communication being sharing together, understanding together, working together – that is what the word ‘communication’ means, to commune. Please do bear that in mind right through the talks or whatever the thing is called that’s going to take place the next four days here, that we are sharing together, which means you are working as much as the speaker, you’re observing, listening. And to observe and to listen needs no agreement or disagreement, because we are not dealing with theories and ideas, but listening to discover, to understand ourselves. For we are the world, whether you live in this marvellous country, lovely sunshine, hills and the beauty of the land, prosperous, brutal, violent, belonging to this group or that group, with one teacher or a dozen teachers, so-called spiritual teachers, you are like anybody else in Europe or in India, we are human beings, not labels. The problems that they have in India, where there is an explosion of population which is quite incredible, poverty is something unimaginable, the decay, the violence, the brutality, the beauty of the land, the light – the people there are the same as here with the same agonising problems, with the sorrows that seem to have no end.