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J Krishnamurti - Can we live without any conflict in our lives
Jiddu Krishnamurti - We were talking yesterday about conflict. We were saying that we human beings have lived on this beautiful earth, with all its vast treasures, with its mountains, rivers and lakes, during millennia and yet we have lived in perpetual conflict. Not only in outward conflict with the environment, with nature, with each other, but also inwardly, so-called spiritually.
And we are still
in constant conflict, from the moment we are born until we die. We put
up with it; we have become accustomed to it; we tolerate it. We find
many reasons to justify why we should live in conflict; we think
conflict, struggle, ever striving, means progress outward progress, or
inward achievement towards the highest goal. There are so many forms of
conflict: the man who is struggling to achieve some result, the man who
is struggling with nature, trying to conquer it.
It is the guru's game to read them aloud to
audiences that are supposed to be enlightened, intelligent. You cannot
possibly rely on the politicians, on the government, nor upon the
religious scriptures, nor upon any guru whatsoever, because they have
made this country what it is now. If you seek further for leadership it
will also lead you up the wrong path. And, as no one can help you, no
one, you have to be responsible for yourselves totally, completely
responsible for your conduct, for your behaviour, for your actions.
There is conflict
between man and woman, sexually and in their daily relationships.
Apparently, this conflict is not only at the conscious level, but also
deep down in the very recesses of the mind. There is conflict in
pretension, in trying to be something which you are not and the conflict
that exists in trying to achieve heaven, god, or whatever you like to
call that thing that you adore and worship; the conflict in meditation,
struggling to meditate, struggling against lethargy, indolence. Our life
from the very beginning, from the time we are born until we die, is in
Society is not an abstraction, it is
not an idea, society is relationship between man and man. If that
relationship is in conflict, painful, depressing and anxious, then we
create a society which represents us. It is a fact. The idea of society,
the idea, is not actual society. Society is what we are with each other.
And we are asking whether this conflict can ever end?
I am not talking for my own pleasure but to
convey, if you are serious, that there is a way of living in which there
is no conflict whatever. If you are interested in it, if you are
concerned about it, if you want to find out a way of living that is
without that sense of vain effort, then please do listen carefully, not
to what the speaker is saying, but listen to the fact, the truth of what
is being said, so that it is your own observation. It is not that the
speaker is pointing something out but that we are looking together. It
is no use for the speaker just to talk to blank faces, or to people who
are bored. Since you have taken the trouble to come and sit here under
the beautiful trees, then do pay attention, for we are talking over
together serious matters.
So, can we
together look at `what is' without any escape, without any ideals,
without suppressing or escaping from `what is'? We are by inheritance
from the animal from the ape and so on violent. Violence takes many
forms, not merely brutal action, striking each other. Violence is a very
complicated issue; it includes imitation, conformity, obedience; it
exists when you pretend to be that which you are not.
How can anyone say: `I know, follow me'. That is a scandalous statement. So we are asking: what is it to observe? What is it to observe the environment around you, the trees, that pond in the corner there, made beautiful within this year, the stars, the new moon, the solitary Venus, the evening star by itself, the glory of a sunset? How do you watch such beauty, if you have ever watched it at all? You cannot watch, observe, if you are occupied with yourself, with your own problems, with your own ideas, with your own complex thinking.
cannot observe if you have prejudice, or if there is any kind of
conclusion which you hold on to, or your particular experience that you
cling to it is impossible. So how do you observe a tree, this marvellous
thing called a tree, the beauty of it, how do you look at it? How do you
look now, as you are sitting there, surrounded by these trees? Have you
ever watched them? Have you seen their leaves, fluttering in the wind,
the beauty of the light on the leaf; have you ever watched them? Can you
watch a tree, or the new moon, or the single star in the heavens,
without the word, moon, star, sky without the word? Because the word is
not the actual star, the actual moon. So can you put aside the word and
look that is, look outwardly?
Do not be carried away by my words. If you know how to look at a star, a dense forest, then you see in that observation that there is space, timeless eternity. But to observe your wife, or your husband, without the image you have created about her or him you must begin very close. You must begin very close in order to go very far. If you do not begin very close you can never go very far. If you want to climb the mountain, or go to the next village, the first steps matter, how you walk, with what grace, with what ease, with what felicity.
So we are saying that to go very, very far, which is eternity,
you must begin very close, which is your relationship with your wife and
husband. Can you look, observe, with clear eyes, without the words `My
wife', or `My husband', `My nephew', or `My son', without the memory of
all the accumulated hurts, without all the remembrance of things past?
Do it now as you are sitting there, observe. And when you are capable of
observing without the past, that is observing without all the images you
have built about yourself and about her, then there is right
relationship between you and her. But now, as you have not observed each
other, you are like two railway lines, never meeting. That is your
relationship. I wonder if you are aware of all this?
When you do you bring all your energy to observing; and when you
so observe your violence you will find, if you have gone into it, if you
do it, that that violence because you have brought all your energy to
observe totally disappears. Do not repeat if I may most respectfully
request do not repeat what you have just heard. By repeating what the
speaker has said it becomes second-hand; just as by repeating the
Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and all the printed books, you have made
yourselves second-hand human beings. You do not seem to mind, do you?
You are not even ashamed of it, you just accept it. That acceptance is
part of this complex problem of violence.
People have talked to me a great deal about all these matters, your philosophers, Vedanta pundits and scholars. But these, like ordinary people, live in duality. (Not physical duality, man and woman, tall and short, light and dark skin, that is not duality.) And there is the idea that conflict is necessary because we live in duality and therefore those who are free from the opposites are the enlightened people. You invent a philosophy around that. You read about it, accept it; you read all the commentaries and you are stuck where you are.
Whereas the speaker is saying there is
actually no duality now; freedom from duality is not when you reach some
`spiritual heights; you will never reach `spiritual heights' if you have
dualities now, nor yet in some future reincarnation or at the end of
your life. The speaker is saying there is only `what is', there is
nothing else. `What is' is the only fact. Its opposite is non-fact, it
has no reality. I hope this is very clear, even if only logically, with
reason. If you are exercising your reason, your capacity to think
logically, `what is', is obviously more important to understand than
`what should be'. And we cling to `what should be' because we do not
know how to deal with `what is'. We use the opposite as a lever to free
ourselves from `what is'.
One's conditioning from childhood prevents the
understanding of this very simple fact, which is: there is only `what
is'. Good is not the opposite of bad. If good is born out of bad then
the good contains the bad. Think it out, work at it, exercise your
brains, so as to live always with `what is', with that which is actually
going on, outwardly and inwardly. When one is envious, live with that
fact, observe it. Again, envy is a very complex process, it is part of
competition, the desire for advancement, politically, religiously and in
business. One has been brought up with that, and to break that
tradition, demands a great deal of observation; not making of it the
opposite of tradition; just observe what tradition is. I hope the
speaker is making it very clear. You are all traditional people and you
repeat psychologically, even intellectually, what you have been told;
your religions are based on that.
To be good
also means to be whole, not fragmented. But one is fragmented, brought
up in this chaotic tradition. What is important is not what goodness is,
but why one's brain is caught in tradition. So one has to understand why
the brain, which is again very subtle, which has great depth in itself,
why such a brain has followed tradition. It has followed it because
there is safety, security, because one is following what one's parents
have said and so on. That gives one a sense of safety, protection a
false safety and protection. One thinks it is safe but it is unreal, it
is illusory. One will not listen to the speaker because one is
frightened to be without tradition and to live with all one's attention.
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