Jiddu Krishnamurti on Free Will and
Question: Are we not the creatures of destiny?
Krishnamurti : Is that of very great importance? Are you not the
creatures of environment? When you are a Hindu, a Muslim and when you
are so conditioned, obviously, you can foresee that you are the
creatures of your condition and therefore of time, the creatures of a
particular culture. What is important to you to ask that question? Is it
to find an answer to it? Or, have you put the right question? That is
not the right question because it has no meaning.
We live in this world, you and I. We are confused, we are unhappy; there
is immense struggle, conflict. Is it possible to be free of all this?
Or, are we everlastingly destined to live like this? If you say that we
are destined to live in this chaos, in this confusion, in this conflict,
and it is inevitable, then there is no problem; once you accept that as
inevitable, you have no problem.
Then you have the problem: how to decorate your
conflict, how to make it a little more refined - but, deep down, you
have no problem. But if you say, ``Is it possible to step out of it
completely?'' then it becomes an astonishing, vital, question. And to
answer it, not verbally, not theoretically, to answer that actually, in
daily living, you need tremendous vitality. And to have that vitality,
you have to observe, you have to be alive, you have to be intensely
Question: Is everything preordained? What is the truth of it?
Jiddu Krishnamurti: Obviously, if you are lazy, if you accept, if you
function mechanically, you become a poor imitation of the computer. That
is your destiny obviously; that is the truth. To be free of destiny, you
have to reject it. And to reject psychologically, you need vitality. I
am not talking about putting on clothes or doing silly absurd things
that people do. You have psychologically to reject the whole structure
of society of which you are a part - not reject it, but deny it. If you
reject it, deny it, in life and not in idea, then you are free of all
destiny, nothing is ordained.
I said that a man who functions within the psychological field of a
social structure is destined; almost certainly he will function like a
cog in a machine. But when a man rejects that psychologically - not
being ambitious, not being greedy, not following, not accepting
authority, and so on - when he rejects all the psychological structure
of the society of which he is, he rejects because he has understood all
that. When a man has understood and therefore denies all that, for him
there is no destiny; he is not a slave to circumstances.
Question: Is there not a middle course?
: There is no middle course. Either you are that or
this. There is no halfway - that is what we all want; we want the
darkness of insecurity and the freedom of life; but we cannot have both.
We want to be hot and cold. Do you know what happens when you mix very
hot water and very cold water? It becomes lukewarm. And that is what you
are: you have become lukewarm. We need to have the fire.
Comment: But lukewarm may be the truth. It is life.
Jiddu Krishnamurti: Yes, lukewarm, if you like - lukewarm water,
lukewarm emotions, lukewarm living. Is that the middle path? No, sir.
Don't say yes. The middle path means to see the false, and to see the
truth in the false, and to walk in the middle. That is, when you know
what is truth, when you see what is false, then, out of this perception,
you walk. It is neither the middle nor the center.
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