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Jiddu Krishnamurti - When there is love, there is no duty

Questioner: What are the duties of a wife?
Jiddu Krishnamurti : I wonder who has put this question, the wife or the husband? If the wife has put it, it demands a certain response, and if the husband has put it, it demands a certain other response. In this country, a husband is the boss; he is the law, the master, because he is economically dominant, and it is he who says what the duties of a wife are. Since the wife is not dominant and is economically dependent, what she says are not duties.

We can approach the problem from the point of view of the husband, or of the wife. If we approach the problem of the wife, we see that because she is not free economically, her education is limited, or her thinking capacities may be inferior; and society has imposed upon her regulations and modes of conduct determined by the men. Therefore, she accepts what are called the rights of the husband; and as he is dominant, being economically free, and has the capacity to earn, he lays down the law.

Naturally, where marriage is a matter of contract, there is no limit to its complications. Then there is duty - a bureaucratic word that has no significance in relationship. When one establishes regulations and begins to inquire into the duties and rights of husband and wife, there is no end to it. Surely, such a relationship is an appalling affair, is it not? When the husband demands his rights and insists on having a dutiful wife, whatever that may mean, their relationship is obviously merely a business contract.

It is very important to understand this question, for surely, there must be a different approach to it. As long as relationship is based on contract, on money, on possession, authority, or domination, then inevitably relationship becomes a matter of rights and duties. One can see the extreme complexity of relationship when it is the result of a contract - determining what is right, what is wrong, what is duty. If I am the wife and you insist on certain actions, not being independent, naturally I have to succumb to your wishes, your holding the reins. You impose on the wife certain regulations, rights, and duties, and therefore relationship becomes merely a matter of contract, with all its complexities.

Now, is there not a different approach to this problem? That is, when there is love, there is no duty. When you love your wife, you share everything with her - your property, your trouble, your anxiety, your joy. You do not dominate. You are not the man and she the woman to be used and thrown aside, a sort of breeding machine to carry on your name. When there is love, the word duty disappears. It is the man with no love in his heart who talks of rights and duties, and in this country duties and rights have taken the place of love. Regulations have become more important than the warmth of affection. When there is love, the problem is simple; when there is no love, the problem becomes complex.

When a man loves his wife and his children, he can never possibly think in terms of duty and rights. Sirs, examine your own hearts and minds. I know you laugh it off - that is one of the tricks of the thoughtless, to laugh at something and push it aside. Your wife does not share your responsibility, your wife does not share your property, she does not have the half of everything that you have because you consider the woman less than yourself, something to be kept and to be used sexually at your convenience when your appetite demands it. So you have invented the words rights and duty; and when the woman rebels, you throw at her these words. It is a static society, a deteriorating society, that talks of duty and rights.

If you really examine your hearts and minds, you will find that you have no love. If you had love, you would not have put this question. Without love, I do not see the point of having children. Without love, we produce ugly, immature, thoughtless children; and they will be immature, thoughtless, all their lives because they never had affection and were merely used as toys and amusements, as something to carry on your name.

For a new society, a new culture to come into being, obviously there cannot be domination either by the man or by the woman. Domination exists because of inward poverty. Being psychologically poor, we want to dominate, to swear at the servant, at the wife or husband. Surely, it is the sense of affection, that warmth of love, which alone can bring about a new state, a new culture.

The cultivation of the heart is not a process of the mind. The mind cannot cultivate the heart, but when the process of the mind is understood, then love comes into being. Love is not a mere word. The word is not the thing. The word love is not love. When we use that word and try to cultivate love, it is merely a process of the mind. Love cannot be cultivated, but when we realize that the word is not the thing, then the mind, with its laws and regulations, with its rights and duties, ceases to interfere, and then only is there a possibility of creating a new culture, a new hope, and a new world.

Source - Jiddu Krishnamurti - The Mirror of Relationship

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