Jiddu Krishnamurti - Chastity comes into being
only where there is love
marriage compatible with chastity?
Jiddu Krishnamurti: Let us together explore this question. Many things
are involved in it. Chastity is not the product of the mind. Chastity
doesn't come through discipline. Chastity is not an ideal to be
achieved. That which is the product of the mind, which is created by the
mind, is not chaste because the mind, when it creates the ideal of
chastity, is escaping from what is; and a mind which is attempting to
become chaste is unchaste. That is one thing. We will explore it
Then, in this question there is involved the problem of our sexual
appetites, the whole problem of sex. Let us find out why for most of us
sex has become a problem. And also, how is it possible to meet the
sexual demand intelligently and not turn it into a problem?
Now, what do we mean by sex? The purely physical act, or the thought
that excites, stimulates, furthers that act? Surely, sex is of the mind,
and because it is of the mind, it must seek fulfillment or there is
frustration. Do not be nervous about the subject. You have all become
very tense, I see. Let us talk it over as though it were any other
subject. Don't look so grave and lost! Let us deal with this subject
very simply and directly. The more complex a subject is, the more it
demands clear thinking, the more must it be approached simply and
Why is it that sex has become such a problem in our lives? Let us go
into it, not with constraint, not with anxiety, fear, condemnation. Why
has it become a problem? Surely, for most of you it is a problem. Why?
Probably, you have never asked yourself why it is a problem. Let us find
Sex is a problem because it would seem that in that act there is
complete absence of the self. In that moment you are happy because there
is the cessation of self-consciousness, of the 'me'; and desiring more
of it - more of the abnegation of the self in which there is complete
happiness, without the past or the future, demanding that complete
happiness through full fusion, integration - naturally it becomes
all-important. Isn't that so? Because it is something that gives me
unadulterated joy, complete self-forgetfulness, I want more and more of
Now, why do I want more of it? Because, everywhere
else I am in conflict, everywhere else, at all the different levels of
existence, there is the strengthening of the self. Economically,
socially, religiously, there is the constant thickening of
self-consciousness, which is conflict. After all, you are self-conscious
only when there is conflict. Self-consciousness is in its very nature
the result of conflict.
So, everywhere else we are in conflict. In all our
relationships with property, with people, and with ideas there is
conflict, pain, struggle, misery; but in this one act there is complete
cessation of all that. Naturally you want more of it because it gives
you happiness, while all the rest leads you to misery, turmoil,
conflict, confusion, antagonism, worry, destruction; therefore, the
sexual act becomes all-significant, all-important.
So, the problem is not sex, surely, but how to be free from the self.
You have tasted that state of being in which the self is not, if only
for a few seconds, if only for a day, or what you will; and where the
self is, there is conflict, there is misery, there is strife. So, there
is the constant longing for more of that self-free state. But the
central problem is the conflict at different levels and how to abnegate
the self. You are seeking happiness, that state in which the self, with
all its conflicts, is not, which you find momentarily in that act. Or,
you discipline yourself, you struggle, you control, you even destroy
yourself through suppression - which means you are seeking to be free of
conflict because with the cessation of conflict there is joy. If there
can be freedom from conflict, then there is happiness at all the
different levels of existence.
What makes for conflict? How does this conflict arise in your work, in
your relationships, in teaching, in everything? Even when you write a
poem, even when you sing, when you paint, there is conflict.
How does this conflict come into being? Does it not come into being
through the desire to become? You paint, you want to express yourself
through color, you want to be the best painter. You study, worry, hope
that the world will acclaim your painting. But, wherever there is the
desire to become the 'more', there must be conflict. It is the
psychological urge that demands the 'more'.
The need for more is psychological, the urge for the
'more' exists when the psyche, the mind is becoming, seeking, pursuing
an end, a result. When you want to be a mahatma, when you want to be a
saint, when you want to understand, when you are practicing virtue, when
you are class-conscious as a ''superior'' entity, when you subserve
function to heighten yourself - all these are indications, obviously, of
a mind that is becoming.
The 'more', therefore, is conflict. A mind which is
seeking the 'more', is never conscious of what is because it is always
living in the 'more' - in what it would like to be, never in what is.
Until you resolve the whole content of that conflict, this one release
of the self, through sex, will remain a hideous problem.
Sirs, the self is not an objective entity that can be studied under the
microscope or learned through books or understood through quotations,
however weighty those quotations may be. It can be understood only in
relationship. After all, conflict is in relationship, whether with
property, with an idea, with your wife, or with your neighbor; and
without solving that fundamental conflict, merely to hold onto that one
release through sex is obviously to be unbalanced. And that is exactly
what we are. We are unbalanced because we have made sex the one avenue
of escape; and society, so-called modern culture, helps us to do it.
Look at the advertisements, the cinemas, the suggestive gestures,
Most of you married when you were quite young, when the biological urge
was very strong. You took a wife or a husband, and with that wife or
husband you jolly well have to live for the rest of your life. Your
relationship is merely physical, and everything else has to be adjusted
So what happens? You are intellectual, perhaps, and
she is very emotional. Where is your communion with her? Or she is very
practical, and you are dreamy, vague, rather indifferent. Where is the
contact between you and her? You are oversexed and she is not, but you
use her because you have rights. How can there be communion between you
and her when you use her? Our marriages are now based on that idea, on
that urge; but more and more there are contradictions and great
conflicts in marriage, and so divorces.
So, this problem requires intelligent handling, which means that we have
to alter the whole basis of our education; and that demands
understanding not only the facts of life but also our everyday
existence, not only knowing and understanding the biological urge, the
sexual urge, but also seeing how to deal with it intelligently. But now,
we don't do that, do we? It is a hushed subject, it is a secret thing,
only talked about behind walls. When the urge is very strong,
irrespective of anything else, we get mated for the rest of our life.
See what one has done to oneself and to another.
How can the intellectual meet, commune, with the sentimental, the dull,
or with the one who is not educated? And what communion is there then,
except the sexual? The difficulty in all this is, is it not, that the
fulfillment of the sexual urge, the biological urge, necessitates
certain social regulations; therefore, you have marriage laws. You have
all the ways of possessing that which gives you pleasure, security,
comfort; but that which gives constant pleasure dulls the mind. As
constant pain dulls the mind, so constant pleasure withers the mind and
And how can you have love? Surely, love is not a thing of the mind, is
it? Love is not merely the sexual act, is it? Love is something which
the mind cannot possibly conceive. Love is something which cannot be
formulated. And, without love you become related; without love, you
marry. Then, in that marriage, you ''adjust yourselves'' to each other.
Lovely phrase! You adjust yourselves to each other, which is again an
intellectual process, is it not? She has married you, but you are an
ugly lump of flesh, carried away by your passions. She has got to live
with you. She does not like the house, the surroundings, the hideousness
of it, your brutality.
But she says, ''Yes, I am married, I have got to put
up with it.'' So, as a means of self-protection she yields, she
presently begins to say, ''I love you.'' You know, when, through the
desire for security, we put up with something ugly, that ugly thing
seems to become beautiful because it is a form of self-protection;
otherwise, we might be hurt, we might be utterly destroyed. SO we see
that which was ugly, hideous, has become gradually beautiful.
This adjustment is obviously a mental process. All adjustments are. But,
surely, love is incapable of adjustment. You know, sirs, don't you, that
if you love another, there is no ''adjustment.'' There is only complete
fusion. Only when there is no love, do we begin to adjust. And this
adjustment is called marriage. Hence, marriage fails because it is the
very source of conflict, a battle between two people. It is an
extraordinarily complex problem, like all problems, but more so because
the appetites, the urges, are so strong.
So, a mind which is merely adjusting itself can never be chaste. A mind
which is seeking happiness through sex can never be chaste. Though you
may momentarily have, in that act, self-abnegation, self-forgetfulness,
the very pursuit of that happiness, which is of the mind, makes the mind
unchaste. Chastity comes into being only where there is love. Without
love, there is no chastity. And love is not a thing to be cultivated.
There is love only when there is complete self forgetfulness, and to
have the blessing of that love, one must be free through understanding
relationship. Then, when there is love, the sexual act has quite a
different significance. Then that act is not an escape, is not habit.
Love is not an ideal; love is a state of being. Love cannot be where
there is becoming. Only where love is, is there chastity, purity; but a
mind that is becoming, or attempting to become chaste, has no love.
Source: Jiddu Krishnamurti Fifth Talk at Rajghat
Back to Counseling