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Jiddu Krishnamurti - Chastity comes into being only where there is love

Questioner: Is 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 presently.

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 directly.

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 out.

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 it.

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, postures, appearances.

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 to that.

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 heart.

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 (India) 1949

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