Jiddu Krishnamurti on Orthodox parents and Your Responsibility towards them
Questioner: I have parents who are orthodox and who
depend on me, but I myself have ceased to believe in their orthodoxy.
How am I to deal with such a situation? This is a real problem to me.
Or, have you abandoned orthodoxy as a mere reaction because it is the modern thing to do to reject the ancient, the old? Have you rejected the old without understanding it? - which is merely a reaction. If that is the case, it is quite different, it brings about quite a different issue. But if you have ceased to be orthodox because you see that a mind caught in tradition, in habit, is without understanding, then you know the full significance of orthodoxy. I do not know which you have done: Either you have left it in protest or you have abandoned it, or rather, it has fallen away from you naturally, because you understand it.
Now, if it is the latter, then what is your responsibility to those people around you who are orthodox? Should you yield to their orthodoxy because they are your mother and father, and they can cry and give you trouble at home, calling you an undutiful son? Should you yield to them because they create trouble? What is your responsibility? If you yield, then your understanding of orthodoxy has no meaning; then you are placatory, you don't want trouble, you want to let sleeping dogs lie.
But surely, you must have trouble, a revolution is essential - not the bloody kind of revolution, but a psychological revolution, which is far more important than mere revolution in outward effects. Most of us are afraid to have a fundamental revolution; we yield to the parents, saying, ''There is enough trouble as it is in the world, why should I add more?''
But surely, that is not the answer, is it? When one
has trouble, it must be exposed, opened up and looked into. Merely to
accept an attitude, to concede to the parents because they are going to
give you trouble, kick you out of the house, does not bring out clarity;
it merely hides, suppresses conflict, and a conflict which is suppressed
acts as a poison in the system, in the psychological being.
Surely, a person who is looking for gratification,
satisfaction, comfort, security in relationship, ceases to have a
relationship that is alive; he makes that relationship into a dead
thing. After all, what is relationship? What is the function of
relationship? Surely, it is a means by which I discover myself.
Relationship is a process of self-revelation, but if the self-revelation
is unpleasant, unsatisfactory, disturbing, we do not want to look any
further into it. So, relationship becomes merely a means of
communication and, therefore, a dead thing. But if relationship is an
active process in which there is self-revelation, in which I discover
myself as in a mirror, then that relationship not only brings about
conflict disturbance, but out of it comes clarity and joy.
So, belief is obviously a device which sets man against man, and recognizing all these factors, what is your responsibility? Can one advise another as to what to do? You and I can discuss, but it is for you to act, after looking into it. To look into it you must pay attention, and you must face the consequences of your decision, you cannot leave it to me or to anybody else.
That means you understand and are quite willing to face trouble, to be thrown out, to be called an ungrateful son, and all the rest of it; it means that for you orthodoxy does not matter, but that truth, which is the understanding of the problem, matters immensely, and therefore you are prepared to face trouble. But most of us do not want the clear happiness that truth brings; we want mere gratification, and therefore we concede and say, ''All right, I will do what you want me to do, but for God's sake, leave me alone.'' That way you will never create a new society, a new culture.
Source: Jiddu Krishnamurti Third Talk in New Delhi 1948