Rajghat 4th Talk to Boys and Girls 14th December 1952
You remember we were talking the day before yesterday about the problem of discipline. It is really quite a complex problem, because most of us think that through some kind of discipline we shall have freedom. You know what discipline is, don't you? It is the cultivation of resistance, is it not? Is this too difficult a word? You see, by resisting, building something against something else, we feel we shall be more capable of understanding, of being free, of being able to live fully; but, that is not a fact, is it? The more you resist - that is, push away - the more you struggle against something, the less the comprehension. I do not know if you have talked about all this; but if you have, you will see that only when there is freedom, real freedom in which you can think, in which you can be, it is only in that state that you can find out anything, that you can know love. But freedom does not exist and cannot exist in a frame. Most of us live in a world enclosed by ideas, don't we? Is this too difficult? For instance, you say your parents or your teachers know what is right or wrong; at least you think they know what is right, what is wrong, what is bad, what is beneficial. You know what people say, what people do not say, what religion has said, what the priest has said, what your parents have said, what you have learned from the school, what tradition says; in that, you live; in that enclosure you live; and, living in that enclosure, you say you are free. Are you? Can a man who lives in a prison be ever free?
So one has to break down walls and find out for oneself what is real, what is true, what is really beneficial. One has to experiment, one has to find out, not merely follow some- body; however good, however noble, however exciting, however happy one might feel in that person's presence, it has no meaning. But what has meaning, what has significance, is to be able to examine all values, all the things that people have said are good, are beneficial, are worthwhile, and not to accept. Because, the moment you accept, you begin to conform; then you begin to imitate; and a person who imitates, who copies, who merely follows, can never be happy.
Older people say that you must discipline yourself. Discipline is imposed upon you either by yourself, or by somebody from outside. In school, you are told to do this or that. But it is important to find out how to be free, so that you begin to find out for yourself. Unfortunately most people do not want to find out, most people do not want to think; they have a closed mind. To have a mind which is thinking, discovering, finding out, going into things, is very difficult; it requires a lot of energy and perception and enquiry. Most people have not the energy nor the inclination to find out; they say, `It is right; you know better than I do; you are my guru, my teacher'. It is very important that, in a school of this kind, right from the very beginning, right from the most tender age to the time when you leave school, you should be free to find out, and not be enclosed by a wall of "do's" and "don't's", because, if you are told what to do and what not to do, where is your intelligence? You just walk into a career; you are a thoughtless entity and your parents tell you to marry or not to marry, to become a clerk or to become a judge. That is not intelligence. You may pass examinations, you may have very good saris, you may have plenty of jewels, friends and position; but that is not intelligence.
Surely intelligence comes when you are free to discover, when you are free to think out, when you are free to question every tradition, so that your mind becomes very active, your mind becomes clear, so that you are an individual, integrated, functioning fully - not a frightened entity not knowing what to do and therefore obeying, inwardly feeling one thing and outwardly conforming to another. Inwardly, you have to break away from every tradition and live on your own; but you are enclosed by the parents' ideas of what you should do and should not do, by the traditions of society. So, inwardly, there is a conflict going on. You know this, don't you? You are all young; I do not think you are too young to be aware of this. You want to do something and your parents and teachers say, "Don't". Your aunt or your grandfather says, "Don't", and yet, you want to do it; and so, there is struggle going on, is there not? As long as you do not solve that struggle, you are in conflict, pain, sorrow, wanting to do something and prevented from doing it.
So, if you go into it very carefully, discipline and freedom are contradictory. If you are seeking freedom, then there is quite a different process of understanding which brings its own clarification, so that you do not do certain things. So, what is important, while you are young, is to be free to find out and to be helped to find out what to do in life. If you do not find out while you are young, you will never find out, you will never be free. The seed must be sown now, so that you have initiative, so that you are free to find out. How often you have passed the villagers carrying heavy things! What is your feeling about them? Do you have any feeling about them, those poor women with torn clothes, smelling, dirty, without enough food day after day working without any security, earning a pittance. You have seen them, haven't you? What do you feel about them? Are you so frightened, so concerned about yourself, about your examinations, about your looks, about your saris, that you never pay any attention to them? You feel you are much better, you are of a different class; therefore, you have no regard for them; and when you look, when you see them go by, what do you feel? Don't you want to help them? No? Do you help them? That indicates how you are thinking. Are you so dead or dull because of tradition, of fathers, of mothers, of centuries of crushing down, because you happen to be a boy or a woman of a certain class and therefore you feel you must not look at them? Are you actually so suffocated that you do not know what is happening around you?
So, gradually, fear - fear of what the parents say, what the teachers say, fear of tradition, fear of life - destroys sensitivity, does it not? You know what sensitivity is? To be sensitive, to feel, to receive impressions, to know, to have a feeling for those who are suffering, to have sympathy; to have affection, to be aware of the things that are happening around you. You hear the temple bell ringing; are you aware of it? Do you listen to the sound? Do you see the sunlight on the water? Are you aware of the poor people, the villagers who have been controlled, trodden down for centuries by exploiters? Are you sensitive to all the things around you? When you see a servant carrying a heavy carpet, do you give him a hand? All that implies sensitivity. You see that sensitivity is destroyed when anyone is disciplined, is fearful or is concerned with himself. You know what it is to be concerned with oneself? To be concerned with oneself implies, to be concerned about one's own looks, one's own saris, to think about oneself all the time - which most of us do in some form or another - so that one's mind, one's heart becomes enclosed and one loses all appreciation of beauty.
To be really free implies great sensitivity. There is no freedom if you enclose yourself by various disciplines. As most of your life is an imitation, you lose that feeling of sensitivity, that freedom. Is it not very important while you are here, to sow the seed of freedom, so that all through life there may be intelligence which is freedom? With that intelligence you can examine all the problems of life.
Question: Is it practicable for a man to keep himself apart from the sense of fear and at the same time to keep himself with society?
Krishnamurti: What is society? What would you say is society? A set of values, a set of rules and regulations and traditions? You see the conditions outside and you say, `Can I be here and have a practical relationship with that?' Why not? After all, if you merely fit into that condition, into that framework of values, are you free? What do you mean by `practicable'? Do you mean earning a livelihood? Then, what does it mean to be able to live with it, to be able to do something about it? Take this for example - I do not want to take up a complex problem - you have to earn a livelihood and there are many things that you can do to earn a livelihood; if you are free, can you not choose what you want to do? Is that practicable? Or, would you consider it practicable to forget your freedom and just fit into anything, become a lawyer, a banker, a merchant or a road sweeper? Or, would you say, `I am free, and I have cultivated my intelligence. I am going to see what is the best thing for me to do. I shall set aside all traditions, and do something which I like; it does not matter whether my parents or society approve or disapprove. Because I am free and because there is intelligence, I shall do something which is completely my own, as an integrated man'. Does that answer your question?
Question: What is God?
Krishnamurti: Do you really want to have an answer to this question? How are you going to find out? Are you going to accept somebody else's information? Or are you going to try to see what God is? It is easy to ask questions, but to find out requires a great deal of intelligence, a great deal of enquiry and search.
Now the first thing is, are you going to accept what anybody says about it, either Krishna or Buddha, it does not matter who? I might be mistaken, and so might your own pet guru. So, the first thing you must have, in order to find out any real deep truth, is that your mind must be free to enquire, not to accept, but to directly find out. I can give you a description of the truth, but it will not be the same thing as your seeing the truth. Most books give a description; all sacred books describe in words what God is; but that may not be God. The word `God' is not `God'. Is it? So, to find out, you must never accept, must you? You must never be influenced by what the books, teachers, or others say. Because, if you are influenced by them, you will find what they want you to find. So, outwardly, you must not be influenced by any book, by any teacher, by any guru; and inwardly, you must know that your mind can create what it wants; it can imagine God with a beard, with one eye; it can imagine him blue or purple. So, you have to guard against your own` desires; because your desires, your wants, your longings can project and create in your own mind the things which you want. If you long for God, it will be according to your wishes, won't it? That will not be God, will it? If you are in sorrow, if you want comfort, if you feel that you have been crushed in life, if you feel destroyed, if you feel sentimental and romantic, eventually you will create a God who will supply you all that. But it will not be God. So, your mind must be completely free; then only can it find out - not by the acceptance of some superstition or the reading of some sacred book or the following of some guru. It is only when you have that freedom - that real freedom from external influences, from your own desires and from your own longings - and when your mind is very clear, is it possible to find out what God is. But when you sit down and speculate, your guess is as good as your guru's guess, and your speculation is useless, is absurd.
What is important is to be conscious, to be aware, of the influences outside, which force you in a certain direction, and also to be aware of your conscious as well as unconscious desires and to be free from all those, so that the mind is clear, uninfluenced.
Question: Can we be aware of our unconscious desires?
Krishnamurti: First of all, are you aware of your conscious desires? Do you know what desire is? Do you know that you do not listen to somebody who says something contrary to what you believe? Your desire prevents you from listening. You desire God. Somebody says to you that God is not the outcome of your frustrations and fears; it is something quite different. Will you listen to him? Of course not. You want one thing, and the truth is something else. You shut yourself within your own desires; gradually, you are half conscious of your own desires, you are closed in. You are not conscious of your waking desires, conscious desires, are you? To be conscious of the desires that are deeply hidden is much more difficult. You know it is like wanting to find out what is hidden. You cannot find out what is hidden, unless the mind which is looking is fairly clear, fairly free; otherwise, you cannot discover what your own motive is. So, the first thing is to be consciously aware of your desires on the surface; then, as you become conscious of them, go deeper and deeper. Question: Why are some people born in poor circumstances and some rich and well to do?
Krishnamurti: What do you think? Karma? Instead of asking me and waiting for my reply, why do you not find out what you feel? Do you think it is some mysterious process? In a former life, I have lived nobly and therefore I am rewarded, and therefore I have plenty of wealth, saris and position! Or, I have acted very badly in a former life, I am paying for it in this life!
You see this is really a very complex problem. It is the fault of society, the society in which the greedy and the cunning exploit and rise to the top. We also want the same thing, we also want to climb the ladder and get to the top. So long as everybody wants to get to the top, what happens? We tread on somebody; and the man who is trodden on, who is destroyed, asks `Why is life so unfair? You have everything and I have no capacity, I have nothing'. As long as we climb the ladder of success, there will always be the ill and the unfed. The desire for success has to be understood and not why there are the poor, why there are the rich, why some have talents and others have no talents. What has to be changed is the desire to climb, the desire to be a big man, to be a success. We all aspire for success, don't we? There lies the fault, and not in Karma or any other nonsense. The actual fact is that we all want to be on the top, perhaps not quite on the top but half way to the top. So, as long as there is that drive to be great, to be somebody in the world, we are going to have the rich and the poor, the talented and those without talent
Question: Is God a Mr., a Miss, or a mystery?
Krishnamurti: Is God a man or a woman or something completely mysterious? I have just answered that question. I am afraid you did not listen to the answer. This country is full of men and the dominance of men. Suppose I said God is a lady, what would you do? You would reject it, because you are full of the idea that God is a man. So I say that really you have to find out; but to find out, you must be free of all prejudice.
December 14, 1952
Rajghat 4th Talk to Boys and Girls 14th December 1952
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