Rajghat 7th Talk to Boys and Girls 17th December 1952
You know I have been talking about fear; it is very important that we should be conscious and be aware of it. Do you know how fear comes into being? We notice throughout the world that people are perverted and twisted in their ideas, in their beliefs, in their activities. So, we ought to go into it from every point of view, not only from the moral and economic point of view of society, but also from the point of view of the inward psychological struggles.
We have been talking of how fear twists the mind and, as I said yesterday, how fear for outward security and inward security distorts our thinking. I hope you have thought a little more about it today, because you see that the more you consider the more you will be free from all dependence. The older people in the world have not created a marvellous society; the parents, the ministers, the teachers, the rulers, the fathers, the priests, they have not created a beautiful world. They have created an ugly, frightful, brutal world in which everybody is fighting somebody else - one group fighting another group, one class against another class, one nation against another nation, one idea fighting another idea, one belief against another belief. The world in which you are growing up is an ugly world, it is a sorrowful world; and the older people try to smother you with their ideas, beliefs, with their ugliness; and, if you are merely going to follow the ugly pattern of the old people that have made this world, what is the point of being educated, what is the point of living at all?
If you look throughout the world, you see appalling destruction and human misery. You do not know anything about wars in this country except what happened when partition took place. You may read about wars in history, but you do not know the actuality of it, how houses are completely destroyed, how there are the latest bombs, hydrogen bombs, which when thrown on an island cause the whole island to disappear; you know what that means, the whole island vapourises into steam. Ships are bombed and they go up into thin air. There is appalling destruction due to this so-called improvement, and into this world you are growing. You may have a good time when you are young, a happy time; but when you grow older, unless you are watchful and very alert, you will always create another world of battles, of ambitions, a world where each one is competing with the other, where there is misery, starvation, overpopulation and disease. Unless you are very watchful of your thoughts, of your feelings, you will perpetuate this world, you will continue the ugly pattern of life.
So, is it not very important for you while you are young, to think about all these matters; and not be taught by some stupid teacher to pass some stupid examinations, but be helped by the right teacher to think about all these things? Life is sorrow, death, love, hate, cruelty, disease, starvation. You have to think about all these things. That is why I feel that it is good to think out these morning talks together, so that you and I can explore, can think out, can go into these problems, so that you can intelligently have some ideas, some feeling about all these things, so that you need not just grow up to be married, to become a clerk, and then lose yourself like a river in the sand.
One of the causes of fear is ambition, is it not? You are all ambitious, are you not? What is your ambition? To pass some examination? To become a clerk? To become a Governor? Or if you are very young, to become an engineer, or to drive engines across the bridge? You are all ambitious. Why are you ambitious? What does it mean? Have you ever thought about it? Have you noticed older people, how ambitious they are? In your own family, have you not heard your father, your mother, your uncle talk about getting more salary, or occupying some prominent position? Everybody is doing that. In our society - I explained what our society is - in our society, everybody is trying to be on the top of the others. Are they not? They all want to become somebody - a governor, a minister, a manager. If they are clerks, they want to become managers; if they are managers, they want to become bigger; and so on and on and on - the continual struggle to be something. If I am a teacher, I want to become the Principal; if I am the Principal, I want to become the Manager; and so on. If you are ugly, you want to be beautiful, you want to have more money, more saris, more clothes, more dresses, more and more and more. Not only outwardly - furniture, houses, clothes, property - but also inwardly you want to be somebody, though you clothe or cover that ambition by a lot of words. Have you not noticed this? You have; and you think it is perfectly right, don't you? You think it is perfectly normal, justifiable, right.
What has ambition done in the world? So few have ever thought about it. When somebody is struggling to be on the top of somebody else, when everybody is trying to achieve, to gain, have you ever found out what is in their hearts? If you will look at your own heart and see when you are ambitious, when you are struggling to be somebody, spiritually or in the world, you will find that there is the worm of fear inside it. The ambitious man is the most frightened man, because he is afraid to be what he is, because he says, `If I am what I am, I shall be nobody. Therefore, I must be somebody, I must become the engineer, the engine driver, the magistrate, the judge, the minister'. If you examine this very closely, if you go beyond the wall of words, behind the wall of ideas, positions and ambitions, you will find there is fear, because he is afraid to be what he is. Because he thinks that what he is, is so insignificant, so poor, so ugly, so lonely, so empty, he says, `I must go and do something outside'. Either he goes after what he calls God - which is just another form of ambition - because he is afraid, or he wants to be somebody in the world. So, what happens is that this fear is covered up, this loneliness - this sense of inward emptiness of which he is really frightened - is covered up. He runs away from it, and the ambition becomes the emotions through which he can escape.
So, what happens in the world is that everybody is fighting somebody. One man is lesser than another man. There is no love, there is no consideration, there is no thought. Each man wants to become somebody. A member of Parliament wants to become the leader of the Parliament, to become the Prime Minister and so on and on and on. There is perpetual fighting, and our society is one constant struggle, of one man against another; and this struggle is called the ambition to be something. Old people encourage you to do that. You must be ambitious, you must be something, you must marry a rich man or a rich woman, you must have the right kind of friends. So, the older generation, those who are frightened, those who are ugly in their hearts, try to make you like them; and you also want to be like them because you see the glamour of it all. When the governor comes, everybody bows down to the earth to receive him, gives him garlands, makes speeches; he loves it and you love it, because you feel you are honoured, you know his uncle or you know his clerk; so, you want to bask in the sunshine of his ambitions, of his achievements. So you are easily caught in it, in the web of the older generation, in a world which is most ugly, most monstrous. Only if you are very careful, if you are watchful and if you question all the time, if you do not accept and are not afraid, then you will not be caught in it, then you will create a different world. That is why it is very important that you should find the right vocation. You know what `vocation' means? Something which you will love to do, which is natural. After all, that is the function of education, of a school of this kind, to help you to grow independently so that you are not ambitious but can find your true vocation. The ambitious man has never found his true vocation. If he had found, he would never be ambitious. Is it not the function of the teacher, of the Principal, of the Manager, of the Trustees of this place to help you to be intelligent - which means, not to be afraid - so that you can choose, you can find out your own vocation, your own way of life, the way you want to live, the way you want to earn your own livelihood. This means really a revolution in thinking because, in the world, the man who can talk, the man who can write, the man who can preach, the man who can rule, the man who has a car, is thought to be in a marvellous position; and the man who digs in the garden, who cooks, who builds a house, is despised. Have you noticed your own feelings, how you look at the mason, the man who builds, who mends the road, the driver of a taxi or a rickshaw, how you regard him with absolute contempt? To you he does not even exist; but when you look at a man with a title, an M.A., or a B.A., a little clerk, a banker, a merchant, a pundit, a minister, immediately you respect him and disregard the tongawala. But if you really found your true vocation, then you would break down this system completely; because then you might be a gardener, a painter, because then you would be doing something which you really love with your being. That is not ambition, to do something marvellously, completely, truly according to what you think; that is not ambition; in that there is no fear. But it is very difficult, because that means that the teacher has to pay a great deal of attention to teach each one of his boys to find out what he is capable of, to help him to find out, to help him not to be afraid but to question to investigate. You may be a writer, you may be a poet, you may be a painter; and if you love that, you have no ambition; because, in that, you want to be, to create; it is a thing which you love. In love, there is no ambition.
So, is it not very important when you are young, when you are in a place like this, to help you to awaken your own intelli- gence, so that you naturally find your vocation? Then, if you find it and if it is a true thing, then you will love it right through life. In that, there will be no ambition, no competition, no struggle, no fighting each other for position, for prestige; and perhaps then you will be able to create a new world. Then, in that world, all the ugly things of the old generation will not exist, their wars, their mischief, their separative gods, their rituals which mean absolutely nothing, their government, their violence. In a place of this kind, the responsibility of the teacher and of you is very great, because you can create a new world, a new culture, a new way of life.
Question: What is calamity?
Krishnamurti: Why are you asking that? Do you want the dictionary meaning? May I suggest then that you look up a dictionary. What is behind the question? Don't be nervous. What do you mean? Is it not a calamity to see the villager carrying a tremendous weight on her head? To be a villager with dirty clothes, starving, - is it not a calamity? It is a calamity to the villager; and if you are at all sensitive, it a calamity also to you. I do not see what the problem is which makes you ask this question.
Question: If somebody has an ambition to be an engineer does it not mean that he is interested in it?
Krishnamurti: Would you say being interested in something is ambition? We can give to that word `ambition' any meaning. Ambition, as we generally know it, is the outcome of fear. Now, if I am interested as a boy in being an engineer because I love it, because I want to build beautiful houses, because I want to have the best irrigation in the world, because I want to build the best roads, it means I love the thing; therefore, that is not ambition. In that, there is no fear.
So, ambition and interest are two different things, are they not? I am interested in painting, I love it, I do not want to compete with the best painter or the most famous painter, I just love painting. You may be better at painting, but I do not compare myself with you. I love what I am doing when I paint; that in itself is sufficient for me.
Question: What is the easiest way of finding God?
Krishnamurti: I am afraid there is no easy way, because to find God is one of the most difficult things, one of the most arduous things. Is not God something which the mind creates? You know what the mind is. The mind is the result of time. The mind can create anything, any illusion; it has the power of creating ideas, of projecting itself in fancies, in imagination, in accumulating, discarding, choosing; being prejudiced, narrow, limited, the mind can create God, can picture a God, can imagine what God is. Because some teachers, some priests, some so-called saviours have said there is God and they have described him, the mind can imagine God. But that is not God. God is something that cannot be formed by the mind.
So, to understand God, you must understand your own mind first - which is very difficult. It is a very complex business, it is not easy. But it is very easy to sit down and go into some kind of dream and have various visions, illusions, and think that you are very near God. The mind can deceive itself enormously. So, to really find that which you call God, you must be completely quiet; and that is not easy. Have you not found how difficult it is? Have you seen older people, how they shake, how they jiggle with their toes and with their hands, how they never sit quiet? How difficult it is physically to sit still and how much more difficult it is for the mind to be still! You see, if you force the mind to be still, if you follow gurus, the mind is not still. It is like a child that is made still. It is a great art, one of the most difficult things, for the mind to be completely still without coercion. Then only is there a possibility of that which you call God, to be.
Question: Is God everywhere?
Krishnamurti: Are you really interested in this or have you been put up to ask this question? You ask questions, and I notice you then subside; you do not listen. Have you noticed how the older people never listen to you? They are so enclosed in their own thoughts, in their own emotions, in their own achievements, in their own sorrows, that they never listen to you. I am glad you notice a lot of things. Now, if you know how to listen, really listen, you find out a lot of things, not only about people but about the world.
Here is a boy who asks if God is everywhere. He is too small to ask that question. He does not know what it really means. Probably, he has a vague inkling about it, the feeling of beauty, the feeling of the birds in the sky, of waters running a nice smiling face, the dance of the leaf in the wind, a woman carrying a burden, anger, noise, sorrow, all that is in the air, and he is interested and anxious to try to find out what life is; probably, the little boy feels it vaguely; he discusses it with older people; he hears them talking about God and he is puzzled. It is very important is it not? For him to ask that question and for you to seek an answer; because, as I was telling you the other day, you may unconsciously, deep down, be able to catch the meaning of all this inwardly and, as you grow, you will have hints of other things besides this ugly world of struggle. The world is beautiful, the earth is beautiful, rich; but we are the spoilers of it.
Question: What is the real goal of life?
Krishnamurti: It is, first of all, what you make of it. It is what you make of life.
Question: As far as reality is concerned, it must be something else.
Krishnamurti: What is the goal of life? Find out the truth of it; and till you find the truth of it, do not stop, because apparently, `what is the goal of life' interests you.
Question: I am not particularly interested in my goal, but I want the goal of life for everybody. Krishnamurti: How will you find it out, who will show you? Can you find it out by reading? If you read, one author may give you a method, another author may give you a different method. If you go to a man who is suffering, he will say the goal of life is to be happy, because he is himself suffering; for him, the goal of life is to be happy. If you go to a man, to a person, who is starving, who has not had a full meal for years, his goal of life is to have his tummy full. If you go to one of the politicians, his goal is to become one of the directors, one of the rulers of the world. If you ask a woman, she will say, `My goal is to have a baby'. If you go to a sannyasi, his goal is to find God. The general desire, the goal of people is to find something that is very comfortable, to find some security, to find safety in something, so that they have no fear, so that they have no anxiety, no doubt, no questions. They want something permanent to which they can cling. Is it not so?
So, the general goal of life for a man is some kind of hope, some kind of safety, some kind of permanency. You cannot say, `Is that all?'. That is what is happening. You must be fully acquainted with that first. You must question all that - which means, you must question yourself. The general goal of life is embedded in you, because you are part of the whole life, you want safety you want permanency, you want happiness, you want something to which to cling. Now, to find out something beyond that, some truth which is not of the mind nor of the illusions of the mind, all this must be finished; that is, you must understand all this and put it aside; then only, you will find out the real thing, whether there is a goal. But to stipulate that there must be a goal, to believe that there is a goal, is merely another illusion. But if you can question all the conflicts, the struggles, the pains, the vanities, the ambitions, the fears, the hopes and go through them, go beyond and above them, then you will find out.
Question: Then I must develop higher influences and ultimately find out the real goal of life.
Krishnamurti: How can you see the ultimate thing if you have got many barriers between you and that? You must re- move the barriers. To have fresh air you must open the window. You cannot say, `Let me sit down and see what the fresh air is like'. You must open the windows. Similarly, you must see all the barriers, the limitations, the conditions; and seeing them all, you must put them aside, then you will find out. But to sit on this side and say "I must find out" means nothing.
December 17, 1952
Rajghat 7th Talk to Boys and Girls 17th December 1952
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