Rajghat 16th Talk to Boys and Girls 28th December 1952
You may remember that we have been talking about the deteriorating factors in human existence. We said fear was one of the fundamental causes of this deterioration. We also said that the following of authority in any form, whether self-imposed or established from outside, is destruction to incentive, to creativeness. We were saying that any form of imitation, copying, following, is destructive to the creative discovery of what is true. We said that truth is not something that can be followed; truth has to be discovered; you cannot find it through any book, through any particular accumulated experience. Experience itself, as we discussed the other day, becomes a remembrance, and the remembrance is the destruction of creative understanding. Any form of malice, envy, however small it be, which is really comparative thinking, is also destructive to this creative life without which there is no happiness. Happiness is not something to be bought; it is not something that comes when you go after it; it is there when there is no conflict. Is it not very important, not only to listen to all these discussions, these talks in the mornings, but to actually find out for yourself, not only when you are young but also as you grow older into maturity, all the complications of maturity? But before we go into that, should we not, while we are in school, try to find out the significance of words? The symbol has become an extraordinarily destructive thing for most of us, and of this we are unaware. You know what I mean by `symbol'? The shadow of a truth. The shadow is the symbol of truth. The gramophone record is not the real voice; but the voice, the sound, has been put on record and to that you listen. The image is the symbol, the idea of what the original thing is. The word, the symbol, the image and the worship of the image, the reverence to the symbol, the following, the giving significance to words - all this is very destructive; because then the word the symbol, the image becomes all important. That is how temples, stupas, churches become very important organizations, and the symbols, ideas, dogmas become the factors which prevent the mind from going beyond and discovering what the truth is. So, do not be caught up in words, in symbols, which automatically cultivate habit. Habit is the most destructive factor when you want to think creatively; habit comes in the way. Perhaps, you do not understand the whole significance of what I am saying; but you will, if you think about it. Go out for a walk yourself occasionally and think out these things. Find out what words like life and God mean, and also what is meant by those extraordinary words, like duty and co-operation, which we use freely.
What does `duty' mean? Duty to what? To the aged, to what tradition says, to sacrifice yourself for your parents, for your country, for your Gods? That word `duty' becomes extraordinarily significant to us. It is pregnant with a lot of meaning which is imposed upon us. What is much more important than duty to anything - to your country, to your gods, to your neighbour - what is much more important than the word, is to find out for yourself what truth is - not what you want, not what you would like not what gives you pleasure, not what gives you pain. But, to find out what truth is, the word `duty' has very little meaning; because, parents or society use that as a means of moulding you, of shaping you to their particular idiosyncracies, to their habits of thought, to their liking, to their safety. So, find out for yourself, take time, be patient, analyse, go into it; do not accept the word `duty' because where there is duty, there is no love.
Similarly, the word `co-operation'. The State wants you to co-operate with it. Co-operation with something is not what is true, You merely imitate, when you copy. If you understand, if you find out what the truth of something is, then you are living with it, you are going with it; it is part of you. It is very significant to be aware, it is very necessary to be aware of all the words, the symbols, the images which cripple your thinking. To be aware of them and to see whether you can go beyond them is essential, if you are to live creatively without disintegration. You know, we use the word `duty' to kill us. Duty - the duty to the country, the duty to parents, the duty to relations - sacrifices you. It makes you go out, fight and kill and be maimed; because, the politician, the leader says it is your duty to protect the country, it is your duty to your community to destroy others. So, killing another for the sake of your country becomes part of your duty; and gradually, you are drawn into the military spirit, the spirit which makes you obedient, which makes you physically very disciplined; but inwardly, your mind gets destroyed because you are imitating, following, copying; and so, gradually, you become a tool to the older people, to the politician, to propaganda. So you gradually learn to kill, and you accept killing in order to protect your country as inevitable because somebody says so. It does not matter who says so; think it out for yourself very clearly.
To kill is obviously the most destructive and most corrupt action in life, specially to kill another human being; because, when you kill, you are full of hatred, you create antagonism in others. You can kill with a word, with an action; killing another human being has never solved any of our problems. War has never solved any of our economic, social, human relationships; and yet, the whole world is preparing for war everlastingly, because there are many reasons why they want to kill people. But do not be swept away by reason; because, you may have one reason and I may have another reason, your reason may be stronger than my reason. But no reason is necessary. First get to the truth of it, to the feeling of it, how necessary it is not to kill. It does not matter who says so, from the highest authority to the lowest; inwardly find out the truth of it in general principles; when you are clear of that inwardly, then the details can be gone into later, then you can reason them out; but do not start by reasoning, because every reason can be countered, there can be a counter reason for every reason and you are caught in reasoning. It is necessary to know for yourselves what the truth is; then you can begin to use reason. When you know for yourself what is true, when you know that killing of another is not love, when you feel inwardly the truth of `there must be no enmity', when you really feel that inwardly, then no amount of reason can destroy it. Then, no politician, no priest, no parent, can sacrifice you for an idea or for their safety. Always, the old sacrifice the young; and you in your turn, as you grow older, will sacrifice the young. But you have to prevent this, because it is the most destructive way of living, and is one of the greatest factors of human deterioration. In order to prevent this degeneration, to put an end to it, you have to find out the truth for yourself. You, as an individual, not belonging to any group, to any organization, have to find out the truth of not killing, the feeling of love, the feeling that there must be no enmity. Then, no amount of words, no reasons can ever persuade you. So, it is very important, while you are young, specially in a school of this kind, to think out these things, to feel them out and to establish and lay the foundations for the discovery of truth.
We are going to make something out of this school though it is not what it should be; you and I, you the students and teachers, all of us together, are going to make something out of it, all of us are going to build this thing, a school where you are taught not merely information but also to discover what is truth, so that throughout life, as you grow, you know how to find out for yourself without any authority, without any following, that which is real. Otherwise, you will become one of the factors of destruction and deterioration, and there is no greater corruption. Listen to all this carefully. If there is the right foundation now then as you grow older, you will know how to act. Question: What is the purpose of creation?
Krishnamurti: Are you really interested in it? What do you mean by `creation'? What is the purpose of living? What do we mean by `living'? What is the purpose of your existence, of your reading, studying, passing examinations? What is the purpose of the relationship of parents, wife, children? What is life? Is that what you mean? What is the purpose of creation? When do you ask that question? When you do not see clearly, when you are confused, when you are in the dark, when you are blind, when you do not know, when you do not feel it for yourselves, then you want to know what the purpose of existence is. When inwardly there is no clarity, when there is misery, then you ask `what is the purpose of life?'
There are many people who will give you the purpose of life; they will tell you what the sacred books say. Clever people will go on inventing what the purpose of life is. The political group will have one purpose; the religious group will have another purpose; and so on and on. So, what is the purpose of life when you yourself are confused? When I am confused, I ask you this question, `What is the purpose of life?', because I hope that through this confusion I shall find an answer. How can I find a true answer, when I am confused? Do you understand? If I am confused, I can only receive an answer which is also confused. If my mind is confused, if my mind is disturbed, if my mind is not beautiful, quiet, whatever answer I receive will be through this screen of confusion, anxiety and fear; therefore, the answer will be perverted. So, what is important is not to ask, `What is the purpose of life, of existence?' but to clear the confusion that is within you. It is like a blind man who asks, `What is light?' If I tell him what light is, he will listen according to his blindness, according to his darkness; but suppose he is able to see, then, he will never ask the question `what is light?'. It is there.
Similarly, if you can clarify the confusion within yourself, then you will find what the purpose of life is; you will not have to ask, you will not have to look for it; all that you have to do is to be free from those causes which bring about confusion. The causes of confusion are very clear; they are in `the me', in `the I', that is constantly wanting to expand itself through envy, through jealousy, through hatred, through imitation; and the symptoms are jealousy, envy, greed, fear, the wanting to copy and so on. As long as inwardly that is so, there is confusion. You are always seeking for outward answers; but it is only when that confusion is cleared, that you will know the significance of existence.
Question: What is Karma?
Krishnamurti: Are you all interested in that? Why do you ask such a question? Yet that is one of the peculiar words we use, one of the words in which our thought is caught. The poor man says `My Karma'. He has to accept life as a theory; he has to accept misery, starvation, squalor, dirt. He has to accept it because he has no energy, he has not enough food, he does not break away from it and create a revolution. He has to accept what life gives; and so he says, `It is my Karma to be like this', and the politicians, the big ones, encourage him to accept life with its squalor, with its misery, with its dirt and starvation. You do not want to revolt against all this, do you? When you pay the poor so little and you have so much, what is going to happen? So, you gradually invent that word `karma', the passive acceptance of the misery of life. The man on the top, who has achieved, who has inherited, who has been educated, who has come to the top of things, says, `It is also my karma; I have done well in my past life and so it is my karma to reap the reward of my past action', he wants to go to the top of things, to have many houses, power, position, and the means of corruption. Is that karma, to accept things as they are? Do you understand? Is it karma to have the spirit of acceptance of things as they are, which many of the teachers and you have, without a spark of revolt, to be ready to accept, to obey? So, you see how easily, because we are not alive, words become nets in which we are caught.
But there is a bigger significance to that word `karma', which has to be understood not as a theory, which cannot be understood if you say; `That is what the Bhagvad Gita says'. You know, the comparative mind is the most stupid mind because it does not think; it says, `I have read that book and what you say is like it'. When you have such a mind, it means you have stopped thinking, you have stopped investigating to find out what is true, irrespective of what any book or any particular guru has said. When you compare, has not your mind ceased to think, ceased to discover what is true? When you read Shakespeare or Buddha, or when you listen to your guru, suppose you compare them; what happens to your mind? Your mind has not found out, has not discovered; it does not throw off all authorities and investigate. So, what is important is to find out and not to compare. Comparison, as I pointed out to you, is authority, is imitation, is thoughtlessness; and it is the very nature of our mind not to be awake to discover what is true, You say, `That is what has been said by the Buddha; that is so', and you think that thereby you have solved your problems. But to discover the truth of anything, you have to be extremely active, vigorous, self-reliant; and you cannot have self-reliance if you are thinking comparatively. Please listen to all this. If there is no self-reliance, you lose all power to investigate and to find out what is true. Self-reliance brings a certain freedom in which you discover; and that freedom is denied to you when you are comparing.
So really the problem of Karma is quite complex; and I do not know if we should go into it here. This may not be the right place, because we are not dealing with the problems of the old and their extraordinarily complex minds. What we are dealing with here are the problems of the young in relation to their teachers, in their relationship to their parents and in their relationship to society.
Question: Is there an element of fear in respect, or not?
Krishnamurti: What do you say when you show respect to your teacher, to your parents, to your Guru, and disrespect to your servants? You kick those people who are not important, and you lick the boots of those who are above you, the officials, the politician, the big ones. Is there not an element of fear in that? Because, from the big ones you want something; from the teacher, from the examiner, from the professor, from the parents, from the politician, from the bank manager, you want something. What can the poor people give you? So, you disregard them, you treat them with contempt, you do not even know that they pass you by. You do not even look at them, you do not even know that they shiver in the cold, that they are dirty and hungry; but you will give to the big ones, the great ones of the land, the little that you have in order to receive more of their favours. So in that, there is definitely, is there not?, an element of fear; there is no love. If you had love, then you would show love to those who have nothing and also to those who have everything; then, you would not be afraid of those who have, and you would not disregard those who have not. So respect in that sense is the outcome of fear. Love is not the outcome of fear; in love, there is no fear.
December 28, 1952
Rajghat 16th Talk to Boys and Girls 28th December 1952
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