Rajghat 17th Talk to Boys and Girls 29th December 1952
We have been trying to point out the various factors that bring about human deterioration, in our existence, in our lives, in our activities, in our thoughts; and we said that it is conflict that is one of the major factors of this deterioration. Is not peace also, as it is generally understood, a destructive factor? Can peace come about by the mind? If we have peace of mind, does not that also lead to corruption, deterioration? If we are not very observant, we will narrow down the window of that word, through which we can look at the world and understand. We can make the word `peace' such a narrow phrase that we will see only part of the sky and not the whole. It is only when we can perceive the whole vastness, the enormity, the magnificence of the sky, then only is there the possibility of having peace - not by merely pursuing peace, which is the inevitable process of thought, of the mind. Perhaps it may be a little difficult to understand this. I am going to try to make it as simple and clear as it is possible.
I think if we can understand this, what it means to be peaceful, what is peace, then perhaps we shall understand the real significance of love. We think peace is something to be got through the mind, through reason; but, can peace ever come through any quieting, through any control, through any domination of thought? We all want peace. For most of us, peace means to be left alone, not to be interfered with, to build a wall round our own mind by means of ideas. This is very important in your lives; for, as you grow older, you will be faced with these problems of war and peace. Is peace something to be pursued after and got and tamed by the mind? For most of us, peace means a slow decay; wherever we are, stagnation comes; we think by clinging to an idea, by building walls of security, of safety, of ideas, of habits, of beliefs, by pursuing a principle, a particular tendency, a particular fancy, a particular wish, we will find peace. That is what most of us want, not to make effort but to live without an effort in some kind of stagnation. When we find we cannot have that kind of peace, we make tremendous efforts to have peace, to find some corner in the universe, in our being, where we can crawl and, in the darkness of self-enclosure, live. That is what most of us want in our relationship with the husband, with the wife, with parents, with friends. Unconsciously we want peace at any price, and so we pursue.
Can the mind ever find peace? Is not the mind itself a source of disturbance? The mind can only gather, accumulate, deny, assert, remember and pursue. Is peace - which is so essential because without peace you cannot live, you cannot create - something to be realized through the struggles, through the denials, through the sacrifices of the mind? Do you understand what I am talking about? As we grow older, unless we are very wise and watchful, though we may be discontented while we are young, that discontent will be canalized into some form of peaceful resignation to life. The mind is everlastingly seeking somewhere to create a secluded habit, belief, desire, in which it can live and be peaceful with the world. But the mind cannot find peace, because the mind can only think in terms of time - as the past, the present and the future; what it has been, what it is, and what it will be - condemning, judging, weighing, pursuing its own vanities, habits, beliefs. The mind can never be peaceful though it can delude itself into some kind of peace; but that is not peace. It can mesmerize itself with words by the repetition of phrases by merely following somebody, by knowledge; but such a mind is not a peaceful mind, because the mind is itself the centre of attraction, the mind is by its very nature the essence of time. So, the mind with which you think, with which you calculate, with which you contrive, with which you compare, such a mind is incapable of finding peace.
Peace is not the outcome of reason; and yet, when you observe the organized religions that you know, you see that they are caught in the pursuit of the peace of the mind. But peace is something which is as creative as war is destructive, something which is as pure as war is destructive; and to find that peace, one must understand beauty. That is why it is very important, while we are very young, to have beauty about us, the beauty of buildings, of proper proportions, of true appreciation, of cleanliness, of quiet talk among the elders, so that in understanding what beauty is, we shall know what love is, how beauty of the heart is the peace of the heart.
Peace is of the heart, not of the mind. So, you have to find out what beauty is. It matters very much, the way you talk; for, you will discover through the words you use, the gestures you make, what the refinement of your heart is. For, beauty is something that cannot be defined, that cannot be explained through words. It can only be called or understood when the mind is very quiet.
So, while you are young and sensitive, it is essential for you as well as for those who are responsible for the young, for students, to create this atmosphere of beauty. The way you dress, the way you sit, the way you talk and eat, and the things about you, are very important. For, as you grow, you will meet all the ugly things of life - ugly buildings, ugly people, malice, envy, ambition, cruelty - and if in your hearts there is no perception of beauty, founded and established in yourself, you can easily be swept away by the enormous current of the world; and then you will be caught in the struggle to find peace of the mind. The mind creates the idea of what peace is, and tries to pursue it and then gets caught in the net of words, of fancies, of illusions. So, peace can only come when you understand what love is. Because, if you have peace merely through security - financial or otherwise - through money, or through certain dogmas, rituals and repetitions, there is no creativeness; there is no urgency to bring about a fundamental, radical revolution in the world. Because, peace then only leads to contentment and resignation. But when you understand the peace in which there is love and beauty, the extraordinary strangeness of it, then you will find peace - the peace that is not understood by the mind. It is this peace that is creative, that brings order within oneself, that removes confusion. But this does not come through any effort. It comes when you are constantly watching and being sensitive both to the ugly and to the beautiful, to the good and to the bad, to all the fluctuations of life; because peace is something enormously great, extensive, not something petty, not created by the mind. That can only be understood when the heart is full.
Question: Why do we feel inferior before our superiors?
Krishnamurti: Who are your superiors? Who are the people whom you consider your superiors? Those who know? Those who have titles, degrees, or those from whom you want some kind of reward, some kind of position, from whom you are asking something? Whom do you call your superiors? The moment you regard somebody as superior, do you not regard others as inferior?
Why do we have this division, the superior and the inferior? That exists only when we want something. I may be less intelligent than you, I may not have as much as you have, I may not be as happy inwardly as you are, or I am asking something from you; so, I feel inferior to you. You may be more intelligent, you may be more clever, you may have a gift, a capacity, and I might not have it. But when I am trying to imitate, when I want something from you, I immediately become your inferior, because I have put you on a pedestal, I have given you a certain value. So, I create the superior and I create the inferior; psychologically, inwardly, I create this difference of those who have and those who have not. Is it possible to bring about a world in which the haves and have nots do not exist? You understand the problem? That is, the world is divided into those who are rich, who are powerful, who have everything, position, prestige, and those who have not. In the world, there is enormous inequality of capacity - the man who invents the jet plane and the man who drives the plough. There is vast contrast in capacity - intellectual, verbal, physical. We give enormous values and significance to certain functions. We consider the governor, the Prime Minister, the inventor, the scientist, as something enormously significant. We have given function great importance, and so function assumes status and position. So long as we give status to functions, that gives rise to such inequality that the difference between those that are incapable and those that are capable becomes unbridgeable. But if we can keep function stripped of status which gives position, prestige, power, money, wealth and pleasure, then there is the possibility of bringing about a sense of equality. Even then, equality is not possible if there is no love. It is love that destroys the sense of the unequal, of the superior.
You see, what is happening in the world is this: politicians, economists see this breach, this gulf between the man of capacities and the man who has no capacities; and they try to approach this problem through economic and social reformation; they may be right but that approach can never take place as long as we have not love, as long as we do not understand the whole process of antagonism, envy, malice. That can only come to an end when there is love in our heart.
Question: Can there be peace in our life when, every moment, we are struggling against our environment?
Krishnamurti: What do we call environment and what is environment? We say environment is society - the economic, the religious, the national, the class environment, the climate. We are struggling either to fit into it or to move away from it. Most of us are struggling to fit, to adjust ourselves, as individuals into the environment. From the environment we hope to have a job, we hope to be able to accept all the benefits of that particular society; so, we are struggling to fit or to adjust ourselves into that society. What is that society made up of? Have you ever thought about it? Have you looked at the society in which you are living, to which you are trying to adjust yourselves? That society is based on what you call religion, is it not?, a set of traditions, certain economic values; you are part of that society and you are trying to live with it. Can you live with a society which is based on acquisitiveness, which is the outcome of envy, fear, greed, possessive pursuits with occasional flashes of love? Can you? If you try to be intelligent, fearless, non-acquisitive, can you adjust yourself with that society? So why struggle with that society?
You have to create your own new society - which means, you have to be free from acquisitiveness, from envy, from greed, from any religious narrowing down of thought, from nationalism, from patriotism; then only is it possible for you not to struggle but to create something anew, a new society. But as long as you are trying to adjust, trying to make an effort to adjust yourself to the present society, you are merely following a pattern created of envy, of prestige, of those beliefs which are corruptive.
So, is it not important, while you are young, while you are in this place, to understand all these problems and to bring about a freedom in yourselves, so that you may create a new world, a new society, a new relationship between man and man? Surely that is the function of education.
Question: Why do human beings suffer and why cannot one be free from certain types of suffering such as death, sorrow and disaster?
Krishnamurti: Why do we suffer and is it possible to be free from death and disaster?
Medical science is trying to free humanity from diseases, through sanitation through clean living and clean food. Through various forms of surgery, they are trying to find a cure for incurable diseases like cancer. A capable efficient doctor does relieve, does try to eliminate diseases.
Is death conquerable? It is a most extraordinary thing that you are so much interested in death. Is it because you see so much death about you, the burning ghats, the body being carried to the river? Why are you so preoccupied with it? You know, a man who has no urge, no creative thing in him, suffers; he is concerned with that, his concern is about his suffering. So, similarly, you are concerned with death, because you are so familiar with it. It is so constantly with you, and there is fear of death.
I explained this question the other day. You do not listen. I can answer it in a different way. But if you do not listen if you do not really find out, if you do not really understand what the implications of death are, you will go from one preacher to another preacher, from one hope to another hope, from one belief to another, trying to find a solution to this problem of death. Do you understand? I answered it last week; and if you are interested, read what we have discussed when printed on paper. Read it; do not keep on asking but try to find out. You can ask innumerable questions; that is the shadow characteristic of a petty mind, to always question but never try to find out and discover.
You see, death is possible only when we cling to life. When you understand the whole process of living and dying, then there is the possibility of understanding the significance of death. Death is merely the extinction of continuity and the fear of not being able to continue. But, you see, that which continues can never be creative. It is only that which can come to an end voluntarily, that is creative. You think it out. You will find for yourself what is true, and it is truth that liberates you from death, not your mere reading, not your believing in reincarnation. Discover for yourself by understanding the whole process of life; then you will find there is nothing beyond that, which is perishable.
December 29, 1952
Rajghat 17th Talk to Boys and Girls 29th December 1952
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