Rajghat 18th Talk to Boys and Girls 30th December 1952
Fortunately, while one is quite young, the main conflicts of life, the worries, the passing joys, the physical disasters, death and the mental twists do not affect us. Fortunately, most of us, while we are young, are out of the battlefield of life; but as we grow older, the pains, the disasters, the questionings, the doubts, the economic and inward struggles, crowd in on us, and we want to find the significance of life, we want to know what it is all about. We are not easily satisfied by economic explanations or by any particular definitions. We want to know all about the struggles, the pains, the poverty, the disasters; why some are well placed and others are not; why one is a healthy intelligent human being, gifted, capable, while another is not. We want to know why; and we soon are caught in a hypothesis, in a theory, in a belief, because we must find an answer. It is never the true answer; but, we invent it, we have a theory, a belief about it. So, we start out with an enquiry; and not having enough self-reliance, vigour, intelligence and innocence, we are soon caught in theories, in beliefs.
We realize that life is ugly, painful, sorrowful; we want some kind of theory, some kind of speculation or satisfaction, some kind of doctrine, which will explain all this; and so we are caught in explanation, in words, in theories; and gradually, beliefs become deeply rooted and unshakable; because, behind those beliefs, behind those dogmas, there is the constant fear of the unknown. But we never look at that fear; we turn away from it. The stronger the beliefs, the stronger the dogmas. And when we examine these beliefs - the Christian, the Hindu, the Buddhist - we find that they divide people. Each dogma, each belief has a series of rituals, a series of compulsions which bind man and separate man. So, we start with an enquiry to find out what is true, what the significance is of this misery, this struggle, this pain; and we are soon caught up in beliefs, in rituals, in theories. We have not the self-reliance nor the vigour nor the innocence to push all aside and enquire. So, belief begins to act as a deteriorating factor.
Belief is corruption because, behind belief and morality, lurks `the mine', the self - the self growing big, powerful and strong. We consider belief in God, the belief in something, as religion. We consider that to believe is to be religious. You understand? If you do not believe, you will be considered an atheist, you will be condemned by society. One society will condemn those who believe in God, and another society will condemn those who do not. They are both the same. So, religion becomes a matter of belief; and belief acts, and has a corresponding influence on the mind; the mind then can never be free. But it is only in freedom that you can find out what is true, what is God, not through any belief; because your very belief projects what you think ought to be God, what you think ought to be true. You understand? If you believe God is love, God is good, God is this or that, that very belief prevents you from understanding what is God, what is true. But, you see, you want to forget yourselves; you want to sacrifice yourselves; you want to emulate, to abandon this constant struggle that is going on within you; you want to pursue virtue.
There is constant struggle, there is pain, there is suffering, there is ambition; in all that, there is constant pain and transient pleasure, pleasure that comes and goes; but your mind wants something enormous to cling to, something beyond itself, something with which you can identify yourself. So, that thing which it wants beyond itself, it calls God, it calls truth; and so, it identifies itself with it through belief, through convictions, through rationalization, through various forms of discipline and moralities. But this identifying - that is, the recognition of the thought as something vast, which the mind invents and which creates speculation - is still part of `the me', is still part of the struggle, is still projected by the mind in its desire to escape from the turmoils of life. You identify yourself with a country - India or England or Germany or Russia or America - you identify yourself as a Hindu. Why? Have you ever looked at it, gone behind the meaning of the word, behind the words that have captured your mind? Why do you identify yourself with India? Because you are living in a small town, leading a miserable life, with your struggles, with your family quarrels; because you are dissatisfied, discontented, miserable; you want to identify yourself with a thing called India. This gives you a sense of vastness, a bigness, a psychological satisfaction; so you say, 'I am an Indian'. and for this, you are willing to die, to kill and to be maimed. In the same way because you are very small, because you are in constant battle with yourself, because you are confused, miserable, uncertain, because you search and know there is death, you want to identify yourself with something beyond, something vast, significant, full of meaning, which you call God. So, you say that is God, and you identify yourself with that; this gives you an enormous importance and significance, and you feel happy. So with the identifying process comes the self-expansive process, that is still `the me', that is still the self, struggling.
So, religion as we generally know it or acknowledge it, is a series of beliefs, of dogmas, of rituals, of superstitions, of worship of idols, of charms and gurus that will lead you to what you want as an ultimate goal. The ultimate truth is your projection, that is what you want, which will make you happy, which will give a certainty of the deathless state. So, the mind caught in all this creates a religion, a religion of dogmas, of priest-craft, of superstitions and idol worship; and in that, you are caught; and the mind stagnates. Is that religion? Is religion a matter of belief, a matter of knowledge of other people's experiences and assertions? Or is religion merely the following of morality? You know it is comparatively easy to be moral - to do this and not to do that. Because it is easy, you can imitate a moral system. Behind that morality, lurks the self, growing, expanding, aggressive, dominating. But is that religion?
You have to find out what truth is, because that is the only thing that matters, not whether you are rich or poor, not whether you are happily married and have children, because they all come to an end, there is always death. So, without any form of belief, you must find out; you must have the vigour, the self-reliance, the initiative, so that for yourself you know what truth is, what God is. Belief will not give you anything; belief only corrupts, binds, darkens. The mind can only be free through vigour, through self-reliance. Surely, it is the function of education, specially here, to create such individuals as are not bound by any form of belief, of morality, of respectability. For, behind it lurks `the me' that is so important and that seeks to become respectable. Surely, it is the function of an educational centre of this kind to make individuals truly religious - that is, the religion of discovery, of direct experiencing of what God is, what truth is. That experiencing is not possible, is never possible, through any form of belief, of rituals, of following another, of worshipping another. That religion is free from all gurus. You, as an individual, can, as you grow through life, discover the truth from moment to moment; you are capable of being free. You think that to be free from the material things of the world is the first step towards religion. It is not. That is one of the easiest things to do. The first thing is to be free to think fully, completely and independently, not to be crushed by any belief, by circumstances, by environment, so that you are an integrated human being, capable, vigorous, self-reliant; so that your mind being free, unbiased, unconditioned, can find out what God is, what truth is. Surely, it is for that purpose that this centre exists, to help each individual that comes here to be free to discover reality, not to follow any system nor any belief nor any ritual, nor any guru; the individual has to awaken his intelligence through freedom, not through any form of discipline - which means, resistance, compulsion, coercion - so that through that intelligence, through that freedom, the individual can find out that which is beyond the mind. Because, it is only when directly experienced that the immensity of the thing will be known - the thing that is not nameable, the thing that is not measurable by words, that is limitless, in which there is that love which is not of the mind. The mind cannot conceive all that; and as it cannot conceive it, the mind must be very quiet, astonishingly still, without any demand or any desire. Then only is it possible for that extraordinary thing, what we call God or reality to come into being.
Question: What is obedience? Is it at all possible to obey without understanding the order?
Krishnamurti: Is it possible to obey the order without understanding the order? Is it not what most of us do? Parents, teachers, the older people say `do this'. They say it either politely or with a stick, and we are afraid and obey. That is what Governments do. That is what the military people do, We are trained from childhood not knowing what it is all about. The more tyrannical the Government, the more totalitarian, the more authoritarian, the more we are compelled, shaped from childhood; not knowing why, we should obey. We are told what to think. Our mind is purged of any thought which is not of the State, of the authority. We are never taught or helped to find out how to think, but we must obey. The priest says so, the religious book says so; our own fear inwardly compels us to obey; because, if we do not obey, we will be lost, we will be confused.
So, we obey. Why do we obey? Do you understand? The social structure, the religious State, forces us to blindly follow the pattern created by another, in the hope of some reward or happiness. Why do we obey? Must we obey? We are very thoughtless. To think is very painful; to think, we have to question; we have to enquire; we have to find out how the older people do not want us to find out that they have not the patience, that they are too busy with their quarrels, with their ambitions, with their prejudices, with their do's and don't's of morality and respectability. So, the older people have not the patience; and we are young; we are afraid to go wrong because we also want to be respectable. Don't we all want to put on the same uniform, to look alike? We do not want to do anything different. To think separately, to be apart, is very painful; so, we join the gang.
Why do we do all this - obey, follow, copy? Why? Because, we are frightened inwardly to be uncertain. We want to be certain - we want to be certain financially, we want to be certain morally - we want to be approved, we want to be in a safe position, we want never to be confronted with trouble, pain, suffering, we want to be enclosed. So, fear, consciously or unconsciously, makes us obey the master, the leader, the priest, the Government. Fear also controls us from doing something which may be harmful to others, because we will be punished. So behind all these actions, greeds, pursuits, lurks this desire for certainty, this desire to be assured. So, without resolving fear, without being free from fear, merely to obey or to be obeyed has little significance; what has meaning is: to understand this fear from day to day and how fear shows itself in different ways. It is only when there is freedom from fear, that there is that inward quality of understanding, that aloneness in which there is no accumulation of knowledge or of experience; and it is that alone which gives extraordinary clarity in the pursuit of the real.
December 30, 1952
Rajghat 18th Talk to Boys and Girls 30th December 1952
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