Think on These Things
This Matter of Culture Chapter 8
AMONG SO MANY other things in life, have you ever considered why it is that most of us are rather sloppy - sloppy in our dress, in our manners, in our thoughts, in the way we do things? Why are we unpunctual and, so inconsiderate of others? And what is it that brings about order in everything, order in our dress, in our thoughts, in our speech, in the way we walk, in the way we treat those who are less fortunate than ourselves? What brings about this curious order that comes without compulsion, without planning, without deliberate mentation? Have you ever considered it? Do you know what I mean by order? It is to sit quietly without pressure, to eat elegantly without rush, to be leisurely and yet precise, to be clear in one's thinking and yet expansive. What brings about this order in life? It is really a very important point, and I think that, if one could be educated to discover the factor that produces order, it would have great significance.
Surely, order comes into being only through virtue; for unless you are virtuous, not merely in the little things, but in all things, your life becomes chaotic, does it not? Being virtuous has very little meaning in itself; but because you are virtuous there is precision in your thought, order in your whole being, and that is the function of virtue.
But what happens when a man tries to become virtuous, when he disciplines himself to be kind, efficient, thoughtful, considerate, when he attempts not to hurt people, when he spends his energies in trying to establish order, in struggling to be good? His efforts only lead to respectability, which brings about mediocrity of mind; therefore he is not virtuous.
Have you ever looked very closely at a flower? How astonish- ingly precise it is, with all its petals; yet there is an extraordinary tenderness a perfume a loveliness about it. Now, when a man tries to be orderly, his life may be very precise, but it has lost that quality of gentleness which comes into being only when, like with the flower, there is no effort. So our difficulty is to be precise, clear and expansive without effort.
You see, the effort to be orderly or tidy has such a narrowing influence. If I deliberately try to be orderly in my room, if I am careful to put everything in its place, if I am always watching myself, where I put my feet, and so on, what happens? I become an intolerable bore to myself and to others. It is a tiresome person who is always trying to be something, whose thoughts are very carefully arranged, who chooses one thought in preference to another. Such a person may be very tidy, clear, he may use words precisely, he may be very attentive and considerate, but he has lost the creative joy of living.
So, what is the problem? How can one have this creative joy of living, be expansive in one's feeling, wide in one's thinking, and yet be precise, clear, orderly in one's life? I think most of us are not like that because we never feel anything intensely, we never give our hearts and minds to anything completely. I remember watching two red squirrels, with long bushy tails and lovely fur, chase each other up and down a tall tree for about ten minutes without stopping - just for the joy of living. But you and I cannot know that joy if we do not feel things deeply, if there is no passion in our lives - passion, not for doing good or bringing about some reform, but passion in the sense of feeling things very strongly; and we can have that vital passion only when there is a total revolution in our thinking, in our whole being.
Have you noticed how few of us have deep feeling about anything? Do you ever rebel against your teachers, against your parents, not just because you don't like something, but because you have a deep, ardent feeling that you don't want to do certain things? If you feel deeply and ardently about something, you will find that this very feeling in a curious way brings a new order into your life.
Orderliness, tidiness, clarity of thinking are not very important in themselves, but they become important to a man who is sensitive, who feels deeply who is in a state of perpetual inward revolution. if you feel very strongly about the lot of the poor man, about the beggar who receives dust in his face as the rich man's car goes by, if you are extraordinarily receptive, sensitive to everything, then that very sensitivity brings orderliness, virtue; and I think this is very important for both the educator and the student to understand
In this country, unfortunately, as all over the world, we care so little, we have no deep feeling about anything. Most of us are intellectuals - intellectuals in the superficial sense of being very clever, full of words and theories about what is right and what is wrong, about how we should think, what we should do. Mentally we are highly developed, but inwardly there is very little substance or significance; and it is this inward substance that brings about true action, which is not action according to an idea.
That is why you should have very strong feelings - feelings of passion, anger - and watch them, play with them, find out the truth of them; for if you merely suppress them, if you say, "I must not get angry, I must not feel passionate, because it is wrong", you will find that your mind is gradually being encased in an idea and thereby becomes very shallow. You may be immensely clever, you may have encyclopaedic knowledge, but, if there is not the vitality of strong and deep feeling, your comprehension is like a flower that has no perfume. It is very important for you to understand all these things while you are young, because then, when you grow up, you will be real revolutionaries - revolutionaries, not according to some ideology, theory or book, but revolutionaries in the total sense of the word, right through as integrated human beings, so that there is not a spot left in you which is contaminated by the old. Then your mind is fresh, innocent, and is therefore capable of extraordinary creativeness. But if you miss the significance of all this, your life will become very drab, for you will be overwhelmed by society, by your family, by your wife or husband, by theories, by religious or political organizations. That is why it is so urgent for you to be rightly educated - which means that you must have teachers who can help you to break through the crust of so-called civilization and be, not repetitive machines, but individuals who really have a song inside them and are therefore happy, creative human beings.
Questioner: What is anger and why does one get angry?
Krishnamurti: If I tread on your toes, or pinch you, or take something away from you, won't you be angry? And why should you not be angry? Why do you think anger is wrong? Because somebody has told you? So,it is very important to find out why one is angry, to see the truth of anger, and not merely say it is wrong to be angry.
Now, why do you get angry? Because you don't want to be hurt - which is the normal human demand for survival. You feel that you should not be used, crushed, destroyed or exploited by an individual a government or society. When somebody slaps you, you feel hurt, humiliated, and you don't like that feeling. If the person who hurts you is big and powerful so that you can't hit back, you in turn hurt somebody else, you take it out on your brother, your sister, or your servant if you have one. So the play of anger is kept going.
First of all, it is a natural response to avoid being hurt. Why should anybody exploit you? So, in order not to be hurt, you protect yourself, you begin to develop a defence, a barrier. Inwardly you build a wall around yourself by not being open, receptive; therefore you are incapable of exploration, of expansive feeling. You say anger is very bad and you condemn it, as you condemn various other feelings; so gradually you become arid, empty, you have no strong feelings at all. Do you understand?
Questioner: Why do we love our mothers so much?
Krishnamurti: Do you love your mother if you hate your father? Listen carefully. When you love somebody very much, do you exclude others from that love? If you really love your mother, don't you also love your father, your aunt, your neighbour, your servant? Don't you have the feeling of love first, and then the love of someone in particular? When you say, "I love my mother very much", are you not being considerate of her? Can you then give her a lot of meaningless trouble? And if you are considerate of your mother, are you not also considerate of your brother, your sister, your neighbour? Otherwise you don't really love your mother; it is just a word, a convenience.
Questioner: I am full of hate. Will you please teach me how to love?
Krishnamurti: No one can teach you how to love. If people could be taught how to love the world problem would be very simple, would it not? If we could learn how to love from a book as we learn mathematics, this would be a marvellous world; there would be no hate, no exploitation, no wars, no division of rich and poor, and we would all be really friendly with each other. But love is not so easily come by. It is easy to hate, and hate brings people together after a fashion; it creates all kinds of fantasies, it brings about various types of co-operation, as in war. But love is much more difficult. You cannot learn how to love, but what you can do is to observe hate and put it gently aside. Don't battle against hate, don't say how terrible it is to hate people, but see hate for what it is and let it drop away; brush it aside, it is not important. What is important is not to let hate take root in your mind. Do you understand? Your mind is like rich soil, and if given sufficient time any problem that comes along takes root like a weed, and then you have the trouble of pulling it out; but if you do not give the problem sufficient time to take root then it has no place to grow and it will wither away. If you encourage hate, give it time to take root, to grow, to mature, it becomes an enormous problem. But if each time hate arises you let it go by, then you will find that your mind becomes very sensitive without being sentimental; therefore it will know love.
The mind can pursue sensations, desires, but it cannot love. Love must come to the mind. And, when once love is there it has no division as sensuous and divine: it is love. That is the extraordinary thing about love: it is the only quality that brings a total comprehension of the whole of existence.
Questioner: What is happiness in life?
Krishnamurti: If you want to do something pleasurable, you think you will be happy when you do it. You may want to marry the richest man, or the most beautiful girl, or pass some examination, or be praised by somebody, and you think that by getting what you want you will be happy. But is that happiness? Does it not soon fade away, like the flower that blossoms in the morning and withers in the evening? Yet that is our life, and that is all we want. We are satisfied with such superficialities: with having a car or a secure position, with feeling a little emotion over some futile thing, like a boy who is happy flying a kite in a strong wind and a few minutes later is in tears. That is our life, and with that we are satisfied. We never say, "I will give my heart, my energy, my whole being to find out what happiness is". We are not very serious, we don't feel very strongly about it, so we are gratified with little things.
But happiness is not something that you can seek; it is a result, a by-product. If you pursue happiness for itself it will have no meaning. Happiness comes uninvited; and the moment you are conscious that you are happy, you are no longer happy. I wonder if you have noticed this? When you are suddenly joyous about nothing in particular, there is just the freedom of smiling, of being happy; but, the moment you are conscious of it, you have lost it, have you not? Being self-consciously happy, or pursuing happiness, is the very ending of happiness. There is happiness only when the self and its demands are put aside.
You are taught a great deal about mathematics, you give your days to studying history, geography, science, physics, biology, and so on; but do you and your teachers spend any time at all thinking about these far more serious matters? Do you ever sit quietly, with your back very straight, without movement, and know the beauty of silence? Do you ever let your mind wander, not about petty things, but expansively, widely, deeply, and thereby explore, discover? And do you know what is happening in the world? What is happening in the world is a projection of what is happening inside each one of us; what we are, the world is. Most of us are in turmoil, we are acquisitive, possessive, we are jealous and condemn people; and that is exactly what is happening in the world, only more dramatically, ruthlessly. But neither you nor your teachers spend any time thinking about all this; and it is only when you spend some time every day earnestly thinking about these matters that there is a possibility of bringing about a total revolution and creating a new world. And I assure you, a new world has to be created, a world which will not be a continuation of the same rotten society in a different form. But you cannot create a new world if your mind is not alert, watchful, expansively aware; and that is why it is so important, while you are young, to spend some time reflecting over these very serious matters and not just pass your days in the study of a few subjects, which leads nowhere except to a job and death. So do consider seriously all these things, for out of that consideration there comes an extraordinary feeling of joy, of happiness.
Questioner: What is real life?
Krishnamurti: "What is real life?" A little boy has asked this question. Playing games, eating good food, running jumping pushing - that is real life for him. You see, we divide life into the real and the false. Real life is doing something which you love to do with your whole being so that there is no inner contradiction, no war between what you are doing and what you think you should do. Life is then a completely integrated process in which there is tremendous joy. But that can happen only when you are not psychologically depending on anybody, or on any society, when there is complete detachment inwardly, for only then is there a possibility of really loving what you do. If you are in a state of total revolution, it does not matter whether you garden, or become a prime minister, or do something else; you will love what you do, and out of that love there comes an extraordinary feeling of creativeness.
Think on These Things
This Matter of Culture Chapter 8
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.