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Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 5 1st Public Talk Brockwood Park 27th August 1977 'Action Which Is Skilful and Which Does Not Perpetuate the Self.'

We have become very skilful in dealing with our daily life; skilful, in the sense of being clever in applying a great deal of knowledge which we have acquired through education and through experience. We act skilfully, either in a factory, or in a business and so. That skill becomes, through repetitive action, routine. Skill, when it is highly developed - as it should be - leads to self importance and self aggrandizement. Skill has brought us to our present state, not only technologically but in our relationships, in the way we deal with each other - not clearly, not with compassion, but with skill. Is there an action, in our daily life, which is skilful yet which does not perpetuate the self, the me, which does not give importance to oneself and to one's self-centred existence? Is it possible to act skilfully without strengthening the self? To answer that one has to enquire into what clarity is; when there is clarity there is action which is skilful and which does not perpetuate the self.

Clarity exists only when there is freedom to observe. One is only capable of observing, looking, watching, when there is complete and total freedom; otherwise there is always distortion in the observation. Is it possible to be free of all the distorting factors in one's outlook? When one observes oneself, or another, or society, the environment, the whole cultural, political and religious movements that are going on in the world - the so-called religious movements - can one do so without any prejudice, without taking any side, without projecting one's own personal conclusions, one's beliefs and dogmas, one's experience and knowledge and be totally free to observe clearly?

One may describe what compassion is in the most eloquent and poetic manner but in whatever words it is expressed, those words are not the thing. Without compassion there is no clarity; without clarity there is no selfless skill - they are interrelated. Can one have this extraordinary sense of compassion in one's daily life, not as a theory, not as an ideal, not something to be achieved, to be practised and so on, but to have it totally, completely, at the very root of one's being?

Can there be clarity? One can be very clear in one's thinking, in its objectivity, rationality, sanity; but such thinking, however logical, however objective, is very limited. And one sees that such logical, objective thinking has not solved our problems; the philosophers, the scientists, the so-called religious people, have thought very clearly about certain things, but in daily life, clear thinking has not resolved our most important issues. One may think very clearly about one's envy or violence, but that does not bring about the ending of envy or violence. Clear thinking is limited because it is thought and thought itself is limited, conditioned. Thought itself has its own boundary; it may try to go beyond that boundary by inventing a logos, a deity or a Utopian State and so on, but these inventions are still limited because thought is the product of memory, experience and knowledge and it is always from the past and therefore time-bound. Is it possible to see the limitations of thought and give it its right place? Giving the right place to thought brings clarity.

To understand the whole meaning and the depth of compassion one has to investigate the movement of one's consciousness. Wherever one goes in the world, east or west, north or south, human beings have great anxiety and live in uncertainty, always seeking security in some form or another - physiologically or psychologically. And they are full of violence, right through the world; this is an extraordinary phenomenon - violence, greed, envy, hatred. In consciousness there is the good and the bad; the bad is increasing; it is increasing because the good has become static, the good is not flowering. One has accepted certain patterns of what is thought to be good and one lives according to those patterns. So, the good, instead of flowering, is withering and thereby giving strength to the bad. There is more violence, more hatred, there are more national and religious divisions, there is every form of antagonism, right through the world. It is on the increase because the good is not flowering. Now, be aware of this fact without any effort; the moment one makes effort one gives importance to the self, which is the bad. Just observe the actual fact of the bad without any effort, observe it without any choice - because choice is a distorting factor. When one observes so openly, so freely, then the good begins to flower. It is not that one pursues the good and thereby gives it strength to flower but when the bad, the evil, the ugly, is understood, completely, the other naturally flowers.

We have strengthened in our consciousness, through great development of skill, the structure and the nature of the self. The self is violence, the self is greed, envy and so on. They are of the very essence of the self. As long as there is the centre as the me, every action must be distorted. Acting from a centre you are giving a direction, and that direction is distortion. You may develop a great skill in this way but it is always unbalanced, inharmonious. Now, can consciousness with its movement undergo a radical transformation, a transformation not brought about by will? Will is desire, desire for something and when there is desire there is a motive, which is again a distorting factor in observation. In our consciousness there is this duality, the good and the bad. We are always looking with the eyes of the good and also with the eyes of the bad, so there is a conflict. Now to eliminate conflict altogether is only possible when you observe without any choice. Just observe yourself. In that way you eliminate the conflict between the good and the bad.

Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 5 1st Public Talk Brockwood Park 27th August 1977 'Action Which Is Skilful and Which Does Not Perpetuate the Self.'

Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.

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ancient Chinese treatise by Sun Tzu

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