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(2010-10-23 01:42:23)










Questioner: Please, sir, could you tell me how I am to live in this world? I don't want to be part of it yet I have to live in it, I have to have a house and earn my own living. And my neighbours are of this world; my children play with theirs, and so one becomes a part of this ugly mess, whether one wants to or not. I want to find out how to live in this world without escaping from it, without going into a monastery or around the world in a sailing boat. I want to educate my children differently, but first I want to know how to live surrounded by so much violence, greed, hypocrisy, competition and brutality.


Krishnamurti: Don't let's make a problem of it. When anything becomes a problem we are caught in the solution of it, and then the problem becomes a cage, a barrier to further exploration and understanding. So don't let us reduce all life to a vast and complex problem. If the question is put in order to overcome the society in which we live, or to find a substitute for that society, or to try to escape from it though living in it, it must inevitably lead to a contradictory and hypocritical life. This question also implies, doesn't it, the complete denial of ideology? If you are really enquiring you cannot start with a conclusion, and all ideologies are a conclusion. So we must begin by finding out what you mean by living.


Questioner: Please, sir, let's go step by step.

Krishnamurti: I am very glad that we can go into this step by step, patiently, with an enquiring mind and heart. Now what do you mean by living?


Questioner: I've never tried to put it into words. I'm bewildered, I don't know what to do, how to live. I've lost faith in everything - religions, philosophies and political utopias. There is war between individuals and between nations. In this permissive society everything is allowed - killing, riots, the cynical oppression of one country by another, and nobody does anything about it because interference might mean world war. I am faced with all this and I don't know what to do; I don't know how to live at all. I don't want to live in the midst of such confusion.


Krishnamurti: What is it you are asking for - a different life, or for a new life which comes about with the understanding of the old life? If you want to live a different life without understanding what has brought about this confusion, you will always be in contradiction, in conflict, in confusion. And that of course is not a new life at all. So are you asking for a new life or for a modified continuity of the old one, or to understand the old one?


Questioner: I'm not at all sure what I want but I am beginning to see what I don't want.

Krishnamurti: Is what you don't want based on your free understanding or on your pleasure and pain? Are you judging out of your revolt, or do you see the causation of this conflict and misery, and, because you see it, reject it?


Questioner: You're asking me too many things. All I know is that I want to live a different kind of life. I don't know what it means; I don't know why I'm seeking it; and, as I said, I'm utterly bewildered by it all.


Krishnamurti: Your basic question is, isn't it, how are you to live in this world? Before you find out let us first see what this world is. The world is not only all that surrounds us, it is also our relationship to all these things and people, to ourselves, to ideas. That is, our relationship to property, to people, to concepts - in fact our relationship to the stream of events which we call life. This is the world. We see division into nationalities, into religious, economic, political, social and ethnical groups; the whole world is broken up and is as fragmented outwardly as its human beings are inwardly. In fact, this outer fragmentation is the manifestation of the human being's inner division.


Questioner: Yes, I see this fragmentation very clearly, and I am also beginning to see that the human being is responsible.

Krishnamurti:You are the human being!

Questioner: Then can I live differently from what I am myself? I'm suddenly realizing that if I am to live in a totally different way there must be a new birth in me, a new mind and heart, new eyes. And I realize also that this hasn't happened. I live the way I am, and the way I am has made life as it is. But where does one go from there?


Krishnamurti: You don't go anywhere from there! There is no going anywhere. The going, or the searching for the ideal, for what we think is better, gives us a feeling that we are progressing, that we are moving towards a better world. But this movement is no movement at all because the end has been projected out of our misery, confusion, greed and envy. So this end, which is supposed to be the opposite of what is, is really the same as what is, it is engendered by what is. Therefore it creates the conflict between what is and what should be. This is where our basic confusion and conflict arises. The end is not over there, not on the other side of the wall; the beginning and the end are here.


Questioner: Wait a minute, sir, please; I don't understand this at all. Are you telling me that the ideal of what should be is the result of not understanding what is? Are you telling me that what should be is what is, and that this movement from what is to what should be isn't really a movement at all?


Krishnamurti: It is an idea; it is fiction. If you understand what is, what need is there for what should be?


Questioner: Is that so? I understand what is. I understand the bestiality of war, the horror of killing, and because I understand it I have this ideal of not killing. The ideal is born out of my understanding of what is, therefore it is not an escape.


Krishnamurti: If you understand that killing is terrible do you have to have an ideal in order not to kill? Perhaps we are not clear about the word understanding. When we say we understand something, in that is implied, isn't it, that we have learnt all it has to say? We have explored it and discovered the truth or the falseness of it. This implies also, doesn't it, that this understanding is not an intellectual affair, but that one has felt it deeply in one's heart? There is understanding only when the mind and the heart are in perfect harmony. Then one says "I have understood this, and finished with it", and it no longer has the vitality to breed further conflict. Do we both give the same meaning to that word understand?


Questioner: I hadn't before, but now I see that what you are saying is true. Yet I honestly don't understand, in that way, the total disorder of the world, which, as you so rightly pointed out, is my own disorder. How can I understand it? How can I completely learn about the disorder, the entire disorder and confusion of the world, and of myself?


Krishnamurti: Do not use the word how, please.

Questioner: Why not?

Krishnamurti: The how implies that somebody is going to give you a method, a recipe, which, if you practise it, will bring about understanding. Can understanding ever come about through a method? Understanding means love and the sanity of the mind. And love cannot be practised or taught. The sanity of the mind can only come about when there is clear perception, seeing things as they are unemotionally, not sentimentally. Neither of these two things can be taught by another, nor by a system invented by yourself or by another.


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