1934, 1935, What Is Right Action?
4th Public Talk 3rd November, 1935
Question: How can we educate a child to best fit him to attain the fulfilment of which you speak?
Krishnamurti: Education is given either to make a child fit into a particular system, pattern, or to awaken intelligence in him so that his life shall be full and complete. If you desire to mould him to a definite system, you must first inquire into its real nature. Boys and girls are being trained to conform to a particular form of thought and action, essentially based on acquisitiveness and fear. Now do you desire your child to fit into this particular mould? If you do not, then you must look at this problem quite differently. That is, you must consider whether a human being is to be forever shaped, controlled, dominated by environment, whether he is to be forever conditioned, limited by fear; or whether, by awakening his intelligence, he is to be helped to break through this environmental limitation to deep fulfilment.
If human beings are to fulfil, there must be intense, steady thought and action on your part, because your minds are so influenced, so dominated by authority, that you think children must be imposed upon, must be shaped to fit into a particular pattern of society. When you desire a person to fit into a particular mode of conduct it indicates fear, on which your religions and social morality are based. In this frame there is no fulfilment. Please understand what I mean by individual fulfilment. I do not mean egotistic expression in any form. True fulfilment comes when the mind and heart voluntarily free themselves from those self-defensive values imposed by religion and society.
So if you would really help the child to fulfil, you must understand individual fulfilment in society. I cannot now go into details or explain the many subtle ideas that are connected with it; but as long as the mind and heart are forcing themselves to conform to a particular mode of conduct, to a pattern of egotistic self-defence, there must ever be fear, which denies true fulfilment and makes of man an imitative machine. You who are grown up, you have to awaken to the limitations of these self-defensive values, and create the true revolution, not the mere antithesis of authority. Question: Is it your intention to create a world revolution against the existing order?
Krishnamurti: Where there is the exercise of authority, there cannot be intelligence. Where there is compulsion, imposition, there must be revolt. Revolution is the result of oppression and of authority. Where there is compulsion, domination in any form, there must be revolt, revolution. After revolution has taken place, there is again established authority, the crystallization of thought and morality. From the imposition of authority to revolution, and from revolution to compulsion once again - this is the vicious circle in which the mind is continually caught. What will break this circle is the understanding of the deep significance of authority itself.
We create authority through the desire for comfort and security, for enrichment and protection, not only here but also in the hereafter. Based on this desire there is established a social and religious structure which must oppress and exploit others; and against this, there is the reaction of revolt. If you who are creating compulsion and hence misery for others and for yourself became deeply aware of its poison, then there would not be fear expressing itself through attachment to an ideal, to a belief, to a family, as a means of security. There would then be that constant becoming, that living movement of life, the everlasting.
Mere revolution, without the fundamental inquiry into authority, creates a new prison in which your mind and heart will again be caught. A revolution is created by a group. and that group has come into being through individual thought and action. But if the individual is only seeking, consciously or unconsciously, his own security, then there will arise but another group of compulsions and impositions. What truly matters is this constant awareness to free the mind and heart from their own desire to be secure. When the mind is truly free from craving for security, when the mind is truly insecure, then there is the ecstasy of the movement of life, which cannot be known through a mere revolt, a reaction against authority.
Question: What is the significance of death?
Krishnamurti: We will discover the significance of death by understanding the unhappiness and the agony caused by death. When there is a death, there is an intense shock which we call suffering. You have lost someone whom you love greatly, on whom you have relied, who enriched you. When there is suffering, the indication of poverty of being, we seek a remedy, the remedy which religions offer, the final unity of all human beings, with the many theories concerning it. Then there is the spiritualistic drug, and the comfortable remedy in the idea of reincarnation. We seek innumerable escapes from the agony caused by the death of someone whom we love greatly. These escapes are but subtle ways to lose and forget ourselves. Our concern is not with the dead, but with our own suffering. Only we call it the love of the dead.
Now if you do not seek consolation, however subtle it may be, then that very suffering will awaken your true intelligence, which alone will reveal the flow of reality. I am not theorizing; I am telling you what really does take place. Through death you become conscious of your own emptiness, void, loneliness, and this causes pain; and to be free of this agony, you seek remedies, consolations. You are merely seeking opiates to drug your mind. So the mind becomes a slave to ideals, beliefs, and the inquiry into the idea of reincarnation, into the spirit world, only leads to further enslavement. All this indicates poverty of being. To cover it up you seek guides, modes of conduct, systems of thought. But you can never cover it up. However much the mind may try to avoid it or try to escape from that shallowness, it continues to express itself in many ways. It is important that the mind does not escape through any remedy, that it faces wholly its own emptiness. As most of you have not faced it completely, you cannot say that there will be nothingness, further emptiness. You will find out what takes place only after experimenting, living in this manner. In becoming fully conscious you will observe how the mind is ever trying to avoid the deep understanding of the cause of sorrow, and in that full awareness you will truly dissolve the cause.
In carefully covering up the cause of emptiness, the subtle and deep egotism, you think that you have solved the problem of death. Suffering is but the indication of a stagnant and attached mind, and instead of realizing this you merely seek another form of drug to put it to sleep again. So our life is a continual awakening, called sorrow, and being put to sleep again.
When there is suffering, beware of being put to sleep by comforters with their remedies. When the mind has lost its own egotistic limitation, then there is that movement of life, ever becoming, in which there is no shadow of death. Question: It is clear that organized religion cannot make man perfect, but does it not bring him nearer to God through encouraging a life of virtue and unselfishness?
Krishnamurti: Let us be very clear what we mean by religion. For me, organized religions have nothing to do with the sayings of the great teachers. The teachers have said do not kill, love your neighbour, but religions of vested interest encourage and support the slaughter of humanity. (Applause) By encouraging nationalism, supporting a special class, with all its organized belief, religion participates in the killing of man. Religions throughout the world not only exploit through fear, but also separate man from man. Such organized religions cannot in any way aid man in the realization of truth.
Now this organized belief which we call religion has been created by us, it hasn't miraculously come into being. We have created it through our desire for security and as a means of self-defence. As we have brought it into being, through our fear, we must through our thought and action free ourselves from its false ideals and values; but if we merely seek further security, it will become another prison to hold the mind and heart. Where there is a search for security, self-protection, here or in the hereafter, there can never be the understanding of truth, which alone shall set man free.
When you say that you must be unselfish in order to realize God, you are really being egotistic in a subtle form. That is, you say, "I shall love my neighbour in order to find happiness, God." Then you do not know love; you are merely looking for a reward; the mentality of one seeking an exchange cannot understand truth. You do not perceive beauty in action itself, but you are really interested in what reward action will bring you. You develop virtue as a means of self-protection. The so-called virtuous shall not know the beauty of truth. Man can understand it only when his mind and heart are completely naked and vulnerable. Most people are afraid of being vulnerable to life, so they develop protective walls which they call virtue. When there is no longer the desire nor the necessity to protect oneself, then there is bliss.
Question: Is God just and good? If so, why does he permit evil in the world? Krishnamurti: Let us leave God out of this questions because you don't know, really, whether God is good or evil. You have been told that God is love, that he is just and good, and if you really, profoundly believed it, your whole life would be different. As it is not, do not concern yourself about God.
You want to know how and why evils, miserable conditions, exploitation exist in the world. We have created them. Each individual, through his intense desire to be secure, to be safe, to be certain, has created a society, a religion, in whose shelter he takes comfort. So we as individuals have created this system, and as individuals we will have to awaken to our creation and destroy all the things that are false in it; then in that freedom there will be love, truth.
Instead of escaping from the objective world of confusion and misery into the subjective, in which you hope to find God, let there be harmony between the subjective and the objective. Begin to discover this harmony; do not crave for it, but become aware of the cause of disharmony. By understanding how this disharmony comes into being through the many forms of egotistic expression, you will naturally come to that harmony which is enduring, living.
Question: Does consciousness evolve?
Krishnamurti: Many people think that there is a universal or cosmic consciousness, or whatever they call it, and a particular, individualistic consciousness. What we intimately know is the individualistic, limited consciousness, and you are asking me if this consciousness is progressive, evolving.
Now what do you mean by individual consciousness? This limited consciousness is the result of conflict between desire and environment, that is, the present and the past; this consciousness is the result of the various impositions, compulsions, to which the mind has submitted itself in its search for security; it is also the many scars of incomplete action. The "I", or egotistic consciousness is made up of these conflicts, compulsions, and the many layers of self-defensive memories. With this background the mind lives through an experience and learns from it only further means of self-protection. When you say you are learning through experience, you fundamentally mean that you are erecting greater and more cunning walls of self-defence. So each experience is creating further defences, barriers against life.
You ask me if this limited consciousness, having its roots in self- protection, evolves and perfects itself. How can it? It cannot. However much it may seem to evolve, it must ever remain a centre of limitation and frustration. A consciousness based on self-protective memories must lead to illusion, not to reality.
Question: You speak of a truth which is at present beyond the reach of our minds and hearts. Since we know of its existence only through you, how can we strive for it unless we accept it on your authority?
Krishnamurti: As I explained, we accept authority when we seek security, comfort, certainty. If you seek truth in order to shelter yourself against the storm and confusion of life, then you will find authorities that will give you comfort. But I am not offering you comfort. I say that there is the bliss of reality when the mind is free from compulsion and illusion. Where there is a search for comfort there must be egotism, which in its subtlest form is sometimes called the search for truth. The following of another cannot awaken your mind to reality. Instead of escaping to an ideal, to the truth of another, discover how confusion and sorrow have been created in and about you. In piercing through the false values in which the mind takes shelter there comes the perception of reality.
We think that intelligent fulfilment lies in following a method, a discipline, and so we look to another, which makes our action incomplete and limited. We try to escape from this shallowness, frustration, by creating new authorities, and so increase our limitations. They are caused by our own actions based on reward, recompense, on fear and compulsion. Instead of trying to become complete, discover the cause of frustration, which is egotism in its many subtle forms. As long as you are living in a set of false values, there must be incompleteness and suffering. None can lead you out of it except you yourself through your own effort and understanding.
1934, 1935, What Is Right Action?
4th Public Talk 3rd November, 1935
Jiddu Krishnamurti. What Is Right Action? The collected works of J.Krishnamurti, 1934..1935.