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The Mirror of Relationship

Ommen, Holland
4th Public Talk 10th August, 1938

Each one of us has a peculiar and particular problem of his own. Some are concerned with death and the fear of death and what is to happen in the hereafter; some are so lonely in their occupations that they are seeking a way to overcome this emptiness; some are sorrow-laden; some have the routine and boredom of work, and others the problem of love with its complexities. How can all these problems or the particular problem of each one be solved? Is there only one problem or are there many separate problems? Is each one to be solved separately, disconnected from the others, or are we to trace each problem and so come to the one problem? Is there, then, only one problem, and by tracing each difficulty, shall we come to the one problem through which, if we understand it, we can solve all others?

There is only one fundamental problem, which expresses itself in many different ways. Each one of us is conscious of a particular difficulty and desires to grapple with that difficulty by itself. In solving one's peculiar difficulty, one may eventually come upon the central problem, but during the process of getting there the mind becomes weary and has acquired knowledge, formulas, standards, which really stand in the way of its understanding the one central problem. Some of us try to trace each problem to its source, and in the process of examination and analysis we are learning, we are accumulating so-called knowledge. This knowledge gradually becomes formulas, patterns. Experience has given us memories and values which guide and discipline and which must inevitably condition.

Now it is these self-protective standards and memories, this stored up knowledge, these formulas, that prevent us from grasping the fundamental problem and solving it. If we are confronted with a vital experience and try to understand it with dead memories, values, we merely pervert it, absorbing it into the dead accumulation of the past.

To solve this problem of living you must have a fresh, new mind. A new birth must take place. Life, love, reality are ever new, and a fresh mind and heart are needed to understand them. Love is ever new, but this freshness is spoilt by the mechanical intellect with its complexities, anxieties, jealousies, and so on.

Are we made anew, is there a new birth each day? Or are we merely developing the capacity of resistance through will, through habit, through values?

We are merely strengthening the will of resistance in different and subtle forms. So experience, instead of liberating us, giving us freedom to be reborn, to be made anew, is further conditioning us, further binding us to the dead accumulations of the past, to the stored up knowledge, which is really ignorance and fear. This perverts and destroys the liberating force of experience.

This is the fundamental problem - how to be reborn or made anew. Now can you be made anew through formulas, through beliefs? Is it not absurd, the very idea that you can be made anew by patterns, ideals, standards? Can discipline, enforced or self-imposed, bring about a rebirth of the mind? This also is an impossibility, is it not? Through slogans, repetitive words, institutions, through the worship of another, can you be made anew? Perhaps momentarily, while you are listening to me, you feel the impossibility of being made anew through a method, through a person, and so on.

Then what will make us anew? Do you perceive the vital necessity of being renewed, of being reborn? To understand life with all its complex problems, and reality, the unknown, there must be a constant death and a new birth. Otherwise you meet new problems, new experiences, with dead accumulations, which only bind, causing confusion and suffering.

We are, then, confronted with these accumulated memories and formulas, beliefs and values, which are constantly acting as a shield, as a resistance. Now if we try to remove these resistances, these safeguards, merely through will, discipline, the mind is not being made anew. And yet we have the power, the only force which can liberate and which can make anew, and that is love - the love, not of the ideal, not of the formula, but the love of man and man. But we have hedged this love about with the morality of the will because there is the desire for satisfaction, and its fear. So love becomes destructive, binding, instead of liberating, renewing.

We see this process of bondage and pain in our daily life. It is only in daily life, with its relationships and its conflicts, its fears and its ambitions, that you begin to perceive the renewing force of love. This love is not sentiment. Sentiment, after all, is merely the incapacity to feel deeply, integrally, and therefore to alter fundamentally.

Questioner: I should like to know why I am sometimes too lazy to be fresh and new?

Krishnamurti: You may be lazy because of the lack of proper diet, but possessing a healthy body, does that ensure a rebirth of the mind? You may be quiet, apparently lazy, and yet be extraordinarily alive.

Questioner: To be made anew we must exert ourselves.

Krishnamurti: You cannot be made anew with the dead weight of the past, and perceiving this you think you must make an effort to get rid of it. Being caught in confusion, you feel that to become disentangled from it you must discipline yourself, you must make an effort to overcome it, or otherwise confusion will increase and continue. This is what you mean, isn't it? Either you make an effort to keep still and observe in order to find ways and means of overcoming this confusion and conflict, or you make an effort to see its causes so that you may overcome them; or you are intellectually interested only to observe - but we need not be concerned with the so-called intellectuals. Either you accept the chaos, the struggle, or you try to overcome suffering; both involve effort. If you examine the motive for this exertion you will perceive that there is the desire not to suffer, the desire to escape, to be satisfied,to protect oneself, and so on. Effort is being made to overcome, to understand, to transform that which we are into that which we want to be or think we ought to be. Does not all such effort really produce a series of new habits instead of the old? The old habits, the old values have not given you the ideal, the satisfaction, and so you make an effort to establish new ideals, a new series of habits and values and satisfactions. Such effort is considered worthy and noble. You are making an effort to be or not to be something, according to a preconceived formula, pattern. So there cannot be a rebirth, but only a continuation of the old desire in a new form which soon creates confusion and sorrow. Again there is the exertion of the will to overcome this conflict and pain; one is again caught up in the vicious circle of effort, whether it is the effort to find the cause of suffering or the effort to overcome it.

Effort is made to overcome fear through discovering its causes. Why do you want to discover the cause? Is it not because you do not want to suffer, you are afraid to suffer? So you hope that, through fear yielding to fear, all fear will be overcome. This is an impossibility.

Now do you make an effort to discover the cause of joy? If you do, then joy ceases to be and only its memories and habits exist.

Questioner: So by analyzing, fear should also disappear in the same way that pleasure does when examined. But why does it not?

Krishnamurti: Joy is spontaneous, unsought and uninvited, and when the mind analyzes it to cultivate or to recapture it, then it is no longer joy. Whereas fear is not spontaneous except in sudden, unforeseen incidents, but it is sedulously cultivated by the mind in its desire for satisfaction, for certainty. So if you make an effort to get rid of fear by discovering its causes, and so on, you are merely covering up fear, for effort is of the will, which is resistance created by fear.

If you integrally, with your whole being, understand this process, then in the midst of this flame of suffering, when there is no desire to escape, to overcome, out of this very confusion there arises a new comprehension spontaneously springing up out of the soil of fear itself.

The Mirror of Relationship

Ommen, Holland
4th Public Talk 10th August, 1938

Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Mirror of Relationship. The collected works of J.Krishnamurti, 1936..1944.


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