Eight Conversations 7th Conversation
Questioner: I am in conflict over so many things, not only outwardly but also inwardly. I can somehow deal with the outward conflicts but I want to know how I can end the conflict, the battle, which is going on within myself most of the time. I want to be finished with it. I want somehow to be free from all this strife. What am I to do? Sometimes it seems to me that conflict is inevitable. I see it in the struggle for survival, the big living on the little, the great intellect dominating smaller intellects, one belief suppressing, supplanting another, one nation ruling another, and so on, endlessly. I see this and accept it, but it doesn't somehow seem right; it doesn't seem to have any quality of love, and I feel that if I could end this strife in myself, out of that ending might come love. But l`m so uncertain, so confused, about the whole thing. All the great teachers have maintained that one must strive, that the way to find truth, or God, is through discipline, control and sacrifice. In one form or another this battle is sanctified. And now you say that conflict is the very root of disorder. How am I to know what is the truth about conflict?
Krishnamurti: Conflict in any form distorts the mind. This is a fact, not some opinion or judgment given thoughtlessly. Any conflict between two people prevents their understanding each other. Conflict prevents perception. The understanding of what is, is the only important thing, not the formulating of what should be. This division between what is and what should be is the origin of conflict. And the interval between idea and action also breeds conflict. The fact and the image are two different things: the pursuit of the image leads to every form of conflict, illusion and hypocrisy whereas the understanding of what is, which is the only thing we really have, leads to quite a different state of mind.
Contradictory drives bring about conflict; one will opposing another form of desire is conflict. Memory of what has been, opposed to what is, is conflict; and this is time. Becoming, achieving, is conflict, and this is time. Imitation, conformity, obedience, taking a vow, regretting, suppressing - all this brings more or less conflict. The very structure of the brain which demands security,safety which is aware of danger, is the source of conflict. There is no such thing as security or permanency. So our whole being, our relationships, activities, thoughts, our way of life, engender struggle, conflict, strife. And now you ask me how this is to end. The saint, the monk and the sannyasi try to escape from conflict, but they are still in conflict. As we know, all relationship is conflict - conflict between the image and the reality. There is no relationship between two people, not even between the two images they have of each other. Each lives in his own isolation, and the relationship is merely looking over the wall. So wherever one looks, superficially or very, very deeply, there is this agony of strife and pain. The whole field of the mind - in its aspirations, in its desire to change, in its acceptance of what is and its wanting to go beyond it; all this is itself conflict. So the mind itself is conflict, thought is conflict, and when thought says, "I will not think", this also is conflict. All activity of the mind and of the feelings, which are part of the mind, is conflict. When you ask how you can end conflict you are really asking how you can stop thinking, how your mind can be drugged to be quiet?
Questioner: But I don't want a drugged, stupid mind. I want it to be highly active energetic and passionate must it be either drugged or in conflict?
Krishnamurti: You want it to be active, energetic, passionate, and yet you want to end conflict?
Questioner: Precisely, for when there is conflict it is neither active nor passionate. When there is conflict it is as if the mind were wounded by its own activity and loses sensitivity.
Krishnamurti: So it becomes clear that conflict destroys passion, energy and sensitivity.
Questioner: You don't have to convince me. I know it, but it doesn't get me any further.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by knowing?
Questioner: I mean that the truth of what you have said is apparent. But this gets one no further. Krishnamurti: Do you see the truth of it, or do you see the verbal structure of it - the actual fact or the explanation? We must be very clear about this because the explanation is not the fact, the description is not the described; and when you say "l know" it may be that you perceive only the description.
Krishnamurti: Please don't be so quick and impatient. If the description is not the described, then there is only the described. The described is the fact, this fact: passion, sensitivity and energy are lost when there is conflict. And conflict is all thinking and feeling, which is all the mind. The mind is all like and dislike, judgment, prejudice, condemnation, justification and so on. And one very important activity of the mind is description, in which it gets caught. The mind sees its own description and gets caught in it and thinks it sees the fact whereas in reality it is caught up in its own movement. So where are we now, when there is only what is and not the description?
Questioner: You were saying there is conflict, which is all the actions of the mind, and this conflict destroys the sensitivity and the energy and the passion of the mind itself. So the mind dulls itself by conflict, by working against itself.
Krishnamurti: So your question becomes: how can the mind stop working against itself?
Krishnamurti: Is this question one more condemnation, justification, escape, one more of these interfering activities of the mind which makes it work against itself? If it is, then it breeds conflict. Is this question trying to get rid of conflict? If it is, it is more conflict, and you are forever in this vicious circle. So the right question is not how to end conflict but to see the truth that where passion and sensitivity are, conflict is absent. Do you see this?
Krishnamurti: So you can no longer be concerned with the ending of conflict; it will wither away. But it will never wither so long as thought is nourishing it. What is important is the passion and the sensitivity, not the ending of conflict.
Questioner: I see this, but that doesn't mean I've got the passion; it doesn't mean I've ended the conflict.
Krishnamurti: If you really see this, that very act of seeing is passion, sensitivity, energy. And in this seeing there is no conflict.
Eight Conversations 7th Conversation
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