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Life Ahead

Part 1

Life Ahead Part One Chapter 12

Is it not very important, while we are young, to be loved, and also to know what it means to love? But it seems to me that most of us do not love, nor are we loved. And I think it is essential, while we are young, to go into this problem very seriously and understand it; for then perhaps we can be sensitive enough to feel love, to know its quality, its perfume, so that when we grow older it will not be entirely destroyed. So let us consider this question.

What does it mean to love? Is it an ideal, something far away, unattainable? Or can love be felt by each one of us at odd moments of the day? To have the quality of sympathy, of understanding, to help someone naturally, without any motive, to be spontaneously kind, to care for a plant or a dog, to be sympathetic to the villager, generous to your friend, to a neighbour - is this not what we mean by love? Is not love a state in which there is no sense of resentment, but everlasting forgiveness? And is it not possible, while we are young to feel it?

While we are young many of us do experience this feeling - a sudden outgoing sympathy for the villager, for a dog, for those who are little or helpless. And should it not be constantly tended? Should you not always give some part of the day to aiding another, to caring for a tree or a garden, to helping in the house or in the hostel, so that, as you grow to maturity, you will know what it means to be considerate naturally, without enforcement, without motive? Should you not have this quality of real affection?

Real affection cannot be brought into being artificially, you have to feel it; and your guardian, your parents, your teachers must also feel it. Most people have no real affection; they are too concerned with their achievements, their longings, their knowledge, their success. They give to what they have done and want to do, such colossal importance that it ultimately destroys them.

That is why it is very important, while you are young, to help look after the rooms, or to care for a number of trees which you yourself have planted, or to go to the assistance of a sick friend, so that there is a subtle feeling of sympathy, of concern, of generosity - real generosity which is not just of the mind, and which makes you want to share with somebody whatever you may have, however little. If you do not have this feeling of love, of generosity, of kindness, of gentleness, while you are young, it will be very difficult to have it when you are older; but if you begin to have it now, then perhaps you can awaken it in others.

To have sympathy and affection implies freedom from fear, does it not? But you see, it is very difficult to grow up in this world without fear, without having some personal motive in action. The older people have never thought about this problem of fear, or they have thought about it only abstractly, without acting upon it in daily existence. You are still very young, you are watching, inquiring, learning, but if you do not see and understand what causes fear, you will become as they are. Like some hidden weed, fear will grow and spread and twist your mind. You should therefore be aware of everything that is happening around you and within yourself - how the teachers talk, how our parents behave, and how you respond - so that this question of fear is seen and understood.

Most grown-up people think that some kind of discipline is necessary. Do you know what discipline is? It is a process of making you do something which you do not want to do. Where there is discipline, there is fear; so discipline is not the way of love. That is why discipline at all costs should be avoided - discipline being coercion, resistance, compulsion, making you do something which you really do not understand, or persuading you to do it by offering you a reward. If you don't understand something, don't do it, and don't be compelled to do it. Ask for an explanation; don't just be obstinate, but try to find out the truth of the matter so that no fear is involved and your mind becomes very pliable, very supple.

When you do not understand and are merely compelled by the authority of grown-up people, you are suppressing your own mind, and then fear comes into being; and that fear pursues you like a shadow throughout life. That is why it is so important not to be disciplined according to any particular type of thought or pattern of action. But most older people can think only in those terms. They want to make you do something for your so-called good. This very process of making you do something for your own `good', destroys your sensitivity, your capacity to understand, and therefore your love. To refuse to be coerced or compelled is very difficult, because the world about us is so strong; but if we merely give in and do things without understanding, we fall into a habit of thoughtlessness, and then it becomes still more difficult for us to break away.

So, in your school, should you have authority, discipline? Or should you be encouraged by your teachers to discuss these questions, go into them, understand them so that, when you are grown up and go out into the world, you will be a mature human being who is capable of meeting intelligently the world's problems? You cannot have that deep intelligence if there is any kind of fear. Fear only makes you dull, it curbs your initiative, it destroys that flame which we call sympathy generosity, affection, love. So do not allow yourself to be disciplined into a pattern of action, but find out - which means that you must have the time to question, to inquire; and the teachers must also have the time; if there is no time, then time must be made. Fear is a source of corruption, it is the beginning of degeneration, and to be free of fear is more important than any examination or any scholastic degree.

Questioner: What is love in itself?

Krishnamurti: What is intrinsic love? Is that what you mean? What is love without motive, without incentive? Listen carefully and you will find out. We are examining the question, we are not looking for the answer. In studying mathematics, or in putting a question, most of you are more concerned with finding the answer than with understanding the problem. If you study the problem, look into it, examine it, understand it, you will find that the answer is in the problem. So let us understand what the problem is, and not look for an answer, either in the Bhagavad Gita, in the Koran, in the Bible, or from some professor or lecturer. If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it; because the answer is in the problem, it is not separate from the problem.

The problem is: what is love without motive? Can there be love without any incentive, without wanting something for oneself out of love? Can there be love in which there is no sense of being wounded when love is not returned? If I offer you my friendship and you turn away, am I not hurt? Is that feeling of being hurt the outcome of friendship, of generosity, of sympathy? Surely, as long as I feel hurt, as long as there is fear, as long as I help you hoping that you may help me - which is called service - , there is no love.

If you understand this, the answer is there.

Questioner: What is religion?

Krishnamurti: Do you want an answer from me, or do you want to find out for yourself? Are you looking for an answer from somebody, however great or however stupid? Or are you really trying to find out the truth of what religion is?

To find out what true religion is, you have to push aside everything that stands in the way. If you have many coloured or dirty windows and you want to see the clear sunlight, you must clean or open the windows, or go outside. Similarly, to find out what true religion is, you must first see what it is not, and put that aside. Then you can find out, because then there is direct perception. So let us see what is not religion.

Doing puja, performing a ritual - is that religion? You repeat over and over again a certain ritual, a certain mantram in front of an altar or an idol. It may give you a sense of pleasure, a sense of satisfaction; but is that religion? putting on the sacred thread, calling yourself a Hindu a Buddhist, or a Christian, accepting certain traditions, dogmas, beliefs - has all this got anything to do with religion? Obviously not. So religion must be something which can be found only when the mind has understood and put all this aside.

Religion, in the true sense of the word, does not bring about separation, does it? But what happens when you are a Moslem and I am a Christian, or when I believe in something and you do not believe in it? Our beliefs separate us; therefore our beliefs have nothing to do with religion. Whether we believe in God or do not believe in God has very little significance; because what we believe or disbelieve is determined by our conditioning is it not? The society around us, the culture in which we are brought up, imprints upon the mind certain beliefs, fears and superstitions which we call religion; but they have nothing to do with religion. The fact that you believe in one way and I in another, largely depends on where we happen to have been born, whether in England, in India, in Russia or America. So belief is not religion, it is only the result of our conditioning.

Then there is the pursuit of personal salvation. I want to be safe; I want to reach Nirvana, or heaven; I must find a place next to Jesus, next to Buddha, or on the right hand of a particular God. Your belief does not give me deep satisfaction, comfort, so I have my own belief which does. And is that religion? Surely, one's mind must be free of all these things to find out what true religion is.

And is religion merely a matter of doing good, of serving or helping others? Or is it something more? Which does not mean that we must not be generous or kind. But is that all? Is not religion something much greater, much purer, vaster, more expansive than anything conceived by the mind?

So, to discover what is true religion, you must inquire deeply into all these thing; and be free of fear. It is like going out of a dark house into the sunshine. Then you will not ask what is true religion; you will know. There will be the direct experiencing of that which is true.

Questioner: If somebody is unhappy and wants to be happy, is that ambition?

Krishnamurti: When you are suffering, you want to be free of suffering. That is not ambition, is it? That is the natural instinct of every person. It is the natural instinct of us all not to have fear, not to have physical or emotional pain. But our life is such that we are constantly experiencing pain. I eat something which does not agree with me, and I have a tummyache. Somebody says something to me, and I feel hurt. I am prevented from doing something which I long to do, and I feel frustrated, miserable. I am unhappy because my father or my son is dead, and so on. Life is constantly acting upon me, whether I like it or not, and I am always getting hurt, frustrated, having painful reactions. So what I have to do is to understand this whole process. But you see, most of us rum away from it.

When you suffer inwardly, psychologically, what do you do? You look to somebody for consolation; you read a book, or turn on the radio, or go and do puja. These are all indications of your running away from suffering. If you run away from something, obviously you do not understand it. But if you look at your suffering, observe it from moment to moment, you begin to understand the problem involved in it, and this is not ambition. Ambition arises when you run away from your suffering, or when you cling to it, or when you fight it, or when around it you gradually build theories and hopes. The moment you run away from suffering, the thing to which you run becomes very important because you identify yourself with it. You identify yourself with your country, with your position, with your God, and this is a form of ambition.

Life Ahead

Part 1

Life Ahead Part One Chapter 12

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