On These Things- works by J. Krishnamurti
are dealing not only with money or tangible things but with ideas.
The crisis is exceptional because it is in the field of ideation.
Quarreling with ideas, we are justifying murder; everywhere in the
world we are justifying murder as a means to a righteous end, which
in itself is unprecedented. Before, evil was recognized to be evil,
murder was recognized to be murder, but now murder is a means to
achieve a noble result. Murder, whether of one person or of a group
of people, is justified, because the murderer, or the group that
the murderer represent, justifies it as a means of achieving a result
that will be beneficial to man. That is we sacrifice the present
for the future -and it does not matter what means we employ as long
as our declared purpose is to produce a result that we say will
be beneficial to man. Therefore, the implication is that a wrong
means will produce a right end and you justify the wrong means through
ideation.... We have a magnificent structure of ideas to justify
evil and surely that is unprecedented. Evil is evil; it cannot bring
about good. War is not a means to peace. War may bring about secondary
benefits, like more efficient aeroplanes, but it will not bring
peace to man. War is intellectually justified as a means of bringing
peace; when the intellect has the upper hand in human life, it brings
about an unprecedented crisis.
are other causes also which indicate an unprecedented crisis. One
of them is the extraordinary importance man is going to sensate
values, to property, to name, to caste and country, to the particular
label you wear. You are either a Mohammedan or a Hindu, a Christian
or a Communist. Name and property, caste and country, have become
predominantly important, which means that man is caught in sensate
value, the value of things, whether made by the mind or by the hand.
Things made by the hand or by the mind have become so important
that we are killing, destroying, butchering, liquidating each other
because of them. We are nearing the edge of a precipice; every action
is leading us there, every political, every economic action is bringing
us inevitably to the precipice, dragging us into this chaotic, confusing
abyss. Therefore the crisis is unprecedented and it demands unprecedented
action. To leave, to step out of that crisis, needs a timeless action,
an action which is not based on idea, on system, because any action
which is based on a system, on an idea, will inevitably lead to
frustration. Such action merely brings us back to the abyss by a
different route. Which means that the regeneration of the individual
must be instantaneous, not a process of time. It must take place
NOW, not tomorrow; for tomorrow is a process of disintegration.
If I think of transforming myself tomorrow I invite confusion, I
am still within the field of destruction. Is it possible to change
now? Is it possible completely to transform oneself in the immediate,
in the now? I say it is.
point is that as the crisis is of an exceptional character to meet
it there must be revolution in thinking; and this revolution cannot
take place through another, through any book, through any organization.
It must come through us, through each one of us. Only then can we
create a new society, a new structure away from this horror, away
from these extraordinarily destructive forces that are being accumulated,
piled up; and that transformation comes into being only when you
as an individual begin to be aware of yourself in every thought,
action and feeling."
is the spectacular and bloody projection of every day life, is it
not? War is merely an outward expression of our inward state, an
enlargement of our daily action. It is more spectacular, bloodier,
more destructive, but is the collective result of our individual
activities. Therefore, you and I are responsible for war and what
can we do to stop it? Obviously you and I cannot stop the ever-impending
war, because it is already in movement; it is already taking place,
though at present chiefly on the psychological level. As it is already
in movement, it cannot be stopped - the issues are too many, too
great, and are already committed. But you and I, seeing that the
house is on fire, can go away from it and build a new place with
different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce
other wars. That is all we can do. You and I can see what creates
wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin
to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war.
American lady came to see me a couple of years ago, during the war.
She had lost her son in war and she had another son whom she wanted
to save; so we talked things over. I suggested to her that to save
her son she had to cease to be an American; she had to cease to
be greedy, cease piling up wealth, seeking power, domination, and
be morally simple - not merely simple in clothes, in outward things,
but simple in her thoughts and feelings, in her relationships. She
said," That is too much, You are asking far too much. I cannot
do it, because circumstances are too powerful for me to alter.";
therefore she was responsible for the destruction of her son.
can be controlled by us, because we have created the circumstances.
Society is a product of relationship, of yours and mine together.
If we change in our relationship, society changes; merely to rely
on legislation, on compulsion, for the transformation of outward
society, while remaining inwardly corrupt, while continuing inwardly
to seek power, position, domination, is to destroy the outward,
however carefully and scientifically built. That which is inward
is always overcoming the outward.
causes war - religious, political or economic? Obviously belief,
either in nationalism, in an ideology, or in a particular dogma.
If we had no belief but goodwill, live and consideration between
us, then there would be no wars. But we are fed on beliefs, ideas
and dogmas and therefore we breed discontent. The present crisis
is of an exceptional nature and we as human beings must either
pursue the path of constant conflict and continuous wars, which
are the result of our everyday action, or else see the causes
of war and turn our back upon them.
what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money;
also the disease called nationalism, worship of a flag; and the
disease of organized religion, the worship of dogma. All these
are the causes of war; if you as an individual belong to any of
the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are
envious, nationalistic, you are bound to produce a society, which
will result in destruction. So again it depends upon you and not
on the leaders; not on so-called statesman and all the rest of
First and Last Freedom