Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Understanding Loneliness

Talks by Krishnamurti in Europe | June 25th, 1955. London, England

I think this is really very important. Because so long as that loneliness is not really understood, felt, penetrated, dissolved - whatever word you may like to use - so long as that sense of loneliness remains, dependence is inevitable, and one can never be free; one can never find out for oneself that which is true, that which is religion. While I depend, there must be authority, there must be imitation, there must be various forms of compulsion, regimentation, and discipline to a certain pattern. So, can my mind find out what it is to be lonely and go beyond it? - so that the mind is set totally free and therefore does not depend on beliefs, on gods, on systems, on prayers, or on anything else.

Surely, so long as we are seeking a result, an end, an ideal, that very urge to find creates dependence, from which arise the problems of envy, exclusion, isolation, and all the rest of it. So can my mind know the loneliness in which it actually is, though I may cover it up with knowledge, with relationship, amusement, and various other forms of distraction? Can I really understand that loneliness? Because, is it not one of our major problems, this attachment and the struggle to be detached? Can we talk this over together, or is that too impossible?

So long as there is attachment, dependence, there must be exclusion. The dependence on nationality, identification with a particular group, with a particular race, with a particular person or belief, obviously separates. So it may be that the mind is constantly seeking exclusion as a separate entity and is avoiding a deeper issue which is actually separative - the self-enclosing process of its own thinking, which breeds loneliness. You know the feeling that one must identify oneself as being a Hindu, a Christian, belonging to a certain caste, group, race - you know the whole business. If we can, each of us, understand the deeper issue involved, then perhaps all influence which breeds dependence will come to an end, and the mind will be wholly free.

Perhaps this may be too difficult a problem to discuss in such a large group?

Question: Can you define the word alone, in contrast to loneliness?

Krishnamurti: Please - we are surely not seeking definitions, are we? We are asking if each one of us is aware of this loneliness - not now, perhaps, but we know of that state, and we know, do we not, that we are escaping from this state through various means and so multiplying our problems. Now can I, through awareness, burn away the root of the problem so that it will never again arise, or if it does, I will know how to deal with it without causing further problems?

Question: Does that mean we have to break unsatisfactory bonds?

Krishnamurti: Surely that is not what we are discussing, is it? I do not think we are following each other. And that is why I am hesitant as to whether it is possible to discuss this problem in so large a group.

We know, do we not, that we are attached. We depend on people, on ideas. It is part of our nature, our being, to depend on somebody. And that dependence is called love. Now I am asking myself, and perhaps you also are asking yourselves, whether it is possible to free the mind - psychologically, inwardly - from all dependence. Because I see that through dependence many, many problems arise - there is never an ending to them. Therefore I ask myself, is it possible to be so aware that the very awareness totally burns away this feeling of dependence on another, or on an idea, so that the mind is no longer exclusive, no longer isolated, because the demand for dependence has totally ceased?

For example, I depend on identification with a particular group; it satisfies me to call myself a Hindu or a Christian; to belong to a particular nationality is very satisfactory. In myself I feel dwarfed. I am a nobody, so to call myself somebody gives me satisfaction. That is a form of dependence at a very superficial level perhaps, but it breeds the poison of nationalism. And there are so many other deeper forms of dependence. Now, can I go beyond all that so that the mind will never depend psychologically, so that it has no dependence at all and does not seek any form of security? It will not seek security if I can understand this sense of extraordinary exclusion, of which I am aware and which I call loneliness - this self-enclosing process of thinking which breeds isolation.

So the problem is not how to be detached, how to free oneself from people or ideas, but can the mind stop this process of enclosing itself through its own activities, through its demands, through its urges? So long as there is the idea of the 'me', the 'I', there must be loneliness. The very essence, the ultimate self-enclosing process, is the discovery of this extraordinary sense of loneliness. Can I burn that away so that the mind never seeks any form of security, never demands?