Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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On Loneliness

London, England | 5th Public Talk 25th June 1955

One of our problems, it seems to me, amongst so many others, is this dependence, dependence on people for our happiness, dependence on capacity, the dependence that leads the mind to cling to something. And the question is, can the mind ever be totally free from all dependence? I think that is a fundamental question and one which we should be constantly asking ourselves.

Obviously, superficial dependence is not what we are talking about, but at the deeper level there is that psychological demand for some kind of security, for some method which will assure the mind of a state of permanency; there is the search for an idea, a relationship, that will be enduring. As this is one of our major problems, it seems to me it is very important to go into it rather deeply, and not respond superficially with an immediate reaction.

Why do we depend? Psychologically, inwardly, we depend on a belief, on a system, on a philosophy, we ask another for a mode of conduct, we seek teachers who will give us a way of life which will lead us to some hope, some happiness. So we are always, are we not? searching for some kind of dependence, security. It is possible for the mind ever to free itself from this sense of dependence? Which does not mean that the mind must achieve independence, that is the only reaction to dependence. We are not talking of independence, of freedom from a particular state. If we can inquire, without the reaction of seeking freedom from a particular state of dependence, then we can go much more deeply into it. But if we are drawn away at a tangent in search of independence, we shall not understand this whole question of psychological dependence of which we are talking.

We know we depend, - on our relationships with people, or on some idea, or on a system of thought. Why? We accept the necessity for dependence, we say it is inevitable. We have never questioned the whole issue at all, why each one of us seeks some kind of dependence. Is it not that we really, deep down, demand security, permanency? Being in a state of confusion, we want someone to get us out of that confusion. So, we are always concerned with how to escape, or avoid, the state in which we are. In the process of avoiding that state, we are bound to create some kind of dependence, which be, comes our authority. If we depend on another for our security, for our inward well-being, there arise out of that dependence innumerable problems; and then we try to solve those problems, - the problems of attachment. But we never question, we never go into the problem of dependence itself. Perhaps if we can really intelligently, with full awareness, go into this problem. then we may find that dependence is not the issue at all, - that it is only a way of escaping from a deeper fact.

May I suggest that those who are taking notes should refrain from doing so. Because, these meetings will not be worthwhile if you are merely trying to remember what is said for afterwards. But if we can directly experience what is being said now, not afterwards, then it will have a definite significance, it will be a direct experience, - and not an experience to be gathered later through your notes and thought over in memory. Also, if I may point it out, taking notes disturbs others around you.

As I was saying, what do we depend, and make dependence a problem? Actually, I do not think dependence is the problem; I think there is some other deeper factor that makes us depend. And if we can unravel that, then both dependence and the struggle for freedom will have very little significance; then all the problems which arise through dependence will wither away. So, what is the deeper issue? Is it that the mind abhors, fears, the idea of being alone? And does the mind know that state which it avoids? I depend on somebody, psychologically, inwardly, because of a state which I am trying to avoid but which I have never gone into, which I have never examined. So, my dependence on a person - for love, for encouragement, for guidance - becomes immensely important, as do all the many problems that arise from it. Whereas, if I am capable of looking at the factor that is making me depend, - on a person, on God, on prayer, on some rapacity, on some formula or conclusion which I call a belief, - then perhaps I can discover that such dependence is the result of an inward demand which I have never really looked at, never considered.

Can we, this evening, look at that factor? - the factor which the mind avoids, that sense of complete loneliness with which we are superficially familiar. What is it to be lonely? Can we discuss that now and keep to that issue, and not introduce any other problem?