Questioner: Do you believe in evolution? You have often said that understanding is immediate, the act of learning is on the moment; where does evolution play a part in this? Are you denying evolution?
Krishnamurti: It would be foolish - would it not? - to deny evolution. There is the bullock cart and the jet plane, that is evolution. There is an evolution of the primate to the so-called man. There is evolution from not-knowing to knowing, Evolution implies time; but psychologically, inwardly, is there evolution? Are you following the question? Outwardly one can see how architecture has advanced from the primitive hut to the modern building, mechanics from the two-wheel cart to the motor, the jet plane, going to the moon and all the rest of it - it is there, obviously there is no question whether these things have evolved or not. But is there evolution inwardly, at all? You believe so, you think so, do you? But is there? Do not say `there is' or `there is not'. Merely to assert is the most foolish thing, but to find out is the beginning of wisdom. Now, psychologically, is there evolution? That is, I say `I shall become something" or `I shall not be something; the becoming or the not being, involves time - does it not? `I shall be less angry the day after tomorrow', `I shall be more kind and less aggressive, more helpful, not be so self-centred, selfish', all that implies time - `I am this' and `I shall be that'. I say I shall evolve psychologically - but is there such evolution? Shall I be different in a year's time? Being violent today, my whole nature is violent, my whole upbringing, education, the social influences and the cultural pressures have bred in me violence; also I have inherited violence from the animal, the territorial rights and sexual rights and so on - will this violence evolve into non-violence? Will you please tell me? Can violence ever become non-violence? Can violence ever become love?
Talks with American Students
Chapter 12, New School for Social Research, New York