Questioner: You have used several times the word "training" in the past talks. As the idea of training with many of us is associated with control leading eventually to the possibility of rigidity and lifelessness, could you give a definition of this term? Is it to be understood in the sense of unflagging will, of alertness, adaptability and constant pliability?
Krishnamurti: Do we control ourselves out of fear? Do we control in order not to be hurt, to gain certain results and rewards? Is control the outcome of the search for greater and more lasting satisfaction and power? If it is, then it must lead to rigidity and lifelessness. Mere self-control does ultimately result in the sterility of understanding and love. Those who have merely by the exertion of will brought about self-control, will know of its dire results.
I am talking of understanding which transcends reason and emotion. In this understanding there is a natural and creative adaptability, an alert awareness and infinite pliability, but mere control does not create understanding. If we try to cultivate virtue, it is no longer virtue. Virtue is a by-product of understanding and love. Those who are greedy may train themselves not to be greedy through the mere exertion of will, but thereby they have not deeply understood the process of greed and so are not free from greed. They think by the aggregation of many virtues they will come to the whole. They seek to confine the whole vast expanse of life in virtues.
To understand, there must be the clarity of purpose not established by another but which comes into being when one comprehends one's relationship to things and people. This experimental approach brings about that understanding which is not the result of mere control. If this inquiry is earnest and constant, then there will be a natural restraint without fear, without the will of expansive desires. This understanding is not partial but complete. Through constant awareness of the many obvious and subtle problems of greed there comes a definite and delicate pliability which, as I said, is a by-product of understanding and love.
4th Public Talk 16th June, 1940