Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: There seems to be a general idea that unless the mass changes, there is no use of any individual working.

Krishnamurti: Are you caught up in the idea that individual action is without meaning unless there is a mass action? Mere belief is sluggishness indulged in in a hot climate. Is mass action the only action? Is there the mass, the crowd? Groups can be influenced, infuriated to act - Hindus to kill all Muslims and Muslims to kill all Hindus. Mass is composed of individuals and individuals can be persuaded, regimented to accept nationalism and to kill others. The action of the mass is thus influenced. If you begin to think, to be aware, to question, you cease to be the mass. When you do not accept authority, tradition, belief, then you become an individual; otherwise, you are one of a conglomeration of people driven. If it is so, then all our actions must correspondingly change. It is a fallacy to think that there can be no radical transformation in the world unless there is mass action. Label is the mass. The mass may be killed but it is difficult to kill an individual. When you look at another individual as an individual and not as a mass, your action is different; this means a radical revolution in your ways of thinking. You are an individual seeking the truth for itself and therefore you are inviting an infinite lot of trouble. If you really have an inward revolution, your ways of behaviour to your family and to others will be transformed.

We discussed whether contradiction can lead to honesty of thought. There can be immediate transformation only when there is clear, honest perception of the problems. Is not our living in contradiction one of our difficulties - opposing desires, opposing demands? Therefore, we never see the problem as it is and we give it a different interpretation from what it is.

Why do we live in contradiction? Are we aware we live in contradiction? We talk about peace and anything we do is towards war. We talk about brotherhood and we have castes, classes and titles. We want physical security and we do everything to destroy that security. We stand for unity and brotherhood yet we are exclusive in various ways.

Group Discussion 13th April, 1948
Chennai, India