Question: Your message of disinterested remoteness, detachment, has been preached in all ages and in many faiths to a few chosen disciples. What makes you think that this message is now fit for everyone in a human society where there is of necessity interdependence in all social actions?
Krishnamurti: I am very sorry, but I have never said that one should be remotely disinterested, that one should be detached; quite the contrary. So first please understand what I say, and then see if it has any value.
Let us take the question of detachment. You know, for centuries we have been gathering, accumulating, making ourselves secure. Intellectually you may see the foolishness of possessiveness, and say to yourself, "Let me be detached." Or rather, you don't see the foolishness of it; so you begin to practise detachment, which is but another way of gathering in, laying up. For if you really perceive the foolishness of possessiveness, then you are free from both detachment and its opposite. The result is not a remote inactivity, but rather, complete action. You know, we are slaves to legislation. If a law were passed tomorrow decreeing that we should not possess property, we should be forced to comply with it, with a good deal of kicking. In that also there would be security, security in non-possession. So I say, do not be the plaything of legislation, but find out the very thing to which you are a slave - that is, acquisitiveness. Find out its true significance, without escaping into detachment; how it gives you social distinctions, power, leading to an empty, superficial life. If you relinquish possessions without understanding them, you will have the same emptiness in non-possession - the sensation of security in asceticism, in detachment, which will become the shelter to which you will withdraw in times of conflict. As long as there is fear there must be the pursuit of opposites; but if the mind frees itself from the very cause of fear, which is self-consciousness, the "I", the limited consciousness, then there is fulfillment, completeness of action.
4th Public Talk, 9th July 1933