Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: Surely you cannot mean what your words seem to convey. When I see vice rampant in the world, I feel an intense desire to fight against that vice and against all the suffering it creates in the lives of my fellow human beings. This means great conflict, for when I try to help I am often viciously opposed. How then can you say that there is no conflict between the false and the true?

Krishnamurti: I said yesterday that there can be struggle only between two false things, conflict between the environment and the result of environment which is the "I". Now between these two lie innumerable avenues of escape which the "I" has created, which we call vice, goodness, morality, moral standards, fears, and all the many opposites; and the struggle can exist only between the two, between the false creation of the environment which is the "I", and the environment itself. But there cannot be struggle between truth and that which is false. Surely that is obvious, isn't it? You may be viciously opposed because the other man is ignorant. It doesn't mean you mustn't fight - but don't assume the righteousness of fighting. Please, you know there is a natural way of doing things, a spontaneous, sweet way of doing things, without this aggressive, vicious righteousness.

First of all, in order to fight, you must know what you are fighting, so there must be understanding of the fundamental, not of the divisions between the false things. Now we are so conscious, we are so fully conscious of the divisions between the false things, between the result and the environment, that we fight them, and therefore we want to reform, we want to change, we want to alter, without fundamentally changing the whole structure of human life. That is, we still want to preserve the "I" consciousness which is the false reaction to environment; we want to preserve that and yet want to alter the world. In other words, you want to have your own bank account, your own possessions, you want to preserve the sense of "mine", and yet you want to alter the world so that there shall not be this idea of "mine", and"yours".

So what one has to do is to find out if one is dealing with the fundamental, or merely with the superficial. And to me the superficial will exist so long as you are merely concerned with the alteration of environment so as to alleviate conflict. That is, you still want to cling to the "I" consciousness as "mine", but yet desire to alter the circumstances so that they will not create conflict in that "I". I call that superficial thought, and from that there naturally is superficial action. Whereas if you think fundamentally, that is, question the very result of the environment which is the "I", and therefore question the environment itself, then you are acting fundamentally, and therefore lastingly. And in that there is an ecstasy, in that there is a joy of which now you do not know because you are afraid to act fundamentally.

Ojai, California
2nd Public Talk 17th June, 1934