Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 7th Talk in the Oak Grove 17th May, 1936

Question: All intelligent people are against war, but are you against defensive war, as when a nation is attacked?
Krishnamurti: To consider war as defensive and offensive will lead us only to further confusion and misery. What we should question is killing, whether in war or through exploitation. What is, after all, a defensive war? Why does one nation attack another? Probably the nation that is attacked has provoked that attack through economic exploitation and greed. If we deal with the question of war as defensive or offensive, we shall never come to any satisfactory and true solution. We shall be dealing only with acquisitive prejudices. There is such a thing as voluntarily dying for a cause; but that a group of people should send out other human beings to be trained to kill and be killed, is most barbarous and inhuman. You will never ask this question about war - in which there is the regimentation of hatred, mechanizing man through military discipline - and whether it is right to kill in defence or in aggression, if you can discern for yourself the true nature of man.

From my point of view, to kill is fundamentally evil, as it is evil to exploit another. Most of you are horrified at the idea of killing; but when there is the provocation, you are up in arms. This provocation comes through propaganda, through the appeal to your false emotions of nationalism, family, honour and prestige, which are words without deep significance. They are but absurdities to which you have become accustomed, and through which you exploit and are exploited. If you think about this deeply and truly, then you will help to break down all these causes that create hatred, exploitation, and ultimately lead to war, whether called offensive or defensive.

You seem to feel no vital response to all this. Some of you, being trained in religion, probably often repeat the phrase that one must love one's neighbour. But against others you have such deep rooted prejudices of nationalism and of racial distinctions that you have lost the human and affectionate response. One is so proud of being an American or belonging to some particular race, the class and racial distinction is so falsely and ruthlessly stimulated in each one of us, that one despises foreigners, Jews, Negroes, or Asiatics. Until we are free of these absurd and childish prejudices, wars of various kinds will exist. If you who listen with discernment to these talks, feel and act with comprehension and so free yourselves from those limiting, harmful and mischievous ideas, then there is a possibility of having a peaceful and happy world. That is not mere sentiment; but as this question of exploitation and killing concerns each one of you, you have to make strenuous efforts to free your mind from these self-imposed ideas of security and individual perpetuation, which create confusion and misery.

Tags: insensitivity