Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 6th Public Talk 1945

Questioner: If we had not destroyed the evil that was in Central Europe it would have conquered us. Do you mean to say that we should not have defended ourselves? Aggression must be met. How would you meet it?

Krishnamurti: This wave of aggression, of blood, of organized criminality, seems to arise periodically in one group and pass over to another. This is recurrent in history. No country is free from this aggression. We are all, each in his way, responsible for this wave of

Is it possible to live without aggression and so without defence? Is all effort a series of attacks and defences? Can life be lived without this destructive effort? Each one should be aware of his responses to this problem. Does not all effort to become necessitate the self-assertiveness and self-expansion of the individual and so of the group or nation, and lead to conflict, antagonism and war?

Is it possible to solve this problem of aggression along the lines of defence? Defence implies self-protection, opposition and conflict, and is antagonism to be dissolved by opposition? Is it possible to live in this world and yet be free from this constant battle between yours and mine, with its ruthless attack and defence? Because we desire to protect our name, our property, our nationality, our religion, our ideals, we cultivate the spirit of attack and defence. We are possessive, acquisitive and so we have created a social structure which necessitates progressively ruthless exploitation and aggression. This acquisitive becoming breeds its own opposition and so defence and attack become part of our daily existence. No solution can be found as long as we are thinking-feeling in terms of defence and attack, which only maintain confusion and strife.

Is it possible to think-feel without defence and attack? It is possible only when there is love, when each one abandons greed, ill will and ignorance which express themselves through nationalism, craving for power and other forms of criminality and cruelty. If one wishes to solve this problem permanently surely thought-feeling must free itself from all acquisitiveness and fear. This attitude of attack and defence is cultivated in our daily life and ends ultimately in war and other catastrophes. The difficulty lies in our own contradictory nature; we want peace and yet we cultivate those causes that bring about war and destruction. We want happiness and freedom and yet we indulge in lust, ill will and thoughtlessness; we pray for understanding and yet deny it in our daily life; we want to enjoy both opposites and so we are confused and lost.

If you want to put an end to this wave of ruthlessness, of appalling destruction and misery, if you wish to save your son, your husband, your neighbour, you must pay the price. This misery is not the creation of one group or race but of each one of us; each one must thoughtfully abandon the causes that produce these calamities and untold misery. You must completely set aside your nationalism, your greed and ill will, your craving for power and wealth and your adherence to organized religious prejudices which, while asserting the unity of man, set man against man. Only then will there be peace and joy.

Why is it that we seem to be incapable of living creatively and happily without destroying each other? Is it not because we so condition ourselves through our own passion, ill will and stupidity that we are incapable of living joyously and serenely? We must break through our own conditioning and be as nothing. We arc afraid of being nothing so we escape and thus feed our fear with greed, hate, ambition.

The problem is not how to defend but how to transcend the desire for self-expansion, the craving to become. Only those individuals who abandon their passions, their craving for fame and personal immortality, can help to bring about creative peace and joy.

Tags: aggression

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