Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 21st March, 1948 | Mumbai, India

Question: What is it that comes when nationalism goes?

Krishnamurti: Obviously, intelligence. But I am afraid that is not the implication in this question. The implication is, what can be substituted for nationalism? Any substitution is an act which does not bring intelligence. If I leave one religion and join another, or leave one political party and later on join something else, this constant substitution indicates a state in which there is no intelligence.

Now, how does nationalism go? Only by understanding its full implications, by examining it, by being aware of its significance in outward and inward action. Outwardly it brings about divisions between people, classifications, wars and destruction, which is obvious to anyone who is observant. Inwardly, psychologically, this identification with the greater, with the country, with an idea, is obviously a form of self-expansion. That is, living in a little village, or a big town, or whatever it be, I am nobody; but if I identify myself with the larger, with the country, if I call myself a Hindu, it flatters my vanity, it gives me gratification, prestige, a sense of well being; and that identification with the larger, which is a psychological necessity for those who feel that self-expansion is essential, also creates conflict, strife, between people. So, nationalism not only creates outward conflict, but inward frustrations; and when one understands nationalism, the whole process of nationalism, it falls away. The understanding of nationalism comes through intelligence. That is, by carefully observing, by probing into the whole process of nationalism, patriotism, out of that examination comes intelligence, and then there is no substitution of something else for nationalism. The moment you substitute religion for nationalism, religion becomes another means of self expansion, another source of psychological anxiety, a means of feeding oneself through a belief. Therefore, any form of substitution, however noble, is a form of ignorance. It is like a man substituting chewing gum, or betel nut, or whatever it is, for smoking. Whereas, if one really understands the whole problem of smoking, of habits, sensations, psychological demands, and all the rest of it, then smoking drops away.

You can understand only when there is a development of intelligence, when intelligence is functioning; and intelligence is not functioning when there is substitution. Substitution is merely a form of self-bribery, to tempt you not to do this but to do that. Nationalism, with its poison, with its misery and world strife, can disappear only when there is intelligence, and intelligence does not come merely by passing examinations and studying books. Intelligence comes into being when we understand problems as they arise. When there is understanding of the problem at its different levels, not only of the outward part, but of its inward, psychological implications, then, in that process, intelligence comes into being. So, when there is intelligence, there is no substitution; and when there is intelligence, then nationalism, patriotism, which is a form of stupidity, disappears.

Tags: nationalism

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