Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 28th March, 1948 | Mumbai, India

Question: What do you mean by love?

Krishnamurti: Now, again we are going to discover by understanding what love is not; because, as love is the unknown, we must come to it by discarding the known. Surely, the unknown cannot be discovered by a mind that is full of the known. So, what we are going to do is to find out the values of the known, look at the known; and when that is looked at purely, without condemnation, the mind becomes free from the known, and then we shall know what love is. So, we must approach love negatively, not positively.

Now, what is love with most of us? When we say we love somebody, what do we mean? We mean we possess that person. From that possession arises jealousy, because ff I lose him or her what happens? I feel empty, lost, Therefore, I legalize possession. I hold him or her. From holding, possessing that person, there is jealousy, there is fear, and all the innumerable conflicts that arise from possession. Surely, is not love, is it? Don't shake your heads in assent; for if you agree with me, you are merely agreeing verbally, and such agreement has no meaning at all. You can agree only when you don't possess your property, your wife, your ideas.

Obviously, love is not sentiment. To be sentimental, to be emotional, is not love, because sentimentality and emotion are mere sensations. A religious person who weeps about Jesus or Krishna, about his guru or somebody else, is merely sentimental, emotional. He is indulging in sensation, which is a process of thought, and thought is not love. Thought is the result of sensation. So, the person who is sentimental, who is emotional, cannot possibly know love. Again, arn't we emotional and sentimental? Sentimentality, emotionalism, is merely a form of self-expansion. To be full of emotion is obviously not love, because a sentimental person can be cruel when his sentiments are not responded to, when his feelings have no outlet. An emotional person can be stirred to hatred, to war, to butchery. And a man who is sentimental, full of tears for his religion, surely such a man has no love. Obviously there is no love when there is no real respect, when you don't respect another, whether he is your servant or your friend. Have you not noticed that you are not respectful, kindly, generous, to your servants, to people who are so-called `below' you? But you have respect for those above, for your boss; for the millionaire, for the man with a large house and a title, for the man who can give you a better position, a better job, from whom you can get something. But you kick those below you, you have a special language for them. So, where there is no respect, there is no love; where there is no mercy, no pity, no forgiveness, there is no love. And as most of us are in this state, we have no love. We are neither respectful nor merciful nor generous. We are possessive, full of sentiment and emotion which can be turned either way: to kill, to butcher, or to unify over some foolish, ignorant intention. So, how can there be love? You can know love only when all these things have stopped, come to an end, only when you don't possess, when you are not merely emotional with devotion to an object. Such devotion is a supplication, selecting something in a different form. A man who prays does not know love. Since you are possessive, since you seek an end, a result, through devotion, through prayer, which makes you sentimental, emotional, naturally there is no love; and obviously there is no love when there is no respect. You may say that you have respect, but your respect is for the superior, it is merely the respect that comes from wanting something, the respect of fear. If you really felt respect, you would be respectful to the lowest as well as to the so-called highest; and since you haven't that, there is no love. How few of us are generous, forgiving, merciful! You are generous when it pays you, you are merciful when you can see something in return. So, when these things disappear, when these things don't occupy your mind, and when the things of the mind don't fill your heart, then there is love; and love alone can transform the present madness and insanity in the world - not systems, not theories, Either of the left or of the right. You really love only when you do not possess, when you are not envious, not greedy, when you are respectful, when you have mercy and compassion, when you have consideration for your wife, your children, your neighbour, your unfortunate servants who have not a day off, who have become your slaves. When you are respectful to them, not merely to your gurus, to the man above you, then you will know love. That love alone can transform the world, that alone can fill the world with mercy, with beauty. But if you fill your hearts with the things made by the mind or by the hand, then there is no love; and since your hearts are filled by these things, you are in constant battle with each other. But if you realize, if you are aware of all these things without coming into conflict with them, then there is a freedom, and in that freedom there is love which is not a theory. You can experience love with its blessings, with its perfume, with its loveliness, only when 'you' cease to be, when `you' cease to achieve, to become something; and such love alone can transform the world.

Tags: love

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