February 16, 2009

The Question of Fear? Part 1 of 5: Read with the Intention of Understanding for Your Own Well-Being ~ Talks by Jiddu Krishnamurti in India 1964

Talks by Krishnamurti in India; November 1, 1964
(Verbatim Report) Madras, Bombay, New Delhi, Varanasi

Fourth Talk in New Delhi, 1964

We were talking the other day about learning. Learning obviously implies a state of humility. But humility is not meekness; it is not a low estimation of one's own importance; it is not that ``I do not know and you know, so teach me,'' but rather a mind that is alert and demands to know, to learn; it is not a state of acquiescence, acceptance. Humility is not a virtue. Humility cannot be cultivated - it is there, or it is not there. It is only the vain, proud people who cultivate humility - they put on a mask of humility; but they are not really, in the real sense of that word, humble.

So a mind that is learning must have this quality of not accepting, not denying, not estimating its own importance at any level, at any time; or it must have the quality of denying and really inquiring, asking, questioning, being critical - not only critical of what is being said, but also critical of oneself - critically aware, choicelessly aware of what is being said, and of oneself. Such a mind is necessary to learn. And we need to learn totally anew about our relationships because the world is undergoing an extraordinary transformation, changing rapidly, and old traditions really have no meaning at all any more. Class divisions are disappearing - except perhaps in this country where tradition is very strong, where a certain pattern established by a few people, such as saints and mahatmas and all the rest of it, is followed, but it has no meaning at all.

We must question critically, intelligently the whole problem, of relationship, not only relationship with the family, but the relationship of man, between man and man as society; and that demands a mind which is critical, nonaccepting, learning. But, unfortunately, most of us are so eager to be told what to do, so happily follow someone - a political leader or a religious leader or in fact any leader - if he can tell us what to do because we do not want to inquire, learn, ask, demand; we are just satisfied to be led. And a mind that is being led, that is following authority, is incapable of learning and therefore cannot possibly understand the state of humility, which is not humbleness - that word is a dreadful word.

Humility is an energetic state of mind when it is totally aware of itself, of all its intricacies, its limitations, its conditioning, its prejudices, its shortcomings. It is only such a mind that can learn and can understand this extraordinary, complex relationship between man and man, which is called society. Society is progressive, blindly driven by dictators, by revolutions, by economic circumstances, by war, by a few leaders who are really very capable and have drive; and that society is undergoing constant change, evolving. Therefore a mind that is not capable of learning about this movement of social evolution cannot possibly comprehend this vast movement; and therefore it becomes a mind that is dull, stupid, accepting, adjusting. So a mind that is learning is always ahead of society, however much that society is evolving. That is why we have to understand this quality of humility.

What is the state of your mind as you are listening? Are you listening to words, ideas? Are you waiting to be told what to do? Or, do you have a pattern of action which, for you, is very important because it touches your immediate life - and when that pattern is questioned, you resist, you withdraw? You have to find out for yourself what is the state of your own mind, because we are going into the question of fear, and that requires an extraordinarily sharp, clear mind that is capable of learning, questioning, asking, demanding.

As we said just now, society is progressing, evolving. There are those who hinder, who go back; they go back to tradition, to all kinds of ideas which are traditional, old-fashioned - with a mind that is not contemporary, that is not ahead of society. They force society into a particular pattern because they live in ideas, in concepts, in abstractions - as the communists, as the socialists, as the people in this country. They have patterns, concepts which they try to force on people; therefore, such minds are not contemporary minds. I mean by a contemporary mind, a mind that is aware of the whole world situation, not only economically, but politically, scientifically, morally, psychologically, of the world that is torn between the East and the West, of the tremendous powers of destruction. These are facts, and one has to come to them with a fresh mind to understand, to learn - not come to them with a mind that is traditional, pattern driven.

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