February 16, 2009

The Question of Fear? Part 5 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
The Question of Fear? part 5 of 5

Now, most of us do not come into contact with fear. The moment fear shows itself in any form, we run away from it. There is the fear of death. I am not going to talk about death today, but we will do it another day if there is time. When you are afraid of death, your whole defensive psychological machinery is set going immediately; you invent beliefs, you run away from it, you have visions, you have dreams; but you avoid that thing. So the first thing to realize is that any form of escape not only perpetuates and strengthens fear but creates conflict, and therefore the mind is incapable of coming directly into contact with fear. Suppose the speaker is afraid; he has an idea, he has some hope; and that hope, that idea, that escape, becomes much more important than the fear itself because he is running away from the fact, and the running away - not the fear - creates conflict. When a man is directly in contact with something, nonverbally, nonabstractly, without escape, there is no conflict; he is there. It is only the man who has ideas, hopes, opinions, all kinds of defenses - for him there is conflict; and that conflict prevents him from coming directly into contact with fear.

Most people have fear and they have invented a network of escapes - going to the temple, the incessant activity of a restless, stupid mind - they have invented so many fears, so many escapes, and therefore their conflicts increase. So one has to be aware of it - not ``How am I to escape?'' or ``How am I to stop from escaping?'' Because the moment you understand that every form of escape from fear only creates more conflict and therefore there is no direct contact with fear, and that it is only with a direct contact with fear that you are free - when you understand that, not intellectually, not verbally, not as something you hear from somebody, but actually, for yourself when you see that - then you do not escape at all. Then the temple, the book, the leader, the round-the-corner guru - all those disappear. Then you are not ambitious.

The escape from fear can be actual - that is through radio, temple, activities. Or it can be through abstractions - that is, the word helps us to escape from fear. Please listen to this, and you will see. Fear is not an abstraction, it is not a word; but, for most of us, the word has taken the place of the fact. You see that? The word fear, which is an abstraction, has taken the place of the fact, which is the actual fear, and therefore you are dealing with the abstract word and not with the fact. I hope I am making myself clear. So, you have to understand fear - I mean by ``understand'' not verbally, not intellectually, but face it - and be completely free of it, totally, right through your being. And you can only do it when there is no escape of any kind - escape through activity, through some form of running away, or escape through the word which, for most people, takes the place of the actual fact. When you understand this, then you are directly in contact with fear. In that contact there is no time interval, there is no saying, ``I will get over it'' or ``I will develop courage'' - which is equally stupid - when you are frightened. It is like those people who are violent and everlastingly talking about nonviolence. It is too stupid because it has no validity at all. What has validity is violence, and you can deal with it; but to talk, to go round the world preaching about nonviolence is just a hypnotic, unrealistic mind. So we are dealing with facts, and we cannot deal with what is if there is any form of escape, conscious or unconscious.

There is physical fear. You know, when you see a snake, a wild animal, instinctively there is fear; that is a normal, healthy, natural fear. It is not fear, it is a desire to protect oneself - that is normal. But the psychological protection of oneself - that is, the desire to be always certain - breeds fear. A mind that is seeking always to be certain is a dead mind, because there is no certainty in life, there is no permanency. And because you try to establish permanency in your relationship with your wife, with your family, and all the rest of it, you have jealousy and the dreadful thing called family. When you come directly into contact with fear, there is a response of the nerves and all the rest of it. Then, when the mind is no longer escaping through words or through activity of any kind, there is no division between the observer and the thing observed as fear. It is only the mind that is escaping that separates itself from fear. But when there is a direct contact with fear, there is no observer, there is no entity that says, ``I am afraid.'' So, the moment you are directly in contact with life, with anything, there is no division - it is this division that breeds competition, ambition, fear.

So what is important is not ``how to be free of fear?'' If you seek a way, a method, a system to be rid of fear, you will be everlastingly caught in fear. But if you understand fear - which can only take place when you come directly in contact with it, as you are in contact with hunger, as you are directly in contact when you are threatened with losing your job) - then you do something; only then will you find that all fear ceases - we mean all fear, not fear of this kind or of that kind. Because out of the freedom and the understanding and the learning about fear comes intelligence, and intelligence is the essence of freedom. And there is no intelligence if there is any form of conflict, and conflict must exist as long as there is fear.

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