Facing a World in Crisis. Part 1

~Jiddu Krishnamurti

I wonder why you have come. Is it curiosity, or do you have problems you want someone else to solve, or are you seriously concerned about what is happening in the world and, being serious, desire earnestly to solve the appalling, frightening problems that surround us? So is it curiosity, or wanting your personal problems solved, or because you see the extraordinary events in the world—the sorrow, the violence, the division of nationalities, the political and religious divisions, and all the separative issues? One must, it seems to me, be very clear about this.

For my part, I want to say something very clearly and definitely. I have spoken for fifty years, all over the world, except in Russia and China, and in observing all these years the state of the world, the state of human beings and their relationships with each other, one sees very clearly that the problem is not only external but much more deeply inward. And without solving the complex, inward issues, merely to be concerned with the outward phenomena has very little significance. I feel, observing all this, that one must take a totally different action, enter into a totally different dimension, not belong to any organized religion, or any country, any political movement, be totally uncommitted so that one can look clearly, objectively, sanely at all the phenomena that are going on around us and within us.
If you are serious, and I hope you are, then we have a relationship with each other, otherwise we have none whatsoever. That is clear, isn’t it? If you and I are both serious about understanding this whole phenomenon of existence, not only outwardly but also much more deeply inwardly, and are totally concerned with the resolution of this problem, then you and I have a relationship; then we can move together, think together, share together. And sharing, thinking, investigating together, and therefore creating together, is communication.

I hope I am making myself clear. We cannot communicate with each other if you are interested merely in trying to solve a particular little problem of your own, which we may deal with later, or if you are merely curious to know what this chap from India with his strange philosophy has to say, or are interested in some exotic nonsense. Then I am afraid you and I will not communicate. Because the speaker is not bringing or talking about any particular system of philosophy—and the real meaning of philosophy is the understanding of truth in daily life, in daily action, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity, with Buddhism, with Hinduism, or with any particular culture.
So if we are really very earnest, and the time demands that we be so, then we must see very clearly, objectively, nonpersonally this whole world as it is—divided, broken up by nationalities, by religious beliefs, or by the sectarian beliefs of politics, the various ideologies, each fighting the other and trying to bring about a unity while keeping itself separate. There are wars, there is all this political chicanery, and the slow pace of bringing human beings together through politics. You know all this. Yet I wonder if you are aware of it intellectually, verbally, or if you are aware of it with your heart, with your whole mind.

So one has to first find out for oneself how deeply one is aware of this division between human beings through nationalities, through religious beliefs, through belonging to this or that sect, following this or that guru, this or that system—they are all divisions. And through division there can never be the unity of humankind. Now, how deeply is one aware of this phenomenon? Intellectually, one may admit that it exists, and assert it verbally, but does one feel this extraordinary division between human beings, between a wife and a husband, between friends, the division of color, race, class, and so on? How deeply is one aware of it? And if one is aware of it in the normal sense of that word—which is to be concerned, to know all the implications of this division—then what is one to do?
What is a human being, you, to do in a world that is so divided? The outer and the inner, the conscious and the unconscious, the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the technician and the layman, the artist, the businessman, the hippie, the long-haired and the short-haired, this whole division. If one is aware of it, what is one to do? Do you ask that question casually, assuming that this division will eventually end some thousand years in the future and therefore depends on the outer environment, certain political systems, and so on? Or it is a problem that demands your immediate attention and action, which means you are intense about it, you want to solve it with your whole being? That is why we asked what interests you. Are you aware of this division between human beings, which has existed for thousands and thousands of years not only outwardly but each one divided in himself, in conflict in himself, fighting in himself, battling to become, to be, to fulfill, to assert, to dominate?

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