Excerpt From J Krishnamurti’s Talks

This is our problem, whether the mind, which is so burdened with past memories and traditions, can without effort, struggle or conflict, bring about the flame of change within itself and burn away the dross of yesterday. Having put that question — which I am sure every thoughtful, serious person asks — where shall we begin? 

Shall we begin with change in the bureaucratic world, in the social structure, outwardly? Or shall we start inwardly, that is psychologically? Shall we consider the outside world, with all its technological knowledge, the marvels of what man has done in the scientific field, shall we begin there and bring about a revolution? Man has tried that, too. He has said, when you change the outer things radically, as all the bloody revolutions of history have done, then man will change and he will be a happy human being.

The Communist and other revolutions have said: bring about order outside and there will be order within. They have also said that it doesn’t matter if there is no order within, what matters is that we should have order in the world outside — ideational order, a Utopia, in the name of which millions have been killed.

So let us begin inwardly, psychologically. This doesn’t mean that you let the present social order, with all its confusion and disorder, remain as it is. But is there a division between inner and outer? Or is there only one movement in which the inner and the outer exist, not as two separate things but simply as movement? 

If you say that it is impossible to change human beings, who have been like this for thousands of years, you have already blocked yourself, you will not proceed, you will not begin to inquire or to explore. Or if you merely say that this is possible, then you live in a world of possibilities, not of realities.

So one must come to this question without saying it is or it is not possible to change. One must come to it with a fresh mind, eager to find out, young enough to examine and explore. We must not only establish clear, verbal communication, but there should be communion between the speaker and yourself, a feeling of friendship and affection which exists when we are all tremendously concerned about something. When husband and wife are deeply concerned about their children, they put aside all opinions, their particular likes and dislikes, because they are concerned about the child. In that concern there is great affection, it is not an opinion that controls action. Similarly there must be that feeling of deep communion between you and the speaker, so that we are both faced with the same problem with the same intensity at the same time. Then we can establish this communion which alone brings about a deep understanding. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

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