Friday, May 10, 2019


We are trying to understand violence as a fact, not as an idea, as a fact which exists in the human being, and the human being is myself.  And to go into the problem I must be completely vulnerable, open, to it.  I must expose myself to myself - not necessarily expose myself to you because you may not be interested - but I must be in a state of mind that demands to see this thing right to the end and at no point stops and says I will go no further.

Now it must be obvious to me that I am a violent human being.  I have experienced violence in anger, violence in my sexual demands, violence in hatred, creating enmity, violence in jealousy and so on - I have experienced it, I have known it, and I say to myself, 'I want to understand this whole problem not just one fragment of it expressed in war, but this aggression in man which also exists in the animals and of which I am a part.'

Violence is not merely killing another.  It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear.  So violence isn't merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country.  Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence.

When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent.  Do you see why it is violent?  Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.  When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.  So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.

The moment you protect your family, your country, a bit of coloured rag called a flag, a belief, an idea, a dogma, the thing that you demand or that you hold, that very protection indicates anger.  So can you look at anger without any explanation or justification, without saying, 'I must protect my ...? Can you look at anger as if it were something by itself?  Can you look at it completely objectively, which means neither defending it nor condemning it? Can you?

But to be beyond violence I cannot suppress it, I cannot deny it, I cannot say, 'Well, it is a part of me and that's that', or  'I don't want it'.  I have to look at it, I have to study it, I must become very intimate with it and I cannot become intimate with it if I condemn it or justify it...  you have to learn how to look at anger, how to look at your husband, your wife, your children; you have to listen to the politician, you have to learn why you are not objective, why you condemn or justify.  You have to learn that you condemn and justify because it is part of the social structure you live in, your conditioning as a German or an Indian or a Negro or an American or whatever you happen to have been born with all the dulling of the mind that this conditioning results in.  

To live completely, fully, in the moment is to live with what is, the actual, without any sense of condemnation or justification... the face of violence is not only outside you but inside you.

~ J. Krishnamurti
excerpt from: Freedom from the Known


Marguerite Manteau-Rao said...

Thank you. A topic well worth spending a lot of time contemplating. Imagine if the whole world turned quiet and did just that, even for a few minutes . . .

Dean Keller said...

appreciate your thoughts, thanks

Mystic Meandering said...

So timely... As you probably know we just had another school shooting here in Colorado. Everyone wants to blame guns, using party politics to polarize the issue, instead of going to the *root* of the issue about why our teenagers are angry; instead of looking at ourselves individually and as a society...

Dean Keller said...

thank you, yes, very insightful.

In the stillness of our hearts we find these barriers and distinctions which we all entertain fade into the background, the foreground replaced by a freeing, refreshing openness and kinship.