KRISHNAMURTI ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ‘INNER’ AND ‘OUTER’
Some of the things Krishnamurti said about the relationship between the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ are quoted in the article ‘Krishnamurti and the world crisis'. These quotes along with other quotes are shown in this document without comment.The talks are from the paragraph ‘the outer as a measure for the inner’. The quotes are not a substitute for reading the talks.
We are dealing with a very complex problem that needs to be studied most carefully, hesitantly, without any direction, without any motive, so as to observe, if we can, the whole outward happening of our life. What is happening outside of us is the measure by which we will be able to understand ourselves inwardly. If we do not understand what is actually going on in the external world, outside the psychological field, we will have no measure by which to observe ourselves.
So if one is aware of all this, as one must be, what is one's response, not partial, but total response, to the whole phenomenon that is taking place in the world? Does one consider only one's own personal life, how to live a quiet, serene, undisturbed life in some corner; or is one concerned with the total human existence, with total humanity? If one is only concerned with one's own particular life, however troublesome it is, however limited it is, however much it is sorrowful and painful, then one does not realize that the part is of the whole. One has to look at life, not the American life or the Asiatic life, but life as a whole; holistic observation; an observation that is not a particular observation; it is not one's own observation, but the observation that comprehends the totality, the holistic view of life.
Each one has been concerned with his own particular problems - problems of money, no job, seeking one’s own fulfilment, everlastingly seeking pleasure; being frightened, isolated, lonely, depressed, suffering, and creating a saviour outside who will transform or bring about a salvation for each one of us. This has been the tradition in the Western world for two thousand years; and in the Asiatic world the same thing has been maintained in different words and symbols, different conclusions; but it is the same individual's search for his own salvation, for his own particular happiness, to resolve his own many complex problems. There are the specialists of various kinds, psychological specialists, to whom one goes to resolve one’s problems. They too have not succeeded.
Technologically the scientists have helped to reduce disease, to improve communication; but also they are increasing the devastating power of the weapons of war; the power to murder vast numbers of people with one blow. The scientists are not going to save mankind; nor are the politicians, whether in the East or West or in any part of the world. The politicians seek power, position, and they play all kinds of tricks on human thought. It is exactly the same thing in the so-called religious world; the authority of the hierarchy; the authority of the Pope, the archbishop, the bishop and the local priest, in the name of some image which thought has created.
We, as human beings separated, isolated, have not been able to solve our problems; although highly educated, cunning, self-centred, capable of extraordinary things outwardly, yet inwardly, we are more or less what we have been for thousands of years. We hate, we compete, we destroy each other; which is what is actually going on at the present time. You have heard the experts talking about some recent war; they are not talking about human beings being killed, but about destroying airfields, blowing up this or that. There is this total confusion in the world, of which one is quite sure we are all aware; so what shall we do? As a friend some time ago told the speaker: 'You cannot do anything; you are beating your head against a wall. Things will go on like this indefinitely; fighting, destroying each other, competing and being caught in various forms of illusion. This will go on. Do not waste your life and time.' Aware of the tragedy of the world, the terrifying events that may happen should some crazy person press a button; the computer taking over man's capacities, thinking much quicker and more accurately what is going to happen to the human being? This is the vast problem which we are facing.
And one asks, if one is at all serious and responsible: what is one to do? Retire into a monastery? form some commune? Go off to Asia and pursue Zen meditation or some other form of meditation? One is asking this question seriously. When one is confronted with this crisis it is a crisis in consciousness, it is not over there outside of one. The crisis is in oneself. There is a saying: we have seen the enemy and the enemy is ourselves.
The crisis is not a matter of economics, of war, the bomb, the politicians, the scientists; the crisis is within us, the crisis is in our consciousness. Until we understand very profoundly the nature of that consciousness, and question, delve deeply into it and find out for ourselves whether there can be a total mutation in that consciousness, the world will go on creating more misery, more confusion, more horror. Our responsibility is not in some kind of altruistic action outside ourselves, political, social or economic; it is to comprehend the nature of our being. to find out why we human beings who live on this beautiful earth have become like this.
Here we are trying, you and the speaker, together, not separately, together, to observe the movement of consciousness and its relationship to the world, and to see whether that consciousness is individual, separate, or if it is the whole of mankind. We are educated from childhood to be individuals, each with a separate soul; or we have been trained, educated, conditioned to think as individuals. We think that because we each have a separate name, separate form, that is, dark, light, tall, short, and each with a particular tendency, that we are separate individuals with our own particular experiences and so on. We are going to question that very idea, that we are individuals. It does not mean that we are some kind of amorphous beings, but actually question whether we are individuals, though the whole world maintains, both religiously and in other ways, that we are separate individuals. From that concept and perhaps from that illusion, we are each one of us trying to fulfil, to become something. in that effort to become something we are competing against another, fighting another, so that if we maintain that way of life, we must inevitably continue to cling to nationalities, tribalism, war. Why do we hold on to nationalism with such passion behind it? which is what is happening now. Why do we give such extraordinary passionate importance to nationalism which is essentially tribalism? Why? Is it because in holding on to the tribe, to the group, there is a certain security, an inward sense of completeness, fullness? If that is so, then the other tribe also feels the same; and hence division and hence war, conflict. If one actually sees the truth of this, not as something theoretical and if one wants to live on this earth which is our earth, not yours or mine then there is no nationalism at all. There is only human existence; one life; not your life or my life; it is living the whole of life. This tradition of individuality has been perpetuated by the religions both of the East and the West; salvation for each individual, and so on.
New Delhi 1981
He is not advocating a particular system, particular philosophy, but that we observe together, as two friends who have known each other for some time, who are concerned not merely about our private lives, but are together looking at this world which seems to have gone mad. The whole world is arming, spending incredible amounts of money to destroy human beings, whether they live in America, Europe, or Russia, or here. It is taking a disastrous course which cannot possibly be solved by politicians. We cannot rely on them; nor on the scientists they are helping to build up the military technology, competing each against another. Nor can we rely on the so-called religions; they have become merely verbal, repetitive, absolutely without any meaning. They have become superstitions, following mere tradition, whether of five thousand years or two thousand years. So we cannot rely on the politicians who are throughout the world seeking to maintain their position, their power, their status; nor can we rely on the scientists, who each year, or perhaps each week, are inventing new forms of destruction. Nor can we look to any religion to solve this human chaos.
What is a human being to do? Is the crisis intellectual, economic, or national, with all the poverty, confusion, anarchy, lawlessness, terrorism and always the threat of a bomb in the street? Observing all that, what is our responsibility? Are you concerned with what is happening in the world? Or are you merely concerned with your own private salvation? Please consider all this very seriously, so that you and the speaker observe objectively, what is taking place, not only outwardly, but also in our consciousness, in our thinking, in the way we live, in our actions. If you are not at all concerned with the world but only with your personal salvation, following certain beliefs and superstitions, following gurus, then I am afraid it will be impossible for you and the speaker to communicate with each other. We must be clear on this point. We are not concerned at all with private personal salvation but we are concerned, earnestly, seriously, with what the human mind has become, what humanity is facing. We are concerned as human beings, human beings who are not labelled with any particular nationality. We are concerned in looking at this world and what a human being living in this world has to do, what is his role?
Every morning, in the newspapers, there is some kind of murder, bomb outrage, destruction, terrorism, and kidnapping; you read it every day and you pay little attention to it. But if it happens to you personally then you are in a state of confusion, misery and asking somebody else, the government or the policeman, to save you, to protect you.
It is of primary importance to bring about order in ourselves; from that inward order there will be outward order. We are always seeking outward order. We want order in the world established through strong governments, or through totalitarian dictatorships. We all want to be pressurized to behave rightly; remove that pressure and we become rather what we are in the present India. So it becomes more and more urgent on the part of those who are serious, who are facing this terrible crisis, to find out for ourselves what our consciousness is and to free that consciousness of its content, so that we become truly religious people. As it is we are not religious people, we are becoming more and more materialistic
We are as two friends talking over together our sorrows, our hurts, our anxieties, our uncertainty, insecurity and how to find security, how to be free of fear and whether our sorrows can ever end. We are concerned about that. Because if we do not understand that and look at it very clearly, we will bring about more confusion in the world, more destruction. perhaps all of us will be vaporized by an atom bomb. So we have to act urgently, seriously, with all our heart and mind. This is really very, very important, for we are facing a tremendous crisis.
We have not created nature, the birds, the waters, the rivers, the beautiful skies and the running streams, the tiger, the marvellous tree; we have not created them. How that has come about is not for the moment under review. And we are destroying the forests, we are destroying the wild animals; we are killing millions and millions of them every year certain species are disappearing. We have not created nature the deer, the wolf but thought has created everything else.
We live and behave according to our thinking. We have this government because of our thinking, we have wars because of our thinking all the guns, the aeroplanes, the shells, the bombs, all result from our thinking.
So it is very important to look at our relationships; not only your intimate relationships but also your relationship with the rest of the world. The world outside is interrelated, you are not separate from the rest of the world. You are the rest of the world. People are suffering, they have great anxieties, fears, they are threatened by war, as you are threatened by war. They are accumulating vast armaments to destroy each other and you never realize how interrelated we are. I may be a Muslim and you may be Hindu; my tradition says, `I am a Muslim' I have been programmed like a computer to repeat `I am a Muslim' and you repeat `I am Hindu'. You understand what thought has done? The rest of the world is like you, modified, educated differently, with different superficial manners, perhaps affluent or not, but with the same reactions, the same pains, the same anxieties, the same fears. Please give your mind, your heart, to find out what your relationship is with the world, with your neighbour and with your wife or husband. If it is based on images, pictures, remembrances, then there will inevitably be conflict with your wife, with your husband, with your neighbour, with the Muslim, with the Pakistani, with the Russian you follow? And the content of your consciousness is the hurt which you have not resolved, which has not been completely wiped away; it has left scars and from those scars you have various forms of fears which ultimately lead to isolation. Each one of us is isolated, through religious traditions, through education, through the idea that you must always succeed, succeed, succeed, become something. And also beyond our relationship with each other, intimate or otherwise, we are interrelated whether you live here or anywhere else in the world. The world is you and you are the world. You may have a different name, different form, different kind of education, different position, but inwardly we all suffer, we all go through great agonies, shed tears, are frightened of death, and have a great sense of insecurity without any love or compassion.
So how do you listen to this fact? That is, how do you listen to what is being said? The speaker is saying that you are the rest of mankind, deeply; you may be dark, you may be short, you may put on saris, but those are all superficial; but inwardly the flow, whether I am an American, a Russian or Indian, the flow is the same. The movement of all human beings is similar. So you are the world and the world is you, very profoundly. One has to realize this relationship. You understand I am using the word `realize' in the sense that you must be able to observe it and see the actual fact of it
New Delhi 1963
So, first, let us look at the things about us outwardly because you cannot go very far, deeply within, if we do not understand what is the outward movement of life. I mean by that word `understand' to be conscious of it - not necessarily that one has to act definitely in a certain manner with regard to outward things but to be conscious of them, to be aware of them, to know their content, their meaning, their significance. Because you will see that as we begin to understand the outward things of life, we begin to go inwardly, naturally from the understanding of what is without. But without understanding the outer, the tide that is going out, you cannot flow with the tide that is coming in.