Every war ends with the hope that there would be lasting peace. In five thousand years of recorded history, there have been more than 5000 wars. Peace is always short-lived. One would think that after two world wars in the 20 century, with an estimated 100 million casualties, we would have learnt our lesson well enough to avert war and live in relative peace. If anything, this world is in far greater strife—nations warring to annex more land, religions fighting to prove whose God is real, countries waging economic warfare to gain ascendancy, political ideologies battling to be in power and thousands of other localized conflicts.

Why is it that despite our wanting to live in peace and harmony, we find ourselves in chaos, time after time? Is there a way out? And if there is, how do we find it? Delving into the human condition, J. Krishnamurti, one of the greatest religious teachers of all time, lays bare why we find ourselves caught in the pattern of conflict and war. ‘War’, he says, ‘is a spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday lives’. What we are inwardly is what is projected in the outer world. What Krishnamurti said and wrote for more than five decades is contained in this digital booklet of fifteen excerpts which provide a brief but clear glimpse into the causes of war and the way out of it.

History seems to be the story of man-made catastrophes, and these seem to
occur regularly, repeatedly and unfailingly, always taking the world by shock and surprise, disproving all the predictions and promises of the pundits and experts, setting at naught the calculations of the intellect, defying logic and reason, and leaving human beings baffled and helpless. Between one crisis and the next lies what we call our normal life. In that so-called normal life we give our time and energy to everything except serious inquiry and reflection on the purpose of human existence in general and our life in particular. We never ask whether our present way of living itself is not the cause of the next global crisis. The question may never occur to us and, even if it does, we dare not face it.

This is precisely the challenge J. Krishnamurti throws at us—make us aware of a number of fundamental questions, some of which are given here as excerpts from his talks and writings of nearly five decades, covering the years from 1934 to 1985.