Think on these Things

Why do we want to be famous?

Krishnamurti: Why do you think you want to be famous? I may explain; but, at the end of it, will you stop wanting to be famous? You want to be famous because everybody around you in this society wants to be famous. Your parents, your teachers, the guru, the yogi – they all want to be famous, well known, and so you do too.

Let us think this out together. Why do people want to be famous? First of all, it is profitable to be famous; and it gives you a great deal of pleasure, does it not? If you are known all over the world you feel very important, it gives you a sense of immortality. You want to be famous, you want to be known and talked about in the world because inside yourself you are nobody. Inwardly there is no richness, there is nothing there at all, therefore you want to be known in the world outside; but, if you are inwardly rich, then it does not matter to you whether you are known or unknown.

To be inwardly rich is much more arduous than to be outwardly rich and famous; it needs much more care, much closer attention. If you have a little talent and know how to exploit it, you become famous; but inward richness does not come about in that way. To be inwardly rich the mind has to understand and put away the things that are not important, like wanting to be famous. Inward richness implies standing alone; but the man who wants to be famous is afraid to stand alone because he depends on people’s flattery and good opinion.

Think on these Things, Chapter 6

Why is man proud?

Krishnamurti: Are you not proud if you write a nice hand, or when you win a game or pass some examination? Have you ever written a poem or painted a picture, and then shown it to a friend? If your friend says it is a lovely poem or a marvellous picture, don’t you feel very pleased? When you have done something which somebody says is excellent, you feel a sense of pleasure, and that is all right, that is nice; but what happens the next time you paint a picture, or write a poem, or clean a room? You expect someone to come along and say what a wonderful boy you are; and, if no one comes, you no longer bother about painting or writing, or cleaning. So you come to depend on the pleasure which others give you by their approbation. It is as simple as that. And then what happens? As you grow older you want what you do to be acknowledged by many people. You may say, “I will do this thing for the sake of my guru, for the sake of my country, for the sake of man, for the sake of God”, but you are really doing it to gain recognition, out of which grows pride; and when you do anything in that way, it is not worth doing. I wonder if you understand all this?

To understand something like pride, you must be capable of thinking right through; you must see how it begins and the disaster it brings, see the whole of it, which means that you must be so keenly interested that your mind follows it to the end and does not stop half way. When you are really interested in a game you play it to the end, you don’t suddenly stop in the middle and go home. But your mind is not used to this kind of thinking, and it is part of education to help you to inquire into the whole process of life and not just study a few subjects.

Think on these Things, Chapter 6

What is the difference between respect and love?

What is the difference between respect and love?

Krishnamurti: You can look up ‘respect’ and ‘love’ in a dictionary and find the answer. Is that what you want to know? Do you want to know the superficial meaning of those words, or the significance behind them?

When a prominent man comes around, a minister or a governor, have you noticed how everybody salutes him? You call that respect, don’t you? But such respect is phony, because behind it there is fear, greed. You want something out of the poor devil, so you put a garland around his neck. That is not respect, it is merely the coin with which you buy and sell in the market. You don’t feel respect for your servant or the villager, but only for those from whom you hope to get something. That kind of respect is really fear; it is not respect at all, it has no meaning. But if you really have love in your heart, then to you the governor, the teacher, your servant and the villager are all the same; then you have respect, a feeling for them all, because love does not ask anything in return.

Think on these Things, Chapter 7

What is power?

Krishnamurti: There is mechanical power, the power produced by the internal combustion engine, by steam, or by electricity. There is the power that dwells in a tree, that causes the sap to flow, that creates the leaf. There is the power to think very clearly, the power to love, the power to hate, the power of a dictator, the power to exploit people in the name of God, in the name of the Masters, in the name of a country. These are all forms of power.

Now, power as electricity or light, atomic power, and so on – all such forms of power are good in themselves, are they not? But the power of the mind that uses them for the purposes of aggression and tyranny, to gain something for itself – such power is evil under all circumstances. The head of any society, church or religious group who has power over other people is an evil person, because he is controlling, shaping, guiding others without knowing where he himself is going. This is true not only of the big organizations, but of the little societies all over the world. The moment a person is clear, unconfused, he ceases to be a leader and therefore he has no power.

So it is very important to understand why the human mind demands to have power over others. The parents have power over their children, the wife over the husband, or the husband over the wife. Beginning in the small family, the evil extends until it becomes the tyranny of governments, of political leaders and religious interpreters. And can one live without this hunger for power, without wanting to influence or exploit people, without wanting power for oneself, or for a group or a nation, or for a Master or a saint? All such forms of power are destructive, they bring misery to man. Whereas, to be really kind, to be considerate, to love – this is a strange thing, it has its own timeless effect. Love is its own eternity, and where there is love there is no evil power.

Think on these Things, Chapter 14

What is anger and why does one get angry?

What is anger and why does one get angry?

Krishnamurti: If I tread on your toes, or pinch you, or take something away from you, won’t you be angry? And why should you not be angry? Why do you think anger is wrong? Because somebody has told you? So,it is very important to find out why one is angry, to see the truth of anger, and not merely say it is wrong to be angry.

Now, why do you get angry? Because you don’t want to be hurt – which is the normal human demand for survival. You feel that you should not be used, crushed, destroyed or exploited by an individual a government or society. When somebody slaps you, you feel hurt, humiliated, and you don’t like that feeling. If the person who hurts you is big and powerful so that you can’t hit back, you in turn hurt somebody else, you take it out on your brother, your sister, or your servant if you have one. So the play of anger is kept going.

First of all, it is a natural response to avoid being hurt. Why should anybody exploit you? So, in order not to be hurt, you protect yourself, you begin to develop a defence, a barrier. Inwardly you build a wall around yourself by not being open, receptive; therefore you are incapable of exploration, of expansive feeling. You say anger is very bad and you condemn it, as you condemn various other feelings; so gradually you become arid, empty, you have no strong feelings at all. Do you understand?

Think on these Things, Chapter 8

What is the difference between need and greed?

Krishnamurti: Don’t you know? Don’t you know when you have what you need? And does not something tell you when you are greedy? Begin at the lowest level, and you will see it is so. You know that when you have enough clothes, jewels, or whatever it is, you don’t have to philosophize about it. But the moment need moves into the field of greed, it is then that you begin to philosophize to rationalize, to explain away your greed. A good hospital, for example, requires so many beds, a certain standard of cleanliness, certain antiseptics, this and that. A travelling man must perhaps have a car, an overcoat, and so on. That is need. You need a certain knowledge and skill to carry on your craft. If you are an engineer you must know certain things – but that knowledge can become an instrument of greed. Through greed the mind uses the objects of need as a means of self-advancement. It is a very simple process if you observe it. If, being aware of your actual needs, you also see how greed comes in, how the mind uses the objects of need for its own aggrandizement, then it is not very difficult to distinguish between need and greed.

Think on these Things, Chapter 22