Is There Security in Any Relationship?

From Krishnamurti’s Book THE FLIGHT OF THE EAGLE

Human beings are brutal and violent; they have built a society which is violent in spite of all that the religions have said about loving your neighbour and loving God. All these things are just ideas, they have no value whatsoever, because man remains brutal, violent and selfish. And being violent, he invents the opposite, which is non-violence. Please go into this with me.

Man is trying all the time to become non-violent. So there is conflict between what is, which is violence, and what should be, which is non-violence. There is conflict between the two. That is the very essence of wastage of energy. As long as there is duality between what is and what should be – man trying to become something else, making an effort to achieve what ‘should be’ – that conflict is waste of energy. As long as there is conflict between the opposites, man has not enough energy to change. Why should I have the opposite at all, as non-violence, as the ideal? The ideal is not real, it has no meaning, it only leads to various forms of hypocrisy; being violent and pretending not to be violent. Or if you say you are an idealist and will eventually become peaceful, that is a great pretence, an excuse, because it will take many years for you to be without violence – indeed it may never happen. In the meantime you are a hypocrite and still violent. So if we can, not in abstraction but actually, put aside completely all ideals and only deal with the fact – which is violence – then there is no wastage of energy. This is really very important to understand, it isn’t a particular theory of the speaker. As long as man lives in the corridor of opposites he must waste energy and therefore he can never change.

So with one breath you could wipe away all ideologies, all opposites. Please go into it and understand this; it is really quite extraordinary what takes place. If a man who is angry pretends or tries not to be angry, in that there is conflict. But if he says, ‘I will observe what anger is, not try to escape or rationalize it,’ then there is energy to understand and put an end to anger. If we merely develop an idea that the mind must be free from conditioning, there will remain a duality between the fact and what ‘should be.’ Therefore it is a waste of energy. Whereas if you say, ‘I will find out in what manner the mind is conditioned,’ it is like going to the surgeon when one has cancer. The surgeon is concerned with operating and removing the disease. But if the patient is thinking about what a marvellous time he is going to have afterward, or is frightened about the operation, that is waste of energy.

We are concerned only with the fact that the mind is conditioned and not that the mind ‘should be free.’ If the mind is unconditioned it is free. So we are going to find out, examine very closely, what makes the mind so conditioned, what are the influences that have brought about this conditioning, and why we accept it. First of all, tradition plays an enormous part in life. In that tradition the brain has developed so that it can find physical security. One cannot live without security, that is the very first, primary animal demand, that there be physical security; one must have a house, food and clothing. But the psychological way in which we use this necessity for security brings about chaos within and without. The psyche, which is the very structure of thought, also want to be secure inwardly, in all its relationships. Then the trouble begins. There must be physical security for everybody, not only for the few; but that physical security for everybody is denied when psychological security is sought through nations, through religions, through the family. I hope you understand and that we have established some kind of communication between us.

So there is the necessary conditioning for physical security, but when there is the search and the demand for psychological security, then conditioning becomes tremendously potent. That is, psychologically, in our relationship with ideas, people and things, we want security, but is there security at all, in any relationship? Obviously there is not. Wanting security psychologically is to deny outward security. If I want to be secure psychologically as a Hindu, with all the traditions, superstitions and ideas, I identify myself with the larger unit which gives me great comfort. So I worship the flag, the nation, the tribe and separate myself from the rest of the world. And this division obviously brings about insecurity physically. When I worship the nation, the customs, the religious dogmas, the superstitions, I separate myself within these categories and then obviously I must deny physical security for everybody else. The mind needs physical security, which is denied when it seeks psychological security. This is a fact, not an opinion – it is so. When I seek security in my family, my wife, my children, my house, I must be against the world, I must separate myself from other families, be against the rest of the world.

One can see very clearly how the conditioning begins, how two thousand years of propaganda in the Christian world has made it worship its culture, while the same kind of thing has been going on in the East. So the mind through propaganda, through tradition, through the desire to be secure, begins to condition itself. But is there any security psychologically, in relationship with ideas, with people and with things?

If relationship means being in contact with things directly, you are unrelated if you are not in contact. If I have an idea, an image about my wife I am not related to her. I may sleep with her but I am not related to her, because my image of her prevents my directly coming into contact with her. And she, with her image, prevents a direct relationship with me. Is there any psychological certainty or security such as the mind is always seeking? Obviously when you observe any relationship very closely, there is no certainty. In the case of husband and wife or boy and girl who want to establish a firm relationship, what happens? When the wife or the husband looks at anyone else there is fear, jealousy, anxiety, anger and hatred there is no permanent relationship. Yet the mind all the time wants the feeling of belonging.

So that is the factor of conditioning, through propaganda, newspapers, magazines, from the pulpit, and one becomes tremendously aware how necessary it is not to rely on outside influences at all. You then find out what it means not to be influenced. Please follow this. When you read a newspaper you are influenced, consciously or unconsciously. When you read a novel or a book you are influenced; there is pressure, strain, to put what you read into some category. That is the whole purpose of propaganda. It begins at school and you go through life repeating what others have said. You are therefore second-hand human beings. How can such a second-hand human being find out something that is original, that is true? It is very important to understand what conditioning is and to go into this very deeply; as you look at it you have the energy to break down all those conditionings that hold the mind.

Perhaps now you would like to ask questions and so go into this matter, bearing in mind that it is very easy to ask questions, but to ask the right question is one of the most difficult things. Which doesn’t mean the speaker is preventing you from asking questions. We must ask questions, we must doubt everything anybody has said, books, religions, authorities, everything! We must question, doubt, be sceptical. But we must also know when to let scepticism go by and to ask the right question, because in that very question lies the answer.