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Quotes by Krishnamurti

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Violence

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The thing you fight, you become

The thing you fight, you become.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book The Book of Life – Purchase / Read online
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That thing which you fight, you become. If I am angry and you meet me with anger what is the result? More anger. You have become that which I am. If I am evil and you fight me with evil means then you also become evil, however righteous you may feel. If I am brutal and you use brutal methods to overcome me, then you become brutal like me. And this we have done for thousands of years. Surely there is a different approach than to meet hate by hate. If I use violent methods to quell anger in myself then I am using wrong means for a right end, and thereby the right end ceases to be. In this there is no understanding; there is no transcending anger. Anger is to be studied tolerantly and understood; it is not to be overcome through violent means. Anger may be the result of many causes and without comprehending them there is no escape from anger.

We have created the enemy, the bandit, and becoming ourselves the enemy in no way brings about an end to enmity. We have to understand the cause of enmity and cease to feed it by our thought, feeling, and action. This is an arduous task demanding constant self-awareness and intelligent pliability, for what we are the society, the state is. The enemy and the friend are the outcome of our thought and action. We are responsible for creating enmity and so it is more important to be aware of our own thought and action than to be concerned with the foe and the friend, for right thinking puts an end to division. Love transcends the friend and the enemy.

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A different response to anger

In the presence of a person who is angry, see what takes place if one is aware of it and does not respond. The moment one is aware of the other person’s anger and one does not react oneself, there is quite a different response.
—KRISHNAMURTI

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The brain when faced with violence undergoes a rapid chemical change; it reacts much quicker than the blow. One’s whole body reacts and there is immediate response; one may not hit back, but the very presence of anger or hatred causes this response and there is action.

In the presence of a person who is angry, see what takes place if one is aware of it and does not respond. The moment one is aware of the other person’s anger and one does not react oneself, there is quite a different response. One’s instinct is to respond to hate by hate, to anger by anger; there is the welling up chemically which creates in the system the nervous reactions. But quieten all this in the presence of anger, and a different action takes place.

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Hatred furthers hatred

Action born of hatred can only create further hatred.
—KRISHNAMURTI

From the book The Book of Life – Purchase / Read online
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We have all, I am sure, tried to subdue anger but somehow that does not seem to dissolve it. Is there a different approach to dissipate anger? Anger may spring from physical or psychological causes. One is angry, perhaps, because one is thwarted, one’s defensive reactions are being broken down, or one’s security which has been carefully built up is being threatened, and so on. We are all familiar with anger. How is one to understand and dissolve anger? If you consider that your beliefs, concepts, opinions, are of the greatest importance, then you are bound to react violently when questioned. Instead of clinging to beliefs, opinions, if you begin to question whether they are essential to one’s comprehension of life, then through the understanding of its causes there is the cessation of anger. Thus one begins to dissolve one’s own resistances which cause conflict and pain. This again requires earnestness. We are used to controlling ourselves for sociological or religious reasons or for convenience, but to uproot anger requires deep awareness.

You say you are angry when you hear of injustice. Is it because you love humanity, because you are compassionate? Do compassion and anger dwell together? Can there be justice when there is anger, hatred? You are perhaps angry at the thought of general injustice, cruelty, but your anger does not alter injustice or cruelty; it can only do harm. To bring about order, you yourself have to be thoughtful, compassionate. Action born of hatred can only create further hatred. There can be no righteousness where there is anger. Righteousness and anger cannot dwell together.

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When you separate yourself, it breeds violence

When you separate yourself by belief, nationality or tradition, it breeds violence. So one who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, religion or political party, but is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
—KRISHNAMURTI

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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.

Now there are two primary schools of thought with regard to violence, one which says, `Violence is innate in man’ and the other which says, `Violence is the result of the social and cultural heritage in which man lives.’ We are not concerned with which school we belong to – it is of no importance. What is important is the fact that we are violent, not the reason for it.

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Can we go beyond violence?

If we know how to look at violence, not only outwardly in society – the wars, riots, national antagonisms and class conflicts – but also in ourselves, perhaps we shall be able to go beyond it.
—KRISHNAMURTI

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If we know how to look at violence, not only outwardly in society – the wars, the riots, the national antagonisms and class conflicts – but also in ourselves, then perhaps we shall be able to go beyond it. Here is a very complex problem. For centuries upon centuries man has been violent; religions have tried to tame him throughout the world and none of them have succeeded. So if we are going into the question we must, it seems to me, be at least very serious about it because it will lead us into quite a different domain, but if we want merely to play with the problem for intellectual entertainment we shall not get very far. You may feel that you yourself are very serious about the problem but that as long as so many other people in the world are not serious and are not prepared to do anything about it, what is the good of your doing anything? I don’t care whether they take it seriously or not. I take it seriously, that is enough. I am not my brother’s keeper. I myself, as a human being, feel very strongly about this question of violence and I will see to it that in myself I am not violent – but I cannot tell you or anybody else, ‘Don’t be violent.’ It has no meaning – unless you yourself want it.
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