Krishnamurti on Hate

Episode Notes

‘Where there is jealousy, there is hate. Has hate any relationship to love? Is love the opposite of hate?’

This week’s episode on Hate has four sections.

The first extract (2:27) is from Krishnamurti’s first talk in Saanen 1982, titled ‘Is hatred going to destroy us?’

The second extract (17:00) is from the seventh talk in Ojai 1949, titled ‘How am I to be free of hate?’

The third extract (33:49) is from Krishnamurti’s first talk at Brockwood Park in 1982, titled ‘The flame of attention burns away hate’.

The final extract (43:16) this in this episode is from the fourth talk in Madras 1983, titled ‘Has hate any relationship to love?’

Part 1

Is Hatred Going To Destroy Us?

We have evolved through a million years. If you do not accept a million years, for at least twenty-five thousand years, we have evolved, grown through time, accumulating a lot of experience and knowledge. What has happened to us as human beings? What has happened to man after these centuries upon centuries?

Please, together we are investigating, you are not looking at the picture I am drawing. Because that is the only problem in the world now: either we are going to destroy ourselves through hatred, through antagonism, through brutality, nationalism and so on, or we question, not only the political world, the religious world, the world of entertainment, the world of philosophy, the world of morality, and discover for ourselves why we are what we are.

We have become violent, brutal, savage, fighting each other in the name of peace, in the name of country, in the name of honour, hating each other; there is the economic war, religious war and actual physical war. We are producing armaments, the industrial countries – as one heard the other day, one country is producing so much they are exporting 80 per cent of their armaments and keeping 20 per cent as their own defence. The investigator asked, ‘What happens to the 80 per cent?’ They said, ‘We don’t care, as long as it goes out.’ So that the so-called enemy buys your armaments and then kills you with what you have produced. This is actually happening. That is man.

So one asks oneself: why we have become like this? – perpetual conflict, both inward and outward, politically, religiously, economically and in our relationship with each other, the people who hate and do all kinds of mischievous things, the religious leaders talking everlastingly about peace. And there is no peace on earth, there is no justice on earth but only war, killing each other by word, by a phrase, by an idea, and conflict between ideologies. I am sure we know all this – the East and the West, the totalitarians and the so-called democratic. Observe dispassionately without any bias the national patriotic spirit dividing people, killing each other. This is what man after millennia upon millennia has become. That is, through evolution he has become what he is now, through various cultures, through great technology, marvellous architecture, great paintings, music, but inwardly he is more or less the same as he has been for millennia. That is a fact, it is not a statement by the speaker which you have to accept. This is an obvious, daily, observable, dispassionate fact.

If time has brought us to this level, to this condition, and we proceed to depend on time, evolution, we will continue the same pattern of hate, of wars, of destroying each other, hatred, wanting to be violent, terror, and all the rest of it. This has been going on historically, psychologically, for the last ten thousand or fifty thousand years, this tribalism. So we must first observe this, then discover for ourselves, see the fact evolution, which is time, has brought us to this state. Time has brought us to this state, and if we proceed in the same way as we are now, that is, accepting evolution, we will continue the same pattern. We must be clear on this subject.

Tradition, which is the past – tradition of war, tradition of nationalism, the tradition of isolation, isolated communities, which are all the forms of tribalism, savagery, including that tribalism – this is our tradition. Each country must look after itself at the expense of other countries. Patriotism is extolled, praised, called a new spirit, and there is internationalism, which is absurd if you look at it. How can isolated countries have any relationship internationally? They are isolated; they look at the world from their isolated point of view. These are all everyday actual facts.

So one asks, and I hope you are asking this yourself, if we go along this pattern, this tradition, modern or ancient, we will perpetuate wars, nationalism, isolation. Is that clear, that we will inevitably follow the same pattern if we accept that we are going to bring about a psychological transformation through time? We shall go into what we mean by time. If we accept the psychological change, the self-centred activity which can be transformed through time, it is a fallacy, it is an illusion. Don’t accept what the speaker is saying, that is, he is saying that we have accepted this tradition of tribalism, isolation, nationally, economically and religiously, and if we pursue that same direction, the same path, we shall be as we are now in spite of time.

So what shall we do? That is the real problem. There is no other problem: economic, war, all the horrors that are going on in the world. This is the central problem. The central problem is man has become like this through evolution, through time – brutal, violent, terror, always ready to kill another at the drop of a hat, hating others, antagonism, which is perpetual conflict in himself and in the world. We have lived like that – religiously, economically, politically, psychologically, inwardly – we have lived like this for fifty thousand years. Nobody inquires into that, why we live like this, why we are willing to kill another in the name of God, in the name of ideologies, in the name of patriotism, and so on, so on. We are no better than we were fifty thousand years ago, only you are more civilised, you have better bathrooms, better means of killing others, better literature and music – those are all peripheral activities, forms of entertainment – but inwardly, in our depth, in our heart, in our minds we remain what we have been through evolution, through time, and we have not fundamentally changed.

Krishnamurti in Saanen 1982, Talk 1

Part 2

How Am I To Be Free of Hate?

Question If I am perfectly honest, I have to admit that I resent, and at times, hate almost everybody. It makes my life very unhappy and painful. I understand intellectually that I am this resentment, this hatred, but I cannot cope with it. Can you show me a way?

Krishnamrurti: Now, what do we mean by ‘intellectually’? When we say that we understand something intellectually, what do we mean by that? Is there such a thing as intellectual understanding, or is it that the mind merely understands the words, because that is our only way of communicating with each other? Do we understand anything verbally? That is the first thing we have to be clear about: whether so-called intellectual understanding is not an impediment to understanding. Surely, understanding is integral, not divided, not partial. Either I understand something, or I don’t. To say to oneself, ‘I understand something intellectually,’ is surely a barrier to understanding. It is a partial process and therefore no understanding at all.

Now, the question is this: how am I, who am resentful, hateful, how am I to be free of, or cope with that problem?

How do we cope with a problem? What is a problem? Surely, a problem is something which is disturbing.

Please, may I suggest something? Just follow what I am saying. Don’t try to solve your problem of resentment and hate – just follow it. Although it is difficult to go into this so that at the end you are free of it, let us see if we can do it now. It will be rather an interesting experiment to try together.

I am resentful, I am hateful; I hate people, and it causes pain. And I am aware of it. What am I to do? It is a very disturbing factor in my life. What am I to do, how am I to be really free of it – not just momentarily slough it off, but fundamentally be free of it? How am I to do it?

Now it is a problem to me because it disturbs me. If it were not a disturbing thing, it would not be a problem to me. Because it causes pain, disturbance, anxiety, because I think it is ugly, I want to get rid of it. Therefore, the thing that I am objecting to is the disturbance, isn’t it? I give it different names at different times, in different moods; I call it one day this, and one day something else, but the desire is, basically, not to be disturbed. Isn’t that it? Because pleasure is not disturbing, I accept it. I don’t want to be free from pleasure because there is no disturbance – at least, for the time being. But hate and resentment, are very disturbing factors in my life and I want to get rid of them.

So my concern is not to be disturbed, and I am trying to find a way in which I shall never be disturbed. And why should I not be disturbed? I must be disturbed, to find out, must I not? I must go through tremendous upheavals, turmoil, anxiety to find out, must I not? Because if I am not disturbed, I shall go to sleep; and perhaps that is what most of us do want – to be pacified, to be put to sleep, to get away from any disturbance, to find isolation, seclusion, security. So, if I do not mind being disturbed – really, not just superficially – if I don’t mind being disturbed because I want to find out, then my attitude toward hate, toward resentment, undergoes a change, doesn’t it? If I do not mind being disturbed, then the name is not important. The word ‘hate’ is not important, is it? Or ‘resentment’ against people is not important, is it? Because then I am directly experiencing the state which I call resentment without verbalising that experience.

That is, anger is a very disturbing quality, as hate and resentment are, and very few of us experience anger directly without verbalising it. If we do not verbalise it, if we do not call it anger, there is a different experience, is there not? Because we term it, we reduce a new experience or fix it in the terms of the old. Whereas, if we do not name it, then there is an experience which is directly understood, and this understanding brings about a transformation in that experiencing.

Take, for example, meanness. Most of us, if we are mean, are unaware of it – mean about money matters, mean about forgiving people, you know, just being mean. I am sure we are familiar with that. Now, being aware of it, how are we going to be free from that quality? Not to become generous; that is not the important point. To be free from meanness implies generosity – you haven’t got to become generous. So obviously one must be aware of it. You may be very generous in giving a large donation to your society, to your friends, but awfully mean about giving a bigger tip. You know what I mean by ‘mean’ – one is unconscious of it. When one becomes aware of it, what happens? We exert our will to be generous; we try to overcome it; we discipline ourselves to be generous, and so on, so on. But, after all, the exertion of will to be something is still part of meanness in a larger circle. So, if we do not do any of those things but are merely aware of the implications of meanness, without giving it a term, then we will see that there takes place a radical transformation.

Take anger: if you do not give it a term but merely experience it – not through verbalisation, because verbalisation is a process of dulling the experience – but if you do not give it a term, then it is acute, it becomes very sharp, and it acts as a shock. And only then is it possible to be free.

Please, experiment with this. First, one must be disturbed; and it is obvious that most of us do not like to be disturbed. We think we have found a pattern of life – the master, the belief, whatever it is, and there we settle down. It is like having a good bureaucratic job and functioning there for the rest of one’s life. With that same mentality, we approach various qualities of which we want to be rid. We do not see the importance of being disturbed, of being inwardly insecure, of not being dependent. Surely, it is only in insecurity that you discover, that you see, that you understand. We want to be like a man with plenty of money, at ease, but surely he will not be very disturbed; he doesn’t want to be disturbed.

So disturbance is essential for understanding, and any attempt to find security is a hindrance to understanding. And when we want to get rid of something which is disturbing, it is surely a hindrance. But if we can experience a feeling directly, without naming it, I think we will find a great deal in it; then there is no longer a battle with it because the experiencer and the thing experienced are one, and that is essential. As long as the experiencer verbalises the feeling, the experience, he separates himself from it and acts upon it; and such action is an artificial, illusory action. But if there is no verbalisation, then the experiencer and the thing experienced are one. That integration is necessary and has to be radically faced.

Krishnamurti in Ojai 1949, Talk 7

Part 3

The Flame of Attention Burns Away Hate

Human beings in the world in which they have lived for so many million years, not four thousand, five hundred years ago – not the fundamentalist’s idea which is rather absurd. We have lived for so many, many years, centuries upon centuries and have accepted conflict, accepted hate, accepted to wound each other, kill each other.

One realises that our consciousness is not mine. My thinking is not mine – thinking is common to all mankind. Whether they are poor, uneducated, completely ignorant, superstitious, they think. Or the great scientists, they think. Thinking, is not yours or mine, it is thinking. And one begins then to discover that observation is far more acute and direct, has a quality of decision – not analysing, tearing everything to pieces to find out why we act this way, going back to your grandmother or your mother or your father. That too becomes – if I may; I hope there aren’t any psychologists here – rather immature. Please, we have discussed this matter with many psychologists. So if there are any psychologists here, please don’t get hurt. Just look, listen, observe what we are saying. We may be totally wrong, subject to all your corrections, but inquire, look at it. Where there is observation, there is no analysis. Just to observe as you would observe a beautiful mountain, you cannot alter it, its grandeur, its majesty, its great beauty – just to observe. In observation there is beauty.

So with such quality of observation, we are going to look. Not what I think is observation, but together to observe. Are we together in this a little bit? To observe, say for example, the hate that is spreading throughout the world, one human being wanting to hurt another by a gesture, by a word, by a look, by something written or said. Hate, it is spreading throughout the world. The poor man who has hardly anything to eat in the East hates when you go by in your car, or have clean clothes. And see what the recent wars in this country and other parts of the world are doing, they are cultivating hate in the name of God, in the name of country and all that, patriotism and all that childish stuff. So observe this hate.

Do you hate anybody? Rather an odd question to ask, but it’s right – we are going to go into all this. Do you hate somebody? Somebody you hate for various reasons – they might have hurt you psychologically. Anger is part of hate. When you observe, not analyse, this hate, why human beings have cultivated diligently this hate, through wars, can one, in oneself, honestly, without any sense of hypocrisy or dishonesty say, ‘I have observed my hate for another’? It is observation, which is like a flame of attention, that wipes away that hate.

Most of us from childhood are hurt, wounded by parents, by teachers, hurt through comparison – better marks, you know, the whole business of modern education. You are getting hurt. To observe that wound or many wounds – there are not many wounds, there is only one wound, one hurt; that is, hurt – you may be hurt by this person or that person, for this reason or that reason, but the hurt is same – can you look at that hurt, observe it, not try to transcend it, go beyond it, all the rest of it. When you observe the hurt, you will see all the consequences of that hurt. It is a wound that is continuous. Though it may be submerged, it is continuous, it is producing various results – results of isolation, fear, and gradually resistance and further isolation. So when you observe very closely this hurt, which is to observe, to give your total attention to that observation, it is like fire that burns out, that cleanses the wound. So we are proceeding still further into the inquiry of observation, which is to observe our relationship with each other.

Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park in 1982, Talk 1

Part 4

Has Hate Any Relationship To Love?

So we ought to look into what love is. That word has been so spoilt. A romantic person calls it the love of God, the love of my guru, the love of my painting, my book – we have given that word such shallow meaning. You may say, ‘I love my wife.’ One questions that love. That love may be attachment, that love may be seeking comfort, pleasure sexually, pleasure of companionship and so on. So we are going to consider what love is because in trying to see the depth of it, the beauty and the extraordinary quality of it, love may be related to death. So we are going together to look at it. Please, this is not a lecture in view of instruction, but together, as two human beings facing a world which is becoming so dangerous, one must ask this question.

Surely, to find something true, one must negate that which is not true – negate the false. You might then say that to each person the false is different, that which is illusory, that is which is not objective, rational, sane. So to discover what is false and what is true, and what is true in the false, one requires not the capacity to think clearly only, but the demand, the asking, questioning.

So what is love? Would you say love is desire? Would you say love is pleasure? Would you say love is attachment? Please, the speaker is asking these questions for you to answer to yourself; answer it, not deceive yourself. It is so easy to deceive oneself. You may think you are a marvellous human being, that you are out of all this, but to find out that which is not love, that is, negation, is the most positive action.

We are asking: is desire love? Is it? We went into the question of desire; we won’t go into it again now, if you don’t mind. Is desire love? Desire is a wandering movement, and is love wandering, unstable, weak, or is it something as strong, as vital as death? Is love pleasure? Sexual pleasure, the pleasure of owning, dominating, possessing a person – is that love? Is attachment to the person – my wife or husband, my family – attached, which means in Latin ‘attacher’, which means to hold on, cling to – is that love? Or in attachment, there is fear, jealousy, anxiety, hate. Where there is jealousy, there is hate. Is that love? Has hate any relationship with love? Is love the opposite of hate? Is the good the opposite of that which is not good? Ask these questions. If hate is the opposite of love, then hate has its root in love. All opposites have their root in their own opposites.

So please examine your own life, not listen to what the speaker is saying. Examine, each one of you, your own life honestly and ask these questions. Desire, pleasure, attachment, jealousy, anxiety, fear of losing – is all that love? So can you be free of attachment, not at the last moment when death is there? Can you end attachment to another? See the implications of attachment, the consequences of attachment: fear, anxiety, jealousy. Where there is jealousy, there is hate, anger, and more when there is attachment. And is all that love?

And what is compassion? Not the definition; you can look it up in a dictionary. What is compassion? What is the relationship between love and compassion, or they are the same movement? When we use the word ‘relationship’, it implies a duality, a separation, but we are asking what place love has in compassion. Or love is the highest expression of compassion.

How can you be compassionate if you belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures, in your guru and so on, or are attached to a conclusion? When you accept your guru, you have come to a conclusion. When you strongly believe in God or in a saviour, or in this or that, can there be compassion? You may do social work, help the poor out of pity, out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and compassion? So in understanding the nature of love, having that quality, which is mind in the heart. That is intelligence, which is a very complex question.

Intelligence is the understanding or the discovering of what love is. Intelligence has nothing whatsoever to do with thought, with cleverness, with knowledge. You may be very clever in your studies, in your job, in being able to argue very cleverly, reasonably, but that is not intelligence. Intelligence goes with love and compassion. And with that intelligence, if you have come upon it – and you cannot come upon it as an individual; compassion is not yours or mine, like thought is not yours or mine – where there is intelligence, there is no me and you – that intelligence doesn’t abide in your heart or in your mind. That intelligence, which is supreme, is everywhere. It is that intelligence that moves the earth and the heavens and the stars, because that is compassion.

Krishnamurti in Madras 1983, Talk 4

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