Wednesday, 7 December 2016

What is Love? (Krishnamurti)

In January 1986, at the age of 91, Jiddu Krishnamurti gave his penultimate talk, at Madras in southeast India, near the place where he was born.

The full transcript may be found at the link:
What follows is a summary of what he said.

What is Love?

You have to think, not just agree – doubt, question, enquire together. I am not here to guide, instruct or help. We've had that kind of help for generations and look where it's got us.

We are walking up a very long street together. It requires energy. To enquire very profoundly, we must also enquire, what is energy? Everything on earth requires energy. What is its origin? Abandon all that the ancient people have said; leave it at the roadside and let us walk on.

Is there an energy which is not contained within the field of knowledge, not put together by thought?

Thought gives great energy; to wake up and go to the office at nine o'clock every morning, earn money, plan for the future. Thought has planned this society which has divided this world into communist, socialist, democrat, republican, and the army, the navy, the air force. Without thought, we can't do anything. Thought is based on knowledge and knowledge on experience. Experience is stored as memory and this is the origin of our thought. But experience is always limited, always adding more. Therefore thought is limited.

Thought has created fear. Fear arises because we want security. Fear on its own is a tremendous energy. But fear destroys love; love cannot exist where there is fear, the two are totally divorced from each other.
So what is the origin of fear? To question all this is to be alive, to understand the nature of love. Time and thought are the central factors of fear. Time is both inward — I am this, I will be that — and outward. Time and thought are both movements. They are the principal factors of life. Is that all of life? Your consciousness if you examine it closely is made up of its content. Every human being on this earth goes through suffering, pain, wanting this, not wanting that. Your consciousness, which is what you are — not physically but psychologically, inwards — is the consciousness of mankind.

Have you ever enquired very closely into what is death? It must be an extraordinary thing to die. Everything is taken away from you: your attachments, your money, your children, your country, your superstitions, your gurus, your gods. I want to find out for myself, whilst living, what it means to die. You don't see the beauty of it, the greatness of it, the extraordinary strength of it — whilst living to be dying. You understand what that means? Each day is a new day. There is tremendous vitality and energy there because there is nothing you are afraid of. There is nothing that can hurt. All the things that man has put together have to be totally abandoned. So can you do it? Will you experiment with it? Not for just a day; every day. 

No, you can't do it. Your brains have been conditioned so heavily by your education, by your tradition, by your books, by your professors. It requires finding out what love is. Love and death go together. Death says, "be free, non-attached, you can carry nothing with you". And love says, love says… there is no word for it. Love can only exist when there is freedom. It does not come from your wife, your girlfriend, your boyfriend. But the feeling, the enormous strength — the vitality, the energy of complete freedom.

Painting: Clytie by Lord Frederic Leighton. Clytie was a nymph in Book IV of Ovid’s Metamorphoses who falls in love with the sun god Apollo.

Shared originally on Buddhist Travellers in 2011.

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