"Is it possible to be responsible for the whole of mankind, and therefore responsible for nature? That is, is it possible to answer adequately, totally to your children, to your neighbour, for all the movement that man has created in his endeavour to live rightly. And to feel that immense responsibility, not only intellectually, verbally, but very deeply, to be able to answer to the whole human struggle of pain, brutality, violence and despair? To respond totally to that, one must know what it means to love.
That word love has been so misused,
so spoilt, so trodden upon, but we will have to use that word and give to it a
totally different kind of meaning. To be able to answer to the whole there must
be love. And to understand that quality, that compassion, that extraordinary
sense of energy, which is not created by thought, we must understand suffering.
When we use the word understand, it is not a verbal or intellectual
communication of words, but the communication or communion that lies behind the
word. We must understand and be able to go beyond suffering, otherwise we cannot
possibly understand the responsibility for the whole,
So, to understand this
responsibility for the whole, and therefore that strange quality of love, one
must go beyond suffering. What is suffering? Why do human beings suffer? This
has been one of the great problems of life for millions of years. Apparently
very few have gone beyond suffering, and they become either heroes or saviours,
or some kind of neurotic leaders, and there they remain. But ordinary human
beings like you and me never seem to go beyond it. We seem to be caught in it.
And we are asking now whether it is possible for you to be really
"Talks in Saanen", 1974
Religion, politics, society are exploiting you, and you are being conditioned by them; you are being forced in a particular direction. You are not human beings; you are mere cogs in a machine. You suffer patiently, submitting to the cruelties of environment, when you, individually, have the possibilities of changing them.
1933-12-30 2nd Public Talk, Adyar, Madras, India
Krishnamurti Articles & Quotes