If the young have not that revolutionary discontent,
they are already old
As I was saying if the young have not that revolutionary discontent, they are
already old; and the old are those who were once discontented, but have settled
back. They want security, they want permanency, either in their jobs or in their
souls. They want certainty in ideas, in relationship, or in property. If in you,
who are young, there is a spirit of inquiry which makes you want the truth of
anything, of any political action whether of the left or of the right, and if
you are not bound by tradition, then you will be the regenerators of the world,
the creators of a new civilization, a new culture. But, like the rest of us,
like the past generation, young people also want security, certainty. They want
jobs, they want food, clothing and shelter, they don't want to disagree with
their parents because it means going against society. Therefore, they fall in
line, they accept the authority of older people.
So, what happens? The
discontent which is the very flame of inquiry, of search, of understanding –
that discontent is made mediocre, it becomes merely a desire for a better job,
or a rich marriage, or a degree. So, their discontent is destroyed, it merely
becomes the desire for more security. Surely, what is essential for the old and
for the young is to live fully, completely. But you see, there are very few
people who want to live completely. To live fully and completely, there must be
freedom, not an acceptance of authority; and there can be freedom only when
there is virtue. Virtue is not imitation; virtue is creative living. That is,
creativeness comes through the freedom which virtue brings; and virtue is not to
be cultivated, it does not come through practice or at the end of your life.
Either you are virtuous and free now, or you are not. And to find out why you
are not free, you must have discontent, you must have the intention, the drive,
the energy to encore; but you dissipate that energy sexually, or through
shouting political slogans, waving flags, or merely imitating, passing
examinations for a better job.
1948 4th Public Talk, Bangalore, India, p. 34 - 35
The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Vol. V.