QUESTION: We find ourselves living in fear of war, of losing a job, if we have one, in fear of terrorism, of being at the very mercy of inept politicians. How do we meet life as it is today?
KRISHNAMURTI: First of all, what is life, what is this thing called existence, full of sorrow, inept politicians, and all the trickery and dishonesty that’s going on in the world? What does it mean to live in this world as it is? How do we live our daily life, not theoretically, philosophically or idealistically, but actually how do we live our daily life? If we examine it, it is a constant battle, constant struggle, effort after effort. What shall we do? It comes down to that. Can we change our life? To have no conflict at all in our life, is that possible? Because conflict is part of violence. This constant struggle to be something, in the world, economically, socially, as well as inwardly, is the basis of our life.
Can we, as human beings living in this world, change ourselves, radically, psychologically transform ourselves, not eventually, not admitting time? For a serious man, for a really religious mind, there is no tomorrow. This is rather a hard saying. There is no tomorrow: there is only the rich worship of today. And can we live wholly this life and actually transform our relationship with each other? That is the real issue, not what the world is. The world is us. You are the world, and the world is you. That is an obvious fact. We are the world with all its ugliness; we have contributed to all this, we are responsible for all this, for all the craziness going on.
And if we don’t feel our responsibility for all this-which means responsible utterly for ourselves, what we do, what we think, how we behave-then it becomes rather hopeless, knowing what the world is, knowing that we cannot individually, separately, solve this problem of terrorism. That is the problem of governments: to see that its citizens are safe, protected, but they don’t seem to care. If each government were really concerned that its people must be protected, there would be no wars. But apparently governments have lost sanity too: they are thinking only of party politics, of their own power, position, prestige-you know the whole game.
So can we, not admitting time, that is tomorrow, the future, live in such a way that today is all-important? That means one has to become so extraordinarily alert to our reactions, to our confusion-work like fury on ourselves. That is the only thing we can do apparently. And if we don’t do that, there is really no future for man. Apparently the ordinary people in the world don’t seem to care. Those who are intellectually, scientifically, involved in the production of armaments don’t seem to care; they are interested only in their careers, in their jobs, in their research. And those of us who are fairly ordinary people, if we don’t care at all, then we are really throwing in the sponge.
And the tragedy is that we don’t seem to care either. We don’t seem to get together, think together, work together. We are only too willing to join institutions, organizations, hoping that organizations, institutions will stop wars, will stop us butchering each other.
They have never done it. Institutions, organizations will never stop any of this. It is the human heart, the human mind, that is involved in this. And if we care and our daily life is lived rightly, if each one of us is aware of what we are doing daily, then I think there is some hope for the future.
This article has been written by by Jiddu Krishnamurti.