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J. Krishnamurti on War and a response by Osho

Posted to Poetry and Politics

"War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday life, is it not? War is merely an outward expression of our inward state, an enlargement of our daily action. It is more spectacular, more bloody, more destructive, but it is the collective result of our individual activities. Therefore, you and I are responsible for war and what can we do to stop it? Obviously the ever-impending war cannot be stopped by you and me, because it is already in movement; it is already taking place, though at present chiefly on the psychological level. As it is already in movement, it cannot be stopped - the issues are too many, too great, and are already committed. But you and I, seeing that the house is on fire, can understand the causes of that fire, can go away from it and build in a new place with different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce other wars. That is all that we can do. You and I can see what creates wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war."

-Jiddu Krishnamurti(1895-1986)

J. Krishnamurti's statement that "You are the world" is very simple; just a little intelligence is needed to understand it. We can try to approach the statement from a few different directions.

The world is only a name; the individual is the reality. You can go on trying to find the world all over the world, and you will not find it; you will always find the individual. Words like the 'world', the 'society', the 'religion', the 'nation', are mere words with no content behind them -- empty containers.

Except you, there is no world.

This is one way of understanding the statement: that the individual is the only reality. And the world is nothing but the collectivity of individuals, so whatever it is, it is a contribution of individuals. If it is ugly, you have contributed to its ugliness. If it is full of hate, jealousy, anger, greed, ambition, you have contributed to this whole hell in which we are living. You cannot throw the responsibility on somebody else; you have to accept the responsibility on your own shoulders. That is another way of understanding the statement, "You are the world."

We are continuously shifting the responsibility. If there is war, if there is an Adolf Hitler, a Ronald Reagan, it becomes easy for us to point to these people and say that they are responsible. But who creates them?

Adolf Hitler is our contribution. Without us, he is nobody. Ronald Reagan is nothing but our opinion. It is our vote, it is our support. So the moment you condemn anybody, remember: you are condemning yourself. However indirect your contribution may be, your contribution is there.

...You may be against war, you may be a pacifist, you may be a chronic protestant -- always with a flag protesting against war, against violence. Naturally you can say, "How can I be held responsible?" But life is a complex phenomenon. Your protests, your pacifism, your fight against warmongers is still part of war; you are not a man of peace. And you can see it when people protest -- their anger, their violence is so obvious that one wonders why these people are protesting against war. They should join some camp in the war -- they are full of anger, rage. They have just chosen to have a third camp behind a beautiful name -- "peace". A good mask, but inside is the same anger, the same rage, the same violence, the same destructiveness against anybody who does not agree with them. They are contributing as much violence to the atmosphere as anybody else. They may be talking about love, but they are also saying that you have to fight for love. You can choose beautiful words, but you cannot hide the reality.

J. Krishnamurti's statement that "You are the world" simply emphasizes the fact that every individual, wherever he is, whatever he is, should accept the responsibility of creating this world that exists around us. If it is insane, you have contributed to that insanity in your own way. If it is sick, you are also a partner in making it sick.

And the emphasis is important -- because unless you understand that "I am also responsible for this miserable and insane world," there is no possibility of change. Who is going to change? Everybody thinks somebody else is responsible.