Jiddu Krishnamurti-If two people have a relationship of conflict and pain, can they resolve it, or must the relationship end?

1st Question: If two people have a relationship of conflict and pain, can they resolve it, or must the relationship end? And to have a good relationship isn’t it necessary for both to change?

I hope the question is clear. What is the cause in relationship of pain, conflict and all the problems that arise in relationship? What is the root of it? Please, in answering this question we are thinking together, I am not answering it and you just receiving it or accept it, or reject it, but together we are enquiring into this question. This is a question that concerns all human beings, whether they are in the East, here, or Europe, America. This is a problem that really concerns most human beings. Apparently two people, man and woman, cannot live together without conflict, without pain, without a sense of inequality, without that feeling that they are not profoundly related to each other. One asks, why? There may be multiple causes, sexual, lack of temperament, the opposites feeling that of belief, of ambition, there may be many, many causes for this lack of harmony in relationship. But what is really the source, the depth of that source, which brings conflict in each of us? I think that is the important question to ask, to ask, and then not wait for an answer from somebody, like the speaker, but having put the question, have the patience to wait, hesitate, let the question itself take seed, flower, move. I don’t know if I am conveying that feeling.

I ask myself why, if I am married to a woman, or live with a woman, why do I have this basic conflict between us. I can give superficial answers – because she is a Roman Catholic, I am a Protestant, or I am this or that, those are all superficial reasons. But I want to find out what is the deep-rooted, or deep source of this conflict between two people. I have put the question and I am waiting for the question itself to flower, to expose all the intricacies that lie behind the question because there are a great many intricacies in the question and what the question brings out. For that I must have a little patience – right? – a little sense of waiting, watching, being aware, so that the question begins to unfold. As it unfolds I begin to see the answer. Not that I want an answer but the question itself begins to unroll, show me the extraordinary complexity that lies between two people, between two human beings that perhaps like each other, perhaps are attracted to each other, when they are very young they get sexually – all the rest of it – and later on as they grow a little older they get bored with each other and gradually escape from that boredom through another person – divorcing or quietly, you know all the rest of it. But the same problem exists with the other. So I have to have patience. Patience, I mean by that word, not allowing time to operate. I don’t know if you have gone into the question of patience and impatience.

Most of us are rather impatient. We want our questions answered immediately, or escape from it immediately, operate upon it immediately. So we are rather impatient to get on with it. This impatience doesn’t give one the depth of understanding of the problem. Whereas if one had patience, which is not of time, because I am patient, I am not wanting to end the problem, I am watching, looking at the problem, let it evolve, grow. So out of that patience I begin to find out the depth of the answer. Right? Let us do that together now this morning. We are patient, not wanting an immediate answer and therefore our minds, brains are open to look, are aware of the problem and its complexity. Right? We are trying – no, I don’t want to use the word ‘trying’ – we are penetrating into the problem why two people can never seem to live together without conflict. What is the root of this conflict? What is the depth or the superficiality of this conflict? And what is my relationship with her, or with somebody? Is it superficial? That is, sexual, the attraction, the curiosity, the excitement, which are all superficial – sensory responses are superficial. Right? So I realise these responses are being superficial and as long as I try to find an answer superficially I will never be able to see the depth of the problem. So am I free from the superficial responses and the problems that superficial responses create and try to solve those problems superficially. I don’t know if you are following.

I have seen that so I won’t find an answer superficially. Therefore, I say what is the root of it? Is it education? Is it being a man I want to dominate the other? I want to possess the other? I am attached so deeply I don’t want to let go? And do I see that being tied, attached, will invariably bring about corruption? You follow? Corruption in the sense, I am jealous, I am anxious, I am frightened, I want – all the sequences of attachment one knows very well. Is that the cause of it? Or is the cause much deeper? You follow? First of all we said superficial, then emotional attachments, emotional and sentimental, romantic dependence. If I discard those, then is there still a deeper issue involved in this? You are getting it? We are moving from the superficial lower and deeper and deeper so that we can find out for ourselves what is the root of it. I hope you are doing this with me. Right?

Now how do I find the root of it? How do you find the root of it? Are you wanting an answer – right? – wanting to find the root of it, therefore making a tremendous effort? Or you want to find it so your mind, your brain is quiet, looking. Right? So it is not agitated, it is not the activity of desire, will. It is just watching. Are we doing together this? Just watching to see what is the deep root, or deep cause, the basis of this conflict between human beings. Is it the sense of individual separation? See, go into it very carefully, please. Is it individual concept that I am separate from the other – basically. Though biologically we are different but the sense of deep-rooted individual, separative action, is that the root of it? Or is there still a deeper root, a deeper layer, you understand? I wonder if you are following all this? We are together in this? First sensory responses, sensual responses, then emotional, romantic, sentimental responses, then attachment, with all its corruption? Or is it something profoundly conditioned brain that says, ‘I am an individual, and she – or he – is an individual. And we are separate entities, each must fulfil in his own way and therefore the separation is basic’. Right? Is that so?

Is it basic? Or I have been educated to that? That I am an individual and she – also an individual – must fulfil herself in her own way and I must equally. So we have already started from the very beginning these two separate directions, may be running parallel together but never meeting. Like two railway lines that never meet. And all I am doing is try to meet, try to live harmoniously, struggle, ‘Oh, darling, you are so good’ – you follow? – repeat, repeat, but never meet. Right?

So if that is the cause, and apparently it appears to be the cause – the root of it, is that separative existence of an individual a reality? Or it is an illusion, an illusion which I have been nourishing, cherishing, holding on to, without any validity behind it? If it has no validity I must be quite sure, absolutely, irrevocably sure that it is an illusion and can the brain break away from that illusion and realise we are all similar, psychologically? You follow? My consciousness is the consciousness of the rest of mankind. Though biologically we differ, psychologically our consciousness is similar to all human beings. If I once realise this, not intellectually but at depth, in my heart, in my blood, in my guts, the feeling, then my relationship to another undergoes a radical change, right? Inevitable!

Now the questioner asks: we are in conflict. Must it end? If we battle with each other all day long, as most people are, struggle, conflict, you know, the bitterness, the anger, the hatred, the repulsion – we bear it as long as we can, then comes a moment we have to break. We know the familiar pattern of this. There are more divorces than marriages after marriages. And the questioner asks: what is one to do? If I am everlastingly in conflict with my wife and somehow I can’t patch it over, must the relationship end? Or I understand basically the cause of this disruption, of this conflict, which is the sense of separate individualities and I have seen the illusory nature of it and therefore I am no longer pursuing the individual line, therefore what takes place between me, who has perceived that and lives it, not verbally maintains it but actually lives it, then what is my relationship with the person, with the woman who still thinks in terms of the individual? You understand my question?

It is very interesting. Go into it. I see, or she sees – better put it onto her – she sees the foolishness, the absurdity, the illusory nature of the individual, she understands it, she feels it, and I don’t, because I am a male, I am more aggressive, more driving and all the rest of that. So what takes place between us? She has comprehended the nature and I have not. She won’t quarrel with me – never. Right? She won’t enter into that area at all but I am constantly pushing her, driving her and trying to pull her out of that area. I am creating the conflict, not she – you have understood how the whole thing has moved? Are you following all this?

Q: Yes.

K: The whole thing has moved. There are no two people quarrelling but only one. See what has taken place. And I, if I am at all sensitive, if I have real feeling for her, I begin to also transform, because she is irrevocably there, you understand? She will not move out of that area. See what happens. If two immovable objects meet, there is conflict. I don’t know if you see. But if one is immovable, the lady, and I am movable I naturally yield to that which is immovable. Right? I wonder if you understand all this. This is very simple.

So the problem then is resolved if one has real comprehension of relationship, without the image – which we went into previously. Then by her very presence, by her very vitality of actuality she is going to transform me, help. That is the answer. Got it?

Post Author: Chad

A student of life and death.