Jiddu Krishnamurti-Why Do We Not Change?

Ah this is a lovely question, the next one. Why do we not change? Yes, sir. I was going to ask that question myself. I see people here whom I have known for many years come year after year, and have asked them, too, why do we not change? What will make us change? Do ask this question yourself? What is the energy, the drive, the intensity, that will make us change? Change, what do we mean by that word, change? Change from this to that. Right? That is preconceived, therefore, it’s no change at all. I wonder if you see this? Do we see this? If I change according to some pattern which I have carefully established, it is not change. It’s a continuation of “what is,” modified, which I hope will lead me further, and further modification, but it is the same chain. Right? The same movement. So, what do we mean by change? To the speaker it means the ending, not continuation of “what is” modified. You understand? Take for instance, physical revolution: The Communists, the Leninists, the Trotskyite, change. Their idea of revolution is to change the whole structure of society, therefore they are violent, hoping thereby to bring about a different human being. That is, the outside pressure of change from the Tzar to the Communist, Bolshevik and so on, will ultimately or as soon as possible make man different. So, they have not succeeded, on the contrary, they have done terrible things.

So we are talking about change psychologically, change completely the content of our consciousness. Right? Not change consciousness into a better consciousness, into a more polished consciousness, less violent but occasionally violent, and so on so on. The ending of the content of consciousness is radical mutation. I won’t use the word change there. So, why don’t we change? Move away from this totally. Have we made the question clear? Why, after millions and millions of years, we human beings have reduced ourselves to the present appalling condition – it is appalling, frightening, the violence, the brutality, the killing for a piece of land, for god’s sake! Why? And, the question is why don’t we bring about an ending to all this? Please answer this. You are all educated, workers, intelligent in a certain direction, making money, going to work, and all the rest of it, but you haven’t solved the real issue. Why? Will outside pressure change you, to bring about a mutation of the psyche? Mutation means total change, that which has been is not. Not change to something. That which has been, that is: My anger, my violence, my stupidity, my holding onto some idiotic illusion; some symbol which perhaps will save me from something or other. What will make us change?

Outside pressure obviously has not done it. Right? That’s very clear. Is that clear to you? By changing society, you are not going to be changed. Because you have created the society. That’s clear? We have made this society what it is: wars, killing each other for some national prestige, honour, a piece of land. You understand what all this is? And after thousands of years we are not free from fear. What will make us change? More knowledge about yourself? More knowledge of the world, outside of us? Knowledge that we must not kill and we kill? We have accumulated thousands of years of knowledge which has helped us to kill people, and also we have knowledge that we shouldn’t kill, where does it lead us? Right? So, will suffering, pain, attachment, pressure, the carrot – reward and punishment? You follow? Will all that change us? Apparently it hasn’t. So what will make us change? Not change, what will make us transform, what will make us end this terrible confusion, sorrow, pain, anxiety, lonely, all that, end? Tears? We have cried enough. Sorrow? Nothing outside. I wonder if we realize that. No gods, no saviors, no external force, agency is ever going to change us. We are much too clever for all that. Much too cunning.

I think this is a very serious question. One should ask oneself: Will time bring about this mutation? You have had time, million years, obviously, time will not. So nothing outside will change us, will bring about mutation. What will change us is only our own attention, our own awareness of the confusion in which we live. And watching that, remaining with that completely, not trying to change it, not trying to do something about it, you understand this? It is very interesting. We reject, if we do, outside agency altogether, gods and all, reject it, any intelligent man does reject it. But he doesn’t reject the operator inside. You understand? The actor who says, I will do this. That actor is the past memory, past remembrance, past knowledge. If that could be completely transformed, then you observe “what is” completely freely, and when you observe so totally with complete attention, that which is, has completely ended. So it must be one’s own perception of one’s misery, confusion, and live with it wholly, not trying to act upon it.

Post Author: Chad

A student of life and death.