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Chapter 71 - Freedom is sane living in daily life
Freedom is a word that is so loosely used that it no longer has real significance. Though we talk about it endlessly in school, in college, politically and religiously, we really don't want freedom. What we want is complete security in all our ways of life. We revolt against authority but we are really rebelling to express our demand for identity and action. Freedom is really a dangerous thing. It is freedom from the total misery, confusion that exists both inwardly and outwardly. The total denial of the structure of ideas and action based on those ideas is freedom. It is not an expression of rampant individual selfishness. The denial of that too, not verbally but actually, is freedom. To stand alone without isolating oneself is sanity. Sanity means health, wholeness and also holiness. In this state there is no imbalance. This is freedom.
This freedom is not an idea, a concept, but is sane living in our daily life. The action of the insane is one thing but this action is another, leading to the flowering of goodness. If you observe the world about you, you see how insane it all is: mothers sending their sons to war to kill and be killed; the divisions of religion and governments with their conflict and their corruption; the talk of peace while preparing for war; the endless breaking up of human beings into categories, temperaments, with their gurus and analysts. This insanity has its own activity, which is contradictory, imitative and divisive. Education as it now exists is to conform to the pattern of insanity. This action of the "me" and the "you" is the root of corruption whether it is in the name of society, nation or god. Education is to wean away the mind from this insanity and its activities.
So what is the action of sanity? For we are concerned in life with action: life is action in relationship. There is no your action and my action. If there is, it is insanity operating in us. Man has divided action into a great many varieties, into the categories of a mind that is in itself fragmented.
So there is only action, not the activity of the artist, the writer, the politician and so on. When action is broken up into man-invented categories, corruption sets in. If this is understood very clearly-that is, when you see the inward truth of this, the fact of this-then action is the outcome of the whole. Then you are not committed to a particular course of action but you are committed to the whole of life, which is action. When you are committed to one particular action that may give you gratification and self-expression, then you will find that act will lead to self-contradiction and therefore to the wasting of energy. The summation of action is in itself not contradictory and therefore releases great energy. So action is total inaction.
Again one must point out that these are not words, ideas and speculative abstractions but are facts. The action of the fact, or what is, is vastly different from the action of an idea. For most people the idea is vastly more important than action: concept and action are two different things; there is space between the two, and in this space is time and the division of action, for action is trying to adjust itself to the idea or conform to the concept or formula, and hence there is conflict. Conflict is this division between idea and action.
Where there is sanity there is action and not the idea of action. We have cultivated the intellect, and so intellect has become tremendously important-the intellect that conceives, formulates, remembers, calculates, imagines. When this operates, there is always regret or forgiveness and dependency on cause-effect. In this, action which has a cause becomes the effect of an earlier cause, a cause which has a motive, which becomes the cause of another action.
Where there is sanity, action has no future. There is no 'I will do' or 'I will try'. There is only the doing which has no time, it has no tomorrow. For love there is no tomorrow. The tomorrow exists only in an action that is based on an idea, and to bridge the action to the concept you need time. So for such an action there is always tomorrow with all its regrets, frustrations and incompleteness.
So you begin to see what action is, not according to somebody who then becomes the authority to be followed. When you yourself see the truth of this wholeness, action has quite a different meaning. The tomorrow altogether disappears, but yet tomorrow exists in your arrangements, the planning of daily life; but this planning is contained in the wholeness and is not separate from it.
There is the action of thought and the action of non- thought. The action of thought has its place, but it does not bring about the flowering of goodness. The action of non-thought does. Thought does not breed love; it breeds satisfaction, pleasure, the self-centred activity which has nothing whatsoever to do with love and goodness. The wholeness of action is love.
Questioner: Are you saying that we must not conform to what other people are doing? It is fun to do what others do; it gives me a sense of companionship. It makes it easier to talk, and also it is fun to get into some trouble. Shouldn't we see what it is like to get into a bit of trouble? Most people do. Won't we learn something from it?
Krishnamurti: Education is to make you sensitive not only to your own particular desires, fancies and troubles but also to those of others. Can you be sensitive-that is, highly intelligent-if you are conforming, if you are copying, however pleasant it may be for the time being, what everybody else does? Will intelligence allow you to get into trouble, and what is there to learn from trouble? You may steal something in a shop or from your friend. If you do you will end up in a police station. Is this the action of sensitivity, intelligence? What do you learn from troubles? Either you learn never to get involved in them or you get excitement, sensation, and you move then from one excitement to another, ever demanding greater sensations. And what do you learn from that?
Do you learn the implications of companionship, that you need to depend on others for your sense of self-esteem, to cover up your insufficiency, your feeling of being wanted in one place but not in another? Do you really learn this or do you merely use the word learning to cover up your demand for excitement? One must have fun, one must be able to laugh and to talk to another, but it must come from inside you. That is youth. To have to go outside yourself to seek fun leads to all kinds of trouble, and that is part of this insanity of the world in which we live. It is like going to a temple, or to a church to find God. You may not go there, but you want your little excitement out there somewhere. They are both the same. If you are really learning, it is here and not out there.
Q: I'm not sure that I am clever enough to understand all you have said. I can't refute it or agree with it, but the seriousness with which you say this affects me somewhere. But I feel that is not enough. How does my mind become sharp enough for all this?
K: It is not a matter of being clever at all. That is a horrible word. In it is a great deal of cunning, slight deception, a tinge of hypocrisy, a put-on behaviour. You don't need a clever mind. What you really need, if I may point out, is the capacity to observe, to listen; to observe without all the clamour that lies behind the observation, the noise of opinions, rationalization, condemnation. You can observe very simply a leaf in the breeze; you can observe a fly in the room; and also you can observe your behaviour, why you do this and that, why you are hurt, why you store up the hurt, why you yield and why you are obstinate. Just to observe and to listen without any muttering of your own like and dislike. You know, to do this you have to pay attention, and the learning of this is attention. And in this is a great deal of fun, much more than you realize. It is fun that comes of itself and that is real. The other kind fades away.