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What causes war, by Krishnamurti
Source Ibsen & Midge Birgers
Date 04/09/08/11:51

What causes war - religious, political or economic? Obviously,
belief, either in nationalism, in an ideology, or in a particular
dogma. If we had no belief but goodwill, love and consideration
between us, then there would be no wars. But we are fed on
beliefs, ideas and dogmas and therefore we breed discontent. The
present crisis is of an exceptional nature and we as human beings
must either pursue the path of constant conflict and continuous
wars, which are the result of our everyday action,or else see the
causes of war and turn our back upon them.

Obviously what causes war is the desire for power, position,
prestige, money; also the disease called nationalism, the worship
of a flag; and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a
dogma. All these are the causes of war; if you as an individual
belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for
power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce a society
which will result in destruction. So again it depends upon you and
not on the leaders - not on so-called statesmen and all the rest of
them. It depends upon you and me but we do not seem to realize
that. If once we really felt the responsibility of our own actions,
how quickly we could bring to an end all these wars, this appalling
misery! But you see, we are indifferent. We have three meals a day,
we have our jobs, we have our bank accounts, big or little, and we
say, "For God's sake, don't disturb us, leave us alone." The higher
up we are, the more we want security, permanency, tranquility, the
more we want to be left alone, to maintain things fixed as they are;
but they cannot be maintained as they are, because there is nothing
to maintain. Everything is disintegrating. We do not want to face
these things, we do not want to face the fact that you and I are
responsible for wars. You and I may talk about peace, have
conferences, sit round a table and discuss, but inwardly,
psychologically, we want power, position, we are motivated by
greed. We intrigue, we are nationalistic, we are bound by beliefs,
by dogmas, for which we are willing to die and destroy each other.
Do you think such men, you and I, can have peace in the world?
To have peace, we must be peaceful; to live peacefully means not
to create antagonism. Peace is not an ideal. To me, an ideal is
merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of
what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have
peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an
ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them,
transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking
psychological security, the physiological security we need -
food, clothing and shelter - is destroyed. We are seeking
psychological security, which does not exist; and we seek it,
if we can, through power, through position, through titles,
names - all of which is destroying physical security. This is an
obvious fact, if you look at it.

To bring about peace in the world, to stop all wars, there must
be a revolution in the individual, in you and me. Economic
revolution without this inward revolution is meaningless, for
hunger is the result of the maladjustment of economic conditions
produced by our psychological states - greed, envy, ill-will and
possessiveness. To put an end to to hunger, to sorrow, to war,
there must be a psychological revolution and few of us are willing
to face that. We will discuss peace, plan legislation, create new
leagues, the United Nations and so on and on; but we will not
win peace because we will not give up our position, our authority,
our money, our properties, our stupid lives. To rely on others is
utterly futile; others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to
give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will
bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward
action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not a
withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be
right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right
thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing
yourself, there is no peace.

To put an end to outward war, you must begin to put an end to
war in yourself. Some of you will nod your heads and say, "I
agree," and go outside and do exactly the same as you have
been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is
merely verbal and has no significance, for the world's miseries
and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent.
They will be stopped only when you realize the danger, when
you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to
somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency
of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform
yourself; peace will come only when you yourself are peaceful,
when you yourself are at peace with your neighbour.

The First and Last Freedom , pp.182 -85
1954 by Krishnamurti Foundation of America

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