Thursday, July 19, 2012
Jiddu Krishnamurti: A Reminder
During this lecture, or rather conversation, Jiddu Krishnamurti was 90 years old. He quickly admonishes the audience not to applaud him. The Year was 1985, the first night of a two-night speaking engagement in Washington DC. They were the Reagan years and I was only 19 years old. The heart beat of our nation was concerned with Communism, nuclear war, and we felt, at the time, that we were not crazy enough to push the button to destroy the earth. The greatest fear was the cold war with Russia.
It was still the "spy-versus-spy" days and we had felt, with incredible certainty that we were the ones wearing the "white" hats. We were good, loved peace and were not in the business of creating war. We had fought for those who could not speak.
That was our self perception. What is our concern? What is our desire? There is a saying that where your heart is, there lies your treasure.
As I think about the nature of the days, where we tried not to think about the threat of living under a nation where weapons were pointed at each other, and we tried to understand, as young people, how our parents generation had allowed the bomb contest to grow to such insanity. At the time we had an inventory that could have destroyed the world several times over, and that was just OUR inventory.
Like most Americans, I didn't pay attention to the Iran-Contra scandal. It was "their" problem and we didn't want any part of it. However, the war in Afghanistan had resulted in the bankruptcy of the former Soviet Union. It also resulted in the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It resulted in nuclear draw-down, that I had thought was a miracle.
The world came together and watched with tears as the wall came down and yet, the old Europe was still terrified of a "unified" Germany instead of hoping for a unified world.
At the time, I had thought to myself that I actually could have a family, during the age of one nation pointing weapons at another in some sort of Mexican stand-off, I was not about to bring a child into this drama.
Unfortunately, the drumbeat of war began and continues since 2 August 1990. When one group tries to dominate another group to do its will, we have terms that have changed our language and our mentality. To objectify humanity has crippled our hearts and consciousness with bitter seeds of hate and revenge.
Not all are as such, but individually and collectively; we are responsible for the world we want to see reflected in each other. Is peace really so controversial? Is freedom without a real meaning when we use the freedom to inflict control over each other. To rule each other? Over each other? To treat each other like cattle? Our competitive spirit serves not to better each other, but to destroy each other. What is this carrot we are chasing? A plaque? A bit of recognition?
For a moment, consider what is driving you in this life. Consider your motivation. Is it to be free from need, just to preserve your mortal body for as long as possible because life is so much more preferable to death?
How much more is learned when we collaborate and share with each other instead of chasing little slips of green paper that we exchange with each other for wants more than needs. So, perhaps we need to realign our thinking. To face our fears of each other. To realize this is not an ugly world, but one that has an enormous amount of potential instead of just passively and blindly accepting that we "have to" be divided through beliefs, race, creed, culture, language or nationality.
Ponder carefully...why are we afraid of peace? What wouldn't be needed anymore? What could that energy be put into. We live. We die. The next generations come and the ancestors hope their knowledge and experience is passed down.
No matter what is feared, which is the unknown; have the courage to make the unknown...the known. What follows is the second night of his dialogue in Washington DC. If we can ever hope to have peace within the world, we must restore the intention of the word.