A nonviolent life

“You have lived in thought; that is, you have given tremendous importance to thinking. But thinking is old; thinking is never new; thinking is the continuation of memory. If you have lived there, obviously there is some kind of continuity. And it is a continuity that is dead, over, finished. It is something old. Only that which ends can have something new. So dying is very important to understand living. I don’t know if you have ever tried it. To be free from the known, to be free from your memory, even for a few days, to be free from your pleasure, without any argument, without any fear, to die to your family, to your house, to your name, to become completely anonymous. It is only the person who is completely anonymous who is in a state of non-violence, who has no violence. And so, to die every day not as an idea but actually, do it sometime.”

– J. Krishnamurti, On Living and Dying, p. 35.


As he sat there among the trees, he saw that violence is the denial of what is – in him, outside him. It is the denial of the massive stream of human experience that flows down to us from 2 million years ago when the first human being looked around, and wondered at the tremendous beauty around him. It is that experience, and it is the experience of human beings today, 2 million years later, when we look around and see noise, filth, commotion, which is our everyday existence.

In this vast stream of joy, sorrow, fear, enchantment, aggression we are receptacles of it all. Nobody escapes suffering, no matter how hard they try. Violence is to say no to that vast stream of human experience, to put aside one segment of it as undesirable, and to take another segment of it and claim it as one’s own. This, in brief, is how the self comes into being. Unless one dies to these strivings of claim and denial, like and dislike, desire and aversion, one is a violent person. One is trying to kill a part of creation that human experience is. But one cannot kill experience. One can turn away. Only nature can kill.

The only nonviolent person is he who lets the stream of human experience pass through him, as if through a sieve. In that passage, something ends. There is death, and the new is born. In that dying is creation, happiness, beauty, and truth.

~ by tdcatss on July 21, 2016.

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