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J. Krishnamurti’s On Love and Loneliness

· …where there is conformity, there is disorder. Where there is acceptance of authority, there is disorder. Where there is comparative existence – that is, measuring yourself against somebody, comparing yourself with somebody – there is disorder.

Pg. 2

· The mind conforms, imitates, because there is more security in conformity, in following a pattern.

Pg. 3

· And that disorder comes into being when the mind acts on the basis of past knowledge in relationship. So how is the mind not to record the insult, but know the insult has been given, as well as flattery? Can it know it has been given, but yet not record it, so the mind is always clean, healthy, whole in relationship?

Pg. 5

· Intellectually we are imitative, intellectually we are not creative, intellectually we are second-hand, or third-hand; we repeat … and emotionally we have no passion, we have no deep interests. …our life is more or less mechanical, a daily routine. … If there were freedom intellectually and one had deep passion, fire, then sex would have its own place and become quite unimportant.

Pg. 10

· …doesn’t one see the constant shaping of images, and remembrances of various pleasures, misfortunes, accidents, insults, and all the various impressions, influences, and pressures? These crowd our minds. … It is a mind that has no picture at all, no image, that is a chaste mind.

Pg. 11

· Thought then creates that pleasure; it gives vitality, continuity, to that event… So thought is responsible for the pursuing of pleasure. … So thought perpetuates that thing as pleasure. Is that the mechanism? Then what takes place? You never again see the sunset – never! – because the remembrance of that original sunset remains, and you always compare with that. Therefore you never again see something totally new.

Pg. 13

· There will be no love when the mind desires certain facts of love, certain actions of it, and when I then imagine what love should be. Then I give certain motives to love.

Pg. 18

· We know our own lives sufficiently well to be aware that our existence has very little meaning; we quote phrases and ideas that we have learned – what so and so has said, what the mahatmas, the latest saints, or the ancient saints have said. … We are just gramophone records repeating, and we call this repetition knowledge. We learn, we repeat, and our lives remain utterly tawdry, boring, and ugly.

Pg. 22

· Are not our relationships a self-isolation? Is not every activity of the mind a process of safeguarding, of seeking security, isolation? … The family has become a self-isolating process, and being isolated, it must exist in opposition. So all our actions are leading to self-isolation, which creates this sense of emptiness; and being empty, we proceed to fill the emptiness with radios, with noise, with chatter, with gossip, with reading, with the acquisition of knowledge, with respectability, money, social position, and so on and on.

Pg. 23

· Most of us are satisfied as we are; it is too tiresome to find out a new thing, so we prefer to remain as we are – and that is the real difficulty. …all we are seeking is a substitution, the same thing in a different form. Our dissatisfaction is so superficial; we want a new thing that will satisfy us, a new safety, a new way of protecting ourselves – which is again the process of isolation. We are actually seeking, not to go beyond isolation, but to strengthen isolation so that it will be permanent and undisturbed.

· What is this thing we call loneliness, emptiness? How do we know it is empty, how do we know it is lonely? By what measure do you say it is this and not that? When you say it is lonely, it is empty, what is the measure? You can know it only according to the measurement of the old. You say it is empty, you give it a name, and you think you have understood it. Is not the very naming of the thing a hindrance to the understanding of it?

Pg. 24

· Mind is sensation, mind is the result of accumulated sensations and reactions, and anything it touches is bound to create misery, confusion, an endless problem. The mind is the real cause of our problems, the mind that is working mechanically night and day, consciously and unconsciously.

Pg. 31

· What is our love? In the midst of pain and pleasure, we know it is exclusive, personal … We know it as a flame in the midst of smoke, we know it through jealousy, we know it through domination, we know it through possession, we know it through loss when the other is gone. So we know love as sensation, do we not?

· …as long as we possess, we shall never love. …the desire to possess and to be possessed – all that is a process of thought, is it not? Is love a process of thought? Is love a thing of the mind? Actually, for most of us, it is.

Pg. 35

· So you miss the person whom you say you love only when you are disturbed, when you are in suffering; and as long as you possess that person, you do not have to think about that person, because in possession there is no disturbance. … Do you think about the person when you are close?

Pg. 36

· When you love, there is neither the ‘you’ nor the ‘me’.

Pg. 37

· The truly religious are those who understand relationship completely, fully, and therefore have no problems, no conflict. Not that they are not disturbed, but because they are not seeking certainty, they understand disturbance, and therefore there is no self-enclosing process created by the desire for security. … People being uncreative, afraid, enclosed, cut off in all other directions, sex is the only thing through which they can find a release, the one act in which the self is momentarily absent.

Pg. 41

· Love can be only when the thought of the self is absent, and freedom from the self lies through self-knowledge.

Pg. 45

· The desire to be, to identify, to fulfill, exists only when there is consciousness of the ‘me’ being empty, lonely. The desire to fulfill is an escape from that which we call loneliness. … The ‘me’ can never fulfill; it is always empty.

Pg. 50

· Would my wife tolerate it if I said, ‘I have ended my attachment to you’? There would be agony. … Thought dominates our lives, and I ask myself if thought can have its own place, and only that place, and interfere nowhere else. … When somebody says, ‘I am thinking of you’, it sounds so silly.

Pg. 64

· How marvelous it is to love somebody wanting nothing from them.

· It is necessary to die every day to everything that you have gathered psychologically.

Pg. 65

· If I am married, I have responsibilities, children; I go to the office or some place of work; husband and wife, boy and girl, meet each other in bed. And that’s what we call love – leading separate lives, being isolated, building a wall of resistance around ourselves, pursuing a self-centered activity. Each one is seeking security psychologically; each one is depending on the other for comfort, for pleasure, for companionship. Because each one is so deeply lonely, each demands to be loved, to be cherished, each one is trying to dominate the other.

Pg. 67

· To be related means not to be dependent on each other, not to escape from your loneliness through another, not to try to find comfort, companionship, through another. … Aren’t you then using each other?

Pg. 68

· Love is something totally new every day, but pleasure is not, pleasure has continuity.

· How do we share that together? Share the understanding of it, not the verbal statement, not the description, not the explanation of it? … To listen vitally, my mind must be quiet, mustn’t it? If I am chattering, if I am looking somewhere else, if I am comparing what you are saying with what I know, my mind is not quiet.

Pg. 71

· When you actually share something with another, it means you must both have the same intensity, at the same time, at the same level. … To see together, which is sharing together, both of us must see – not agree or disagree – but see together what actually is…

Pg. 72

· You may love your dog, but the dog is your slave. …do you love anybody? That means not asking anything in return, not asking anything from that person you love, not being dependent on that person at all.

Pg. 74

· How can you love when you are concerned about yourself, your problems, your ambitions, your desire for success, your desire for so much, putting yourself first and the other second? Or the other first and you second, it is the same thing.

Pg. 75

· Then there is freedom from attachment. I have done nothing but watch attachment and what is implied in attachment – greed, fear, loneliness – and by tracing it, looking at it, observing it – not analyzing it, examining it, but just looking, looking, looking – there is a discovery that thought has done all this. Thought, because it is fragmentary, has created this attachment. When it realizes this, attachment ceases. There is no effort made at all, because the moment there is effort it is back again. … So there has been the removal of the major factor through negation of what it is not. Do you know what it means in your daily life: no remembrance of anything my wife, my girlfriend, or my neighbor told me; no remembrance of any hurt; no attachment to the image about her.

Pg. 81

· Is it possible to act, function naturally, happily without a center, without the content of consciousness? … In your relationship with another, however intimate it may be, if you are always concerned about yourself, your ambitions, your personality, your beauty, your habits, and the other is also doing the same, naturally there is conflict, which is disorder.

Pg. 86

· The word art implies putting everything in its right place. If you understand the meaning of that word, the real art is not painting pictures, but the art of putting your life in its proper place, which is to live harmoniously.

Pg. 87

· …and for two seconds perhaps, or for even a minute, you are absolutely silent. The grandeur of it drives away for that second the pettiness of ourselves. So that immensity has taken us over. … Now, without being absorbed by something – either a toy, a mountain, a face, or an idea – to be completely without the me in oneself, is the essence of beauty.

Pg. 88

· If you are violent and you say, ‘I will become non-violent’, that is extending time. During that interval of time, you are being violent, and there is no end to that kind of activity. If you realize that you are the master of time, that time is in your hands, which is an extraordinarily important thing to find out, that means you face the fact of violence. You don’t pursue non-violence, but face the fact of violence, and in that observation there is no time at all, because in that observation there is neither the observer nor all the past accumulation, there is only pure observation. In that there is no time.

Pg. 94

· If you loved your children, would you want them to be what you are? … Or are you concerned that they should grow in goodness, flower in beauty? … ‘We can’t help what we are. We can’t help our children. We send them off to school and that is the end of it’. You only want them to get married, settle down – as you have settled down – in mediocrity, with lack of integrity, saying one thing and doing another, going to the temple and being an excellent lawyer. That is a contradiction. Do you want your children to be like that? If you loved them, would you do this?

· If I am attached to my wife, what a tragedy it all is, isn’t it? What are the implications of that attachment? Is that love? If I am attached to her, I depend on her, both physically and psychologically; she helps me, I help her. I am frightened that she may leave me. I am anxious that she shouldn’t leave me. She mustn’t look at another man, she must remain faithful to me. I must possess her, dominate her. And she wants to be possessed and to be dominated. Is that love in which there is fear, jealousy, hatred, antagonism? Is all that love?

Pg. 96

· Most people are afraid to stand alone; they are afraid to think things out for themselves, afraid to feel deeply, to explore and discover the whole meaning of life. Therefore they say they love God, and they depend on what they call God; but it is not God, the unknown, it is a thing created by the mind.

Pg. 100

· What matters is to see very honestly and very clearly exactly what it is you are feeling at the moment, without bringing in the ideal of how you should feel or will feel at some future date, for then you can do something about it. But to say, ‘I must love my parents, I must love my teachers’, has no meaning. Because your real feelings are quite different, and those words become a screen behind which you hide.

Pg. 101

· But if you love him, you will feed him without any ulterior motive, without wanting anything in return. If you feed him and he is ungrateful, do you feel hurt? If so, you do not love him. If he tells you and the villagers that you are a wonderful man, and you feel very flattered, it means you are thinking about yourself; and surely that is not love.

Pg. 103


  1. jon
    June 29, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    For a person who taught about pure love, why did he not offer that love to a special woman, apart from the other people and things in his life? is there not a contradiction here in his teachings?

  2. July 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the comment. I was thinking about what you wrote, and I think the following quote from author Tom Robbins is relevant here:

    “I think too much is known about me already. I think biographical information can get in the way of the reading experience. The interchange between the reader and the work. For example, I know far too much about Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut. Because I know as much as I do about their personal lives, I can’t read their work without this interjecting itself. So if I had it to do over, I’d probably go the way of J.D. Salinger or Thomas Pynchon. And just stay out of it altogether and let all the focus be on the work itself and not on me.”


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