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Jiddu Krishnamurti talk on Marriage
Questioner: Marriage is a necessary part of any organized society, but you seem to be against the institution of marriage. What do you say? Please also explain the problem of sex. Why has it become, next to war, the most urgent problem of our day?

Jiddu Krishnamurti: To ask a question is easy, but the difficulty is to look very carefully into the problem itself, which contains the answer. To understand this problem, we must see its enormous implications. That is difficult, because our time is very limited and I shall have to be brief; and if you don’t follow very closely, you may not be able to understand. Let us investigate the problem, not the answer, because the answer is in the problem, not away from it. The more I understand the problem, the clearer I see the answer.

If you merely look for an answer, you will not find one, because you will be seeking an answer away from the problem. Let us look at marriage, but not theoretically or as an ideal, which is rather absurd; don’t let us idealize marriage, let us look at it as it is, for then we can do something about it. If you make it rosy, then you can’t act; but if you look at it and see it exactly as it is, then perhaps you will be able to act.

Now, what actually takes place? When one is young, the biological, sexual urge is very strong, and in order to set a limit to it you have the institution called marriage. There is the biological urge on both sides, so you marry and have children. You tie yourself to a man or to a woman for the rest of your life, and in doing so you have a permanent source of pleasure, a guaranteed security, with the result that you begin to disintegrate; you live in a cycle of habit, and habit is disintegration.

To understand this biological, this sexual urge, requires a great deal of intelligence, but we are not educated to be intelligent. We merely get on with a man or a woman with whom we have to live. I marry at 20 or 25, and I have to live for the rest of my life with a woman whom I have not known. I have-not known a thing about her, and yet you ask me to live with her for the rest of my life. Do you call that marriage?

As I grow and observe, I find her to be completely different from me, her interests are different from mine; she is interested in clubs, I am interested in being very serious, or vice versa. And yet we have children – that is the most extraordinary thing. Sirs, don’t look at the ladies and smile; it is your problem. So, I have established a relationship the significance of which I do not know, I have neither discovered it nor understood it.

It is only for the very, very few who love that the married relationship has significance, and then it is unbreakable, then it is not mere habit or convenience, nor is it based on biological, sexual need. In that love which is unconditional the identities are fused, and in such a relationship there is a remedy, there is hope. But for most of you, the married relationship is not fused. To fuse the separate identities, you have to know yourself, and she has to know herself. That means to love.

But there is no love – which is am obvious fact. Love is fresh, new, not mere gratification, not mere habit. It is unconditional. You don’t treat your husband or wife that way, do you? You live in your isolation, and she lives in her isolation, and you have established your habits of assured sexual pleasure. What happens to a man who has an assured income? Surely, he deteriorates. Have you not noticed it? Watch a man who has an assured income and you will soon see how rapidly his mind is withering away. He may have a big position, a reputation for cunning, but the full joy of life is gone out of him.

Similarly, you have a marriage in which you have a permanent source of pleasure, a habit without understanding, without love, and you are forced to live in that state. I am not saying what you should do; but look at the problem first. Do you think that is right? It does not mean that you must throw off your wife and pursue somebody else. What does this relationship mean? Surely, to love is to be in communion with somebody; but are you in communion with your wife, except physically? Do you know her, except physically?

Does she know you? Are you not both isolated, each pursuing his or her own interests, ambitions and needs, each seeking from the other gratification, economic or psychological security? Such a relationship is not a relationship at all: it is a mutually self-enclosing process of psychological, biological and economic necessity, and the obvious result is conflict, misery, nagging, possessive fear, jealousy, and so on. Do you think such a relationship is productive of anything except ugly babies and an ugly civilization?

Therefore, the important thing is to see the whole process, not as something ugly, but as an actual fact which is taking place under your very nose; and realizing that, what are you going to do? You cannot just leave it at that; but because you do not want to look into it, you take to drink, to politics, to a lady around the corner, to anything that takes you away from the house and from that nagging wife or husband – and you think you have solved the problem.

That is your life, is it not? Therefore, you have to do something about it, which means you have to face it, and that means, if necessary, breaking up; because, when a father and mother are constantly nagging and quarrelling with each other, do you think that has not an effect on the children? And we have already considered, in the previous question, the education of children.

So, marriage as a habit, as a cultivation of habitual pleasure, is a deteriorating factor, because there is no love in habit. Love is not habitual; love is something joyous, creative, new. Therefore, habit is the contrary of love; but you are caught in habit, and naturally your habitual relationship with another is dead. So, we come back again to the fundamental issue, which is that the reformation of society depends on you, not on legislation. Legislation can only make for further habit or conformity.

Therefore, you as a responsible individual in relationship have to do something, you have to act, and you can act only when there is an awakening of your mind and heart. I see some of you nodding your heads in agreement with me, but the obvious fact is that you don’t want to take the responsibility for transformation, for change; you don’t want to face the upheaval of finding out how to live rightly.

And so the problem continues, you quarrel and carry on, and finally you die; and when you die somebody weeps, not for the other fellow, but for his or her own loneliness. You carry on unchanged and you think you are human beings capable of legislation, of occupying high positions, talking about God, finding a way to stop wars, and so on. None of these things mean anything, because you have not solved any of the fundamental issues.

Then, the other part of the problem is sex, and why sex has become so important. Why has this urge taken such a hold on you? Have you ever thought it out? You have not thought it out, because you have just indulged; you have not searched out why there is this problem. Sirs, why is there this problem? And what happens when you deal with it by suppressing it completely – you know, the ideal of Brahmacharya, and so on? What happens? It is still there. You resent anybody who talks about a woman, and you think that you can succeed in completely suppressing the sexual urge in yourself and solve your problem that way; but you are haunted by it.

It is like living in a house and putting all your ugly things in one room; but they are still there. So, discipline is not going to solve this problem – discipline being sublimation, suppression, substitution – , because you have tried it, and that is not the way out. So, what is the way out? The way out is to understand the problem, and to understand is not to condemn or justify. Let us look at it, then, in that way.

Why has sex become so important a problem in your life? Is not the sexual act, the feeling, a way of self-forgetfulness? Do you understand what I mean? In that act there is complete fusion; at that moment there is complete cessation of all conflict, you feel supremely happy because you no longer feel the need as a separate entity and you are not consumed with fear. That is, for a moment there is an ending of self-consciousness, and you feel the clarity of self-forgetfulness, the joy of self abnegation.

So, sex has become important because in every other direction you are living a life of conflict, of self-aggrandizement and frustration. Sirs, look at your lives, political, social, religious: you are striving to become something. Politically, you want to be somebody, powerful, to have position, prestige. Don’t look at somebody else, don’t look at the ministers. If you were given all that, you would do the same thing. So, politically, you are striving to become somebody, you are expanding yourself, are you not?

Therefore, you are creating conflict, there is no denial, there is no abnegation of the `me’. On the contrary, there is accentuation of the `me’. The same process goes on in your relationship with things, which is ownership of property, and again in the religion that you follow. There is no meaning in what you are doing, in your religious practices. You just believe, you cling to labels, words. If you observe, you will see that there too there is no freedom from the consciousness of the `me’ as the centre.

Though your religion says, `Forget yourself’, your very process is the assertion of yourself, you are still the important entity. You may read the Gita or the Bible, but you are still the minister, you are still the exploiter, sucking the people and building temples.

So, in every field, in every activity, you are indulging and emphasizing yourself, your importance, your prestige, your security. Therefore, there is only one source of self-forgetfulness, which is sex, and that is why the woman or the man becomes all-important to you, and why you must possess. So, you build a society which enforces that possession, guarantees you that possession; and naturally sex becomes the all-important problem when everywhere else the self is the important thing.

And do you think, Sirs, that one can live in that state without contradiction, without misery, without frustration? But when there is honestly and sincerely no self-emphasis, whether in religion or in social activity, then sex has very little meaning. It is because you are afraid to be as nothing, politically, socially, religiously, that sex becomes a problem; but if in all these things you allowed yourself to diminish, to be the less, you would see that sex becomes no problem at all.

There is chastity only when there is love. When there is love, the problem of sex ceases; and without love, to pursue the ideal of Brahmacharya is an absurdity, because the ideal is unreal. The real is that which you are; and if you don’t understand your own mind, the workings of your own mind, you will not understand sex, because sex is a thing of the mind. The problem is not simple. It needs, not mere habit-forming practices, but tremendous thought and enquiry into your relationship with people, with property and with ideas. Sir, it means you have to undergo strenuous searching of your heart and mind, thereby bringing a transformation within yourself. Love is chaste; and when there is love, and not the mere idea of chastity created by the mind, then sex has lost its problem and has quite a different meaning.

Source: New Delhi, India, 3rd Public Talk, 19th December, 1948

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3 May 1976 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
[A sannyasin mother says she is having problems in her relationship: I find myself being very bitchy
and nagging sometimes. I feel I’m just asking for a fight all the time.]
Mm mm, love always brings trouble – and it has to be faced. Love cannot be always smooth, and it
is good that it is not always smooth, otherwise you would not grow.
Whenever there is a change, any sort of change, things will come into focus more clearly. When
change disturbs you, all your inner disturbances are stirred. You are both feeling disturbed and both
trying to throw the responsibility on the other. Just try to see it inside yourself. The other is never
responsible. Remember that as a mantra: The other is never responsible….

Just watch it … just watch it. If you become wise in the moment, there will be no problem. This is
wisdom that you get later on. Everybody becomes wise when the moment is gone. Retrospective
wisdom is worthless. When you are picking on something, at that very moment become aware, and
let awareness function. Immediately you will drop it.But when you have done everything and fought and nagged and bitched and then you become wise and see that there was no point in it, it is too late. It is meaningless – you have done the harm. This wisdom is just pseudo-wisdom. It gives you a feeling as if you have understood. That is a trick of the ego. This wisdom is not going to help. When you were doing the thing, at that very moment,
simultaneously, the awareness should arise, and you should see that it is useless.
If you can see it when it is there, then you cannot do it. One can never go against one’s awareness,
and if one goes against it, that awareness is not awareness. Something else is being mistaken for
it.

So remember, the other is never responsible for anything. It is something boiling within you. And of
course the one you love is closest to you. You cannot throw it on some stranger passing on the road,
so the closest person becomes the place where you go on throwing and pouring your nonsense.
But that has to be avoided, because love is very fragile. If you do it too much, if you overdo it, love
can disappear.

The other is never responsible. Try to make this such a permanent state of awareness in you that
whenever you start finding something wrong with the other, remember it. Catch yourself redhanded,
and drop it then and there. And ask to be forgiven.

And the second thing. Don’t think that love is eternal. It is very fragile. It is as fragile as a rose
flower. In the morning it is there – by the evening it is gone. Any small thing can destroy it. In fact
the higher a thing, the more fragile it is. It has to be protected. A rock will remain there but the flower
will be gone. If you throw a rock against the flower, the rock is not going to be hurt, but the flower
will be destroyed.

Love is very fragile and very delicate. One has to be very very careful and cautious about it. You can
do such harm that the other becomes closed, becomes defensive. That’s how one becomes closed.
If you are fighting too much he will start escaping you; he will start becoming more and more cold,
more and more closed, so he is no more vulnerable to your attack. Then you will attack him more
because you will resist that coldness. This can become a vicious circle. And that’s how lovers fall
apart by and by. They drift away from each other, and they think that the other was responsible, that
the other betrayed them.

In fact as I see it, no lover has ever betrayed anybody. It is only ignorance that kills love – nobody betrays it. Both wanted to be together, but somehow both were ignorant. Their ignorance played tricks upon them and became multiplied. By and by they drifted. Then they think that love is dangerous.

Love is not dangerous. Only unawareness is dangerous.
There are many people who avoid love just to be on safe ground. There are people who don’t want
to get committed in any relationship because they know that once you are committed and you come
close, fighting starts, resistance starts, and ugly things bubble up, so what is the point? At the most
they are interested in sexual relationships, but not in intimacy. And unless a relationship is intimate
and deep, you will never know what relationship is. Just a sexual relationship is a peripheral thing,
and you will never be contented by it.

These things are natural. One has to accept them and by and by transcend them. If you feel too
much anger, move into your room, beat the pillow, cry, weep, scream, but do it alone. Why show
your ugly face to the other? What is the point? Just cathart.

A wise person moves through his unhappiness alone, and whenever he is happy, comes and shares
it with people. A fool shares his unhappiness with people, and when he is happy he sits alone.

[Another sannyasin said she too was having difficulties in her relationship. Her boyfriend felt less
and less like making love and this made her upset and frustrated, and she then became aggressive
towards him. She said they were also at variance over how they used their money, as she wanted
to be thrifty so they could stay in Poona longer, while he spent money easily and seemingly with no
thought for the future.]

First thing: a moment always comes in life when one of the partners will not feel like having sex.
It happens to every couple more or less. When the other person does not want to have sex, the
other clings to it more than ever. The other starts feeling that if there is no sex, the relationship will
disappear.

The more you ask for it, the more afraid he will feel. The relationship will disappear – not because
sex has disappeared, but because you go on demanding and he feels nagged continuously and he
does not feel like making love. He can either force himself and then he will feel bad, or if he goes his
own way, he feels bad that he is making you unhappy; he feels guilty.

One thing has to be understood – that sex has nothing to do with love. At the most it is a beginning. Love is greater than sex, higher than sex. Love can flower without sex.

[She answers: But he’ll never say he loves me.]

No, you are making him afraid, because if he says that he loves you, you are ready there asking for

sex. In your mind, love is almost synonymous with sex, that I can see. That’s why he has become

even afraid to touch and hug you. If he hugs you, touches you, you are ready.

You are making him afraid and you are not seeing the point. You are pushing him away unknowingly.

He will become afraid to even talk to you because he talks and again the situation comes up and

argument and this and that. You cannot argue about love. You cannot convince anybody about love.

If he doesn’t feel it, he doesn’t.

He loves you, otherwise he would leave you. And you love him but you have a wrong understanding

about sex. My understanding is this, that love starts growing for the first time when the hectic

feverish sex has gone, has by and by slowed down. Then love becomes more and more settled,

finer, superior. Something delicate starts happening. But you are not allowing it to happen. He is

ready to love you but you are clinging to sex. You go on pulling him down. That pulling him down

may destroy the whole relationship.
I can understand, because the feminine mind always clings to sex only when the man is not
interested. If the man is interested, the woman is completely uninterested. I see this every day. If the
man is after you, you play the game that you are uninterested. When the man is not interested, you
become afraid, and then the whole role changes. Then you start playing the game that you need it,
that without it you will go crazy; that you cannot live without it. All that is just nonsense! Nobody has
ever gone mad without it!

If you love the person, your energy will be transformed. If you don’t love the person, then drop
out. If you love the person, the energy has a chance now to transform to a higher reality. Use that
opportunity. And nagging is not going to help. It will make everything more ugly and it will do just
the opposite of what you want. Money is not important… and it may be just a trick to control.

[Osho said that they could either be here for longer, both in conflict, unhappy, or stay a shorter time
more happily.]

Just see the point. It is a question of quality, not of quantity. How many days you are here is
irrelevant. You may be here for only one day, but if you are really with me and happy and celebrating,
that’s enough. That will change your whole life.
And this is how things go. If you are too miserly, he will spend too much because that will become
just an act of being free. He will show you that you cannot control him. If you don’t control him, he
himself may understand that he is unnecessarily wasting money. But let him see!

Women are very money-minded; more interested in the material part of life, and they miss many things. That’s why you don’t see great women poets, great women painters, great women saints. They are more interested in ordinary things. Anything that has a qualitative dimension seems meaningless to them. Money will be more meaningful than music. They miss much. They think that they are very practical; they are not. This is the most absurd practicality there is – to lose quality for quantity.

Tell him that whatsoever he feels like, to do, and that you can be here for as many days as possible,
but let these days be beautiful. Sometimes even a single moment can be such a transformation.
There are many people who choose quantity, who would like to live a hundred years, never thinking
whether their life has anything to live for, whether anything is coming out of their life, flowering. Just
living for a hundred years is meaningless….

[Osho recounted an incident in Emerson’s life when, at the age of sixty, he was asked his age by
one of his peers.

Emerson replied that he was three hundred and sixty; The man repeated his question, thinking
Emerson must have misheard him. Emerson said that, like the questioner, he was sixty, but he had
lived three hundred and sixty years in those sixty years. He was saying that he had lived a qualitative
life.]

It is possible to live three hundred years in three seconds, because when you move in the qualitative
dimension, the dimension of quality, intensity is the only value.
Be here for one month – but be fully here. And always remember, I am not talking philosophy. I am
very pragmatic.
Whatsoever I am saying are very practical things. Mm? Just try to see it. Good !

[Another sannyasin says: Very often when I am going to sleep, just before I become unconscious,
my body jerks and my heart seems to beat very fast, and there is a feeling of fear.]
Is there any disturbance in sleep? You feel perfectly well when you get up?
[The sannyasin answers: Yes, sleep is good.]

Then don’t be worried. It has something to do with your meditations. Allow it and don’t hold it. If a
jerk comes, allow it.
It is just a change of gear inside the energy. It happens to everybody when you move from
wakefulness into sleep, but you have become aware of it, that’s all. It is a good sign, a good sign of
awareness of something very subtle. It is just like changing gears in a car.

Whenever you go from wakefulness to sleep, or from sleep to wakefulness, that change happens.
Whenever you go from dreaming to a non-dreaming sleep, again the gear changes. By and by, if
you become really perceptive and aware, you will feel that whenever a mood changes, a subtle gear
inside you changes. There is a small click – it can almost be heard.

You are angry and then anger goes. Your whole mechanism has to change because for anger
the whole mechanism goes into a different type of working. It gets ready for being angry. The
mechanism prepares either for fight or fight. When the anger goes, again the mechanism relaxes
to the normal state of affairs and the gear changes. It changes with every emotion. From waking
to sleep, one becomes aware more easily. Then you become aware of the second – moving from
sleep into waking.

It is more difficult than the first because you are asleep. You cannot feel the jerk so easily unless
you become a little aware in your sleep. Then you will feel the third gear that changes in moving
between dreams and no-dreams, and then the fourth which changes when moving from no-dream
to dream. And so on and so forth.

You will become aware that anger, love, hatred, jealousy, all have a small mechanism inside you,
and that whenever one of them functions, the body manages in a different way. An angry person is
a totally different person.

It is as if the country is at war. The whole shape of the country changes. The army becomes more
important. Democratic freedom becomes meaningless and the country goes dictatorial. Luxuries
are no more important. Life is geared for war.

When the war goes, the military subsides into the background. Things bubble up and come to the
surface – life again starts singing and enjoying. Now life is geared to peace.
The same happens in the body continuously. And that’s why people who move from one emotion
to another too much, have too much wear and tear. Their inner mechanism is almost always in bad
shape. A person who remains silently in one climate has a different harmony.
But it is good that you have become aware.

[Another sannyasin says: I feel like I’ve been ripped open with a knife. I have a sensitivity for
everything around me and my world just seems blown apart.]

Mm mm… the more one makes a world, the more one creates problems around it. Then there is
always the fear of its getting blown. So don’t make a world. One should start living without a world.
One moment is enough. Live it, and then the next moment comes. But we dream, project, and
create an illusory world, then again and again it comes up against reality. Reality is not going to be
shattered by your dreams. The dreams will shatter.

So learn a lesson – don’t project worlds. They create frustrations and misery and anguish. Just live
this moment, that’s all. Then wait, and when the next moment comes we will see. One has to learn
how to live in danger and insecurity – then it never comes, because there is no world to be blown.
Otherwise the balloon is going to burst. The mind has a tendency to go on giving more and more air
to the balloon so it goes on getting bigger and bigger and bigger; until one day it bursts.

One has to come to understand that life is insecure and there is no way to make it .secure, no way
at all. If you ask for the impossible, you ask for trouble. Some people get into love and then they
start thinking of marriage and children, and they create the whole problem. If I say to them not to
get married, not to have children, they think ’Why are you saying this? We want to!’ You want to –
and then you get into trouble.


[Osho went on to say that the relationship between this sannyasin and her husband had not been
going well for some time but they had avoided facing up to that. He suggested they sit down together
and sort things out; should find out whether they still loved each other or not. If love was not there
then nothing could be solved. Once love was there everything could be solved. Otherwise, [your
husband] could solve one problem and she would create another and the basic problem would
remain untouched.]

And don’t be worried – I am here. If you don’t bring problems, what am I going to do? When you
bring problems you make me very happy (laughter).
[A sannyasin who is a theoretical physicist, says: My mind feels very slow and dull, and my thoughts
feel as if they ’re moving through treacle. It feels rather strange.]

It is strange but it is very good. Everything has to slow down, and there comes a moment when
everything stops, even time stops. Suddenly you are in an eternal now… nothing moves.
It is very strange. Even a slowing down of the process is very strange. One becomes afraid because
one has always lived in such a hurry; so many thoughts and desires and ambitions, running and
chasing this and that. It is as if somebody is mad and suddenly becomes sane. Everything will slow
down because a madman is moving fast. His mind goes on at jet speed. He is almost a whirl-wind.
But this is good. That is the whole taoist attitude about life – to slow down, to become a dullard.

[The sannyasin adds: At night I’ve been dreaming a lot, and in my dreams I’m very fast.]
Let it be so. That may just be a catharsis. You have slowed down a little in the day, so somewhere
the mind has to take revenge. Somewhere it will; it is good. Dreams will also disappear. And it may
not be exactly as you are reporting. It may just be that you have become a little alert in your sleep
so you remember more about dreams.
Everybody dreams. There are almost eight cycles of dreaming in one night. One goes on revolving
in a wheel. There is almost twenty minutes of dreaming, then a twenty-minute or forty-minute gap,

and then again twenty minutes of dreaming. Many people will say in the morning that they have not
dreamt at all. They all dream. The only thing is that they are not at all alert, not even slightly alert,
and they cannot remember.

When they do remember, they remember the last dream that they had just before waking – and that
too, they never remember rightly. You remember only the tail part because that is what is there when
you wake. The whole elephant is gone, and only the tail remains. You have to go backwards if you
want to find the elephant.

Even then many things are missed and the mind starts adding things, and interpreting whatsoever
was in your dreams. You add many things because the mind is such that it cannot allow any gaps.
[Osho concluded by talking about how the different interpretations of dreams change according to
the influences in one’s life. For example, freudian patients, people undergoing freudian analysis, will
have freudian dreams, while jungian patients will have jungian dreams.
Because the mind is coloured by the different schools of thought, it interprets the dreams accordingly.
Hence, if one dreams of a large, rounded, pillar-shaped object, a freudian will interpret it as a phallus,
while the jung-oriented mind will interpret it as a shivalinga and give it religious connotations.

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