THIS MATTER OF CULTURE CHAPTER 26 part2 After all, what is contentment, and what is discontent?

Discontent is the stri ving after the `more', and contentment is the cessation of that struggle; but yo u cannot come to contentment without understanding the whole process of the `mor e', and why the mind demands it. If you fail in an examination, for example, you have to take it again, do y ou not? Examinations in any case are most unfortunate, because they don't indica te anything significant, they don't reveal the true worth of your intelligence. Passing an examination is largely a trick of memory, or it may be a matter of ch ance; but you strive to pass your examinations, and if you don't succeed you kee p at it. With most of us it is the same process in everyday life. We are struggl ing after something, and we have newer paused to inquire if the thing we are aft er is worth struggling for. We have never asked ourselves if it's worth the effo rt, so we haven't yet discovered that it's not and withstood the opinion of our parents, of society, of all the Masters and gurus. It is only when we have under stood the whole significance of the `more' that we cease to think in terms of fa ilure and success. You see, we are so afraid to fail, to make mistakes, not only in examinatio ns but in life. To make a mistake is considered terrible because we will be crit icized for it, somebody will scold us. But, after all, why should you not make a mistake? Are not all the people in the world making mistakes? And would the wor ld cease to be in this horrible mess if you were never to make a mistake? If you are afraid of making mistakes you will never learn. The older people are making mistakes all the time, but they don't want you to make mistakes, and thereby th ey smother your initiative. Why? Because they are afraid that by observing and q uestioning everything, by experimenting and making mistakes you may find out som ething for yourself and break away from the authority of your parents, of societ y, of tradition. That is why the ideal of success is held up for you to follow; and success, you will notice, is always in terms of respectability. Even the sai nt in his so-called spiritual achievements must become respectable, otherwise he has no recognition, no following. So we are always thinking in terms of success, in terms of the `more' and t he `more' is evaluated by the respectable society. In other words, society has v ery carefully established a certain pattern according to which it pronounces you a success or a failure. But if you love to do something with all your being you are then not concerned with success and failure. No intelligent person is. But unfortunately there are very few intelligent people, and nobody tells you about all this. The whole concern of an intelligent person is to see the facts and und erstand the problem - which is not to think in terms of succeeding or failing. I t is only when we don't really love what we are doing that we think in those ter ms. Questioner: Why are we fundamentally selfish? We may try our best to be uns elfish in our behaviour, but when our own interests are involved we become selfabsorbed and indifferent to the interests of others. Krishnamurti: I think it is very important not to call oneself either selfi sh or unselfish, because words have an extraordinary influence on the mind. Call a man selfish, and he is doomed; call him a professor, and something happens in your approach to him; call him a Mahatma, and immediately there is a halo aroun d him. Watch your own responses and you will see that words like `lawyer', `busi ness man', `governor', `servant', `love', `God', have a strange effect on your n erves as well as on your mind. The word which denotes a particular function evok es the feeling of status; so the first thing is to be free of this unconscious h abit of associating certain feelings with certain words, is it not? Your mind ha s been conditioned to think that the term `selfish' represents something very wr ong, unspiritual, and the moment you apply that term to anything your mind conde mns it. So when you ask this question, "Why are we fundamentally selfish?", it h as already a condemnatory significance. It is very important to be aware that certain words cause in you a nervous,

Questioner: Why is it that. there are many people who say they are working for brotherhood. with its associations of poverty. they don't inquire any further and so they never find out what are the facts irrespec tive of the neurological or emotional response which that word evokes. then you will find that your approach is entirely different. and your mind has accepted it. you have stopped penetrating into the whole problem of jealousy. or intellectual response of approval or condemnation. When you call yourself a jealous person. if you can dis sociate your mind from all influence and simply look at the facts. squalor. observes. So this is the first thing: to experiment and find out if you can look at f acts without the condemnatory or laudatory implications associated with certain words. a nd that if he doesn't get this love he is not as composed and full of confidence as his fellow beings? . or whatever it is. you will find that in the very process of looking there is a dissolution of al l the barriers which the mind has erected between itself and the facts. immediately you have blocked further inq uiry. If you can look at the facts without feelings of condemnation or approval . the books. Or else you take the opp osite view and say. when it neither cond emns nor approves but merely looks.emotional. But when the mind is free of influence. The wo rds `great man' have influenced you. dirt. yet everything they do is against brotherhood. from birth to death. he is not a great man". "How stupid. Whereas. the individual always wants to be loved. for example. influe nces your thinking. Similarly . the word "villa ger'. the newspapers. then it is not self-absorbed and t here is no longer the problem of selfishness trying to be unselfish. Just observe how you approach a person whom people call a great man. In the same way. but they don't see this fact because the word ` brotherhood' means something to them and they are already persuaded by it. the followers al l say he is a great man.

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