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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


Question: You say that fundamentally my mind works in exactly the same way as everyone else's. Why does this make me responsible for the whole world?

What the speaker said was, that wherever you go, throughout the world, human beings suffer, are in conflict, they feel anxiety and uncertainty. Both psychologically and physically there is very little security; there is fear, there is loneliness, despair and depression. This is the common lot of human beings whether they live in China, Japan, India, America, Russia or here - everybody goes through this. It is their life. And as a human being you are the whole world psychologically. You are not separate from the man who is suffering, anxious and lonely, in India or in America. You are the world and the world is you. This is a fact which very few people realize, not a philosophical concept, an idea, but a fact - as when you have a headache. And when one realizes that profoundly, then the question arises: what is my responsibility? We are asking each other this question, please. When you realize that, not verbally but in your blood, that you are no longer an individual - which is a great shock for most people, we think our minds, our problems, our anxieties are all ours, personally - when one sees the truth of this matter, then what is our responsibility? What is our responsibility globally - not only for our family, wife and children - but for the whole of mankind, because we are mankind? We have our illusions, our images of God, our images of heaven, our rituals, exactly like the rest of the world, only with different names, but the pattern is the same.

What is your reaction when you feel that you are humanity? How do you respond to the challenge? How do you meet any challenge? If you meet it from your old individual conditioning, your response will naturally be totally inadequate and fragmentary, it will be rather shoddy. So you have to find out what your response is to this great challenge. Does your mind meet it greatly, or with your fears, your anxieties, the little concerns about yourself?

The responsibility depends upon the response to the challenge. Is it just a flutter, a romantic appeal, or something profound that will transform your whole way of looking at life? Then you are no longer British, American, French. Will you give up all that? Or merely play with the idea that it is a marvellous Utopian concept?