Jiddu Krishnamurti – Is it possible to transform Violence
Questioner: Is it possible to transform violence?
Jiddu Krishnamurti: Violence is a form of energy; it is energy utilized in a certain way which becomes aggression. But we are not for the moment trying to transform or change violence but to understand it and comprehend it so fully that one is free of it; the mind has gone beyond it – whether it has transcended it or transformed it, is not so relevant. Is it possible? – is it not possible? – it is possible – these words! How does one think about violence?
How does one look at violence? Please listen to the question: how does one know that one is violent? When one is violent, is one aware that one is violent? How does one know violence? This question of knowing is really complex. When I say, `I know you’, what does `I know’ mean? I know you as you were when I met you yesterday, or ten years ago. But between ten years ago and now you have changed and I have changed, therefore I do not know you.
I know you only as of the past, therefore I can never say `I know you’ – do please understand this simple thing first. Therefore I can only say, `I’ve been violent, but I do not know what violence is now.’ You say something to me which irritates my nerves and I am angry. A second later, you say, `I’ve been angry.’
At the moment of anger you do not recognise it, only later do you do that. You have to examine the structure of recognition; if you do not understand that you will not be able to meet anger afresh. I am angry, but I realize I am angry a moment later. The realization is the recognition that I have been angry; it is taking place after I have been angry – otherwise I do not know it as anger. See what has happened: the recognition interferes with the actuality. I am always translating the present actuality in terms of the past.
So can one, without translating the present in terms of the past, look at the response anew, with a fresh mind? You call me a fool and my whole blood comes to the surface and says, `You’re another.’ And what has taken place, in me, emotionally, inwardly? I have an image about myself as something which I think is desirable, noble, worthwhile; and you are insulting that image. It is that image that responds, which is the old. So the next question is: can the response not be from the old? – can there be an interval between the `old’ and the new actuality? – can the old be hesitant, so as to allow the new to take place? I think that is where the whole problem is.