Life is relationship

By J Krishnamurti

April 2012

For J Krishnamurti, the philosopher-savant of our times, relationships constituted the seeker’s meditation mat. Here below are excerpts from his work that sum up the essence of his teaching

Life is a process of relationship. There is no life without relationship. This is a fact. You may be a hermit, you may be a monk, you may withdraw from all society, but you are related. As a human being, you cannot escape from being related. You are related to your wife, to your husband, to your children, you are related to your government, you are related to the hermit who withdraws because you feed him, and he is related to his ideas. So relationship is the basis of human existence. Without relationship there is no existence. You are either related to the past, which is, to all the tradition, to all the memories, to the monks, or you are related to some future ideation. So relationship is the most important thing in life. We are enquiring what is your relationship with another, however intimate or not. Is it that you are from childhood hurt, wounded psychologically, and therefore, from that hurt. from that psychological wound, you bring about violence? The consequence of being hurt, inwardly wounded, is that you enclose yourself more and more in order not to be hurt. And your relationship with another then becomes very narrow, limited. We must first enquire whether it is possible to find out if you can never be hurt. What is the root of being hurt? What is the cause? So what is it that is hurt? You say I am hurt. What is that `I’ which is being hurt? Is it not an image that you have built about yourself?

Part of meditation is to enquire into not becoming; becoming is measurement. Is it possible in our relationship with each other, however intimate it is, not to have measurement? That means your brain must be active in your relationship; it must enquire into your relationship, whether in that relationship there is hurt and that hurt brings about greater fear, greater enclosure within oneself, and therefore isolation. And as long as there is isolation, either outwardly or inwardly, there must be conflict.

We are saying the brain has been conditioned to isolation as a Hindu, as a Buddhist, and so on. To enquire into this question. whether the brain can resolve its own conditioning, we must enquire into relationship. What is your relationship with another, with your wife, with your husband, with your children? Begin there, near at home, not far away.

New Delhi 1st Public Talk 30th October, 1982
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