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On Love and Loneliness

On Love and Loneliness

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by Jiddu Krishnamurti

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In 1950 Krishnamurti said: "It is only when the mind is not escaping in any form that it is possible to be in direct communion with that thing we call lonliness, the alone, and to have communion with that thing, there must be affection, there must be love."

On Love and Lonliness is a compelling investigation of our intimate relationships with


In 1950 Krishnamurti said: "It is only when the mind is not escaping in any form that it is possible to be in direct communion with that thing we call lonliness, the alone, and to have communion with that thing, there must be affection, there must be love."

On Love and Lonliness is a compelling investigation of our intimate relationships with ourselves, others, and society. Krishnamurti suggests that "true relationship" can come into being only when there is self-knowledge of the conditions which divide and islolate individuals and groups. Only by renouncing the self can we understand the problem of lonliness, and truly love.

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Chapter One

Madras, 16 December 1972

In talking over together these questions, which are our daily problems of life, I think we have to bear in mind that we are investigating together, together we are taking a journey into rather complex issues of life, and to investigate together there must be a quality of intensity, a quality of mind that is not tethered to any particular belief or conclusion, but is willing to go very far, not in distance of time, but in depth.

We are going to inquire together about whether we can bring about order in our daily life of relationship. Because relationship is society. The relationship between you and me, between me and another, is the structure of society. That is, relationship is the structure and the nature of society. I am putting it very, very simply. And when there is no order in that relationship, as there is at present no order, then every kind of action must be not only contradictory, but must also produce a great deal of sorrow, mischief, confusion, and conflict. Please, don't just let me talk, but share it together, because we are taking a journey together, perhaps hand in hand, with affection, with consideration. If you merely sit down and are talked at, or lectured to, then I am afraid you and I cannot take the journey together hand in hand. So please do observe your own mind, your own relationship — it doesn't matter with whom it is, your wife, your children, with your neighbour, of with your government — and see if there is order in that relationship; because order is necessary, precision is necessary. Orderis virtue, order is so mathematical, so pure, complete, and we are going to find out if there is such order.

No one can live without relationship. You may withdraw into the mountains, become a monk, a sannyasi, wander off into the desert by yourself, but you are related. You cannot escape from that absolute fact. You cannot exist in isolation. Your mind may think it exists in isolation, or bring about a state of isolation, but even in that isolation you are related. Life is relationship, living is relationship. We cannot live if you and I have built a wall around ourselves and just peep over that wall occasionally. Unconsciously, deeply, under the wall, we are related. I do not think we have paid a great deal of attention to this question of relationship. Your books don't talk about relationship; they talk about God, practice, methods, how to breathe, about not doing this or that, but I have been told that relationship is never mentioned.

Relationship implies responsibility, as freedom does. To be related is to live; that is life; that is existence. And if there is disorder in that relationship, our whole society, culture goes to pieces, which is what is happening now.

So what is order, what is freedom, and what is relationship? What is disorder? Because when the mind really deeply, inwardly understands what brings about disorder, then out of that insight, out of that awareness, out of that observation, order naturally comes. It is not a blueprint of what order should be; that is what we have been brought up with — a pattern that has been laid down by religions, by cultures, as to what order should be, or what order is. The mind has tried to conform to that order, whether it is cultural order, social order, legalistic order, or religious order; it has tried to conform to the pattern established by social activity, by certain leaders, teachers. To me that is not order because in that is implied conformity, and where there is conformity, there is disorder. Where there is the acceptance of authority, there is disorder. Where there is comparative existence — that is, measuring yourself against somebody, comparing yourself with somebody — there is disorder. I will show you why.

Why does your mind conform? Have you ever asked? Are you aware that you are conforming to a pattern? It doesn't matter what that pattern is, whether you have established a pattern for yourself or it has been established for you. Why are we always conforming? Where there is conformity there cannot be freedom, obviously. Yet the mind is always seeking freedom — the more intelligent, the more alert, the more aware it is, the greater the demand. The mind conforms, imitates, because there is more security in conformity, in following a pattern. That's an obvious fact. You do all kinds of things socially because it is better to conform. You may be educated abroad, you may be a great scientist, politician, but you always have a sneaking fear that if you don't go to temples or do the ordinary things that you have been told to do, something evil might happen, so you conform. What happens to the mind that conforms? Investigate it, please. What happens to your mind when you conform? First of all, there is a total denial of freedom, total denial of perception, total denial of independent inquiry. When you conform there is fear. Right? From childhood the mind has been trained to imitate, conform to the pattern which society has established — pass examinations, get a degree, if you are lucky get a job, and get married, finished. You accept that pattern, and you are frightened not to follow that pattern.

So inwardly you deny freedom, inwardly you are frightened, inwardly you have a sense of not being free to find out, inquire, search, ask. So that produces disorder in our relationship. You and I are trying to go into this really deeply, to have real insight, see the truth of it; and it is the perception of the truth that frees the mind, not some practice, or the activity of inquiry, but the actual perception of 'what is'.

We bring about disorder in relationship, both inwardly and outwardly, through fear, through conformity, through measurement, which is comparison. Our...

Meet the Author

J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a renowned spiritual teacher whose lectures and writings have inspired thousands. His works include On Mind and Thought, On Nature and the Environment, On Relationship, On Living and Dying, On Love and Lonliness, On Fear, and On Freedom.

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On Love and Loneliness 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Judy_Croome More than 1 year ago
Although I did not enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed ¿Freedom from the Known,¿ I still found it a useful, if somewhat difficult, read. My western trained mind baulked at some of the philosophical points posed, but Krishnamurti¿s ideas are good for provoking thinking outside the box of our own beliefs. In essence he discusses the concepts of ¿alone-ness¿ versus ¿loneliness¿ and how our ability (or lack of it) to embrace the freedom of ¿alone-ness¿ will determine how lonely we are in our relationships. As with Freedom of the Known, I found Krishnamurti quite depressing at times. I also found myself wondering whether he did, in fact, practice what he preached in his own life. Did his arrogance, no doubt springing from his supreme intelligence, hide a soul that spoke so eloquently of loneliness from a deep, personal acquaintance with that state of being? I suppose we¿ll never know. There is enough wisdom in this book to make one overlook its flaws, and it is worth spending the time exploring ¿On Love and Loneliness¿ in depth.