Thursday, March 31, 2011
Common man vs Nuclear bomb
Q: How can we stop our present political chaos and the crisis in the world? Is there anything an individual can do to stop the impending war?
K: Obviously, the ever impending war cannot be stopped by you and me because it is already in movement; it is already taking place; ... the issues are too many, too great, and are already committed. But, you and I, seeing that the house is on fire, can understand the causes of that fire, can go away from it and build in a new place with different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce other wars. That is all what we can do. You and I can see what creates wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war.
An American lady came to see me a couple of years ago, during the war. She said she had lost her son in Italy and that she had another son aged sixteen whom she wanted to save; so she talked the thing over. I suggested to her that to save her son she had to cease to be an American; she had to cease to be greedy, cease piling up wealth, seeking power, domination and be morally simple - not merely simple in clothes, in outward things, but simple in her thoughts and feelings, in her relationship. She said, 'That is too much. You are asking far too much. I cannot do it because circumstances are too powerful for me to alter.' Therefore she was responsible for the destruction of her son.
The first and the last freedom, pages 182-183
Q: All except a few do not want war, so why do they prepare for war?
K: I am not at all sure that the majority do not want war. Do you know what war means? War means destruction - killing and maiming one another, with the noise, the brutality, the ugliness, the appalling miesry of pain. You have seen it on films; that is war. Do you know how war has come into being? It has come because in our daily lives we destroy one another. Though in the temple we talk about the love of God, in our business dealings we are cutting one another's throats. Also, we have wars because we have armies, and it is the purpose of an army to prepare for war. Do you mean to say that an army man would want to give up his position, his job, his money, in order to have peace? He would not be so stupid.
So, all of us in one way or the other are preparing for war. You can prevent war only if, in our daily life, you realize that you are no longer a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim or a Communist. If in your daily life you are kind, generous, affectionate, loving, then you will have a different world. Then, instead of squandering money on armaments, you cane make this world into a paradise. But it is up to you. You have the government you deserve because you are part of the government, because you are politicians in your daily lives, and you want position, power and authority.
The Collected Works, Vol 17, page 280
Benares, India, Dec 17, 1967
Q: Are individuals impotent agains the atomic or hydrogen bombs?
K: You may try to create public opinion by writing to the papers about how terrible it is, but will that stop the governemtns from investigating and creating the H-bomb? Are they not going to do it anyhow? They may use atomic energy for peaceful as well as destructive purposes, and probably within five or ten years they will have factories running on atomic energy, but they will also be preparing for war. They may limit the use of atomic weapons, but the momentum of war is there, and what can we do? Historical events are in movement, and I dont think you and I living here in Benares can stop that movement. Who is going to care? But what we can do is something completely different. We can step out of the present machinery of society which is constantly preparing for war, and perhaps by our own total inward revolution, we shall be able to contribute to the building of a civilization which is altogether new.
After all, what is civilization? What is the Indian or the European civilization? It is an expression of the collective will, is it not? The will of the many has created this present civilization in India, and cannot you and I break away from it and think entirely different about these matters? Is it not the responsibility of serious people to do this? Must there not be serious people who see this process of destruction going on in the world, who investigate it, and who step out of it in the sense of not being ambitious and all the rest of it? What else can we do? But you see, we are not willing to be serious; that is the difficulty. We dont want to tackle ourselves, we want to discus something outside, far away.
The Collected Works, Vol 8, page 262
Benares, India, Jan 9, 1955
Wake up Common Man! The ball is in your court!
Q: Will there be an end to these evil wars and violence?
K: A little boy asks because he is concerned with the future, with tomorrow, with a world that is becoming more and more violent, with wars, and more wars. He says, 'My future is being created by the older generation, and they have produced these monstrous wars', and he asks, 'Will there be an end to it?'
There will be an end only when you are non-violent. You must begin as an individual - you cannot make the whole world non-violent in a flash. Forget the world; be, as an individual, non-violent. I do not know whether you have ever wondered what the older generation have done to this world. The older generation have produced this world of violence, greed, hatred; they are entirely responsible for it, not God. They have lived a life of brutality, self-concern, callousness. They have made this world, and the younger people say, 'You have made a filthy world, an ugly world', and they are in revolt. And I am afraid that their revolt will produce another form of violence, which is actually what is going on.
So this problem can only be resolved - this problem of violence, of wars in the future - when you, as an individual, find out why you are angry, why you are violent, why you have prejudice, why you hate, and put them all away. You cannot put them away by revoltin against them but only by understanding them. Understanding them means to look, to observe, to listen. When the older people talk about all the ugly things they have made, listen closely, give your attention, which means give your heart and mind to this. You know, in the past five thousand years there have been about fifteen thousand wars, which means three wars every year. Though man has talked about love - love of God, love of my neighbour, love of my wife, of my husband - talked endlessly about love, they have no love in their hearts. If they have love in their hearts, there would be a different kind of education, a different kind of business, a different world.
The Collected Works, Vol 18, pages 261-2
Benares, India, Dec 10, 1967