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Letter 14

From the book "Letters to a young friendTexts"

It is cloudless morning, very early, the sky is so pure, gentle and blue. All the clouds seem to have gone, but they may come again during the day. After this cold, this wind and this rain, spring will burst forth again; spring has been gently going on, in spite of the cold winds, but every leaf and bud will rejoice. What a lovely thing the earth is! How beautiful are the things that come out of it-the rocks, the streams, the trees, the grass, the flowers, the endless things that she produces-only man grieves, he alone destroys his own species, his own kind; he alone exploits his neighbor, he tyrannizes and destroys. He is the most unhappy and most suffering, the most inventive and the conqueror of time and space. But with all their capacities, in spite of his lovely temples and churches, mosques and cathedrals, he lives in his own darkness. His gods are his own fears and his loves are his own hates. What a marvelous world we could make of it, without these wars, without these fears. But what is the use of speculation; it’s no use at all.

The real thing is man’s discontent, the inevitable discontent. It is a precious thing, a jewel of great worth. But one’s afraid of it, one dissipates it, uses it or allows it to be used to bring about certain results. Man is frightened of it, but it is a precious jewel, without value. Live with it, watch it day after day, without interfering with its movements, then it is as a flame burning away all the dross, leaving that which is homeless and measureless. Read all this wisely.

The rich man has more than enough and the poor man goes hungry, looking for food and struggling and working all his life. One who has nothing makes of his life or allows life to make itself rich, creative, and another who has all the things of this world, dissipates and withers away. Give one man a piece of earth, he makes it beautiful, productive, and another neglects it and allows to die, as he himself dies. We have such infinite capacities, in every direction, to find the nameless or to bring about hell on earth. But somehow, man prefers to breed hatred and enmity. It is so much easier to hate, to be envious, and such as society is based on the demand for the more, human beings slip into every form of acquisitiveness. And so there is everlasting struggle, which is justified and made noble.

There is unlimited richness of a life without struggle, without will, without choice. But that life is impossibly difficult when our whole culture is the outcome of struggle and the action of will. Without the action of will, for almost everyone living, there is death. Without some kind of ambition, for almost everyone, life has no meaning.

There is a life without will, without choice. This life comes into being when the life of will comes to an end. I hope you don’t mind reading all this; if you don’t mind then read it and listen to it with pleasure.

“ „
© 2013 Krishnamurti Library of Athens, all rights reserved.