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Stop Reacting
By Krishnamurti, 1950


How can I as an individual meet, overcome and resolve the growing tension and war-fever between India and Pakistan? This situation creates a mentality of revenge and mass retaliation. Appeals and arguments are completely inadequate. Inaction is a crime. How does one meet a problem like this?

Answer by Krishnamurti:

Surely, the whole thing is wrong, pacifism as well as carrying a gun, because they are mere reactions, and through reaction you will never solve any problem. You will solve the problem of war only when you yourself are the challenge, and not merely a reaction.

So, the man who carries a gun does not solve the problem, he only increases the problem; for each war produces another war, it is an historical fact. The first world war produced the second world war, the second will produce the third, and so the chain keeps going. Now, when you see that, you react against it and say, `I am a pacifist, I won't carry a gun and I will go to prison, I will suffer for it; I have a cause for which I am acting'. The suffering, the martyrdom, is still a reaction, and so it cannot solve the problem either. But the man who is not reacting to war in any way is the challenge itself, he is in himself the breaker of old traditions, and such a man is the only entity that can resolve this problem. That is why it is important to understand yourself, your conditioning, your upbringing, the way you are educated; because, the government, the whole system, is your own projection. The world is you, the world is not separate from you; the world with its problems is projected out of your responses, out of your reactions, so the solution does not lie in creating further reactions.

There can be a solution only when there is action which is not reaction, and that can come into being only when you understand the whole process of response to stimuli both from outside and inside, which means that you understand the structure of your own being from which society is created.