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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


Question: When one sees in the world no demonstrable universal principle of justice, one feels no compelling reason to change oneself or the chaotic society outside. One sees no rational criteria by which to measure the consequences of actions and their accountability. Can you share your perception on this matter with us?

Is there justice in the world? This has been a question that all the philosophers have gone into, spinning a lot of words about it. Now, is there justice in the world, rational, sane, justice? You are clever, I am not. You have money, I have not. You have capacity and another has not. You have talent, you can enjoy and I have been born poor. One has a crippling disease and the other has not. Seeing all this, we say; there must be justice somewhere. We move from lack of justice to an idea of justice - God is just. But the fact remains that there is terrible injustice in the world.

And the questioner wants to know: "If there is no justice, why should I change? There is no point in it. Why should I change in this chaotic world where the dictators are supreme; their very life is injustice, terrorizing millions of people?" Seeing all that, there is no rational cause for me to change. I think that is not a rational question, if I may say so. Do you change because you are under pressure, or because you are rewarded - change brought about by reward and punishment?

Human beings are so irrational, right through the world and you as a human being, are as the rest of humanity. And as you are the rest of mankind, you are responsible; not because you see so much injustice in the world, how the crooks get away with everything, or because you contrast the marvellous churches and great riches with the millions and millions who are starving.

Change is not brought about through compulsion, through reward and punishment. The mind itself sees the absurdity of all this; it sees the necessity of change, not because God or the priest or somebody tells one to change. One sees the chaos around one and that chaos has been created by human beings; I am as these human beings; I have to act, it is my responsibility and a global responsibility.