We have different kinds of fear, have we not? (Part 1)

Scottsdale presents an Extract from 5th Public Talk, Ojai, California 1953, The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Vol. VII, p. 314-315 © 1992 KFA. in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 59, Winter 2008:


We have different kinds of fear, have we not?

Fear exists at different levels of our being: there is the fear of the past, fear of the future, and fear of the present, which is the very anxiety of living. Now, what is fear? Is it not of the mind, of thought? I think of the future, of old age, of poverty, of disease, of death, and of that picture I am afraid. Thought projects a picture which awakens anxiety in the mind, so thought creates its own fear, does it not? I have done something foolish and I don’t want my attention called to it, I want to avoid it, I am afraid of the consequences. It is again a thought process, is it not? I want to recapture the happiness of youth; or perhaps I saw something yesterday in the mountain sunlight which has now escaped me, and I want to experience that beauty again; or I want to be loved. I want to fulfill, I want to achieve, I want to become somebody; so there is anxiety, there is fear. Thought is desire, memory, and its responses to all this bring about fear, do they not? Being afraid of tomorrow, of death, of the unknown, we begin to invent theories that we shall be reborn, that we shall be made perfect through evolution, and in these theories the mind takes shelter. Because we are everlastingly seeking security, we build churches around our hopes, our beliefs and dogmas, for which we are prepared to fight, and all this is still the process of thinking, is it not? And, if we cannot resolve our fear, our psychological block we turn for help to somebody else.

As long as I am thinking in terms of achieving, fulfilling, or not becoming, of dying, I am always caught in fear, am I not? The process of thinking as we know it, with its self-enclosing desire to be successful, not to be lonely, empty – that very process is the seat of fear. And, can the mind which is occupied with itself, which is the product of its own fears, ever resolve fear?

Suppose one is afraid, and one knows the various causes that have brought about fear. Can that same mind, which has produced fear, put aside fear by its own effort? As long as the mind is occupied with fear, with how to get rid of it, with what to do and what not to do in order to surmount it, can it ever be free from fear? Surely, the mind can be free from fear only when it is not occupied with fear, which does not mean running away from fear or trying [to] ignore it. First, one must be fully aware that one is afraid. Most of us are not fully aware, we are only vaguely aware of fear and, if we do come face to face with it, we are horrified; we run away from it and throw ourselves into various activities which only lead to further mischief.

To be continued…


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