I like the gentle touch of many Indian thinkers. I also like their profundity. We need both nowadays and we need more than ever different paths to love.

Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher and writer (1895–1986)
Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher and writer (1895–1986)

“It is easy to hate, and hate brings people together after a fashion; it creates all kinds of fantasies, it brings about various types of co-operation, as in war. But love is much more difficult. You cannot learn how to love, but what you can do is to observe hate and put it gently aside. Don’t battle against hate, don’t say how terrible it is to hate people, but see hate for what it is and let it drop away; brush it aside, it is not important. What is important is not to let hate take root in your mind. Do you understand? Your mind is like rich soil, and if given sufficient time any problem that comes along takes root like a weed, and then you have the trouble of pulling it out; but if you do not give the problem sufficient time to take root, then it has no place to grow and it will wither away. If you encourage hate, give it time to take root, to grow, to mature, it becomes an enormous problem. But if each time hate arises you let it go by, then you will find that your mind becomes very sensitive without being sentimental; therefore it will know love.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

[I met J. Krishnamurti at Café Philos, a good Internet café where Paul Sunstone – living “along the Front Range of the Rockies, near Cheyenne Mountain” – stirs discussions on philosophy and other thought-provoking stuff]


As a digression, I wonder why media today pander so much to the basest emotions of the public, thus favouring them to ‘take root’. Panem et circenses? An intrinsic flaw of capitalism?  – the list could be long. A cui bono serious analysis here would be needed, though it could lead nowhere, societies being complex. For a discussion around this see the links below.

Related posts:

Keep Violence in the Mind
Western Values, Again (1)

I also found a very interesting [Australian] post on the subject of how we accustom our children to virtual murder and crime via media and computer games:

Crime: Who’s to Blame?

22 thoughts on “Krishnamurti on Love and Hate

  1. It’s all about ‘cui bono.’ From simple gestures all the way to issues like global warming.

    The media likes to stir the pot. It may not push hatred but it certainly lays the seeds of mistrust. Then again, the question is: does the media merely reflect society and reports on it or does it try and influence it? I always wonder about the person doing the reporting. Some seem so blatantly unaware as to lack any curiosity about the world.

    India is an ancient culture. It’s one of the great cultures in world history. That it is profound should come as no surprise. And that it teaches about hatred is not surprising either given it has wrestled with its own sectarian violence and hatred.

    Italy, for its part, I’m not sure if such hatred exists (and I speak strictly politically). The North holds the South in contempt – but is it hate?

    In Canada it becomes even less clear. Quebec and Canada have their differences but it’s not even contempt. More like uneasiness. The question is, will this gradually worsen or get better?

    The United States, in some measure, dealt with its ‘hatreds’ through the Civil War but there remains remnants of it but again, contrary to what we’re blasted with, is there ‘hatred?’

    I know Krishnamurti meant it in a metaphysical and personal way but I chose to go the history/politics route.

    Hate is such a powerful word. It takes some kind of mistrust to galvanize people into hating others. I can’t fathom it myself.

    I have to ponder this more. As I write this I’m watching The Flintstones with my daughter.


    1. I know Krishnamurti meant it in a metaphysical and personal way but I chose to go the history/politics route.

      There is no great difference in my view. Personal hate or hatred can sum up and lead to collective hatred. Love is generation. Hate is destruction. Genocides, wars, sadism, serial killing, paedophilia, racism, they all have something in common.

      The question is: does the media merely reflect society and reports on it or does it try and influence it?

      Both in my opinion. Media have great responsibility. Media reinforce what is present in society and expand it. I don’t think TV serials like CSI do any good to young generations. There is too much indulgence in blood, cruelty, murder etc.. I don’t want to sound extreme, but they allow some evil to ‘take root’ bit by bit. Think about a very young fresh mind meeting a film with Hannibal Lecter in it.

      Years ago a serial killer was captured. When asked how he had been capable of committing such horrendous atrocities he replied: “It all started with violent movies …”

      that [India] teaches about hatred is not surprising either given it has wrestled with its own sectarian violence and hatred.

      India is rapidly going through big changes. It displays love and hatred like anywhere, I don’t think more than us in any case.

      Cui Bono – good for crime investigations; for an entire society it seems much harder – loads of actors and motives – but it can be tried.


  2. Esoterism seems to be making a come back. Krishnamurti, Mme Blavatsky and others were all the rage in the 70s intelligentsia. The Gurus made quite a few converts here and we had friends who were amongst them.
    Meditation, transcendental meditation was the order of the day.
    One book that left a deep imprint on me was “le matin des magiciens”, by Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels. Even today it still influences me. I guess it took roots.


    1. I don’t like to follow rages, even though I didn’t escape them when I was young. I’ll read Krishnamurti outside any fashion. I am autistic enough to follow my own path lol. I’ll check your “Le matin des magiciens”. I remember you told Paul Sunstone about an article written in French he said he found but couldn’t read. As for conversions, I have a sister who turned to Hinduism. I don’t think I will ever convert to any religion, and I wonder if many Indian writers can be thoroughly understood outside their religious context. It seems though that Krishnamurti is independent of any religion. We will see.

      The 70s, children of the end of the 60s. I was in my twenties then.


  3. @Paul

    I think on the whole here in the West it is time we stop considering Eastern thought just as ‘exotic’ and start pondering it more seriously.


        1. In the 70s I guess I was rather keen on changing our professional practices and make them more receptive to what the people we were trying to help could wish to do for themselves…even if we thought otherwise. Empowerment was then the key word. Empowering the “client” meant les power to the case worker and many resented that.
          When I was 20, it was about getting free of the stringent taboos of our Québec society. It was painfull and almost ruined my future. But I survived though the society in it’s 50s and 60s state has fortunately not.


        2. You gave me an idea of those taboos here and there. It must have been good to work for an organization who helped the disadvantaged. I too remember the expression: empowering the people.

          In the 50s and 60s Italy was full of taboos as well, though future oriented and hedonistic as well. After a destructive war we were living an economic boom. I remember my father emphatically praising the new highways. The 70s were instead full of ideology, social strife and terrorism. Anni di piombo, years of lead: a gloomy period, after all.


    1. Never viewed India as exotic.

      Why would viewing it as exotic preclude one from examining it seriously? I think we’ve come a long, long way from the negativism attached to orientalism. After all, it did lead to much interest in Asian culture and history.

      Everything is exotic that which is not ours! No?


      1. Ok, of course, I agree. It’s just because some people here stop at the superficial fascination of it all and don’t go any further. It’s probably just our provincialism, not yours.

        Gosh, writing in this foreign language is damned hard. I envy how you master it.


  4. @ Man of Roma: Thank you for the compliment!

    I don’t think of Krishnamurti as especially esoteric. Perhaps I am wrong about that, but instead of thinking of him as esoteric, I think he went to great lengths to make a rather difficult subject matter accessible. His intention does not seem to have been to obscure, but to inform.


    1. To inform about what? Too big a question, I know. Thanks for visiting.

      And I am happy if he is not esoteric. I don’t like esoterica so much.


  5. @Commentator

    I found a good post on the topic kids-violence, that I link to at the foot of my post and which, on getting acclimatized to violence, thus argues:

    “If parents let their children become immersed in the macabre world of virtual murder, theft and war, then they must realize that they are raising a generation that will become indifferent to violence, a generation who will shrug at pain and suffering, and a generation who, upon having become emotionally and psychologically acclimatized to it, will consider it commonplace to act out in the only way their mind has observed is effective – through brutality.”


    1. Yes. I’m sure there’s truth to it. I shall read it.

      But I also remember the infamous allegations that the music of AC/DC and Judas Priest led to teen age suicide. Of course, it was proven untrue.

      Parents MUST involved themselves. It’s as simple as that.


  6. Don’t battle against hate, don’t say how terrible it is to hate people, but see hate for what it is and let it drop away…

    I like this a lot. Reminds me of Calvino’s comments on The Inferno. But, on a more raucous note, it reminds me of a sticker I got from Mad Magazine as a kid: STAMP OUT Hate!!!!


    1. Ah ah, I liked your ‘raucous’ note.

      Yes, I also like it a lot. I like this letting hate drop away, brushing it aside, like something unimportant. It elevates our spirit with gentleness.

      And, not to let hate take root in our mind, I think is also important and very wise.


  7. A nice reminder of the spiritualism that exists in India. We live in India and tend to forget it! About hate, I think some of us who grow up receiving hatred and are unable to deal with it, store it. It bubbles up and comes out as it naturally will. Spitting out hate is like regurgitating acid. Your burn yourself up too.


    1. Nita, maybe Indians like you tend to forget their rich traditions because they are progressive. Progressive people, I don’t know you, might sometimes see their cultural heritage as somewhat conflicting with modernity. On the other hand I think one should be careful not to leave one’s country’s traditions in the hands of the conservative ‘culture vultures’ only, as you call them in many of your posts.


  8. I guess it is correct – I think that every action of ours creates an attitude within us and that attitude becomes stronger and stronger when channeled in one direction. That’s why I love this quote – “Develop good habits – they are as difficult to break as the bad ones”

    Destination Infinity


    1. Yes, developing good habits is of paramount importance. “Our mind is like a rich soil” – says Krishnamurti – and everything that comes along takes root, like a weed. So it is wise not to let the bad weeds (= bad habits = vices etc.) grow.


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