QUOTATION: Krishnamurti / “A Particular Corner of the Vast Field of Life”

Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 11, 1895 – February 17, 1986)
Indian born speaker and writer on philosophical and spiritual subjects

And what is yourself, the individual you? I think there is a difference between the human being and the individual. The individual is a local entity, living in a particular country, belonging to a particular culture, particular society, particular religion. The human being is not a local entity. He is everywhere. If the individual merely acts in a particular corner of the vast field of life, then his action is totally unrelated to the whole. So one has to bear in mind that we are talking of the whole not the part, because in the greater the lesser is, but in the lesser the greater is not. The individual is the little conditioned, miserable, frustrated entity, satisfied with his little gods and his little traditions, whereas a human being is concerned with the total welfare, the total misery and total confusion of the world. – Freedom from the Known,13

 ~ J. Krishnamurti Online

2 thoughts on “QUOTATION: Krishnamurti / “A Particular Corner of the Vast Field of Life”

  1. I understand the idea of whole vs local that he refers to. What I don’t initially agree with, is his view that a local doesn’t have any influence on the whole. Science seems to show more and more the interdependency and mutual influencing of different entities at any given point in life.
    I would like to hear more about his views. Sounds like a very interesting person.

    • Without knowing the context of this excerpt, I would agree with Alex that the actions of the individual remain connected in some way to the collective experience of what it means to be human. What it means to say we are ‘human’ remains an ideal, something we are, in the existential sense, still fabricating. There is plenty of everyday evidence to suggest that what it means to be ‘human’ does not equate, as K suggests, to be concerned with the “total welfare…of the world.” I hope that’s where we end up but there’s no guarantee.

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