Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 11, 1895 – February 17, 1986)
Indian born speaker and writer on philosophical and spiritual subjects
Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence. When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you know why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
– Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp 51-52
h/t: J. Krishnamurti Online
Can’t say I agree with him here. Distinction is not inherently violent. You would be hard-pressed to have 6 billion people of like mind. Violence erupts from intolerance.
Distinction is divisive; division leads to intolerance, and intolerance leads to violence. So, while distinction may not be inherently violent per se, it is certainly a preliminary step in that direction.
Are you saying distinction is a gateway drug..?
Anyway I mean distinction in the sense of being different, not in the sense of being ‘special’ or superior.
If you want to train a dog you can’t start out by denying its nature or trying to make it behave like a cat. People are social, tribal, territorial animals that are programmed to identify with groups, family or otherwise. Of course the trick is to get everyone to identify with and hold fast to the super-group of humanity. But need we douse us all in grey to eliminate the potentially divisive colors of distinction?