Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Krishnamurti: On Psychological Security

What does it take to experience true security in an age that seems obsessed with being secure? Literally, billions of dollars are spent each year, by countries large and small, to purchase armaments in an attempt to obtain security by pure force. Yet, at a psychological and emotional level, individuals in these societies probably feel less secure then they ever have.

In a talk that predates the rise of the national security state, the late spiritual teacher, Jiddu Krishnamurti, examines our individual and collective need for security and explores whether psychologically security is even possible.

Throughout millennia, Krishnamurti notes, humanity has always sought physical security - adequate food, clothing and shelter - but has never managed to arrange a society that could provide these basic needs in adequate abundance to all. Perhaps it is this reality, he suggests, that compels an additional need for a psychological sense of security that is almost impossible for a society to attain, but which is possible to the individual.

"Desire for physical security," Krishnamurti observes, "has psychologically taken over the physical demands. One needs physical security, and that is the function of a good society." However, he notes, "each human being seeks pyschological security, inward security, relying on belief - holding on - hoping there, by inner belief, to find security in an idea, in a person, in a concept, in an experience."

But, he asks: "Does he ever find security in any of it . . . and if he doesn't why does he hold onto it?"

"For centuries, he suggests, "a belief has been created, and one accepts it naturally from childhood, and it is easier to follow what has been the tradition rather than to break away from it."

In the attached videos (from 1979), Krishnamurti examines how we have set up society after society that has failed to provide basic security - in terms of providing adequate food, clothes and shelter - and questions if, in light of this, we have the ability to critically examine the societies we have set up, and perhaps move from that critical examination towards true psychological security.

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