What is the meaning of possessiveness?

Any comments? Especially in regards to the last sentence? Are you and I possessive?

Question: If everyone gave up all possessions, as you suggest, what would happen to all business and the ordinary pursuits of life? Are not business and possessions necessary if we are to live in the world?

Krishnamurti: I have never said give up. I have said that acquisitiveness is the cause of competition, of exploitation, of class distinctions, of wars and so on. Now if one discerns the real significance of possessiveness, whether of things or of people or of ideas, which is ultimately the craving for power in different forms, if the mind can free itself from that, then there can be intelligent happiness and well-being in the world. We have through many centuries built up a system of acquisitiveness, of possessiveness, seeking personal power and authority. Now as long as that exists in our hearts and minds, we may change the system momentarily through revolution, through crisis, through wars, but as long as that craving exists, it will inevitably lead, in another form, to the old system. And, as I said, the freedom from acquisitiveness is not to be learned eventually, through postponement; it must be discerned immediately, and that is where the difficulty lies. If we cannot see the falseness of possessiveness immediately, we shall then not be able individually, and therefore collectively, to have a different civilization, a different way of living. So my whole attack, if I may use that word, is not on any system, but on that desire for possessiveness, acquisitiveness, leading finally to power.

You think now possessiveness gives happiness. But if you think about it deeply, you will see that this craving for power has no end. It is a continual struggle in which there is no cessation of conflict, suffering. But it is one of the most difficult things, to free the mind and heart from acquisitiveness.

You know, in India we have certain people called sannyasis, who leave the world in search of truth. They have generally two loin cloths, the one they put on, and one for the next day. A sannyasi in search of truth, sought various teachers. In his wanderings he was told that a certain king was enlightened, that he was teaching wisdom. So this sannyasi went to the king. You can see the contrast between the king and the sannyasi: the king who had everything, palaces, jewels, courtiers, power; and the sannyasi who had only two loin cloths. The king instructed him concerning truth. One day, while the king was teaching him, the palace caught fire. Serenely the king continued with his teaching, while the sannyasi, that holy man, was greatly disturbed because his other loin cloth was burning.

You know, you are all in that position. You may not be possessive with regard to clothes, houses, friends, but there is some hidden pursuit of gain to which you are attached, to which you cling, which is eating your hearts and minds away. As long as these unexplored, hidden poisons exist, there must be continual conflict, suffering.


Possessiveness has to have a ‘possessor’ doesn’t it? Isn’t that ‘me’, the center? ‘My’ desires, whether they are grand or minimal…Possessions material or psychological give me ‘cover’, give me ‘substance’, give me a sense of ‘security’? I am what I possess? Without them, I am naked.

Yes, seems to be so. Without them, I am not. They cause such pain, but we’re frightened to let them go…this seems very odd, but it’s true right? Didn’t Buddha say that attachment is the cause of suffering? But, after like 3000 years from the time of Buddha, we’re still attached.

Because this fear of ‘being nothing’ has not been faced and dissolved? There hasn’t been a total ‘dying’ to the illusion of a ‘self’? The brain would prefer, in its ignorance, to take it, this little “bundle of memories and experiences” to the grave, rather than give it up now. That’s ‘possessiveness’!

Right. I can feel that in ‘me’ right now. The holding on, or rather the resistance to losing it all…all the memories and experiences. Having that totally wiped away. Of course it happens every night when we sleep…unless we’re having a dream. And in rare moments of nowness. Observing the flight of a bird or a scene in nature free of any thoughts, I lose all touch with the center…the past. It used to be a daily occurrence for me to walk ‘in nature’ and lose myself. There was no pain in dying…I was literally not there anymore when lost in perceiving…in looking/observing. But when ‘me’ returns then the fear returns of losing ‘me’. Very odd that we cling in this way, but it’s my experience even now after reading your post, I felt this clinging to memory and experience and knowledge.

Its not strange that after so much time, conditioning, momentum, that the brain won’t let this go, as I see it. It sees that as dying and it is in a way, but the fear and the desire for the security , that the illusory self provides, won’t or can’t let it all go. So the brain’s potential which K has called “infinite” is stymied. We’re back to “choice less awareness”. No?

Dan: It sees that as dying and it is in a way, but the fear and the desire for the security , that the illusory self provides, won’t or can’t let it all go.

I think the problem is that we mistake memories for the real…for reality. I don’t want to lose my wife, but my wife is NOT those memories that I cling to, right? She’s a living human being, and I can’t know her through the screen of thought/memory.

So the brain’s potential which K has called “infinite” is stymied. We’re back to “choice less awareness”. No?

We’re back to attachment…where we always are…unless we can somehow free ourselves.

And the desire to “free ourselves” believes and implies that there is a someone (or something) who can do this ‘freeing’…that duality of me against me! And that that ‘freeing’ will take ‘time’ (as in ‘becoming’) As Philip I think said in the other thread, awareness is already ‘free’, the ‘self’ can never be, can it?