“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see 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 partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
Are you a registered Democrat or Republican? You’re being violent!
And this is NOT violence:
According to Krishnamurti, the black people in the “Not violence” photo above are being violent because they are identifying themselves as black, and thus not white like the police officer in the photo. That same police officer is being violent by identifying himself as a cop, and thus not a civilian. Ironically, that last photo not only exposes the absurdity of Krishnamurti’s definition of violence, but refutes the very thing he was trying to say while simultaneously reiterating his sentiment.
Separating oneself from others does not necessarily breed violence. It can also breed corroboration and cooperation; in fact humanity is at its best when doing so. But if we all have the same beliefs, the same ideas, belong to the same groups, then what is best in humanity dissipates. It is not the act of differentiating oneself by idea or nation that breeds violence, the desire for violence is in some ideas themselves. Does your religion allow you to lie or harm non-followers? Does your group necessitate hostility to other groups (like the KKK or NFL teams)? Then THAT is the cause of violence through groups: the design and desire within the group itself. Often the purpose of the violence is more power for the group, or at least for the leaders of the group. Until notions of personal power are eradicated from the human psyche, there will be violence. Until then, redefining a component of identity as violence only asks the wrong questions, thus seeks the wrong answers.