This is an extract from On Freedom by J Krishnamurti, a talk he gave on 11 July 1963 in Saanen, Switzerland.
Though we talk of freedom, most of us do not want to be free at all. I do not know if you have observed this fact. In the modern world – where society is so highly organised, where there is more and more ‘progress’, where the production of things is so vast and so easy – one becomes a slave to possessions, to things, and in them one finds security. And security is all that most of us want – physical and emotional security – therefore we really do not want to be free. By freedom I mean total freedom, not freedom along one particular line, and I think we ought to demand it of ourselves, insist upon it.
Freedom is different from revolt. Revolt is against something: you revolt against something and are for something. Revolt is a reaction, but freedom is not. In the state of freedom, you are not free from something. The moment you are free from something, you are really in revolt against that something, therefore you are not free. Freedom is not “from something,” but in itself the mind is free. That is an extraordinary feeling – for the mind to be free in itself, to know freedom for its own sake.
Now, unless one is free I do not see how one can be creative. I am not using the word creative in the narrow sense of a man who paints a picture, writes a poem, or invents a machine. To me, such people are not creative at all. They may be inspired for the time being, but creation is entirely different. Creation can be only when there is total freedom. In that state of freedom there is a fullness, and then writing a poem, painting a picture, or carving a stone, has a different meaning altogether. It is then not mere self expression, it is not the result of frustration, it is no longer seeking a market: it is something entirely different. It seems to me that we should demand to know this complete freedom, not only in ourselves but outwardly.