November 29th 1961, Madras
Without sensitivity there can be no affection; personal reaction does not indicate sensitivity; you may be sensitive about your family, about your achievement, about your status and capacity. This kind of sensitivity is a reaction, limited, narrow, and is deteriorating. Sensitivity is not good taste for good taste is personal and the freedom from personal reaction is the awareness of beauty. Without the appreciation of beauty and without the sensitive awareness of it, there is no love. This sensitive awareness of nature, of the river, of the sky, of the people, of the filthy road, is affection. The essence of affection is sensitivity. But most people are afraid of being sensitive; to them to be sensitive is to get hurt and so they harden themselves and so preserve their sorrow. Or they escape into every form of entertainment, the church, the temple, gossip and cinema and social reform. But being sensitive is not personal and when it is, it leads to misery. To break through this personal reaction is to love, and love is for the one and the many; it is not restricted to the one or to the many. To be sensitive, all the senses must be fully alive, active, and fear of being a slave to the senses is merely the avoidance of a natural fact. The awareness of the fact does not lead to slavery; it is the fear of the fact that leads to bondage. Thought is of the senses and thought makes for limitation but yet you are not afraid of thought. On the contrary, it is ennobled with respectability and enshrined with conceit. To be sensitively aware of thought, of feeling, of the world about you, of your office and of nature, is to explode from moment to moment in affection. Without affection, every action becomes burdensome and mechanical and leads to decay.
To the so-called religious to be sensitive is to sin, an evil reserved for the worldly; to the religious the beautiful is temptation, to be resisted; it's an evil distraction to be denied. Good works are not a substitute for love, and without love all activity leads to sorrow, noble or ignoble. The essence of affection is sensitivity and without it all worship is an escape from reality. To the monk, to the sannyasi, the senses are the way of pain, save thought which must be dedicated to the god of their conditioning. But thought is of the senses. It is thought that puts together time and it is thought that makes sensitivity sinful. To go beyond thought is virtue and that virtue is heightened sensitivity which is love.
Love and there is no sin; love and do what you will and then there is no sorrow.
~ Krihnamurti's Notebook