FLAGS

 

Flags are separate symbols

that blow and wave, unfurl,

express our pretensions that

we, too, are separate,

country from country

body from body, mind from mind.

Our bars of belief and superstition

have bound us and in thrall to habit

we are ready to kill in the name of a priest,

an imam, a language, a symbol that flutters in the wind.

We must belong, see ourselves as having kinship

with others to protect from the draw of the jungle,

the real division from our true selves

that lies deep down in our true nature.

World Peace Flag

Why is there, one must ask, this division—the Russian, the American, the British, the French, the German, and so on—why is there this division between man and man, between race and race, culture against culture, one series of ideologies against another? Why?

Where is there this separation? Man has divided the earth as yours and mine—why? Is it that we try to find security, self-protection, in a particular group, or in a particular belief, faith? For religions also have divided man, put man against man—the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews and so on.

Nationalism, with its unfortunate patriotism, is really a glorified form, an ennobled form, of tribalism. In a small tribe or in a very large tribe there is a sense of being together, having the same language, the same superstitions, the same kind of political, religious system. And one feels safe, protected, happy, comforted. And for that safety, comfort, we are willing to kill others who have the same kind of desire to be safe, to feel protected, to belong to something.

This terrible desire to identify oneself with a group, with a flag, with a religious ritual and so on gives us the feeling that we have roots, that we are not homeless wanderers. – Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti to Himself, pp 59-60

 

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