“So, before we go this evening into this question of what is conflict, and if it is at all possible to be free of conflict, we must, it seems to me, understand the structure of words, the meaning which we give to a particular word, and discover through the awareness of the word how the mind is caught in a web of words. Because we live, most of us, by formulas, by concepts, either self-created or handed down to us by society, which we call ideals, which we call the necessity to have a certain pattern according to which we live (…) So, to understand conflict and therefore to be free of it, not eventually, not at the end of your life, not the day after tomorrow, but immediately, totally – and it can be done – demands an astonishing faculty of observation which is not to be cultivated, because the moment you cultivate it, you are back again in conflict. ”
– J. Krishnamurti, New Delhi, Varanasi, October 27, 1963
The purpose of Opposition is to intentionally create space for the astonishing faculty of observation Krishnamurti describes, and to delve into the nature and movement of internal and interpersonal conflict, paying close attention to the role language—verbal, written, and nonverbal—plays in generating and perpetuating it.
Some questions that will be explored throughout this program include:
- What is the relationship between language and conflict?
- What is the relationship between memory and language?
- What is the relationship between memory and conflict?
- What does conflict have in common?
- What role does fixation—defined as unilateral obsessive observation—play in conflict?
- Which ideas and identities are we fundamentally attached to—i.e., gender, sexuality, nationality, profession? How they cause conflict?
- How does conflict affect daily lived experience?
- What would it require to live without conflict?
- What would it require to live without suffering?
Opposition will use a variety of mediums—including writing exercises, dialogue, video, and stillness—to closely observe the lifespan of conflict on a personal and social level.