Q: What is emotion? Is it good or bad?
Jiddu Krishnamurti: When somebody punches you, you cry; when somebody dies, you cry. When you see something beautiful, you laugh. It is a form of sensation, it is not right or wrong. We always like to think in terms of good or bad – `this is right,’ `this is wrong’, `this is bad’, `this is good’ – and we think we have solved the whole problem of existence by giving it a name as good or bad. We want to suppress emotion in order not to feel, because emotion creates pain; or we say it is bad. But if it was a pleasurable emotion, we do not want to suppress it, we want to run with it, want to have more and more and more of it.
So, emotion is a thing to be understood, to be watched over, to be cared for, so that you will understand it, so that you will not say it is good or bad. You know the instinct or rather the conditioning of the mind; it makes us call anything good or bad, as though you have really understood the little child if you call him good or bad, or call him naughty. If you want to understand the child, you study him, you watch him when he is playing when he is crying, when he is sleeping; you do not condemn him. But, you see, condemning something or somebody or some quality is so easy. You say `that is bad’ and there it ends; but, to understand the thing requires a great deal of care, patience, attention; that means watchfulness.