Questioner: Is it not sometimes very difficult to differentiate between natural human needs and the psychological desires for satisfaction?
Krishnamurti: it is very difficult to differentiate. To do this, there must be clarity of perception. To be aware of the process of all outgoing desires, and in fully understanding them, natural human needs will intelligently be regulated, without undue emphasis. But you see, individually we are not interested in understanding the process of desire. We are not eager enough to find out if we can differentiate between human needs and psychological desires. One can discover this through critical awareness, through patient probing, but another's understanding of this problem is of little value to you; you will have to understand it for yourself. If you say that you will limit yourself to the minimum of things, you are not understanding the complex problem of desire; you are then merely interested in achieving certain results, which is to seek gratification on another level; but this does not solve the problem which desire creates.
What we are trying to do here is to understand the process of desire, not to put a boundary to craving. In understanding craving there comes a natural limitation of things, not a predetermined limitation brought about by the exertion of will. it is craving that gives to things their disproportionate values. Those values are based on psychological demands. If one is psychologically poor, one seeks satisfaction in things; therefore, property, name, family, become urgent and important, resulting in social chaos. As long as one has not solved this conflict of greed, mere limitation of things cannot bring about either social order or that tranquillity of freedom from craving. Through social legislation, greed cannot be destroyed; you may limit its expression in certain directions but even those limitations are overcome if craving is still the motive for man's action. Compensations that are offered by religions for giving up worldly things are still forms of craving. To be free from craving, one must patiently, tactfully, without prejudice, understand its complex process.
3rd Public Talk 9th June, 1940