Thursday, May 06, 2010

Understanding the mind

We are not concerned with what you should or should not do; that is not the problem. We are concerned with understanding the mind; and in understanding there is no condemnation, no demand for a pattern of action. You are merely observing; and observation is denied when you concern yourself with a pattern of action, or merely explain the inevitability of a slavish life. What matters is to observe your own mind without judgment - just to look at it, to watch it, to be conscious of the fact that your mind is a slave, and no more; because that very perception releases energy, and it is this energy that is going to destroy the slavishness of the mind. But if you merely ask, "How am I to be free from my slavery to routine, from my fear and boredom in everyday existence?", you will never release this energy. We are concerned only with perceiving what is; and it is the perception of what is that releases the creative fire. You cannot perceive if you do not ask the right question and a right question has no answer, because it needs no answer. It is wrong questions that invariably have answers. The urgency behind the right question, the very instance of it, brings about perception. The perceiving mind is living, moving, full of energy, and only such a mind can understand what truth is. But most of us, when we are face to face with a problem of this kind, invariably seek an answer, a solution, the `what to do', and the solution, the `what to do' is so easy, leading to further misfortune, further misery. That is the way of politicians. That is the way of the organized religions, which offer an answer, an explanation; and having found it, the so-called religious mind is thereby satisfied. But we are not politicians, nor are we slavish to organized religions. We are now examining the ways of our own minds, and for that there must be no fear. To find out about oneself, what one thinks, what one is, the extraordinary depths and movements of the mind - just to be aware of all that requires a certain freedom. And to inquire into oneself also requires an astonishing energy, because one has to travel a distance which is immeasurable. Most of us are fascinated by the idea of going to the moon, or to Venus; but those distances are much shorter than the distance within ourselves.

J Krishnamurti
Bombay 1st Public Talk 23rd December 1959 The Collected Works Vol. XI



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