665 The free mind and the truth

What value repetition?


The truth is at once a simple and a complex issue. I have written about it many times … beyond the small matter of running my daily life and occupying my mind with the mechanics of that task, pondering the truth is always in the forefront of my thinking. 

Yes, this is one of my hobbies; see also blogs  482,  488.


We all think we know what the truth is: It’s the opposite of what’s wrong; we may think it doesn’t get more simple than that. But there is a big problem: There exist probably as many  truths,  as many realities, as human minds … everyone has their own concept of what’s true, what is real; and this is contingent on our conditioning.


Krishnamurti is adamant: Only the free mind knows the truth. There exists a profound book on the subject:  Freedom from the Know.  If we want to know the truth we must set the mind free … free from all we know, namely all our conditioning. But can the mind truly be free? Isn’t it part of the human condition to be conditioned?


This is not just wicked semantics. Our conditioning - our predilection to be opinionated, our prejudices, preconceptions and biases … which lead to bigotry, intolerance, inequality, racism etc. - are solely a human condition, one that few can shake off and free themselves from. The only way to do so is to free our mind.


That means to disengage from beliefs and thought systems that are inherently dogmatic, such as religions; but also from ideas and “learned knowledge” that is orthodox, not open to scrutiny (peer review). The vernacular is, “keep an open mind”. But is that enough? K says, we must empty the mind with discarding all we know … only then can it be free.


This is a big task … arguably the biggest task of them all. But the wise wo/men of the world keep repeating: Free your mind, discard your expectations and conditioning. Those who achieve this are blessed with peace of mind and an enlightened world view; they make the changes that can be made and accept what can’t be changed ... accept, detach, let go.


I receive daily reminders selected from Krishnamurti’s writings; these repetitions remind me to empty and free my mind.  Meditation  is a great aid on this path. 

Here are some samples of K's wisdom:

A life at a different dimension

If one is really earnest in the sense that one is willing to go to the very end, then there must be this freedom - freedom from all nationalities, freedom from all dogma, ritual, beliefs. And apparently this is one of the most difficult things to do. You find in India people who have thought a great deal about these matters and yet they remain soaked in Hindu tradition. In the West they are immersed in the Catholic, Protestant, or Communist dogmas and so they cannot possibly break through. And if one is to have a different kind of life, a life at a different dimension, one must not only be free consciously from all this, but also deep down in the very roots of one's being. Then only is one capable of really looking, seeing. Because to find reality the mind must be sane, healthy, highly intelligent, which means highly sensitive.

Krishnamurti, Talks in Europe 1968, Social Responsibility

Is it the very nature of the mind to be conditioned?

So, our problem is: How is the mind to be set free? And, is it possible to set the mind free - not in layers or patches, not in little bits here and there, but totally, right through, the unconscious as well as the conscious? Or, is the mind ever to be conditioned, ever to be shaped? You have to find out for yourself and not wait for me to tell you whether the mind can ever be free. Can the mind only think about freedom, as a prisoner does, and so is doomed never to be free but always to be held within the bondage of its conditioning? Do you understand the problem? Can the mind ever be totally free, or is it the very nature of the mind to be conditioned? If it is the fundamental quality of the mind to be limited, then there is no question of ever finding out what is reality; then you can go on repeating that there is God or there is no God, that this is good and something else is bad, all of which is within the pattern of a given culture. But, to find out the truth of the matter, you have to inquire for yourself into whether the mind can really be free. I say it can be, which is not for you to accept or reject. It may be true, or it may be my opinion, my fancy, my illusion. And you cannot base your life on somebody else's discovery, or on his illusion, his fancy, or on a mere idea. You have to find out.

Krishnamurti, Collected Works, Vol. X", 165, Individual and Society