Krishnamurti and the fresh, young mind

Here is a piece by Krishnamurti that - once again - rings so true to me. K’s teachings are all about the struggle with the mind. This is one of my favourite subject matters (see my essay Q&A, in fact most of the content of my book en.light.en.ment); indeed, the mind probably is my favourite subject above all.


In this quote K draws our attention to the value of not just an open mind, but indeed the empty mind. Our past experiences may teach us lessons, but they also may keep us from finding the truth, ourselves or indeed - as he puts it here - God.


The mind is meant to be kept young, fresh and innocent. In his book Freedom from the Known he advises that only with such a mind - detached from the burdens that life piles up for us - can we find inner peace. So once again, the operative here is: Accept, Detach and Let Go.


Die every day


What is age? Is it the number of years you have lived? That is part of age; you were born in such and such a year, and now you are fifteen, forty or sixty years old. Your body grows old - and so does your mind when it is burdened with all the experiences, miseries and weariness of life; and such a mind can never discover what is truth. The mind can discover only when it is young, fresh, innocent; but innocence is not a matter of age. It is not only the child that is innocent - he may not be - but the mind that is capable of experiencing without accumulating the residue of experience. The mind must experience, that is inevitable. It must respond to everything - to the river, to the diseased animal, to the dead body being carried away to be burnt, to the poor villagers carrying their burdens along the road, to the tortures and miseries of life - otherwise it is already dead; but it must be capable of responding without being held by the experience. It is tradition, the accumulation of experience, the ashes of memory that make the mind old. The mind that dies every day to the memories of yesterday, to all the joys and sorrows of the past - such a mind is fresh, innocent, it has no age; and without that innocence, whether you are ten or sixty, you will not find God.


The Book of Life, 1995 November 10, Harper San Francisco