Being aware does not mean learning and accumulating lessons from life; on the contrary, to be aware is to be without the scars of accumulated experience… To be aware is to observe–just to observe–without any self identifying process.
Reflections on the Self, p125
For me, the beauty of Krishnamurti is that he expresses the profoundly counter-intuitive in the clearest, simplest language imaginable, without any mystifying jargon. In fact, I would say I have learnt to read and (to a limited extent) understand other teachers simply because Krishnamurti expresses insights with such startling clarity.
Being aware does not mean learning and accumulating lessons from life. Most of our day is spent in seeking experience, either the most mundane or the most profound. Either I want coffee, or sex, or the glow that comes from fame and recognition, or the bliss of enlightenment. And K’s point is: awareness has nothing to do with experience at all.
I find this really liberating. It’s not that I have to perform all kinds of spiritual or other gymnastics. That’s not the point at all. Nor do I have to do some exercises to “cultivate” awareness. Awareness is just the watching of all the tricks of the mind. The need to become somebody, the need to impress, the need to feel secure.
Of course a Nisargadatta or a Ramana would go one step further and say that this pure awareness is our true nature, it’s just that we don’t realise it. K refuses to give us that comfort. And so, by placing us on a pinhead of uncertainty, he challenges us to look and look again at the process of self-formation.
To observe without self-identification. I don’t know what that means, so I translate it as: to observe the process of self-identification. And this is happening, as I tried to describe in earlier posts, from instant to instant. Surely there is plenty for us to watch there! Identification, basically, with the body and mind (though K doesn’t put it like that). Identification with my thought processes. Identification with my emotions. My possessions. My house, partner, country, religion. The net spreads very very wide.
And my rock solid self at the bottom, the source of it all!