A fresh, living thing

To understand anything you must live with it, you must observe it, you must know all its content, its nature, its structure, its movement. Have you ever tried living with yourself? If so, you will begin to see that yourself is not a static state, it is a fresh living thing. And to live with a living thing your mind must also be alive. And it cannot be alive if it is caught in opinions, judgements and values.

Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known

Most gurus, or spiritual “authorities,” want to give their followers instructions on what to do in order to be happy, or to attain enlightenment. Krishnamurti is very different. He insists that there is no such thing as spiritual authority, because all spiritual discovery must be made by the individual herself; all discovery must be fresh, genuine and authentic.

If the individual cannot learn from a guru (because all such learned knowledge is, ultimately, imitative), then who or what can she learn from? Krishnamurti’s very deep and ultimately very optimistic message is that she can learn from watching herself in daily life: her reactions, emotional patterns and responses.

This learning is not just collecting facts about oneself (for example, “I get angry when people disagree with me”). Rather, it is much subtler. Learning means watching, non-verbally, the content of our consciousness, being aware of all our responses to life.

This is Krishnamurti’s understanding of the word “meditation.” It means, I think, to become directly, immediately aware of all of the movements of our mind and body, without judging or trying to control them. Meditation means living with oneself, watching oneself with a free, alive mind.

What a world of opportunities this presents to us.

 

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