PDF | 50+ minutes read | The present article looks at mind and consciousness from the Deeper delving into it and a study of J. Krishnamurti's philosophy is a must for the understanding of Born into a Telugu family, in what was then colonial India, he lived, in his .. London: Rider Books, UK; Ad. At the feet of the master. byKrishnamurti, J. (Jiddu), Publication date Topics Theosophy. PublisherChicago: Rajput Press. Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you .
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Avinash De Sousa, Carmel, 18, St. Francis Avenue, Off S. Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai — , India. E-mail: ku. Abstract The present article looks at mind and consciousness from the perspective of the eminent Indian philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti. He believed in total awareness as being essential for a free mind. Human beings always learned from their past, and it was important that they looked inwards and freed themselves from self-perpetuated torment.
His English was wonderfully elegant, British bred after all Fouere, [ 2 ]. Rene Fouere calls his style simple, adapted to psychological investigation, and free of all mythical or religious reference Ibid[ 2 ].
He used terms and examples that were not subject to any pre-conceived ideas and prejudices, those that were not standard and boringly repeated in the past. His language was not meant to be convincing on first reading Fouere, [ 2 ]. It only gave a viewpoint so simple that you would not be persuaded into believing it. Belief just happened.
He questioned the most obvious, and prodded into the dodgy subjects of life and the truth. The method of using many contradictions by itself served his purpose of proving that he was a mere mortal; and it was we, humans, who needed to think and question life from within; and look for answers, not elsewhere, but within ourselves.
As humans, we were always told what to do and what not to do; he believed we need not be instructed with steps of life, but merely awakened. Sometimes outright hurtful or targeting words used by him were only meant to awaken those who had become dormant Fouere, [ 2 ].
The idea was to start anywhere and eventually reach the same place within you, through life. He did not offer a school or cult of any sort. Claude Bragdon wrote that Krishnamurti did not offer something more to life; instead, he was a subtractor of everything that stood between him and his maker, which was life itself Bragdon, [ 1 ].
Krishnamurti believed life itself was God, and every action manifested itself with God. The description and writing of his subject may seem so simple that you may go over it again and again and still be left lost Ibid[ 1 ]. His teachings leave many people with unanswered questions, but like he said, truth was a pathless land Ibid[ 1 ].
Claude Bragdon summarized his teaching well in two words — trust life Ibid[ 1 ]. Most of our troubles came from our fear of life, religion itself being a refuge from that fear Krishnamurti, [ 9 ]. If we trusted life instead of fearing it, it would never betray us — only by ourselves could we be betrayed Krishnamurti, [ 9 ]. Those who look to Krishnamurti for a new religion or a new philosophy would be disappointed.
He does not offer something more, but always something less. The very simplicity of Krishnamurti's teaching confuses our sophisticated minds. His teaching shall seem anarchic and destructive only till the perception dawns that his blows are aimed at our fetters. It is then that we realise that life, unconditioned by personal fears, ambitions, and desires, is not a void but a plenum Krishnamurti, [ 7 ].
Krishnamurti: The Man and His Mind The teachings of Krishnamurti do not have a school or organization, but, as humans with tendencies to categorize and organize, I am drawn to comparing him with Jean Paul Sartre, the father of modern existentialism.
Krishnamurti's works also include the space of a human in the social and political scenario. Krishnamurti states so very well that one cannot know of something unless the other is also present.
He gives the example of non-violence: one cannot know of non-violence unless you know what violence is. Life itself is a movement of relationships, and we try to manipulate and control it even in the most common events of life. For example, when someone praises us, we grow in pride, when someone insults us we have rage filled in us; and what we do is behave in ways that increase positive reactions and decrease negative comments; the point being that we are only living a half automated life, and doing something habitually.
He emphasises that total awareness, and continuous awareness, will lead to living a non-habitual life, and no amount of discipline will do it — and once again, discipline is not freedom from the known Krishnamurti, [ 3 ]. Self-Consciousness and Krishnamurti Krishnamurti does not trust ideals.
He states that an ideal is what is not. A human cannot understand an ideal without knowing what the other part of it is. I cannot know what truth is without knowing what is false, and what non-violence is without knowing what is violence. Truth cannot be seen as an object of desirability or attained because of its vastness and context. It cannot be reduced to an intellectual formula for our brains, or eternity, and reduced to a mere objective perspective. Humans can only learn from their past and not from their present, as the present is this very moment.
All introspection is a form of retrospection Krishnamurti, [ 6 ]. Problems that affect our behaviour cannot be resolved without awakening the creative intelligence or the intuition within us. That will, in turn, fully grasp the circumstance and liberate us from our miseries. It is a fact that all self-consciousness is painful and is absent in the states of ecstasy and fullness. All our urges for personal aggrandizement, which have cost the world so much blood and tears, are merely a futile evasion of a fact, an endless search for the non-existing security, an absurd refusal to meet face to face, with one's own true condition.
It is only in the full awareness of oneself that we can put an end to our self-perpetuated torment Krishnamurti, [ 8 ].
The Nature of Mind as per Krishnamurti It is well known that the power to think is what makes us different from other living beings, but this unfortunately is also the reason why we may consider ourselves higher in the order of nature. This very essential power is mostly used and abused over time. Our mind is misinterpreted, according to Krishnamurti, and we must start using it differently than it is used, and not as an object for self-protection and self-expansion. We are no more primitive humans, and survival instincts have to be abandoned so as to achieve higher awareness.
He talks of how, if society has to remain truly human, it must be in a state of constant revolution and re-evaluation. The mind is being used more for ego-centred acquisitiveness and for personal growth and power, in turn lessening others opportunities. We must try and belong to an organic society and not an organised one; because an organised society will always follow a hierarchy; and the standards of morality may exist, but not necessarily in the nobler sense like that of an organic society.
An organic society means that its members have no choice but to belong to it. However, it goes even further. It implies that they have no desire but to belong to it, for their interests and those of the society are the same; they identify themselves with the society. Unity here is not a principle proclaimed by the authorities, but a fact accepted by all the participants.
No great sacrifice is involved.
One's place in society may be onerous or undignified, but it is the only one available; without it, one has no place in the world.
The opposite of this perspective, with rights and liberties granted to an individual, is what forms an organised society Krishnamurti, [ 6 ]. This world is full of chaos and it is the human being who must understand that he is part of that chaos — the cause and the effect. Krishnamurti states that bringing of the unconscious to the conscious is the first fruit of intelligence.
It marks the reaching of the human level and there should be no conflict. This integration of the entire mechanism of consciousness will open to awareness, vistas of perception and experience of affection and action beyond our boldest dreams Krishnamurti, [ 12 ]. This sounds as familiar as Freud, who said childhood experiences form the base of our adulthood and our adjustment to life; but it is more than this.
Krishnamurti goes on to say further, that every action we try to connect positively or negatively to, comes back to form a habit, and does not allow a free mind to grow.
Sometimes, even suffering is based on our habits and when we try to overcome one habit, we form another; and eventually, as humans, we form the habit of repression. We must understand that there is no stopping of habits, but rather only a cessation. We have to understand it and overcome it, which is acquired through great alertness and patience.
The idea of a free mind is to look inward with this patience and alertness.
On doing so, we free ourselves of the thinker who cages us. Once we destroy this cage of controlled thoughts, man finds a new freedom, which is not a freedom from painful experiences, but a release from the scar these experiences used to leave on the mind Krishnamurti, [ 9 ]. We do not question or enquire what we may believe or not believe out of fear.
And who is to be responsible for this — our elders who condition us to believe without questioning. What we are doing out of fear, or so-called belief, must be questioned. He states that a true religious mind is free of fear, blind faith, and contradiction. All religion is followed by tradition, whether it is religion that is years old, or The list of must do's in any religion should be questioned by itself.
A mind should be investigative and scientific in its approach, and not bound by something, or compelled. Religious matters make humans irrational, insane; and all these build the walls of our conditioning. If you want to end pleasure, though, which is to end pain, you must be totally attentive to the whole structure of pleasure - not cut it out as monks and sannyasis do, never looking at a woman because they think it is a sin and thereby destroying the vitality of their understanding - but seeing the whole meaning and significance of pleasure.
Then you will have tremendous joy in life. You cannot think about joy. Joy is an immediate thing and by thinking about it, you turn it into pleasure.
Living in the present is the instant perception of beauty and the great delight in it without seeking pleasure from it. And of Camus here: When you are alone, totally alone, not belonging to any family, any nation, any culture, any particular continent, there is that sense of being an outsider.
The man who is completely alone in this way is innocent and it is this innocency that frees the mind from sorrow. By asking us to be free from the already known, he is proposing to bring about a revolution in this world in order to make it a better place to live in. We have reduced the world to its present state of chaos by our self-centered activity, by our prejudices, our hatreds, our nationalism, and when we say we cannot do anything about it, we are accepting disorder in ourselves as inevitable.
We have splintered the world into fragments and if we ourselves are broken, fragmented, our relationship with the world will also be broken. But if, when we act, we act totally, then our relationship with the world undergoes a tremendous revolution. But what he says, though is very appealing, it nonetheless seems to be unattainable. Now the question which arises is — Can there be anything which is not known?
Haven't we, at some times, found ourselves thinking in contradiction to what has been exposed to us in this world? Haven't philosophers or even common people, have thought and expressed it perhaps in different ways?
And though this question did arise but I cannot deny that the work did really influence me tremendously. For he also says: If I were foolish enough to give you a system and if you were foolish enough to follow it, you would merely be copying, imitating, conforming, accepting, and when you do that you have set up in yourself the authority of another and hence there is conflict between you and that authority.
You feel you must do such and such a thing because you have been told to do it and yet you are incapable of doing it. You have your own particular inclinations, tendencies and pressures which conflict with the system you think you ought to follow and therefore there is a contradiction.
So you will lead a double life between the ideology of the system and the actuality of your daily existence. In trying to conform to the ideology, you suppress yourself - whereas what is actually true is not the ideology but what you are.
If you try to study yourself according to another you will always remain a secondhand human being.