Thoughts on J Krishnamurti’s teachings – II
Notes on “Freedom from the known”, J Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti Foundation India, 1969)
Ch – 1, pp. 4 – 8:
“Is it not possible to explode from the centre?“
This is what I find to be the most disturbing aspect of the first chapter of this book. The explosion, in my humble opinion, disturbs and destroys not only the tranquility of the mind itself, but also the thoughts and sensitivities associated with man, the social animal. Let us think of a person who actively, and with utmost honesty, practices this method of thought and expression. It probably does more harm to him than good. The practitioner creates an image of contempt for social ties and values, which are, if I may say, diplomatic. He is bound to clash with his world constantly and continually.
All that remains after a while is a lonely warrior.
Just as a hermit’s life is not meant for everybody, neither is a warrior’s! Most of us are timid, moderate, restful human beings who will only be perturbed by walking on such a path, wearily dragging his feet and always wishing not to have started walking it.
“You have now started by denying something absolutely false — the traditional approach — but if you deny it as a reaction you will have created another pattern in which you will be trapped; if you tell yourself intellectually that this denial is a very good idea but do nothing about it, you cannot go any further. If you deny it, however, because you understand the stupidity and immaturity of it, if you deny it with tremendous intelligence, because you are free and not frightened, you will create a great disturbance in yourself and around you but you will step outside the trap of respectability. Then you will find that you are no longer seeking. That is the first thing to learn — not to seek. When you seek you are really only window-shopping.”
Now let us indulge in the denial in the spiritual authority that JK proposes. Just as the complement of a set is defined by the set itself, anything is defined by its lack. Denial is a reaction by virtue of being a denial of; freedom is a reaction by virtue of being a freedom from. I also fail to understand the difference between what JK calls an intellectual denial and what he calls rejection with tremendous intelligence
Intelligence. As imparted by education? What education is that which bases itself on rejection of authority? Any human being capable of structured thought has already been conditioned for years by an education. Our intelligence is, therefore, already a conditioned reaction. If you propose lack of structured thoughts as a counter-argument here, I would beg to disagree. Simply because lack of structured thoughts prevent us going further by introducing randomness, by destroying the very notion of further. JK himself later acknowledges the presence of history in ourselves (in pp. 7). Rejection of that history, however, is not only rejection of spiritual authority, but also, and much more importantly, a rejection of the all the knowledge acquired by mankind.
By exploding, and by rejecting that knowledge, one may very well be free, but at the cost of starting from ground zero. And since a true rejection of that knowledge should also imply the rejection of that intelligence which was inculcated by an education existing in that knowledge-space, the freedom obtained is the freedom of the discarded.
© Ritwik Banerjee
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