Jiddu Krishnamurti : If you are at all serious, the question whether it is possible to uncondition the mind, must be one of the most fundamental. One observes that man, in different parts of the world, with different cultures and social moralities, is very deeply conditioned; he thinks along certain lines, he acts and works according to pattern.
He is related to the present through the background of the past. He has cultivated great knowledge; he has millions of years of experience. All this has conditioned him – education, culture, social morality, propaganda, religion – and to this he has his own particular reaction; the response of another form of conditioning.
One has to be sufficiently attentive to see the whole significance of this conditioning, how it divides people, nationally, religiously, socially, linguistically. These divisions are a tremendous barrier, they breed conflict and violence.
If one is to live completely at peace, creatively – we will go into the words `peace’ and `creatively’ presently – if one is to live that way, one must understand this conditioning which is not only peripheral or superficial; but also very deep, hidden. One has to discover whether the whole structure of this conditioning can be revealed. And when that is discovered, what is one to do, to go beyond it?
If one observes that one is conditioned and says, `One can never possibly uncondition the mind’, the problem ends. If you start out with a formula that one will never be unconditioned, all enquiry ceases, one has already resisted and answered the problem and there it ends; then one can only further decorate the conditioning. But if one goes into this fairly deeply and one becomes aware of the whole problem, then what is one to do? How does one respond if this is a very, very serious challenge and not something that one just brushes aside? If it is something vital and tremendously important in one’s life, what is one’s response?
If you have discovered this conditioning then what is the manner of your observation? Have you observed it for yourself or has somebody told you about it? This is really quite an important question to answer. If you have been told about it and you say, `Yes, I am conditioned’, then you are responding to a suggestion; it is not real, it is only a verbal concept which you have accepted, with which you agree; that is quite different from the discovery of it for yourself, for then it is tremendously vital and you have the passion to find the way out of it.
Have you discovered that you are conditioned because you have enquired, searched and looked into it? If so: `who’ has discovered it? – the observer, the examiner, the analyser? – `who’ is observing, examining, analysing the whole mess and the madness that this conditioning is causing in the world? `Who’ by observing has discovered the structure of this conditioning and its result?
By observing what is happening, outwardly and inwardly – the conflicts, the wars, the misery, the confusion in oneself and outside oneself (the outside is part of what one is) – by observing this very closely (all over the world this thing is happening) I have discovered that I am conditioned and have found the consequence of this conditioning.
So: there is the `observer’ who has discovered that he is conditioned, and the question arises: is the `observer’ different from that which he has observed and discovered, is that something separate from himself? If there is separation, then again there is division and therefore conflict as to how to overcome this conditioning, how to free oneself from this conditioning, what to do about it and so on. One has to discover whether there are two separate things, two separate movements, the `observer’ and that which is observed.
Are they separate? Or is the `observer’ the observed? It is tremendously important to find this out for oneself; if one does, then the whole way one thinks undergoes a complete change. It is a most radical discovery as a result of which the structure of morality, the continuation of knowledge, has, for oneself, quite a different meaning.
Find out if you have discovered this for yourself, or whether you have accepted what you have been told as fact, or whether you have discovered this for yourself without any outside agency telling you `It is so’. If it is your discovery, it releases tremendous energy, which before had been wasted in the division between the `observer’ and the observed.
The continuation of knowledge (psychological conditioning) in action is the wastage of energy. knowledge has been gathered by the `observer’ and the `observer’ uses that knowledge in action, but that knowledge is divided from action; hence here is conflict. And the entity that holds this knowledge – which is essentially his conditioning – is the `observer’. One must discover this basic principle for oneself; it is a principle, not something fixed; it is a reality which can never be questioned again.
What happens to a mind that has discovered this truth, this simple fact, that the `observer’ is the observed – psychologically speaking? If this is discovered, what takes place to the quality of the mind – which has for so long been conditioned by its concepts of the `Higher Self’ or the `Soul’ as something divided from the body? If this discovery does not open the door to freedom it has no meaning; it is still just another intellectual notion, leading nowhere.
But if it is an actual discovery, an actual reality, then there must be freedom – which is not the freedom to do what you like or the freedom to fulfil, to become, to decide, or the freedom to think what you like and act as you wish. Does a free mind choose? Choice implies decision between this and that; but what is the need of any choice at all? (Please, sirs, these are not verbal statements; we have to go into it, we have to live it daily and then will be found the beauty of it, the vigour, the passion, intensity of it.)
Choice implies decision; decision is the action of will; who is the entity that exercises will to do this or that? Please follow this carefully. If the `observer’ is the observed, what need is there for decision at all? When there is any form of decision (psychologically), depending on choice, it indicates a mind that is confused. A mind that sees very clearly does not choose, there is only action – the lack of clarity comes into being when there is division between the `observer’ and the observed.