Freedom is a state of mind – not freedom from something but a sense of freedom, a freedom to doubt and question everything and therefore so intense, active and vigorous that it throws away every form of dependence, slavery, conformity and acceptance. Such freedom implies being completely alone. But can the mind brought up in a culture so dependent on environment and its own tendencies ever find that freedom which is complete solitude and in which there is no leadership, no tradition and no authority?
This solitude is an inward state of mind which is not dependent on any stimulus or any knowledge and is not the result of any experience or conclusion. Most of us, inwardly, are never alone. There is a difference between isolation, cutting oneself off, and aloneness, solitude. We all know what it is to be isolated – building a wall around oneself in order never to be hurt, never to be vulnerable, or cultivating detachment which is another form of agony, or living in some dreamy ivory tower of ideology. Aloneness is something quite different.
You are never alone because you are full of all the memories, all the conditioning, all the mutterings of yesterday; your mind is never clear of all the rubbish it has accumulated. To be alone you must die to the past. 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.
We carry about with us the burden of what thousands of people have said and the memories of all our misfortunes. To abandon all that totally is to be alone, and the mind that is alone is not only innocent but young – not in time or age, but young, innocent, alive at whatever age – and only such a mind can see that which is truth and that which is not measurable by words.
In this solitude you will begin to understand the necessity of living with yourself as you are, not as you think you should be or as you have been.
(link to source: Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 55 – 56)