When we are caught in problems, in pain, thought breeds an idea or feeling which is “the opposite” of pain, of constraints: freedom. So there is the idea of “freedom” over there, somewhere, and I must get there by doing many things over here, in the field of bondage. Freedom in then the result, the reward that lies at the end of the process.
I go to therapy to free myself from anger. I earn much money to move to a better neighborhood. I do yoga to become more flexible, eat special foods to live longer. I do many things to change the way I live so that I can do what I want to do: live in quieter surroundings, move my body more easily, live longer and live with less fear of illness and death because of all the health-promoting things I do for my body.
I have responsibility and I find it a burden, a constraint, so I resist the state I am in and push responsibility aside and seek to escape from it. My idea of freedom is to resist everything that I feel is a constraint and to seek relief from it. The question here is whether freedom is the opposite of constraints, of bondage?
Is freedom perhaps simply a fancy of thought, a construct that has no basis in reality? In other words, can we, can I question the entire validity of that concept, of that feeling, in order to look with fresh eyes at the actuality of my situation?
Then I can ask: what is the ‘what is’ in my life? There is the bondage to outward things, the house, the family, the job, inwardly to habits, traditions, the pleasures of domination and possession, of power and achievement, bondage to fear, to my comfort and many other things. When the holding on to and the addiction to these things brings pleasure I don’t think about freedom from them. I think about and desire freedom only when there is pain.
I am bound to all of this inwardly and outwardly, and this bondage is ‘what is’.
The resistance to ‘what is’ is what we call freedom.
Looking more deeply at these forms of resistance that K points out, I see how all of this conduct feeds the energy nodes of the vrttis (mind modification vortexes) and this creates separation. In this sense it is resistance to what is because it is conduct that aims at engaging with the vortex-nodes so as to make then more to my liking. To see and observe the vortex movement of my system without engaging in any way is to ‘let it be’ (wu wei). Thus it can run its course without me meddling in its movement. Then it will ‘flower’ and then pass and something new can appear.
The more I meddle with its intrinsic dynamic as a vortex, the more I feed its whirling movement and actually create impediment to its flowering and changing. I cement it into its current form by resisting it which takes the form of wanting to change it into something more to my liking.
“Any explanation is of little significance. All explanations are escapes, avoiding the reality of what is. This is the only thing that matters. The what is can be totally transformed with the energy that is wasted in explanations and in searching out the causes.” (Krishnamurti – Journal p. 17)
”We never discover anything for ourselves. We think we do, and that is one of the greatest illusions, which is thought. It is hard work to see clearly into this mess, into the insanity which man has woven around himself. You need a very, very sane mind to see, and to be free. These two, seeing and freedom, are absolutely necessary. Freedom from the urge to see, freedom from the hope that man always gives to science, to technology and to religious discoveries. This hope breeds illusion. To see this is freedom, and when there is freedom you do not invite. Then the mind itself has become the measureless.” (Krishnamurti – The Only Revolution p. 62)
“It is not that he was insensitive, unaware: he had no image of himself, no conclusion, no ideology. Image is resistance and when that is not, there is vulnerability but no hurt. You may not seek to be vulnerable, highly sensitive, for that which is sought and found is another form of the same image. Understand this whole movement, not merely verbally, but have an insight into it. Be aware of the whole structure of it without any reservation. Seeing the truth of it is the ending of the image builder.” (Krishnamurti – Journal p. 21)
Thought is unable to meet the actual. Why? Because thought is only a recording of the impression that the energy stream of NOW left in its wake. Thought is a movement of the brain that imparts significance. The significance results from the brain bringing into correlation myriad factors that are ‘relevant’ to the thinking entity. This is useful for daily functioning but thought cannot meet the actual. The actual has already moved on by the time the brain has completed the recognition process and delivers the verdict “I know what I see”. The whole process refers to the past because meanwhile the actual has kept moving at a speed that cannot be measured.
Only when the brain realizes the futility of trying to meet the actual with its recording instrument – which is thought – can it be completely still, if even only for a second. Then time is not, thought is not and the entire past is not: the NOW is, the ACTUAL is. It is of an entirely different dimension. It is the living dimension and the other is dead.
“A mind that is rich in its quietness never looks beyond what is.”
”You can’t be vulnerable without innocency, and though you have a thousand experiences, a thousand smiles and tears, if you don’t die to them, how can the mind be innocent? It is only the innocent mind – in spite of its thousand experiences – that can see what truth is. And it is only truth that makes the mind vulnerable – that is, free. “You say you can’t see truth without being innocent, and you can’t be innocent without seeing truth. This is a vicious circle, isn’t it?”
“Innocency can be only with the death of yesterday. But we never die to yesterday. We always have a remnant, a tattered part of yesterday remaining, and it is this that keeps the mind anchored, held by time. So time is the enemy of innocency. One must die every day to everything that the mind has captured and holds on to. Otherwise there is no freedom. In freedom there is vulnerability. It is not the one thing after the other – it is all one movement, both the coming and the going. It is really the fullness of heart that is innocent.”
(Krishnamurti The Only Revolution p. 78 – 79)