Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

The religious mind

“What is demanded is a fertile mind. Fertile in the sense of rich, in which a seed can grow, be nurtured, carefully watched over, a mind that is deeply enquiring, searching, looking, watching. Only that mind, exquisitely pliant, not tethered to anything, is sensitive. The fertile mind is empty, like the womb before it conceives. Can you take one thing? Take envy—understand it and go through it ruthlessly. Put your teeth into it and strip the mind of envy. Take stock of yourself, day after day, minute after minute, to ruthlessly penetrate this appalling thing—envy.”

Like a shaft of fire, penetrating, his words dispelled shadows in the within. “The mind is a vast thing. It is not a spot in the universe. It is the universe. To investigate the universe demands an astonishing energy. It is energy greater than all rockets, because it is self-perpetuating, because it has no center. This is only possible when there is an enquiry into the inner and outer movement of the mind. The inner, the racial unconscious, in which are the urges, compulsions, the hidden dark fears, is the story of man. How do you observe? How do you listen? If the observation, the listening, is direct, then you are observing negatively. Then the mind has no conclusions, no opposites, no directives. In that looking it can see what is near and what is far away. In that there is an ending. Such a mind is the new mind. It has exploded without direction. Such a mind is the religious mind.”

Then he opened up the nature of such a mind, a mind for which there has to be hard, arduous work. “But,” he said, “you cannot watch from morning till night. You cannot be vigilant, never blinking for the whole day. So play with it. Play with it lightly. To question ‘how am I to be aware’ is to create conflict. But as you are playing, you learn.

“The mind that explodes without direction is compassionate, and what the world needs is compassion, not schemes.

“The new mind is not within the field of knowledge. It is that state of creation which is exploding. For that, all knowledge has to come to an end.

“The new mind cannot come into being with authority, with masters, with gurus. With a burnt-out mind, you cannot come to the new mind. You need a fresh, eager, live mind.” He then held out the key. “What releases energy is direct perception. The greater part of the brain is the residuary animal and the remaining part undefined. We live our life in the very small part. We never investigate. Sensitivity arises when you watch a tree, bird, animal, ant. Watch how you walk, bathe, dress; watch yourself being important. If you so watch, if you so observe thought and every emotion, flowering, then the brain is very sensitive; out of that, the flowering of the mind begins. That is mutation.

“To watch, to observe everything, is to be aware of totality, never to limit any thought, to let everything flower. A mind that is completely quiet, without any reaction, is only an instrument of observation. It is alive, sensitive.

“Mutation is only possible when you have brought this about through awareness, without effort. The challenge of the present time and of every instant, if you are awake, is to respond totally to something that is new."

-- from Pupul Jayakar's biography of J. Krishnamurti