One is never afraid of the unknown;
one is afraid of the known coming to an end.
It is true; we are bound only by what we believe. Only by what we think we know. This is not to say that we should undo everything we know; everything that we have ever learnt. Even if we could do such a thing, it would not be possible and in many ways it would be counterproductive. However, a certain ease can arise in the recognition of the possibility that we are not as bound up by our conventions and our day to day routines as we might have previously supposed. We have the power to turn our mind to whatever we choose, whenever we choose. This kind of freedom is something that we normally take completely for granted and yet so very much depends upon it and upon the knowing of it.
Imagine if we were to invest as much energy into the search for truth, as we invest in distractions and all manner of unimportant things? With focused and determined self-enquiry it would take very little time to unravel the mystery of our existence. Yet, how many feel motivated to do this? We quite naturally gravitate to the quicker, easier and more immediate gratifications. There can be a deep inner resistance to stretching our boundaries. Often we may not even be aware of this resistance. It is bred into us from the earliest possible age and in a thousand different little ways. Modern societies rule through the psychology of fear. Think of how we are monitored in almost every way and we are constantly told that it is for our good; that it is for our protection.
When we begin to question we also begin to unravel the knots that bind us to certain premises and beliefs that we might previously have taken as a given. Fear can be an incredibly inhibiting and stultifying emotion, yet in all sorts of ways, it constantly sneaks into our lives and challenges us. Remembering death and impermanence is a great way for us to cut through our shell of hesitation and fear. We have insulated ourselves in order to protect ourselves and yet the result is that we end up with nothing. Without an understanding of our inmost nature we are at the mercy of fear and death.
In this modern world the emphasis is on our material existence which insinuates constantly that our happiness depends upon accumulating more things. Yet we all know in our heart of hearts that this is a load of bollix. Bring death into the picture and everything changes. The problem with death is that there is no solution for it. There is no fix it and get on with a life program. It has been tried of course, and many may claim that they have been helped. But most of these approaches offer temporary solutions; feel good excursions which in the end are little more than delaying tactics. It is not easy to be really honest with ourselves but in the end it is far, far kinder. When we do not know who and what we really are we are unable to fully enter into the unedited story of our lives and of all lives.
We were born to recognize our innate freedom.
It is as simple as that. Herein lies the whole purpose and meaning of our existence. We can phrase it in countless different ways, but in the end all ways lead to the one true thing. The only impediment to our finding this out within ourselves, is our own mind and the conditioning fears to which it has been subject since the moment of our birth. It requires determination and focus to unravel such tightly bound habits as the ones which we have unwittingly formed.
What is needed, rather than running away or controlling
or suppressing or any other resistance,
is understanding fear;
that means, watch it, learn about it,
come directly into contact with it.
We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.
It is very easy to conform to what your society or your parents and teachers tell you.
That is a safe and easy way of existing; but that is not living.
To live is to find out for yourself what is true.
Jiddu Krishnamurti.Featured image by T.MC. San Fransisco, USA
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