The Center

The young brain is conditioned by experience to retain what it doesn’t understand until it is able to. The young brain is learning, but life is throwing lessons at it faster than it can meet them adequately, and it can only store them up for when it is able to learn what lessons they teach.

The brain learns by examining what it doesn’t understand until it begins to understand that its ability to understand is the foundation of everything it is, every retained experience and everything it imagines, desires, and fears.

The brain that is learning is developing the ability to understand what it wasn’t ready for when it began storing up significant experiences. But if the brain is not learning, its stored significant experiences are the limits of its ability to understand, and this arrested development renders it unable to do anything but orbit these experiences until/if it understands why they are there.

Or to put it another way, what I couldn’t understand then and still don’t understand now, is my center, and until I understand, the center holds and I cannot be free.

Dear Inquiry,

With all due respect, understanding comes after seeing “what is”.- in other words, the .words come after having seen “what is”… When you say the above, you are inferring that you expect or desire to understand before imagining to be free. But freedom is always in the beginning. Do you understand at least that? So, one asks, why not begin now?

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I can’t imagine freedom, so I don’t try. All I know is that I am bound by what I don’t understand. It is the center around which I orbit and can’t escape until/if I understand. Better to be what one is than what one chooses to be.

The center,

In the end, does the center see/understand that all it knows or believes that it is bound to maintain itself is caught in a limited understanding of what and why one is to do?

So, here is the center of the brain’s choice to defend all that it knows, for fear of moving into complete insecurity - both physical and psychological:

  • physical, in the sense of not knowing how one will physically survive while exploring this journey within, since the brain has been at the center of knowing “how” to live in this cruel, rotten, and really corrupt world - all the while utilizing all the conditioning (which this rotten society that one finds oneself in suggests to all of us to use in order to be accepted and function within as a citizen thereof)
  • psychological, in the sense of not knowing how one will survive psychologically without counting on all of one’s previous life experiences, abandoning all one’s memories, one’s thoughts, one’s feelings, that seem to give one a temporary sense of belonging and acceptance

So, instead of verbalizing one’s choice, and yes it appears to be a choice, or one may call it a decision, or even - one may call it a reaction - can one realize that all of these are a result of the center working to defend the territory of all that it knows? Or, can one realize that none of the center’s rationalizations (i.e. being “bound”, etc.) are nothing but excuses?

So, again, instead of verbalizing the brain’s lies - yes lies - can one listen within to all of “what is” happening within - to see all of these lies, these ideas, beliefs, rationalizations, justifications, excuses which are occurring within (as thoughts) and just attend to them, listen to them, follow them until they reach their source?

Can one trust what the brain is telling us, since we know the extent to which all of the brain’s knowledge is limited? You see, once, one was sitting at a table eating lunch, and besides oneself was this Native American who stated - right out of the blue - “You know, the brain lies”.

Hence, when one asked whether or not one could begin, it was more for the center’s personal reflection, right?

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Hello Inquiry and all. It seems to make sense to start from where we actually are if that’s possible.

K describes below “a meditative mind” which is silent (and without a centre, as I understand it):

" A meditative mind is silent. It is not the silence which thought can conceive of; it is not the silence of a still evening; it is the silence when thought, with all its images, its words and perceptions, has entirely ceased. This meditative mind is the religious mind, the religion that is not touched by the church, the temples or by chants. The religious mind is the explosion of love. It is this love that knows no separation. To it, far is near. It is not the one or the many, but rather that state of love in which all division ceases. Like beauty, it is not of the measure of words. From this silence alone the meditative mind acts."

The Only Revolution,115,Meditations

It seems that K thought that it would be helpful for all of us who do not know the silence of a meditative mind to read a description of a mind where thought has entirely ceased (although he does say “it is not of the measure of words”). I think it is helpful, don’t you? I mean, he was trying as best he could for us to be able to “get it”.

He didn’t use that word “helpful” as I recall. He pointed and that was that. He warned that the description isn’t the described. Something we have to be aware of it seems, is our own greed in all of this. Someone describes a “meditative mind” and it sounds great. An improvement over this ‘non-meditative’ mind that I seem to have…and I ‘want’ it. Thought is always wanting something that sounds better. So being aware of that, the ‘desire’ to have this ‘thing’ is seen for what it is: another trick of thought.

And with the seeing, the “silence” of the mind is there.


Hello Dan, thanks for the reply. The word “helpful” was entirely mine as that’s what I think K’s description of a “meditative mind” is.

I also think that it’s interesting that K chose to describe the meditative mind although he must have been aware how problematic this would be for us. He knew that his description would pass through the filter of each reader’s conditioning and that that would probably lead us to get into a mess by coming up with various theories. He surely also knew that we would repeat his words as if we’d experienced this meditative mind ourselves, and that this in turn would lead to arguments and confict. Despite all this, I still think that his description is helpful.

What is it that you think you need ‘help’ with?

I think we all need a bit of help now and again. Of course using a word like “helpful” is also problematic because someone is almost sure to jump on it but there you go.

Well I’m shoveling stone right now, so help would be welcome. But psychologically is there room for a ‘helper’?

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Can the mind when it’s dependent on something or someone, can it be free?

I would be delighted to help you out for an hour or so shovelling stone Dan - I might even see that Eagle (what species?) or the Osprey that lives down your way but alas, geographical limitations make that impossible.

Psychologically, is there room for a helper? I don’t know. Understanding Krishnamurti’s teachings is a tricky business so maybe we can help each other in doing that. I imagine that’s the idea of this forum. I would say that K’s pointing out or pointing at things was done to try to help us understand what he was getting at. Or can we “get it” with no help at all?

Isn’t that what the warning about ‘authority’ is about? Whether of K or Christ or Trump. Or what’s in the mind as belief, ideals, etc. Somebody comes along and says “you know that freedom thing you’re interested in isn’t down the trail a ways, it’s before you start out.”

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You are doing a grand job of shovelling stone and debating K at the same time Dan. I’m not sure what you mean here. Are you saying that help involves authority? I think we can discuss with an open mind as equals here on the basis that none of us are experts in the teachings. I think that can be helpful at times.

The mind can understand why it depends on something or someone. That very understanding is it’s freedom.
Why do I depend psychologically on anything or anybody to be happy? Does happiness have a cause and if it has a cause then that cause becomes more important than happiness. So freedom it is a matter of priority, the way I look at life.

Maybe or maybe not. If my dependence is the result of the mind’s fear of being alone, a deep fear of loneliness, then if the mind is to be free of the trappings of dependence it must dissolve that fear. And the freedom is again not achieved in time, right?

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Bald eagles are the only ones here and more this year than I’ve ever seen. Actually right now there is one sitting in the grasses on the opposite riverbank. That is very unusual to see. It’s either hurt or is playing a waiting game (which they’re very good at ) for some critter they spotted going under a dock. The bright white feathered head makes them easy to spot.

The mind knows that it reflexively believes or disbelieves what may or may not be true because it is conditioned to react rather than to reflect. What it does with this self-knowledge remains to be seen.

Thank you for reminding us of this quote.

I don’t blame my desire, greed, envy, fear, etc., on thought because I know that thought is just articulating my will. Thought can’t want anything. It is just the mechanical process by which will expresses itself. It is the heart of the matter, the center around which my confusion, ignorance, and misunderstanding orbits.