What does K mean by the ‘mind’ in the 2nd conversation between Krishnamurti and Bohm in 1983 (shared on the “Stillness of the mind” thread)?
In this conversation K says that intelligence, insight, attention, compassion and perception all come from the mind - universal mind which is outside the brain. This mind is unlimited, without any boundary, and is also pure energy.
He says that only the action of ‘mind’ can dissolve the conditioning of the brain. But also that this mind can only function through the brain when the brain is quiet.
Some particularly interesting extracts from the conversation:
JK: Can [psychological] conditioning be dissipated? That’s the whole question.
DB: It really has to be dissipated in some physical and chemical and neurophysiological sense.
JK: I think the mind is separate from the brain.
DB: What does separate mean? Are they in contact?
JK: Separate in the sense that the brain is conditioned and the mind is not… As long as the brain is conditioned, it is not free.
JK: And the mind is free… So as long as the brain is conditioned its relationship to the mind is limited… the mind being free has a relationship to the brain.
DB: Yes. Now we say the mind is free, in some sense, not subject to the conditioning of the brain.
DB: What is the nature of the mind? Is the mind located inside the body, or is it in the brain?
JK: No, it is nothing to do with the body or the brain.
DB: Has it to do with space or time?
JK: Space - now wait a minute! It has to do with space and silence…
DB: Is it bounded by anything?
DB: Now is insight of the mind? Is it of the nature of mind? An activity of mind?
DB: Therefore you are saying that mind can act in the matter of the brain.
DB: Perception also is of the mind…
JK: Yes, that’s right.
DB: Are you saying that the brain is a kind of instrument of the mind?
JK: An instrument of the mind when the brain is not self-centred.
DB: Is intelligence from the mind?
JK: Yes, intelligence is the mind.
DB: Is the mind… is compassion, love, also of the mind?
JK: Of the mind.
JK: Contact can only exist between the mind and the brain when the brain is quiet.
DB: Yes, that is the requirement for making it. The brain has got to be quiet.
JK: Quiet is not a trained quietness. Not a self-conscious, meditative, desire for silence. It is a natural outcome of understanding one’s own conditioning.
DB: And one can see that if the brain is quiet it could listen to something deeper?
JK: That’s right. Then if it is quiet it is related to the mind. Then the mind can function through the brain.
DB: There is a particular brain, this brain or that brain. Would you say that there is a particular mind?
DB: That is an important difference. You are saying mind is really universal.
JK: Mind is universal - if you can use that ugly word.
JK: Let’s see. You are asking whether the mind can be perceived by the brain.
DB: Or at least the brain somehow be aware… an awareness, a sense.
JK: We are saying, yes; through meditation… You see, the difficulty is that when you use the word “meditation” it is generally understood that there is always a meditator meditating. Real meditation is an unconscious process, not a conscious process.
DB: How then are you able to say that meditation takes place if it is unconscious?
JK: It is taking place when the brain is quiet… Let’s put it this way: conscious meditation, conscious activity to control thought, to free oneself from conditioning, is not freedom.
DB: Yes, I think that is clear, but it becomes very unclear how to communicate something else.
JK: Wait a minute. You want to discuss what lies beyond thought.
DB: Or when thought is silent.
JK: Quite, silent. What words would you use?
DB: Well, I suggested the word awareness. What about the word attention?
JK: Attention for me is better. Would you say, in attention there is no centre as the me?
DB: We are discussing a kind of attention without this ‘me’ present, which is not the activity of the conditioning.
JK: Not the activity of thought. In attention, thought has no place… Attention can only come into being when the self is not.
DB: Is this undirected attention mind?
JK: Attention is of the mind.
DB: Well, it contacts the brain, doesn’t it?
JK: Yes. As long as the brain is silent, the other has contact.
DB: That is, this true attention has contact with the brain, when the brain is silent.
JK: Silent, and has space.
JK: The brain has space.
JK: No. It is only mind that has unlimited space. My brain can be quiet over a problem which I have thought about, and I suddenly say, ‘Well I won’t think anymore about it,’ and there is a certain amount of space. In that space you solve the problem.
DB: Now this perception originates in the mind?
JK: Does the perception originate in the mind? Yes. When the brain is quiet.
DB: But we use the words ‘perception’ and ‘intelligence’, now how are they related, or what is their difference?
JK: The difference between perception and intelligence?
JK: We are asking, can suffering end? That is the problem.
DB: Yes, and it is clear that thinking cannot end it.
JK: Thought cannot do it. That is the point. If I have an insight into it…
DB: Now this insight will be through the action of the mind; through intelligence and attention.
JK: When there is that insight, intelligence wipes away suffering.
DB: You are saying, therefore, that there is a contact from mind to matter which removes the whole physical, chemical structure that keeps us going on with suffering.
JK: That’s right.… Would you put it that mind is pure energy?
DB: Well, we could put it that way, but matter is energy too.
JK: But matter is limited; thought is limited.
DB: But we are saying that the pure energy of mind is able to reach into the limited energy of matter?
JK: Yes, that’s right. And change the limitation.
JK: What is the new instrument that will put an end to all this misery? You see, there is a new instrument which is the mind, which is intelligence.
DB: You said that the mind is universal, and is not located in our ordinary space…
JK: Yes, but there is a danger in saying this, that the mind is universal. That is what some people say of the mind, and it has become a tradition.
DB: One can turn it into an idea, of course.
JK: That is just the danger of it; that is what I am saying.
DB: Yes. But really the question is, we have to come directly in contact with this to make it real, Right?
JK: That’s it. We can only come into contact with it when the self is not. To put it very simply, when the self is not, there is beauty, silence, space; then that intelligence, which is born of compassion, operates through the brain.