To set man free

“I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies.” – Krishnamurti, dissolution of Star speech

At some point in my relationship with Buddhism it hit me that it is not primarily a system for revealing the nature of reality and truth, rather a methodology to end personal suffering. The Buddha saw himself (fwiu) as a doctor with the goal to heal, not a philosopher with the goal to understand. My way of interacting with Buddhist thought and practice changed profoundly with this understanding.

If Krishnamurti is taken at his word – I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free – how does this affect our relationship with his teachings?

If we frame Krishnamurti’s offerings as an attempt to reveal the true nature of reality, it encourages us to miss his main concern: to set man free.

Does understanding of a problem, free us from the problem?
Is understanding necessarily/uniquely an intellectual/conceptual narrative?

If there is understanding of the nature of the conflict in Ukraine is there freedom from it?

Ukraine is a real problem albeit related to a fundamental misstep in human consciousness.

K is proposing that the self is illusory. That our very experience has no basis in reality. This problem of self, thinking. bias, etc. fundamentally speaking, is an unreal one. To ‘understand’ this would be to render the problem moot. For him then, freedom and seeing the confounded nature of our impressions for what they are - imagined - are one and the same. Emperor’s new clothes.

I think you are confusing the issues here. If we have some kind of psychological problem with the conflict in Ukraine, this is what needs to be understood.

Say I am an extremely powerful God, and I have a psychological problem with the war in Ukraine - if I stop the war with my magic powers, this does not mean I have understood my problem, nor am I free from its underlying processes.

Nb. Freedom from the conflict in Ukraine, means that I am not confused and suffering because of my ideas about it. Freedom from thought means that I am not confused and suffering (and/or causing confusion and suffering) because of my thoughts.

And yet people keep getting killed, even after this understanding. We keep getting killed, since we are the world. So what are we free from?

So freedom is “all in the head?” To feel free is to be free? If I simply don’t care about a conflict 10,000 miles away, I am free from it?

We arise out of everything. So no, because nothing can be said to exist in isolation.
But the sense of feeling free is a feeling. What is freedom if it is not a concept and a state of mind?

If I say that causes and conditions (poverty, war, barroom brawls, life, the universe etc) should not be ignored - this does not contradict the fact that our psychological problems are psychological

PS - I am 1200 miles from the war in Ukraine.
I am in contact with a friend there, I do what I can. And despite his situation he is actually helping me with some technical problems - which feels wrong (ie. not what “should be”)

What matters is not our relationship with the teachings, but with one’s own. Some are curious about K’s teaching while others want what they believe freedom to be.

If I come to the teachings with an interest in understanding what K was saying, upon gaining that understanding, I have no further use of the teaching. But if I regard the teachings as holy scripture, instructions, the key to freedom, etc., I exchange the slavery that led me to the teachings, for slavery to the teachings.

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That is why I put understanding in quotes. There are two possibilities, as I see it. Either Krishnamurti is deluded or we don’t really understand what is meant by choiceless awareness/attention.

Agreed. It is a nasty trap, easy to fall into, hard to get out of.

I figured, but didn’t want to take it for granted.

Can this be answered? Would any answer be a concept and/or reflect a state of mind?

If a question cannot be answered, does it do no good to ask it?

My answer is that the word freedom is essentially a concept that points to a state of mind.

The word brick relates to a concept and a physical object.

How did this universe come about? Is a question currently without an answer.
How do clouds form? Used to be a question without an answer.
What is the use of inquiry? Is that your question?

I find reading listening to K almost always a joy. And more often than not something that I thought I had “understood “, I realized I hadn’t understood or had missed completely.

I think Emile put this in his own way, but surely freedom means to see the world exactly as it is.

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Are you alluding to some claim that one person’s understanding should set all mankind free?
Because my understanding of arithmetic does not affect humankind - but the understanding of numbers has affected all of existence.

So freedom is in the mind of the beholder, if I think-feel I am free, I am free?

Are we free to see the world not ‘as it is’ but as we want it to be, as we imagine it could be, as it might have been, as it might be? If our freedom is limited, are we free?