What would be the need to paint anything? Why be a painter? Why not be—in harmony—with the colors that already are, with the colors that things already have? If I am at odds with what is—if I mind giving color to things—then I am not free.
Is ‘universal’ mind free? If so then wouldn’t freedom for the brain be silence? Unlimited? Unconditioned? A silence that comes effortlessly when the limitations, boundaries of the self are discovered through awareness?
Perhaps the most fundamental freedom is the freedom to see?
To find out anything there must be freedom, to find out what I think, what I feel, what are my motives, to find out, not merely to analyse intellectually, but to find out, there must be freedom to look.
Freedom per se? Freedom in itself? And yet is freedom from self-centredness different from freedom per se?
I think maybe it is more a matter of what kind of freedom one is talking about and how one is using language. For example, freedom from a particular bad habit is not freedom from the whole habit-making machinery.
So how is one to learn what freedom is? Not freedom from oppression - you understand? - freedom from fear, freedom from all the little things which we worry about, but freedom from the very cause of fear, from the very cause of our antagonisms, from the very root of our being in which there is this appalling contradiction, this frightening pursuit of pleasure, and all the gods that we have created, with all their churches and priests and - you know all the rest of the business. So one has to ask oneself, it seems to me, whether you want freedom at the periphery, or at the very core of your being. And if you want to learn what freedom is at the very source of all existence then you have to learn about thought. If that question is clear, not the verbal explanation, not the idea which you gather from the explanation, but if that is what you feel is the real absolute necessity, then we can travel together. Because if we could understand this then all our questions will be answered.
So one has to find out what is learning. I want to learn whether there is freedom from thought, first. Not how to use thought - that is the next question. But can the mind ever be free from thought? What does this freedom mean? We only know freedom from something - freedom from fear, freedom from this or that, from anxiety, from, oh, a dozen things. And is there a freedom which is not from anything but freedom per se, in itself? And in asking that question is the reply dependent on thought? Or freedom is the non-existence of thought? You understand? And learning means instant perception, therefore learning does not require time. I don’t know if you see this. Please, this is really fascinatingly important.[ I don’t know, I did it, I’m sorry!
Q: Could you repeat that?
K: I don’t know what I said sir, I’ll go on, we’ll talk about it. (end of quote)
I found it interesting that the extract emphasises the relationship between freedom and the significance of being free from thought:
Is freedom the non-existence of thought?
Obviously, in order to look at oneself, or at anything, one needs a quality of freedom. That freedom to look implies some degree of freedom from thought, or otherwise there’s no space to look. This is our ‘Buddha nature’, as the Buddhists might say.
So seeing, looking, with the initial freedom from thought that this implies, may be our original freedom. Everybody has this freedom at least to a small extent, even if we fail to make full use of it.
At least to the extent that one must be somewhat free from knowledge to look at a tree, a cloud, a bird for a second, for a moment, before this is turned into knowledge, into memory.
One may be burdened with worries for much of the day, but only the most unfortunate person is so burdened that they are never free to look at a passing face outside the window of a bus, or at a bird sitting on a branch.
Even to notice that one is worried or anxious implies some small space of freedom. So freedom - as I understand it - is the very first step. There may be more to it than that, but everyone has this basic freedom to look.