Monday, December 29, 2008

Krishnamurti on "freedom"

For most of us, freedom is an idea and not an actuality. If we are to inquire deeply into what freedom implies, to be inwardly completely and totally free, which then expresses itself outwardly in society, in relationship, then we must ask whether the mind, heavily conditioned as it is, can ever be free at all. Unless the mind is totally free it is not possible to see if there is a reality not invented by fear, not shaped by the society or the culture in which we live.

To explore, there must be freedom, not at the end, but right at the beginning. One cannot learn about oneself unless one is free so that one can observe, not according to any pattern, formula or concept, but actually observe oneself as one is. Put aside all theoretical, ideological, concepts of freedom so that we can inquire whether our minds, yours and mine, can ever be actually free, free from dependence, free from fear.

Unless one is free from this quality of fear one cannot see very clearly, deeply; and obviously, when there is fear there is no love.

—excerpts paraphrased from "Freedom" in The Flight of the Eagle by Krishnamurti

Aung San Suu Kyi on "freedom from fear"

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. Most Burmese are familiar with the four kinds of corruption: corruption in pursuit of bribes or for the sake of those one loves, wrong action to spite those against whom one bears ill will, aberration due to ignorance, but perhaps the worst of the four is fear, for not only does fear stifle and slowly destroy all sense of integrity and justice, it often lies at the root of the other three kinds of corruption.

—excerpt paraphrased from Aung San Suu Kyi's speech "Freedom from Fear"


Heart Sutra

Form here is only emptiness,
emptiness only form.
Form is no other than emptiness,
emptiness no other than form.

Feeling, thought and choice
consciousness itself,
are the same as this.

Dharmas here are empty,
all are the primal void.

None are born or die,
nor are they stained or pure,
nor do they wax or wane.

So in emptiness no form,
no feeling, thought, or choice,
nor is there consciousness.

No eye, ear, nose,
tongue, body, mind;
no color, sound, smell,
taste, touch, or what the mind
takes hold of,
nor even act of sensing.

No ignorance or end of it,
nor all that comes of ignorance;
no withering, no death,
no end of them.

Nor is there pain or cause of pain
or cease in pain or noble path
to lead from pain,
not even wisdom to attain,
attainment too is emptiness.

Heart Sutra translated by Philip Kapleau