There is no Freedom of Thought

Published: 24th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2015 04:33 AM   |  A+A-


I do not know if it is clear to each one of us that we live in a state of contradiction. We talk about peace, and prepare for war. We talk about nonviolence, and are fundamentally violent.

We talk about love, and we are full of ambition, competitiveness, ruthless efficiency. So there is contradiction. The action that springs from that contradiction only brings about frustration and further contradiction.

You see, sirs, all thought is partial, it can never be total. Thought is the response of memory, and memory is always partial because memory is the result of experience, so thought is the reaction of a mind that is conditioned by experience.

All thinking, all experience, all knowledge is inevitably partial; therefore, thought cannot solve the many problems that we have. You may try to reason logically, sanely, about these many problems, but if you observe your own mind you will see that your thinking is conditioned by your circumstances, by the culture in which you were born, by the food you eat, by the climate you live in, by the pressures and influences of your daily life. So we must understand clearly that our thinking is the response of memory, and memory is mechanistic.

Knowledge is ever incomplete, and all thinking born of knowledge is limited, partial, never free. So there is no freedom of thought. But we can begin to discover a freedom which is not a process of thought, and in which the mind is simply aware of all its conflicts and of all the influences impinging upon it.

Excerpt from The Book of Life by Jiddu Krishnamurti


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