BENGALURU: If you are at all serious, the question whether it is possible to uncondition the mind, must be one of the most fundamental. One observes that man, in different parts of the world, with different cultures and social moralities, is very deeply conditioned; he thinks along certain lines, he acts and works according to pattern. He is related to the present through the background of the past. He has cultivated great knowledge, he has millions of years of experience. All this has conditioned him – education, culture, social morality, propaganda, religion – and to this, he has his own particular reaction; the response of another form of conditioning.
One has to be sufficiently be attentive to see the whole significance of this conditioning, how it divides people, nationally, religiously, socially, linguistically. These divisions are a tremendous barrier, they breed conflict and violence. If one is to live completely at peace, creatively – we will go into the words ‘peace’ and ‘creatively’ presently – if one is to live that way, one must understand this conditioning which is not only peripheral or superficial; but also very deep, hidden. One has to discover whether the whole structure of this conditioning can be revealed. And when that is discovered, what is one to do, to go beyond it?
If one observes that one is conditioned and says, ‘One can never possibly uncondition the mind’, the problem ends. If you start out with a formula that one will never be unconditioned, all enquiry ceases, one has already resisted and answered the problem and there it ends; then one can only further decorate the conditioning. But if one goes into this fairly deeply and one becomes aware of the whole problem, then what is one to do? How does one respond if this is a very, very serious challenge and not something that one just brushes aside? If it is something vital and tremendously important in one’s life, what is one’s response?
The continuation of knowledge (psychological conditioning) in action is the wastage of energy. knowledge has been gathered by the ‘observer’ and the ‘observer’ uses that knowledge in action, but that knowledge is divided from action; hence here is conflict. And the entity that holds this knowledge – which is essentially his conditioning – is the ‘observer’. One must discover this basic principle for oneself; it is a principle, not something fixed; it is a reality which can never be questioned again.
What happens to a mind that has discovered this truth, this simple fact, that the ‘observer’ is the observed – psychologically speaking? If this is discovered, what takes place to the quality of the mind – which has for so long been conditioned by its concepts of the ‘higher self’ or the ‘soul’ as something divided from the body? If this discovery does not open the door to freedom it has no meaning; it is still just another intellectual notion, leading nowhere. But if it is an actual discovery, an actual reality, then there must be freedom, which is not the freedom to do what you like or the freedom to fulfil, to become, to decide, or the freedom to think what you like and act as you wish.