In one of his famous 1948 Mumbai talks the late J Krishnamurti (pictured left) said, 'The mind is its own prison; therefore, transformation and liberation from suffering can only be achieved by ending of the ceaseless activities of the mind.’
True, you may be facing various ‘challenges.’ Some may be financial, others may concern difficulties at work or at home, but, at the end of the day, the only problem you really have is this---you have a conditioned belief system which tends to prevent you from seeing things as they really are. Worse, this conditioned belief system results in your unconsciously attracting into your life all sorts of negative experiences which cause you much pain and suffering.
Well, I almost hear you ask, 'What can I do about this state of affairs?' A lot. The first thing to do is to accept that you are a ‘person’---a vital and integral part of life's self-expression. That is what you are. You are not that 'witnessing self' which is nothing more than the aggregation of the hundreds and thousands of ‘I-moments’ you have manufactured in your lifetime. The second thing to do is to recognize that you are always in direct contact with external reality---that is, with what is. Now, once you have fully accepted that fact, you can start to live differently. To do that, you need to observe life as if there were no observer. A familiar theme of Krishnamurti was the need for observation 'without the observer.' Why? Because where there is an 'observer' there is a conditioned mind and a conditioned point of view. In other words, where there is an observer, there is a distorting lens which experiences, processes and interprets---and distorts---all that happens in our lives through an amalgam of thoughts, memories, beliefs, opinions, prejudices and biases---all of which is the past.
Another one of my favourite authors, Eckhart Tolle, expresses it well in his wonderful book The Power of Now:
Yes, there is an 'I' which is not one of those many false 'I's' and 'me's' that wax and wane but nevertheless make life miserable for you. This 'I'---and there is only one such 'I'---is that 'part' (for want of a better word) of you which says 'I am' and which is in fact that 'I Am.' Your 'I Am-ness' is your True Self---that in you, and in me, and in all persons and things, which simply IS. And when you come to know this Self---the very self-livingness and self-givingness of your life---to be One with all that lives, you will have succeeded in liberating yourself from the terrible bondage of self. The result? Well, those 'ceaseless activities of the mind' of which Krishnamurti spoke will---cease!
SLAVES OF THE 'I'---EVEN UNTO DEATH
THE MINDFUL ART OF KNOWING ONESELF