Looking back over the last few months, I have been sensing a particular leitmotif in my thoughts, postings, concerns. It isn’t as easily identifiable as a melodic sequence in music, but I can feel something taking form, as inchoate as things taking form outside of language tend to be. For those internal discussions I have been referring to that particular energy as the complexity of awareness. Like deMello’s invective referenced a few posts back, it seems to come down to a mantra of aware, aware, aware.
From that place I’ve found a rich vein by dipping back into the writings of Krishnamurti. This passage is from Freedom from the Known which came to me through good friend, Himalayan wisewoman and “Dakini on the loose,” Kristin Brudevold. Krishnamurti, famous for his advocacy of the pathless way and the approach of not seeking, speaks right to it:
Throughout theological history, we have been assured by religious leaders that if we perform certain rituals, repeat certain prayers or mantras, conform to certain patterns, suppress our desires, control our thoughts…we shall, after sufficient torture of the mind and body, find something beyond this little life. And that is what millions of so-called religious people have done throughout the ages, either in isolation, going off into the desert or into the mountains or a cave or wandering from village to village with a begging bowl…forcing their minds to conform to an established pattern. But a tortured mind, a broken mind, a mind which wants to escape from all turmoil, which has denied the outer world and been made dull through discipline and conformity—such a mind, however long it seeks, will find only according to its distortion.
Krishnamurti has focused on the theological top down proclivity to prescribe behavior and thinking. But the mind can be “tortured” and “broken” by other ideologies as well, not just religious ones. Some of those imposed patterns are stealthish and harder to identify. But they are every bit as confining and they produce similar results—a mind that can only find “according to its distortion.”
So apropos to the making of art as well as the making of life.