Letter 18

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From the book "Letters to a young friend"

One does get agitated, anxious and sometimes frightened. These things do happen. They are the accidents of life. Life is a cloudy day. It was clear and sunny the other day, but now it is raining, cloudy and cold; this change is the inevitable process of living. Anxiety, fear suddenly comes upon one; these are causes for it, hidden or fairly obvious, and one can with a little awareness find those causes. But what is important, is to be aware of these incidents or accidents and not give them time to take root, permanent or temporary. One does give root to these reactions when the mind compares; it justifies, condemns or accepts. You know, one has to be on one’s toes all the time, inwardly, without any tension. Tension arises when you want a result, and what arises again creates tension which has to be broken. Let life flow.

It is fatally easy to get used to anything, to any discomfort, to any frustration, to any continued satisfaction. One can adjust oneself to any circumstances, to lunacy or to asceticism. The mind likes to function in grooves, in habits, and this activity is called living. When one sees this one breaks away from all this and tries to lead a life which has no meaning, no moorings, no interests. Interests, if one’s not very alert, bring us back to a pattern of life. In all this you will see the will, the directive, is functioning, the will to be, to achieve, to become and so on. Will is the very center of the chooser and so long as will exists, the mind can only function in habits, either self-created or imposed. Freedom from will is the real problem. One can play various tricks upon oneself, to be free from will, the center of the me, the chooser, but it will go on under a different name, under a different cloak. When one sees the real significance of habit, of getting used to things; choosing, naming, pursuing an interest an so on; when there is an awareness of all this, then the real miracle takes place, the cessation of will. Experiment with this, be aware of all this, from moment to moment, without any wish to arrive anywhere.

Southern skies and northern skies are so extraordinary different. Here, in London, for a change, there is not a cloud in the tender blue sky and the towering trees are just beginning to show their green. It is spring here, just about beginning. Here it is grimy, the cheer in the people is not there, as in the South.

A quiet mind, but very alert, watchful, is a blessing; it is like the earth, rich with immense possibilities. When there is such a mind, not comparing, not condemning, then only is it possible for the immeasurable richness to be.

Don’t let the smoke of pettiness smother you and let the fire go out. You have to keep going, tearing away, destroying, never taking root. Don’t let any problem take root, finish with it immediately and wake up every morning fresh, young, and innocent…

Be wise and definite about your health; don’t let emotion and sentiment interfere with your health nor belittle your action. There are too many influences and pressures that constantly shape the mind and heart, be aware of them, cut through them and don’t be a slave to them. To be a slave is to be mediocre. Be awake, aflame.

Face the fear, invite it, don’t let it come upon you suddenly, unexpectedly, but face it constantly; pursue it diligently and purposefully. Hope you are well and don’t be scared by all that; probably it can be cured and we will go after it. Don’t let it frighten you.

Deeply, inwardly, there may be a sow withering away; of this you may be unconscious or, being conscious, negligent. The wave of deterioration is always on the top of us, it does not matter who it is. To be ahead of it and meet it without reaction and be out of it requires great energy. This energy only comes when there is no conflict whatsoever, conscious or unconscious. Be very awake.

Don’t let the problems take root. Go through them rapidly, cut through them as through butter. Don’t let them leave a mark, finish with them as they arise. You can’t help having problems, but finish with them immediately.

There has been a distinct change in you-deeper inward vitality, strength and clarity-keep it-let it function-give it an opportunity to flow extensively and deeply. Don’t, whatever happens, be smothered by circumstances, by the family-by your own physical condition. Eat properly, exercise, and don’t become slack. Having come to a certain state, keep going, don’t stay there-either go forward or you retrogress. You can’t be static. You have ridden on the inward wave for so many years, withdrawn, inward, but now from that inward movement you must go out-meet more people-expand.

Have done a great deal of meditation and has been good. I hope you are doing it too-begin by being aware of every thought-feeling-all day, the nerves and the brain-then become quiet, still-this is what cannot be done through control-then really begins meditation. Do it without thoroughness.

Whatever happens don’t let the body shape the nature of the mind-be aware of the body, eat right, be by yourself during the day for some hours-don’t slip back and don’t be a slave to circumstances. Be tremendous-be awake.

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© 2013 Krishnamurti Library of Athens, all rights reserved.