Vol. 1, Issue 10 (2016)
The nature of the conditioned mind according to Krishnamurti: A study
Author(s): J Nagaraja, G Vedaparayana
Abstract: Jiddu Krishnamurti is one of the modern Indian thinkers who has given a clear and comprehensive picture of mind. The issue of mind constitutes the central there of his philosophy. His insights into the issue of mind are incisive and instructive. Krishnamurti distinguishes between two kinds of mind – the conditioned and the unconditioned. He calls the conditioned mind consciousness. The conditioned mind or consciousness is the reality which is put together by thought. Consciousness is reality since reality is “anything that thought operates on”. The term “reality” comes from “res” which means thing; and the root meaning of the term “thing” is “to condition”. Accordingly, mind is anything that thought thinks about, reasonably or unreasonably. Mind is “thing” in the sense that it is conditioned by thought which is always conditioned. According to Krishnamurti the unconditioned mind is that which transcends thought. It is neither dependent upon nor conditioned by thought. Thought can never be free since thought is ‘thing’. Thought is always “conditioned or dependent on things”. Krishnamurti calls the free mind Intelligence, truth or freedom. The unconditioned mind has a dimension different form that of the conditioned mind. Basically, the conditioned mind, according to Krishnamurti, has evolved psychologically through time. It has evolved by accumulating the past psychologically. It has grown by gathering memory for security at the physical and psychological levels. And the gathering of memory takes place through the activity of challenge and response. So the brain is the product of its own sensory process through which it accumulates the past. The conditioned mind is precisely the brain evolved through the perceptual process. Krishnamurti says “My mind, is my brain cells, is the result of my sensory perceptions”. The conditioned mind is the perceptual activity of the brain conditioned by the past. The activity of the brain is not only to gather the past but also to respond to the challenge on the background of the past. So, as a product, the mind is precisely the brain conditioned by memory; and as an activity, the mind is the response of the brain conditioned by the past. Consciousness thus is the brain, the biological organism and its memory as its foundation. There can be no mind as we know it to be which is not of the activity of the brain.