“Who is free of myths knows love” – Krishnamurti
I just came across this quotation. It struck me. It made sense, immediately, but in a way that leads me to want to air it all out, to find and put down the connections this statement set reverberating within me.
By “free of myths,” I understand Krishnamurti to mean to be free of an un-reflexive trapped relationship to our conditioning. In this sense, myths – real myths which are transparent to those who live by them, seeming to be just the way things are, as opposed to our common sense of myth as a derogatory insult aimed at the myths of other times and other people in other places – stand-in for conditioning. In their internalized state, myths incorporate our cultural conditioning and are screens on which we project our fears and anxieties, our prejudices and habitual responses.
To be free of myths in this sense is to be aware of our conditioning and to be able to at least suspend its most virulent manifestations while remaining aware of how vulnerable we are to getting caught within habit and conditioning. This is an attitude of emotional proprioception coupled with radical humility towards the difficulties involved in being free of “myth.”
The second part, “Knows love,” needs to be teased out a bit.
In Krishnamurti’s view compassion is at the heart of being. Compassion, we may also recognize as the attitude most directly linked to experiencing the act of integrated being. Our lack of compassion, the pitfalls that grow out of our misunderstanding of the nature of thought, the incoherence this breeds in us; these all cut us off from what-is. In this way we can say that experiencing what-is is, in itself an act of the greatest compassion. The two are inextricable. The act of being and the attitude of compassion are the same thing looked at from different perspectives.
Divisions, our habits, based on our misunderstanding of thought, are healed by compassion. Compassion is the ability to recognize illusions that present themselves as divisions. If we are “free of myths” then we are within an attitude of compassion.
And, this attitude has a name,