In the context of Enlightenment, Self-Realization or Spiritual Growth, the spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) often used to talk about this thing he calls choiceless awareness. And of course, it’s an interesting concept, but I’ve come to have two main objections against the idea.
The first one is the simple fact that we are human beings, not plants. We necessarily choose. Continuously. If we want it or not, if we are aware of it or aware of our motivations or not. There’s no way not to choose. And we all know that even not to choose, in fact implies a choice.
The second anomaly is “choiceless awareness” itself. How to “reach” that without “choosing”? And mainly because of this last objection, I suppose the whole idea falls to pieces.
But we need to know sincerely what is meant here, before to make a real judgment at all. Also—we need to be conscious that judgment in itself is surely not what we could call “choiceless awareness”. Judgment is choice.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean Jiddu Krishnamurti didn’t know what he was talking about. Personally, I’m quite sure he wanted to bring us somewhere. At some place, some point where we would see the paradox and drop the whole thing accordingly, “choiceless awareness” included.
And of course, we can and should approach the limits of what is possible to convey or know. It’s a good thing to toss and turn things, all conceptual things anyway, relentlessly. It keeps us sharp, critical and can bring us to clear discernment.
But in the end, this thing we like to call Enlightenment, Self-Realization or Insight or whatever we like to call it, doesn’t seem to be something we can transfer intellectually or logically—if at all.
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