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Now, can the mind be aware of its own conditioning and not try to battle against it? When the mind is aware that it is conditioned and does not battle against it, only then is the mind free to give its complete attention to this conditioning. The difficulty is to be aware of conditioning without the distraction of trying to do something about it. But if the mind is constantly aware of the known, that is, of the prejudices, the assumptions, the beliefs, the desires, the illusory thinking of our daily life, if it is aware of all this without trying to be free, then that very awareness brings its own freedom. Then perhaps it is possible for the mind to be really still, not just still at a certain level of consciousness and frightfully agitated below. There can be total stillness of the mind only when the mind understands the whole problem of conditioning, how it is conditioned, which means watching, off and on, every movement of thought, being aware of the assumptions, the beliefs, the fears. Then perhaps there is a total stillness of the mind in which something beyond the mind can come into being.
Sydney, Australia | 5th Public Talk 23rd November, 1955 Read full text