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Category Archives: On Understanding

No one should ever judge what they do so positively or as having been done so well that they become so casual or self- confident in their actions that their reason grows lazy or slumbers. But they should always elevate themselves with the twin faculties of reason and will, thus activating the very best in themselves and protecting themselves against all harm by means of understanding in matters both internal and external. Thus they will not fail in anything anywhere but will make constant spiritual progress.

– Meister Eckhart (The Talks of Instruction, 8th part)

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To be aware of something that is not the projection of the known, there must be the elimination, through the understanding, of the process of the known. Why is it that the mind clings always to the known? Is it not because the mind is constantly seeking certainty, security? Its very nature is fixed in the known, in time; how can such a mind, whose very foundation is based on the past, on time, experience the timeless? It may conceive, formulate, picture the unknown, but that is all absurd. The unknown can come into being only when the known is understood, dissolved, put aside. That is extremely difficult, because the moment you have an experience of anything, the mind translates it into the terms of the known and reduces it to the past. I do not know if you have noticed that every experience is immediately translated into the known, given a name, tabulated and recorded. So the movement of the known is knowledge, and obviously such knowledge, learning, is a hindrance.

– Krishnamurti (The First and Last Freedom)