-by Jiddu Krishnamurti (Aug 2, 2012)
Is it possible for the mind to empty itself totally of fear? Fear of any kind breeds illusion, it makes the mind dull, shallow. Where there is fear there is obviously no freedom, and without freedom there is no love at all. And most of us have some form of fear: fear of darkness, fear of public opinion, fear of snakes, fear of physical pain, fear of old age, fear of death. We have literally dozens of fears. And is it possible to be completely free of fear?
We can see what fear does to each one of us. It makes one tell lies, it corrupts one in various ways, it makes the mind empty, shallow. There are dark corners in the mind which can never be investigated and exposed as long as one is afraid. Physical self, protection, the instinctive urge to keep away from the venomous snake, to draw back from the precipice, to avoid falling under the tramcar, and so on, is sane, normal, healthy. But I am talking about the psychological self-protectiveness which makes one afraid of disease, of death, of an enemy. When we seek fulfilment in any form, whether through painting, through music, through relationship, or what you will, there is always fear. So, what is important is to be aware of this whole process in oneself, to observe, to learn about it, and not ask how to get rid of fear. When you merely want to get rid of fear you will find ways and means of escaping from it, and so there can never be freedom from fear. […]
To be aware of and learn about fear in oneself is not to interpret that feeling in words, for words are associated with the past, with knowledge; and in the very movement of learning about fear without verbalization, which is not to acquire knowledge about it, you will find there is a total emptying of the mind of all fear. This means that one has to go very deeply into oneself putting aside all words; and when the mind understands the whole content of fear and is therefore empty of fear, both conscious and unconscious, then there comes a state of innocency. For most Christians that word `innocency’ is merely a symbol; but I am talking of actually being in a state of innocency, which means having no fear, and therefore the mind is completely mature, instantly, without going through the passage of time. And that is possible only when there is total attention, an awareness of every thought, of every word, of every gesture. The mind is attentive without the barrier of words, without interpretation, justification or condemnation. Such a mind is a light unto itself; and a mind that is a light unto itself has no fear. […]
Is fear dissolved through knowing the cause of fear? Is it? One generally knows the cause of fear: death, public opinion, the things one has done that one doesn’t want to be discovered, and so on. Most people know the cause of their fear, but that obviously doesn’t end fear. Through analysis one may discover some hidden cause of fear, but again that does not free the mind from fear. What brings freedom from fear – and I assure you the freedom is complete – is to be aware of fear without the word, without trying to deny or escape from fear, without wanting to be in some other state. If with complete attention you are aware of the fact that there is fear, then you will find that the observer and the observed are one, there is no division between them. There is no observer who says, “I am afraid”, there is only fear without the word which indicates that state. The mind is no longer escaping no longer seeking to get rid of fear, no longer trying to find the cause, and therefore it is no longer a slave to words. There is only a movement of learning which is the outcome of innocence, and I an innocent mind has no fear.
–Jiddu Krishnamurti in Saanen 6th Public Talk August 2, 1962