What is a healthy mind?

From a dialogue between J. Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake and John Hidley in Ojai, California, April 1982, exploring  essential questions about the mind; what ispsychological disorder and what is required for fundamental psychological change?

J. Krishnamurti is a religious philosopher, David Bohm is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, London University in England, Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and John Hidley is a psychiatrist in private practice.


„What is a healthy mind?
K: A mind that’s whole, healthy, sane, holy – H-O-L-Y – holy. All that means a healthy mind. That’s what we started discussing. What is a healthy mind? The world is so neurotic. How are we going to tell you, as an analyst, as a psychologist, how are you going to tell people what is a healthy mind, nobody’s going to pay attention to it. They’ll listen to the tape, to television, they’ll agree, but they’ll go on their own way. So what do we do? How do we… First of all, do I have a healthy mind? Or is it just a lot of pictures, words, images? A mind that’s totally unattached – to my country, to my ideas – all totally dispassionately unattached.
JH: Are you are suggesting that only then am I in a position to talk to anybody?
K: Obviously! Obviously. I may be married. I may, but why should I be attached to my wife?
JH: Then it’s an idea of marriage, it’s not a marriage.
K: But love is not attachment. So have I realised that in my life? A healthy mind that says, I love, therefore there is no attachment. Is that possible?
RS: Sir, you make it sound so easy and so difficult at the same time because…
K: I don’t see why it’s difficult.
RS: Because you see, I hear what you say, I think this is absolutely wonderful stuff. I want to have a healthy mind, I want to be in a state of being, and then you see I realise that it’s back into this, that I can’t become in a state of having a healthy mind and I can’t move by an act of will or desire into this state. It has to happen. And it can’t happen through any act of my will.
K: No. So…
RS: So I have to let it happen in some sense.
K: So we begin to enquire. You begin to say, now, why? Why am I not healthy? Am I attached to my house? I need a house, why should I be attached to it? A wife, relationship, I can’t exist without relationship, life is relationship. But why should I be attached to a person? Or to an idea, to a faith, to  symbol – you follow? – the whole cycle of it – to a nation, to my guru to my god. You follow? Attached means attached right through. A mind can be free of all that. Of course it can.
RS: But not just by wanting to be free of it.
K: No. But seeing the consequences of it, seeing what is involved in it: the pain, the pleasure, the agony, the fear – you follow? – all of that is involved in it. Such a mind is an unhealthy mind.
RS: Yes, but one can even agree with that, one can even see it, one can even see the movements of one’s attachments, one can even see the destructive consequences of all this. But that doesn’t in itself seem automatically to dissolve it.
K: No of course not. So, it brings in quite a different question. Which is, sir, do you hear it, merely with your sensory ears or do you really hear it? You understand my question.
RS: Yes.
K: Is it just casual verbal sensory hearing, or hearing at depth? If you hear it at the greatest depth, then it’s part of you. I don’t know if…
DB: Well, I think that generally one doesn’t hear at the greatest depth and something is stopping it, you see. All the conditioning.
K: And also probably we don’t want to hear it.
DB: But the conditioning makes us not want to hear it.
K: Of course, of course.
DB: We’re unwilling to do so.
K: How can I say to my wife, I love you but I am not attached? She’ll say, what the hell are you talking about? (Laughter) But if one sees the absolute necessity to have a healthy mind, and the demand for it, not only in myself,
but in my children, my society.
JH: But you don’t mean by that going around demanding of myself and other people that they become healthy.
K: No, no, no. I demand in myself. I ask why is not my mind healthy? Why is it neurotic? Then I begin to enquire. I watch, I attend, I am diligent in what I am doing.
DB: It seems to me that you said that we must have to see the absolute necessity of a healthy mind, but I think we’ve been conditioned to the absolute necessity of maintaining attachment. (Laughter) And that’swhat we hear, right?“


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