The known, unknown and unknowable

From Keerti's desk Media Watch

Our mind is a powerful receiver of all kinds of information which becomes memory, writes Chaitanya Keerti in the Deccan Chronicle. Published on October 20, 2018.

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There’s a famous song from an old movie that most of us have enjoyed listening to: Tora man darpan kehlaaye (Your mind is a mirror and all things good and bad get mirrored through it). There’s also a misunderstanding here – “man” does not mean mind exactly, it means the “heart” or it would be better to call it consciousness.

Our mind is a powerful receiver of all kinds of information which becomes memory. We are always overloaded with it and when we see or receive anything new, this overloaded mind becomes choosy. It does not accept anything without comparing with the old memories that it has in its storehouse. It screens it, sorts out whatever is adjustable with our existing knowledge, allows it; and whatever is going to disturb our mind – anything new, unfamiliar or a stranger – it tends to reject.

During the past few decades, science discovered a surprising fact. Our mind used to be thought of in the past as a receiver of information from the world: our eyes, our ears, our nose, all our senses were doors from where existence – that surrounds us – can enter into us. This has been an ancient understanding prevailing for thousands of years. But just within these last few decades, science became aware of a totally different situation. Our senses are not simple windows; our mind does not allow more than two per cent of the information to enter us and the rest of the information gets discarded right away. This mind is always on guard of what to take in and what not to. In most cases what it allows in is in tune with our prejudices, superstitions and age-old concepts. Our mind does not want to take a risk with the too much of unknown penetrating it. It wants everything to fit with what it thinks is right and not disturbing to it.

This is a certain kind of imprisonment created by the mind. The known dominates us and the unknown is blocked. That’s why the enlightened mystics like J. Krishnamurti teach us: “From the known you cannot possibly see the unknown, but when once you have understood the state of a mind that is free – which is the mind that says ‘I don’t know’ and remains unknowing, and is therefore innocent, from that state you can function, you can be a citizen, you can be married, or what you will. Then what you do has relevance, significance in life. But we remain in the field of the known, with all its conflicts, striving, disputes, agonies – and from that field we try to find that which is unknown. Therefore, we are not really seeking freedom. What we want is continuation, extension of the same old thing – the known.”

Osho takes us one step further. He says: “Religion is diving deep into that which is basically unknowable – not only unknown but unknowable.”

Quote by Osho from
Philosophia Perennis, Vol 2, Ch 10, Q 1

Chaitanya KeertiChaitanya Keerti travels around the world to facilitate Osho meditation retreats. He is an editor of Osho World and the author of ‘Osho Fragrance’ and ‘The Alchemy of Zen’. – More articles by the same author on Osho News.

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