Question : What is the “choiceless awareness” which J.Krishnamurti used to mention often, Sir?
(Sitaram, Hyderabad, October 1998)
Sage TGN : We can understand the subject through an example. You hear your front-gate being opened, and when you look out of the window you find a close friend of yours coming in. Your mind registers a bout of joy at the sight and you hurry to the door in order to welcome the visitor.
Instead of a friend, suppose it is a persona non grata coming in. Your mind develops instant dislike and it is with intense annoyance that you prepare to tackle him. Without slipping into either of these two states, like or dislike, suppose your mind simply takes note of the fact that someone is calling on you, that state of the mind would be “choiceless awareness”. “Choicefree awareness” would be more apt.
That is, your mind has the choice to show like or dislike (raga or dwesha), but it abandons the choice and remains in objectivity. In this state there is neither joy nor misery, but peace. This central position is the natural poise of the mind, wherein it has forgotten to rest for want of training.
JK’s choiceless awareness is no different from what Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi describes as mano-nasam (as distinct from mano-layam) . Mano-nasam is not destruction of the mind; because mind being energy, it cannot be destroyed. Mano-nasam signifies the ending of the propensity of the mind to work up raga or dwesha. Here, that section of the mind which reacts with like or dislike towards a situation is closed down. What is left of the mind continues to identify door and window and track and tree. This line of functioning of the mind causes no unrest to it and in fact it is necessary as long as we are alive and around.