June 15, 2022 | Acharya Prashant
Questioner (Q): I am reading J. Krishnamurti’s Freedom from the Known, where the author talks about freedom from authority as a means to be free of the ego. What does he mean by authority? What does freedom from authority mean? He also says that we should not accept even the authority of our past self. This is confusing to me. More often than not, we learn from our past experiences. But if the past is not to be taken as an authority, where do we learn from?
Acharya Prashant (AP): See, the definition of authority is anything that proclaims itself to be the Truth in itself. That is called authority. ‘Author’ means original. ‘Authority’ means originality.
Only the Truth is original—the point from where everything comes.
So, when Krishnamurti says there is no authority, he means no object can be taken as the Truth. Whether it is an inanimate object as a book or a living object as a guru, nobody is to be taken as the absolute Truth. Obviously, the Truth cannot come this way in a form; the Truth cannot be objectified. It cannot stand in front of you as a thing or a place or a person or a book or whatever.
So, don’t be too quick to accept your own assessments and judgements. When you fall for something, don’t you take it to be real? Only the Truth is real. When you are afraid of something, aren’t you taking the thing as real? If you knew something is unreal, could you be afraid of it?
So, nothing is to be taken as the Truth. Why? Because whatever you are seeing is being seen by you. To take a seen thing as the Truth is to believe just too much in the capacity of the seer.
Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More