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Free Your Mind: Mindfulness Without Conformity

Updated on April 30, 2020
NateB11 profile image

I have spent a lot of time reading about Eastern philosophy since my youth and mostly have given particular attention to J Krishnamurti

Many people believe that responsibility means conformity: That when someone is bad, they simply need to fall in line. For this reason, we talk of reforming people: Putting them back in line.

We switch the patterns. One wonders why. How can the answer be in patterns at all? Let's investigate.

Regimented and rigid thinking is inculcated early in our lives. It only serves to induce struggle and division.
Regimented and rigid thinking is inculcated early in our lives. It only serves to induce struggle and division. | Source

What We Have: Patterns

Since childhood, we have followed patterns: Old patterns. Patterns set forth by the family, by school, by the economic system, and by religious orders. We have no minds of our own. We simply conform.

And it hasn't proven effective. There is still conflict, corruption, and misery. I'm afraid we've failed.

The economic system creates conflict, competition, struggle and, therefore, total inward and outward confusion and misery. The religious divisions are ways of being in conflict between groups, ways of subjugating, distorting thinking rather than lending clarity and lucidity, and make thought and perception stagnant in a pool of doctrine people are forced to follow. That is conformity.

One may have to find a way out of the Matrix.
One may have to find a way out of the Matrix. | Source

What's Wrong with the Patterns?

Patterns are old.We can't superimpose some tired doctrine on a situation which is alive and moving and expect it to give us true answers. That thinking is backward. And thinking that way will lead us backwards.

The problem is not specific patterns but the tendency to follow and imitate. And in falling in line with the pattern, identifying with it, we become separate from the rest of humanity; each person and group contained in their supposedly safe units, fearing and fighting each other. We have gone terribly wrong.

Krishnamurti On Responsibility

Fear Stops Change

What is different, what is new, what is not the pattern, is far removed from safety and security. For this reason, we avoid it. We would rather rot in a jail cell than come out for fresh air. Because, locked up in the pattern, we are assured the right job, food on the table, and lots of friends.

Yet, we fail to realize that our own minds deteriorate, caught up in the same movement, and wearing down in the process. We fail to see that our thinking divides, divides us inwardly, and divides us from each other. In that division is conflict, distortion, misery, pain, confusion and a constant struggle. In it, there is no clarity, lucidity, no understanding, and,so, no love, care, attention, compassion, or true affection.

Because we won't take that leap into what is not known, we stay where we are, stuck in the machine of our own making, the machine of conformity and complacency.

What We Try to Do: Reversion and Concoction

Having become accustomed to patterns, feeling safe and secure in them, we feel the answer to the world's problems is either a reversion to old patterns or concoction of new ones.

Patterns mean conformity. Conformity means comparison. Comparison means division, conflict, chaos, confusion, and violence. There can be no adequate answer there, in that milieu of fantasy. That milieu is merely the operation of thought in psychological time. The repetition and reliance on patterns does not change a thing. It is, in fact, the problem. And we expect to answer the problem with the thing causing the problem.


Leads to struggle and competition
Leads to complacency and division
There is nothing new or whole in conformity
Wholeness and freedom from the known brings a bright new day.
Wholeness and freedom from the known brings a bright new day. | Source

The Answer to the Problem

The first thing to do is to stop looking for an answer. We've already concocted answers. Answers are conclusions and if you conclude first, then you can't begin.

We have to start at the right point. We have to look at the problem directly, correctly, not hampered by conclusion. The conclusions are the patterns of conformity, the obedience and fear, the struggle for security and fear of loss.

We must be able to face ourselves, face our concocted divisions and separations, face our illusory authorities, and face our time-based psychological fear which keeps us stuck in the circle, keeps us trapped in the machine.

It is then, when we see all that clearly and with no inward interference, that we are whole and see comprehensively into the totality of the problem, without division, without confusion, but with direct and clear insight. This will be the dissolution of the problem and the end of all barrier to total awareness.

Krishnamurti on Conformity and Revolution


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    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, Arun!

    • adevwriting profile image

      Arun Dev 

      5 years ago from United Countries of the World

      Spirituality might help in this regard?

      Interesting hub!

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      7 years ago from California, United States of America

      I really don't agree with you at all, janesix, and I have very good reasons based in truth. But I'm not going to go round and round about it. You either see it or not.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • janesix profile image


      7 years ago

      It depends on what you're conforming to. It depends on the society, I think. If it's something you agree with and believe in, then I don't see a problem.

      Nice Hub by the way, very thought provoking and well written.

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      7 years ago from California, United States of America

      The only time conformity is good is when it involves a non-psychological technical skill set, like driving a car or electrical engineering; every other kind leads to inward distortion, conflict and violence, dullness and confusion. The evidence is everywhere.

    • janesix profile image


      7 years ago

      Conforming can be bad or good, depending on the situation.

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      7 years ago from California, United States of America

      You nailed it, Au Fait. Not wanting to offend the masses, wanting to be safe in the corner with the group, these things repress people, prevent change and, actually, create inward conflict and prevent wholeness and truth. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      7 years ago from North Texas

      Very interesting. Most people do not think for themselves. They say they do, but in fact they think what is safe to think without offending the people they want to fit in with. If they think otherwise, they stifle those thoughts and keep those thoughts to themselves. Change is slow because most people do not have the chutzpah to be the first or among the first to think/do differently from the crowd. Offending the masses is unthinkable . . .

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      7 years ago from California, United States of America

      Yes, exactly, Pamela-anne. Not to be confined, because true awareness requires freedom to look and see without interference. Thanks for the vote and thanks for reading.

    • Pamela-anne profile image


      7 years ago from Miller Lake

      Great read I guess a good thing to try to do is think beyond the box; not to limit our thoughts or contain them within the box! Voted up!


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