Can action ever bring about freedom from this chain of cause-effect? I have done something in the past; I have had experience, which obviously conditions my response today; and today's response conditions tomorrow. That is the whole process of karma, cause and effect; and obviously, though it may temporarily give pleasure, such a process of cause and effect ultimately leads to pain. That is the real crux of the matter: Can thought be free? Thought, action, that is free does not produce pain, does not bring about conditioning. That is the vital point of this whole question. So, can there be action unrelated to the past? Can there be action not based on idea? Idea is the continuation of yesterday in a modified form, and that continuation will condition tomorrow, which means action based on idea can never be free. As long as action is based on idea, it will inevitably produce further conflict. Can there be action unrelated to the past? Can there be action without the burden of experience, the knowledge of yesterday? As long as action is the outcome of the past, action can never be free, and only in freedom can you discover what is true. What happens is that, as the mind is not free, it cannot act; it can only react, and reaction is the basis of our action. Our action is not action but merely the continuation of reaction because it is the outcome of memory, of experience, of yesterday's response. So, the question is, can the mind be free from its conditioning?
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