Discovering Oneself

Ahmed is a mature student at Brockwood. Mature Students are young adults who come to Brockwood out of their own interest in order to study Krishnamurti’s teachings within the context of the School. Their contribution is to participate with staff and students in the life of the School and to contribute to the atmosphere of Brockwood with their own serious inquiry. They are junior colleagues of the staff and work 20 hours a week in return for free board and accommodation. Here follows Ahmed’s reflections on living at Brockwood:

As a mature student at Brockwood Park I have been at the school for almost two months. I am originally from Ethiopia, but have lived in Libya, Italy and Canada where I have been the longest, in Calgary in the Province of Alberta.

On my arrival at Brockwood I was very excited. The fact that my desire to be a part of the community actually came true was thrilling! In the past I had never been part of such a cohesive community that shared everything from food, accommodation and even sometimes clothes to feelings and thoughts.

I feel that the environment that has flourished here at Brockwood over the past years is one that many human beings are lacking and aspire to be a part of whether consciously or unconsciously. A place where one is treated with respect, people are sensitive to each other and the natural environment around them. But most of all a place where one can enquire with freedom into the question; what does it really mean to be a human being?

Here we are free to do so without the pressures of a kind of fixed notion of life and way of thinking, imposed by the community onto the individual. This type of freedom to look at oneself can actually be overwhelming at first, as I found it to be so especially on my first couple of weeks. Looking at oneself can often be unpleasant, this being true regardless of one’s environment. Having stated this, it is important to mention the difference I found in my enquiry into myself here at Brockwood as compared to when I did so in the busy city of Calgary.

The city of Calgary although populating only 1 million people basically has the same characteristics as any other big city: lots of business activity, heavily developed and a very competitive spirit. I find that in this kind of environment people act in hostile ways, often projecting all kinds of images onto each other. In such an environment one finds it easy to blame others for one’s own feelings and thoughts and therefore never taking ownership or responsibility for one’s inner state.

At Brockwood the environment is such that people or behaviors that make up such hostile atmosphere simply don’t seem to exist. It leaves one with no apparent good reasons to continue the defensive mechanisms that was so characteristic of the big city I used to live in. Therefore one is left face to face with one’s own reactions and behavior. This can be a scary sight but I find it to be one of the only ways for one to reach some kind of maturity in this life. Honest and direct perception into oneself. Indeed, among many of the other benefits of living at Brockwood, it is an “ideal” environment for the process of discovering oneself.

by Ahmed Lelamo, mature student from Canada

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