Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Can one's mind be totally empty of ideas?

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Sat, 29 Aug 2009 #1
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

I hope this question will stimulate a good dialogue between us. It really doesn't matter where we start to explore it, but just as a matter of interest you may like to know that it arose from a series of exchanges we've been having about the article The Way We Live (see hyperlink below). But let's start afresh with it, if we may. [1]: http://www.kinfonet.org/articles/5-the-way-we-live

This post was last updated by Paul Dimmock (account deleted) Sat, 29 Aug 2009.

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Sat, 29 Aug 2009 #2
Thumb_deleted_user_med Randal Shacklett United States 100 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

What motivates such a question? Is it a fundamental question? How was it formulated? From an idea, or a mind free of ideas?

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Sat, 29 Aug 2009 #3
Thumb_-sparkle- kirsten zwijnenburg Netherlands 4 posts in this forum Offline

hi paul, nice to see you..
reading the question, i wonder, is the "being empty" not already an idea ?

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Sat, 29 Aug 2009 #4
Thumb_avatar Paul Lanzon United Kingdom 24 posts in this forum Offline

We have to be clear first of all what is meant by 'the mind'. On one level the mind stores everything it has ever absorbed and this cannot be erased (except by surgery!). But this does not have to interfere with direct perception of 'what is'. A person is able to use ideas or concepts when and if they are useful in a practical sense, e.g. to design something, without them clouding his perception. But concepts that block true perception, like preconceptions about the nature of things, can only be overcome by constant attention to the physical and mental states, and a complete realization that the word is not the thing. Ideas can be harmful or useful, or neutral. They will take their proper place when the mind becomes quiet - no need to repress or discard them - they will go of their own accord when your mind is 'right', i.e. when you attend to 'what is' and not what should be. It all sounds so easy when put into words; it's neither easy nor difficult, because effort of any kind would be self-defeating. Sorry if this sounds like a sermon -

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #5
Thumb_deleted_user_med Randal Shacklett United States 100 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Paul Lanzon wrote:
e.g. to design something

Why do I need thought, to design something?

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #6
Thumb_deleted_user_med Klaus M. Germany 59 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Paul Lanzon: ?They will take their proper place when the mind becomes quiet - no need to repress or discard them - they will go of their own accord when your mind is 'right', i.e. when you attend to 'what is' and not what should be.?

So can the mind be quiet, can it be ?right?, can it attend to ?what is?and not ?what should be?? Can there be unclouded direct perception of what is?
Can it do that when I have one single little idea about myself? Or has the mind to be completely empty of these ideas to be quiet, right, attentive, clear?

This post was last updated by Klaus M. (account deleted) Sun, 30 Aug 2009.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #7
Thumb_jan09_012 Peter Stephens Australia 35 posts in this forum Offline

By ideas, what do you mean? Do you mean the sense data of seeing, listening, feeling, memory, language? What? If it is not the sense data, where do ideas come from? Why have an idea other than willfully?

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #8
Thumb_avatar david sharma Ireland 67 posts in this forum Offline

Ideas, and the self /mind are both struck in time and are one, emptying the mind implies time. One cannot empty or end the movement of time by will.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #9
Thumb_avatar Paul Lanzon United Kingdom 24 posts in this forum Offline

-Randal, have you ever had to design anything? - a house for example where certain restrictive conditions posed problems (practical problems) for the designer and called for ingenuity and imagination. Why this hostility to thought? - constructive thought, not psychological thought. Thought comes from the same source as insight, and 'right thought' is always guided by insight. Do you think the computer you use was designed without thought? Not that insight was involved in that...

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #10
Thumb_deleted_user_med Klaus M. Germany 59 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

"...is the "being empty" not already an idea ?"

Yes. The mind cannot be totally empty of ideas if there is an idea of being empty. I think that is clear.

"... emptying the mind implies time. "

Yes. That is why the question is not wether one can empty the mind, but if one's mind can be totally empty of ideas.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #11
Thumb_deleted_user_med Klaus M. Germany 59 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

" If it is not the sense data, where do ideas come from? "

Where do my ideas about myself come from? From the senses?

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #12
Thumb_avatar david sharma Ireland 67 posts in this forum Offline

All ideas springs from thought, ideas and thought are one. Thought must see how limited it is. And naturally come to an end .

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #13
Thumb_deleted_user_med Klaus M. Germany 59 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

"All ideas springs from thought, ideas and thought are one."

Yes, I think that is right. Ideas lead to further ideas. All ideas stem from earlier ideas.

"Thought must see how limited it is. And naturally come to an end ."

But isn't that a theory again, an idea? Thought says to itself: "You must see how limited you are and naturally come to an end"?

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #14
Thumb_avatar david sharma Ireland 67 posts in this forum Offline

thought lookingin wards is not an idea it is a fact.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #15
Thumb_avatar david sharma Ireland 67 posts in this forum Offline

thought lookingin wards is not an idea it is a fact.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #16
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


What motivates such a question? Is it a fundamental question? How was it formulated? From an idea, or a mind free of ideas?

I am not ignoring the other participants, but this question needs to be cleared up and then we can proceed further. Because the motive always slants the enquiry, it's very important to be clear about what we are getting ourselves into.

I want to find out about the nature of the mind, to learn about it, what it is and what it isn't. For it is through this mind that I meet the world, that I meet you, engage in this dialogue with you. It is with this mind also that I suffer, experience pleasure and pain, imagine, think, plan, project, regret, feel guilty, lonely, hope, and all the rest of it. So my whole life depends on this thing called my mind with its various facilities and capabilities. And it's already full of ideas by the time I am old enough to start investigating into it, to find out if this mind can be entirely free of ideas. Images, beliefs, prejudices, opinions, feelings of like and dislike - all these and more are included in this one word 'idea' - which really means the whole process of ideation or thinking. And is there such a thing as a mind that is totally empty of ideas?

If there is such a possibility, what exactly does it imply? And if there is no such possibility, again what exactly does that imply? For one thing, it might mean that the quality of one's ideas then starts to have a great significance. In which case, we would need to consider what constitutes a good idea.

So I think this is a fundamental question to put and to talk about. But question it, please, if you don't agree. It's best to start simply and to be sure that we are taking the same journey together here.

This post was last updated by Paul Dimmock (account deleted) Sun, 30 Aug 2009.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #17
Thumb_deleted_user_med Klaus M. Germany 59 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

"thought lookingin wards is not an idea it is a fact."

Yes, I understand.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #18
Thumb_deleted_user_med Randal Shacklett United States 100 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Paul Lanzon wrote:
without thought? Not that insight was involved in that...

No hostility, to thought , or anything else. If I design something I already know about, do I need to think about it? Isn't it when I need to learn something new, that I actually need to think?

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #19
Thumb_deleted_user_med Randal Shacklett United States 100 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Paul Dimmock wrote:
if you don't agree. It's best to start simply and to be sure that we are taking the same journey together here.

I don't want to agree or disagree. I want to find out. But will it help me to find anything for myself, by posting excerpts of K talks, and proceed from that?
Does it help to start from an ideal, and work backwards from there?

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 #20
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


Does it help to start from an ideal and work backwards from there?

Obviously this does not help, if I understand you correctly. But perhaps we could start by exploring first why we have ideas and ideals.

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #21
Thumb_deleted_user_med Randal Shacklett United States 100 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

I live in beliefs and opinions, is it important, why I do?

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #22
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


I live in beliefs and opinions. Is it important why I do?

What happens when we have opinions and beliefs? We get divided from one another, don't we? You believe in the socialist system and I believe in the capitalist system, for example. And division leads inevitably to conflict.

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #23
Thumb_jan09_012 Peter Stephens Australia 35 posts in this forum Offline

What is the willful action? Is it caused by an idea?

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #24
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


What is the willful action? Is it caused by an idea?

A wilful action means something intended, therefore it is necessarily something about which I have already formed an idea.

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #25
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

For a mind full of ideas, a mind "totally empty of ideas" is just another idea. Such a mind can only ponder what it can imagine.

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #26
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


For a mind full of ideas, a mind totally empty of ideas is just another idea. Such a mind can only ponder what it can imagine.

So let's not waste our energy doing things like that because we can end up imagining and inventing all sorts of crazy things. Instead, can we begin to find out just why we have a mind full of ideas? In understanding the nature of our mind we may then find that it is possible to discard ideas in their entirety. Or we may discover something else, namely that ideas are absolutely necessary in order to function sanely. In either case how shall we proceed to find this out? This is our first difficulty or challenge or problem - isn't it? - to know how to approach this question in the correct manner.

If we are agreed that is the proper question or that it's a valid enough question for the moment at least, then how are we to enquire into it so that we get our answer one way or the other? In other words, are we willing to go to the end of the enquiry? Are we capable of completing a thorough examination of this matter? Or have we already formed our opinions about this matter? Have we already reached a point where we say, 'I know all about this. I've investigated it ten thousand times before and the answer is always the same'? Or this is something completely new and very important and one has the energy to investigate it.

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #27
Thumb_deleted_user_med Randal Shacklett United States 100 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Paul Dimmock wrote:
What happens when we have opinions and beliefs? We get divided from

Yes, but the question was, is it important to know why?

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #28
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

A mind full of ideas asks if it can be a mind empty of ideas because it's concious of how misinformation, erroneous ideas, alter or block perception. It regards itself as a diseased mind, a troubled mind, a mind chock full of ideas that it would do well to discard, but it can't discern the difference between the concepts it must retain for practical purposes, and the images and ideas that serve no practical purpose and cause confusion.

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #29
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


Is it important to know why?

That's up to you. Is it important to you? If not, then leave it alone.

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Mon, 31 Aug 2009 #30
Thumb_deleted_user_med Paul Dimmock United Kingdom 63 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


A mind full of ideas asks if it can be a mind empty of ideas because it's conscious of how misinformation, erroneous ideas, alter or block perception. It regards itself as a diseased mind, a troubled mind, a mind chock full of ideas that it would do well to discard, but it can't discern the difference between the concepts it must retain for practical purposes, and the images and ideas that serve no practical purpose and cause confusion.

We are looking at it first. Before we regard the mind as diseased, sane, this or that, let's just look at it. What are ideas? And why do we carry them around with us?

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