Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Seriousness

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Fri, 16 Oct 2009 #1
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

There is a richness to Krishnamurti?s teachings, because he doesn?t reduce the whole thing to a technical fix like ?stay in the now? or whatever. He may seem evasive, because he doesn?t tell you how to meditate. Instead he goes into what it means to lay the foundation for it. This involves much more than intellect. The foundation means no conflict, self-knowledge, sensitivity and much more.

Personally, I feel very strongly that if the hunger for stillness starts from the noise of motivation and desire, illusion is inevitable. There must a seed of stillness from the outset.

This is why I would like to discuss seriousness. It is a very difficult subject, because it involves the heart as well as the mind. What does it mean to you, if anything?

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Sat, 17 Oct 2009 #2
Thumb_rose Kavita B India 11 posts in this forum Offline

Hello Rasmus,

I look at seriousness as being completely honest (as far as one can be aware) with regards to one's intentions, desires, motivations, while enquiring about self or understanding the mind.

Even while enquiring with someone, or in a group dialogue, to see if one has made the other (including K) into an authority or whether there is some image of oneself which one wants to project. This does not mean there is no humor or any lighter moment which one doesn't enjoy while discussing, but there is a sort of deep commitment to be with facts/ truth which may be revealing in the course of a dialogue.

I have at times felt during discussions that such seriousness is almost contagious and the whole atmosphere seems charged up. But I guess it needs some sort of energy to continue with such serious enquiry which many of us seem to lack somehow. I also, at times wonder as to the extent of energy it would involve to meet the whole of life and relationships with such a kind of seriousness.

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Sat, 17 Oct 2009 #3
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Kavita,
I agree very much. But do you think energy necessarily has to do with seriousness. The most popular discussions are usually about ?enlightenment? or whatever you chose to call it ? some spiritual ?positive?. What it looks like and how to get it and all the mental acrobatics involved. In it there is a lot of self-centeredness.

Since yesterday the words ?responsibility to what is? have suggested themselves to me. By ?what is? I don?t mean a new spiritual positive, but simple life as we know it. If you live an immature life full of conflict and self-deception, that is the challenge, not enlightenment.

I think honesty has a lot to do with responsibility to what is.

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Sat, 17 Oct 2009 #4
Thumb_rose Kavita B India 11 posts in this forum Offline

Rasmus,

Thats what I have felt many times. To probe deeply into something, seriously not casually, to be attentive to the activity of one's mind, a lot of energy is involved.

Self-centredness or some obvious/ not-so-obvious desire may be providing an impetus but I feel each one can be honest only for oneself as to find the truth about it. If involved in some illusory pursuit, such energy would be destructive, perhaps or result in conflict eventually.

I too feel its easy to escape, or build some kind of resistence rather than be completely responsible/ honest as regards 'what is'. But is not 'what is' so obscure/unclear and where the whole problem lays.

This post was last updated by Kavita B Sat, 17 Oct 2009.

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Sat, 17 Oct 2009 #5
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Yes, exactly. If we take ?what is? to mean the truth about life, it is right under our noses and inside our heads, but understanding it seems so difficult.

There has to be a certain sensitivity to detect that there is something wrong in our consciousness or in our relationships in the first place. Perhaps most people coming to this site have that. They are probably here because they feel unhappy with the world.

But why is there no vulnerability to truth? You mention escaping and building a resistance. If I look at my own life that is exactly what has been the problem. Inside there is a core of sadness, loneliness, or fear ? somewhat depending on the context ? and what I have called ?life? was really an escape from or a resistance to this core. There has been a movement towards attachment, towards getting a life with a meaning, towards finding a philosophy that would give me some firm ground to stand on.
If these things are not there, what is there ? that is what one is thinking.

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 #6
Thumb_rose Kavita B India 11 posts in this forum Offline

A few days back I was reading the 2nd chapter of the book First and last freedom, titled 'what are u seeking'. He says maybe we are all just seeking some kind of a lasting gratification. Then he goes on to say it would be necessary to first enquire into who is it who is seeking and why. I feel, perhaps this is most essential to understand.

I too have observed that I have deep fears, insecurities, pain which I don't want to face. Infact life is so superficial, occupied, that one is not even aware that these exist deep down in the subconscious. On rare occasions when one is aware....there are those learnt, habitual ways to escape or to 'deal' with them.

What I like about K is that he leaves nothing of the mind unexamined. Whats happening exactly at the level of the mind or brain. What is happening in our daily life? What is our life based on, each moment? May be we need to start from there itself .

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 #7
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Kavita,
One may have a ?transcendental? urge. The problem is that we focus everlastingly on ?what it is and how to get there?. Either we already know it or we honestly don?t know it. But either way the discussion becomes technical. Krishnamurti understands the transcendental problem in a completely different way. In the chapter you are referring to he says

"..so long as I am ignorant of myself, so long as I am unaware of the total process of myself I have no basis for thought, for affection, for action. But that is the last thing we want: to know ourselves. Surely that is the only foundation on which we can build."

So what matters is how you walk, how you talk, how you relate to other people and so on. This makes a lot more sense to ME. For years I have watched people who think they are practically enlightened because they confuse knowledge and wisdom.

Somewhere else in the same book he says

?Our job is not to pursue the unknowable but to understand the confusion, the turmoil, the misery, in ourselves; and then that thing darkly comes into being, in which there is joy. ?

I think understanding this definitely part of seriousness because it brings you to the responsibilty with regards to "what is". But of course if one has a result-oriented outlook the above will just be another method - which is not seriousness.

This post was last updated by Rasmus Tinning Sun, 18 Oct 2009.

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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 #8
Thumb_rose Kavita B India 11 posts in this forum Offline

Rasmus,

We feel that we live in psychological time. We feel we are slowly becoming, achieving something, bettering ourselves day by day. But what is really happening? Is there really a continuity? Has the 'me' evolved in time, changed for the better?

What do you feel?

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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 #9
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Kavita,

Learning in the usual sense of that word means developing patterns that enable you to handle life better. And of course you can get better at most things.
But you can?t become ?good?. When you strive to become something, it is really conformity to an idea of the positive. It is a common observation that if somebody is trying to be good, it is a sort of playacting or hypocrisy ? whether it is naughty boy or the director who has been on a HR course.

Can one be ?passive?? It is assumed in our circles that to be ?passively aware? is good. One can of course make it a habit not to react to quickly. But if one implements one?s idea of passivity, is it passivity or is it just an imitation of an ideal?

In my opinion thought can?t be ?good?, ?passive?, ?humble? or any other noble quality, because thought is a tool that has a purpose. If I am being ?passive?, I?m waiting, hoping to get an insight.

My big question is whether one can shed mechanical patterns gradually. Not as a deliberate process of uprooting them, but through a process of insight and maturing. What I mean is, when you have studied fear for some time, the general level of anxiety seems to drop. It is a bit like wakening from at bad dream. I don?t whether it has actually happened to me or whether my experience is too specific.

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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 #10
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

No, what I want say is this: let?s say you feel you live in darkness figuratively speaking. You keep bumping into things, getting hurt; there is no clear understanding of anything. You are not one of those people who run away into some total illusory self image, where you are practically ?enlightened? or know a lot about it. You realize your life is actually in a crisis, life is short and time is flying.

This is a decisive moment in your life. You can cut the inquiry short by accepting some belief. Life is too big for some people and they surrender. But you want to understand. Isn?t it then seriousness to drop everything that is not truth? An idea may be reasonable, respectable and it may be one of your favorite ones, but it may be ashes. This is where responsibility with regards to "what is" comes in. There is no psychological time in that. There is no gradual implementing ideas in it or ?how to get there?.

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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 #11
Thumb_rose Kavita B India 11 posts in this forum Offline

I feel it would be necessary to understand 'who' is responsible or is being serious. Is there an entity who is serious? Is this seriousness willed?

I think perceiving 'what is' as it is, for what it is , is some action of intelligence. The mind is caught in ideation, its a habit. For e.g the 'me' is an idea, a conclusion.....'I am a kind person', 'I am smarter than others' or 'I must be serious' etc etc....conclusions, images. This is the 'what is'. The 'me' cannot be just dropped by gathering knowledge or more ideas about it.

So is there a perception/ understanding of the ideation process happening in the mind. Perceiving an idea for what it is. Understanding the nature, the limitation/ fragmentation of thought, of an idea. Such an act of perception could only drop illusions or falseness of ideas. Otherwise it would be just replacement of one idea by another.

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Tue, 20 Oct 2009 #12
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Kavita,

The questions are valid enough. The problem is that the intelligent understanding of ideation is not part of the ideation process, so we can?t just describe intelligence and then go on to implement it. Logically it would have to be an intelligence devoid of any concepts or direction ? any ?thing? that can be described and limits it.
(By the way, I think intelligence can generally be described as an action that doesn?t follow a set pattern ? unlike instinct and tradition.)
So if we are looking for some kind of measuring tool that can tell us whether ideation is true or illusory, then we are denying the very essence of intelligence.

I think this corresponds very well everyday experience. People who consistently follow a pattern or mistake a concept for reality, are not intelligent.

So, where do we go from here?

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Wed, 21 Oct 2009 #13
Thumb_rose Kavita B India 11 posts in this forum Offline

Rasmus Tinning wrote:
So if we are looking for some kind of measuring tool that can tell us whether ideation is true or illusory, then we are denying the very essence of intelligence.

Is there always this duality, observer or 'I' looking out for something....wanting something, 'I' having or not having a measuring tool, 'I' and others, 'I' and this intelligence. Intelligence has then been made into a separate object from myself, something I am looking out for.

Is this duality actual or illusory? Is there a faculty which doesn't divide, doesn't look out for something in the future?

(True, our definitions of intelligence will always be from the past, from what we know from K or from our own experiences. But we can surely observe whats happening in our minds right now and understand about it....and share our observations.)

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Wed, 21 Oct 2009 #14
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Kavita B wrote:
I feel it would be necessary to understand 'who' is responsible or is being serious.

I find everything you say in the last post very relevant, but I just want to respond to one of your earlier questions first.

What is man at present? To bear his all his pain, boredom and confusion, he has to live in a ?drugged? state of either illusion or cynicism or both, indulging in pleasure, ideation, hope and so on. If he is so-called normal, he will find a lifestyle that works for him. However mediocre it may seem, this lifestyle with its pleasures, and beliefs becomes precious to him, because it is all he has. It is the artificial light that lights up his life, but he thinks it is real and will fight for it.

At the core of all this there seems to be resistance. Man is so frightened of the life process that he maintains a duality where he is an entity separate from life. A person may start working for a transcendental transformation, but he doesn?t want to give up duality. He always thinks in terms of ?what is the observer to do?? or ?how am I to get there??.

In other words, when Krishnamurti says that the foundation is vulnerability to truth, it goes against everything we have been doing so far. We exert control to defend the self even when we inquire into the immeasurable.

Starting a process to expose our self-deception should be in our deepest interest, but why is it so hard to begin?

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Thu, 22 Oct 2009 #15
Thumb_rose Kavita B India 11 posts in this forum Offline

Yes, the immeasurable, the transcendental are only escapes, ideas for a mind which is probably bored after all sorts of ephemeral experiences, or frustrated with failures, conflicts in one's life. So actually its no different from the way it was functioning.

Though insight cannot be worked out, K pointed out certain things really beautifully. "The first step is the last step, Freedom is at the beginning, The benediction is where you are". So I think, we go back to where we started.....how seriously one listens, looks at one's mind/ life, would be extremely significant.

Rasmus, I won't be able to contribute on the forum for some time. I am glad to have been able to discuss with you. Hope to talk with you again in future.

Thanks.

This post was last updated by Kavita B Thu, 22 Oct 2009.

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Thu, 22 Oct 2009 #16
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Kavita B wrote:
Yes, the immeasurable, the transcendental are only escapes, ideas for a mind which is probably bored after all sorts of ephemeral experiences, or frustrated with failures, conflicts in one's life. So actually its no different from the way it was functioning.

I think the longing for the immeasurable may be legitimate enough. It could arise from a certain intelligence that perceives the limited nature of our consciousness. But when we focus on the concept ?enlightenment? and ?how to get there?, we introduce a problem which is theoretical, fictional.

You have to examine ?what is? to understand why you live in darkness, and thereby create order. But the subtly of it is that ?the first step is the last step?.

Kavita B wrote:
Though insight cannot be worked out, K pointed out certain things really beautifully. "The first step is the last step, Freedom is at the beginning, The benediction is where you are".

I take this to mean that there is no causality in insight. Seeing is action. That why there has to be the meditative seed at the outset of the inquiry. Theorizing only leads to more ideas.

It has been a pleasure talking to you, Kavita, and I hope we?ll get the chance to continue later.

If anybody else has something to say on the subject of seriousness, they are hereby invited to join this discussion.

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Thu, 22 Oct 2009 #17
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

The statement. "the first step is the last step" implies that what one needs to do is step out of or away from something rather than onto a new path or direction. The implication is that one is an ongoing activity that must end; that I am the problem and that the solution is the end of I.

This, one could say, is the gospel of K, and every K-phile knows it like a schoolboy.
Nevertheless, it is the beginning of seriousness because it leaves nothing for I to do but take an interest in what it's already doing.

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Fri, 23 Oct 2009 #18
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

nick carter wrote:
The statement. "the first step is the last step" implies that what one needs to do is step out of or away from something rather than onto a new path or direction.

Hi Nick,

I see it as a ?to do list? with only one item. There is no stepwise recipe for insight. There is no means to an end like if you start by stopping thought and then proceeds to enlightenment. Which means no causal relationship between doing something and then seeing. The start basically has to have to same quality as the end. Does this mean instant illumination? I think Krishamurti?s saying refers to ?psychological time? or causality. It doesn?t say anything about chronological time, but he sometimes says, don?t take a lifetime over it ? which I am afraid many of us are doing.

nick carter wrote:
This, one could say, is the gospel of K, and every K-phile knows it like a schoolboy. Nevertheless, it is the beginning of seriousness because it leaves nothing for I to do but take an interest in what it's already doing.

If we understand it deeply enough, it may invalidate the concept of a path to truth in the form a method. But why don?t we understand it deeply enough? There is some non-verbal quality missing. What is that first step?

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Fri, 23 Oct 2009 #19
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Rasmus Tinning wrote:
There is no stepwise recipe for insight. There is no means to an end like if you start by stopping thought and then proceeds to enlightenment. Which means no causal relationship between doing something and then seeing.

K's use of the word "step" is misleading because our condition is more like something we've stepped into than something one steps out of.

Whether there is "no causal relationship between doing something and then seeing" I'm not omniscient enough to say, and certainly there's no technique or how-to involved in insight, but "chance favors the prepared mind", which means one is not likely to have an insight into that which one does not take a passionate interest.

This post was last updated by nick carter (account deleted) Sat, 24 Oct 2009.

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Fri, 23 Oct 2009 #20
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Rasmus Tinning wrote:
If we understand it deeply enough, it may invalidate the concept of a path to truth in the form a method. But why don?t we understand it deeply enough? There is some non-verbal quality missing. What is that first step?

Is the realization that one is deliberately, if unconciously, mistaking the facts of life for the fiction one lives by a step? If it is, it's an involuntary, spontaneous step because to take a step implies choice, decision, will, and as we know, realization, insight, happens or it doesn't. K's choice of words is not always helpful and one needs to be more intent on finding out what he was trying to say than fixated upon what he actually did say.

This post was last updated by nick carter (account deleted) Fri, 23 Oct 2009.

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Sat, 24 Oct 2009 #21
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

nick carter wrote:
K's use of the word "step" is misleading because our condition is more like something we've stepped into than something one steps out of.

I don?t think Krishnamurti is thinking of steps like in walking. It is more like stages in process or a series of instructions. What I think he means is that it is not that first you practice observing yourself, then you have an insight and then you change. That is what I mean when I say that (according to K) there is no causal relationship between some activity and then insight. The observation has to be creative somehow right from the beginning

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Sat, 24 Oct 2009 #22
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

nick carter wrote:
Is the realization that one is deliberately, if unconciously, mistaking the facts of life for the fiction one lives by a step?

Yes, there is a lot in that. If you believe in your self-created reality, you think that your understanding and actions rest on a rock solid foundation. You never question them. Most people live like that. But if you begin to discover that your consciousness is highly subjective, that it is not rock solid, but more like a distorted lens, a system of conditioned responses - then you are not quite the same person anymore. It is not that you are enlightened, but the seeing has changed you. If you say, ok I see all that, but I how do I change, then the seeing was somehow too intellectual. I think that studying Krishnamurti is experimental, hands-on science; otherwise he will not make sense in the long run.

And, yes I think one of the big problems is that we have a vested interest in our self-created reality. If somebody thinks that he is a great authority within a field, but certain facts contradict that, he will ?deliberately, if unconsciously? ignore those fact. There is nothing esoteric about such an observation. I see it happening every day at the office.

This post was last updated by Rasmus Tinning Sat, 24 Oct 2009.

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Sat, 24 Oct 2009 #23
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Rasmus Tinning wrote:
I don?t think Krishnamurti is thinking of steps like in walking. It is more like stages in process or a series of instructions. What I think he means is that it is not that first you practice observing yourself, then you have an insight and then you change. That is what I mean when I say that (according to K) there is no causal relationship between some activity and then insight. The observation has to be creative somehow right from the beginning

Are we guessing at what K was saying or do we actually "get it"? We could spend a lifetime arguing about what he was going on about, why he used the the word "step", and so on. Clearly, he was talking about a realization that effected a radical change in the brain and thereby, conciousness as we know it. But if you and I have not undergone that radical change, we can only talk about what, if anything, leads up to it, and our interest in K-talk is purely academic. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

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Sun, 25 Oct 2009 #24
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Ok, we were leisurely circling round the word seriousness. Kavita brought in the ?step?. I think it is very relevant to the discussion about seriousness and very essential in the Teachings.

Perhaps the very first step is to understand K?s words correctly. Otherwise we don?t communicate with him. I don?t see why we should make him into an inaccessible black box. I think he says exactly what he means. However, I have often seen people with a background in ?gurus? trying to get him to fit with what they are saying. Then you are lost, because K?s message is radically different.

I base this mainly on what K and the others are logically saying - what else can one do? ? and I see a great difference. K?s teachings are like a hologram or a tautology; every single statement contains the message that Truth is a pathless land. The ?step? analogy is not about stepping in or out, but another way of saying that there is no path, no causality.

I haven?t had much in the way of mystical experiences myself. I read K and realized that I am deeply conditioned, that my brain is somewhat worn and damaged. But it was my own discovery, not something theoretical picked up from K and the gurus. The discovery changed my perspective and opened up a new field of inquiry. I may never get ?far?, but I don?t need the idea of enlightenment or progression or ?how?. What can I do with these concepts except fool myself? The truth is obviously in what I am. Such basic honesty is part of seriousness.

This post was last updated by Rasmus Tinning Sun, 25 Oct 2009.

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Sun, 25 Oct 2009 #25
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

I don't know what gurus or what other people think K was saying has to do with what we're talking about. We're just taking K at his word and wondering why he used the words he did. As I said, his teaching is all about the old brain and the new brain and why the former mutates into the latter, if in fact , it does. For myself, no such thing has occurred, and apparently for you neither. So we're two old brains trying to find out if we can undergo the transformation K spoke of, or we're just taking an academic interest in K's teaching.

As for his use of the word "step" you say, ?The step? analogy is not about stepping in or out, but another way of saying that there is no path, no causality." Again, if K wanted to disabuse his listeners and readers of the idea of a path to be taken, he picked precisely the wrong word. What is a path for but stepping? I think he used the word not in reference to pathlessness but to make the point that the radical transformation is not gradual, not a series of of steps, but one fell swoop, one step, as it were.

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Sun, 25 Oct 2009 #26
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

nick carter wrote:
I think he used the word not in reference to pathlessness but to make the point that the radical transformation is not gradual, not a series of of steps, but one fell swoop, one step, as it were.

Ok, Nick, but what does ?one fell swoop? imply? There are some misconceptions about it. It doesn?t mean that one arrives at a last step, a final destination. It is a journey of inquiry. And he doesn?t seem to use the word ?instantaneous? in the chronological sense. He doesn?t even like the word ?instant?, because it implies impatience, which means time.

(I hope you don?t find it boring that I keep talking about this, but here is some subtlety here that I would like uncover ? perhaps just as much for my own sake as for yours.)

He says there is no time in insight and no arrival. Gradual or instantaneous arrival, both are wrong. I find that very intriguing. . .

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Sun, 25 Oct 2009 #27
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Alright, why don't we stick with "the first step is the last step" and inquire as to why K used this phrase and what it refers to before we go on to other K quotes?

If "one fell swoop" is not exactly what he had in mind, he certainly was talking about something that either begins or ends (or both) in one act. If it refers to the beginning of a "journey of inquiry", calling it "the last step" is misleading. If it refers to the end of a wild goose chase, why call it "the first step"? If it's neither a step into, up to, away from, or out of, and it's not an act of will, why call it a "step"?

I may be reading K's words too closely, holding him to a higher standard of communication than one should, but I don't think these questions are unreasonable.

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Sun, 25 Oct 2009 #28
Thumb_avatar Rasmus Tinning Denmark 128 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Nick,
I bring you K quotation until tomorrow:

"We were saying yesterday, when we were walking, if we could put aside height, the vertical and the horizontal altogether, and observe this fact that wherever we are, at whatever level of conditioning, of being, the perceiving of truth, of the fact, is at that moment the last step.

I am a clerk in a little office, with all the misery involved in it; the clerk listens and perceives. The man listens and at that moment really sees. That seeing and that perception is the first and the last step. Because, at that moment he has touched truth and he sees something very clearly.

But what happens afterwards is that he wants to cultivate that state. The perception, the liberation and the very perception bringing about liberation; he wants to perpetuate, to turn it into a process. And therefore he gets caught and loses the quality of perception entirely."

Tradition and Revolution Dialogue 5 New Delhi 19th December 1970

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Sun, 25 Oct 2009 #29
Thumb_stringio nick carter United States 211 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

So, if we take this passage to be definitive, we're to understand that the first and last step is clear, undistorted, uninformed perception of what actually is; seeing something, everything, for what it is. And if we go by the example he gave of the clerk, we're to understand also that one who takes the first and last step can go right back to treading the path of delusion. So what's the big deal? Given the step's non-transformative effect on the clerk , we can reasonably assume that everybody, perhaps several times a day, takes that illuminating step and then steps right back into darkness and misery. I had been under the impression that "the first and last step" is the radical transformation, the mutation of the brain. I stand corrected.

This post was last updated by nick carter (account deleted) Sun, 25 Oct 2009.

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Mon, 26 Oct 2009 #30
Thumb_avatar Hermann Janzen Canada 120 posts in this forum Offline

Perhaps it helps to look at the reason k gives for this regression: "he wants to cultivate that state,...... to perpetuate, to turn it into a process. And he gets caught and loses the quality of perception entirely." Also note the word k chooses: something "he sees something very clearly".

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