Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Certainty


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Thu, 12 May 2016 #1
Thumb_001 Sean Hen Spain 774 posts in this forum Offline

I posted the quote below on another thread a day or two ago. I think it's a great quote and shows a kind of intelligence I've never really seen anywhere else. My question is this - why are we so certain so much of the time and find it difficult to be uncertain?

Krishnamurti - "Either you are uncertain, confused, or you are certain in your own belief, in your own particular form of thought. Now, for a man who is truly uncertain, there is hope; but for a man who is entrenched in belief, in what he calls intuition, there is very little hope, for he has closed the door upon uncertainty, doubt, and takes rest and consolation in security."

Ojai, California | 8th Talk in the Oak Grove 24th May, 1936

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #2
Thumb_photo_jg4 Jean Gatti Belgium 8638 posts in this forum Offline

Sean Hen wrote:
why are we so certain so much of the time and find it difficult to be uncertain?

Because most people have difficulties to stick to facts ... they prefer to find refuge in their beliefs and illusions which better feed their ego ...

Facts do not need certainty or uncertainty ... facts are just facts, they defend themselves ...

Why resist 'what is' ?

This post was last updated by Jean Gatti Thu, 12 May 2016.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #3
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 1328 posts in this forum Offline

Jean Gatti wrote:
Facts do not need certainty or uncertainty ... facts are just facts, they defend themselves ...

But is it not also a fact that words can be clarifying as well as mystifying the real force of 'what is' the drive behind the forming of them ??

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Thu, 12 May 2016.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #4
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

Sean Hen wrote:
why are we so certain so much of the time and find it difficult to be uncertain?

Some will have an immediate answer to this question. Because they only understand the ideal they have made out of certainty. They will come to an immediate conclusion which is, of course, another example of certainty.

Others will stay with this question, if they are seriously interested, and see certainly in themselves. All you can do is understand your own certainty which is the certainty of mankind. To answer immediately is just thought, with it's certainty, ideals and abstraction of what actually is.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #5
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

Is there anyone who does not see that coming to an immediate conclusion on what Sean has posted, as Jean did, has killed any discussion about this thing called "certainty"?

Where is the discussion?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #6
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

What are we certain about? Literally, can each of us see something we are certain about? Can we discuss that certainty, describe it without making a conclusion about it?

Is there certainty without thought? If we are "choicelessly aware", giving our whole attention to something, is there certainty or uncertainty?

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Thu, 12 May 2016.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #7
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 5845 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
Can we discuss that certainty, describe it without making a conclusion about it?

Are you looking for a yes or no answer? In which case you are looking for a conclusion.

Are you looking just for the sake of inquiry? In which case you have come to the conclusion that this is the best approach.

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #8
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
Are you looking for a yes or no answer? In which case you are looking for a conclusion.

No. I'm asking each person who is interested to look at what it means to be certain. If you don't want to do that then don't. That's fine. But don't try to stop the discussion.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #9
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 5845 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
If we are "choicelessly aware", giving our whole attention to something, is there certainty or uncertainty?

I would say there is neither. The question of certainty or uncertainty just doesn't come up. There is just the movement of awareness.

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #10
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

Is certainty a desire for permanence? Is the movement from certainty to uncertainty then fear? The unknown? We want to be certain of our relationship with out wife or husband. We want certainty from our government, our priest, our friends, from our boss at work.

We want to be comfortable, secure. We want to be certain of who we are, of the image we have of our self and of that we have of others.

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Thu, 12 May 2016.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #11
Thumb_stringio b. teulada Portugal 495 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
Is certainty a desire for permanence? Is the movement from certainty to uncertainty then fear? The unknown? We want to be certain of our relationship with out wife or husband. We want certainty from our government, our priest, our friends, from our boss at work.

what kind of certainty are we talking about? spiritual? religion (life after death, jesus christ is up there rooting for me, blah, blah, blah)? or the more basic stuff like having an income to live by or a roof that will not collapse on my head during a stormy night?
are these two types of certainties one and the same or are they basically different? because i feel there's some basic difference between the two, but i may be wrong.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #12
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

B, I'm so glad you posted. I was beginning to think I was on my own or that people were afraid I was going to grade them on their answers. You know, tell them if they were "right" or "wrong". Which would be ludicrous. I don't think I have ever thought about certainty and uncertainty before today. I don't know what certainty is or what it isn't. I just threw some things out there hoping someone would respond.

I don't see why your take on certainty is any less valid than mine. Why limit what certainty is? What matters most to you and why? I mean if you are in a secure relationship then I can see why certainty in that respect is not so important to you and why other things might be.

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Sat, 14 May 2016.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #13
Thumb_stringio b. teulada Portugal 495 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
I don't think I have ever thought about certainty and uncertainty before today. I don't know what certainty is or what it isn't. I just threw some things out there hoping someone would respond.

all right. the way i see it, stuff like an income to live by or the roof will not collapse on my head during the next storm, is not so much about certainty as about stability.
maybe certainty is about the deeper stuff like, does mankind have a purpose, is creation just a 14-plus-billion-year story of evolutionary luck, is there some sort of continuation after (physical) death.
from my observation, the latter, rather than the former, are the questions that have really haunted mankind for ages.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #14
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

b. teulada wrote:
maybe certainty is about the deeper stuff like, does mankind have a purpose,

Maybe you're right. I hope you don't mind if I quote something K said once. Is there a purpose to life?

"You regard life as a means to an end. You treat life as an opportunity for ceaseless acquisition, and so you lose the beauty, the loveliness, the glory of living itself. To me, in living itself is the supreme essence of truth, not in what one gets out of living." JK (unknown)

b. teulada wrote:
is there some sort of continuation after (physical) death.

I suppose this is why religions are so popular. I have never been part of a religion or attracted to religion so maybe there is something else that attracts people to religion.

b. teulada wrote:
from my observation, the latter, rather than the former, are the questions that have really haunted mankind for ages.

So how do you go about finding these things out? Where do you start?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #15
Thumb_stringio b. teulada Portugal 495 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
"You regard life as a means to an end. You treat life as an opportunity for ceaseless acquisition, and so you lose the beauty, the loveliness, the glory of living itself. To me, in living itself is the supreme essence of truth, not in what one gets out of living."

of course. most religious people i have had contact with tell me that they believe there is something "else" because otherwise life would seem so miserable.
on the other hand, i do not entirely agree with K. i do not see life as absolute beauty, loveliness and glory. it's just what it is: let us not pretend it is just beauty. it is beauty and ugliness and anything in between. i feel it was not meant to be "appreciated" by sapiens, anyway. life does not need our approval. it is what it is. suck it up!

Jack Pine wrote:
I suppose this is why religions are so popular. I have never been part of a religion or attracted to religion so maybe there is something else that attracts people to religion.

like i said, most religious people i have contact with - i am surrounded by catholics on all fronts :-( ... speak about religion in a way that makes me think they see it as a kind of compensation for all the misery of life.

Jack Pine wrote:
So how do you go about finding these things out? Where do you start?

i would say observing and recognising this need for "compensation" would already be an enormous step. in my experience i count on the fingers of one hand the number of people that recognize that religions, ideals, beliefs etc are escapes from the fear of death.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #16
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

b. teulada wrote:
do not entirely agree with K. i do not see life as absolute beauty, loveliness and glory. it's just what it is: let us not pretend it is just beauty. it is beauty and ugliness and anything in between.

Well B I'll tell you I'm a long way from seeing life like that quote I put on from K. My point was that there may not be any meaning or purpose to life other than just living it.

I've seen a lot of ugly and misery when it comes to living. I've been in war and I've been married twice. OK I was joking on that last part....sort of. As a result of other life experiences I stay the hell away from crowds of humans every chance I get. Also, I'm approaching that stage of life where I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. It changes your view of life. Gives it more of an immediacy than when you are younger and you think you have all this time left.

But going back to the subject I think like most everything else each of us, while all part of humanity, still have somewhat different views on the meanings and actuality of different words including certainty. We each have expressed a little what certainty means to us and it means different things. That works.

And while we have to use words to communicate with each other I think it is imperative not to identify, at least to ourselves things we see and understand by hanging labels, words, on these observations. Words are always loaded with meaning, conditioning. This gets in the way of seeing things as they are.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #17
Thumb_001 Sean Hen Spain 774 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
But going back to the subject I think like most everything else each of us, while all part of humanity, still have somewhat different views on the meanings and actuality of different words including certainty. We each have expressed a little what certainty means to us and it means different things. That works.

Hi Jack and b. I found your reflections on certainty very interesting. As far as I can see, we all need a reasonable amount of certainty in life just to function on a day to day basis. The fimaliarity of people, work if you have that and a place to stay give stability. The problem I think is the element of complete mystery that is such a big part of life. Why are we here? What happens when we die? It seems that we either don't think about these things or find comfort in the certainty of answers to these questions which involve belief. Krishnamurti seemed to suggest that answers to questions such as "What happens after death?" can be found in life. Am I right in thinking that?

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #18
Thumb_patricia_1_2016_copy Patricia Hemingway Australia 1913 posts in this forum Online

Jack and b and Sean - reading what you are sharing. Nothing to add...... :)

This post was last updated by Patricia Hemingway Fri, 13 May 2016.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #19
Thumb_patricia_1_2016_copy Patricia Hemingway Australia 1913 posts in this forum Online

Except perhaps a quote from K: The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #20
Thumb_farside0411 m christani United States 262 posts in this forum Offline

I think, the other way around, most people have a tremendous certainty, you can see it: confidence, drive, unquestioning. I mean this in the worldly sense. But more insidious is spiritual certainty, which I know I'm guilty of most of the time, having "found" K, my knowledge, my direction... it seems it's always "ever forwards", or like climbing a hill. Effort and so on, which emphasizes a sense of a journey, struggle, canalising life in a trench of certainty.

mike

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #21
Thumb_photo_jg4 Jean Gatti Belgium 8638 posts in this forum Offline

Sean Hen wrote:
Krishnamurti seemed to suggest that answers to questions such as "What happens after death?" can be found in life. Am I right in thinking that?

I would say that K rather suggested something like "What happens right now ? Are we aware right now ? or are we thinking to what will happen tomorrow (time) ?"

Why resist 'what is' ?

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #22
Thumb_photo_jg4 Jean Gatti Belgium 8638 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
I've seen a lot of ugly and misery when it comes to living. I've been in war and I've been married twice. OK I was joking on that last part....sort of. As a result of other life experiences I stay the hell away from crowds of humans every chance I get. Also, I'm approaching that stage of life where I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. It changes your view of life. Gives it more of an immediacy than when you are younger and you think you have all this time left.

Thanks for sharing Jack.

As I understand it from my own life experience, the conditions of life I have been confronted with (more than often unpleasant) were needed for me to learn the lessons of life ...

Would you accept the same for you Jack ?

... or are you still fighting 'what is' ?

Why resist 'what is' ?

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #23
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

Sean Hen wrote:
Hi Jack and b. I found your reflections on certainty very interesting. As far as I can see, we all need a reasonable amount of certainty in life just to function on a day to day basis.

Sean first of all thanks for your input. Do we really need certainty in our lives? It didn't appear that K needed certainty and while none of us are K the point is if one person can live without certainty that may indicate that it's not a need. It is hard to visualize life without some sort of certainty. Something to believe in or hold onto during those moments we all have when we feel so alone and isolated.

K often talked about "dying". Dying to everything each day so that each new day is a fresh start. K didn't say things like that, I don't think, unless he meant them literally so I think we can live without certainty. Without any dependencies at all.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #24
Thumb_stringio b. teulada Portugal 495 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Sean Hen wrote:
Krishnamurti seemed to suggest that answers to questions such as "What happens after death?" can be found in life. Am I right in thinking that?

not sure i agree with you Sean. it would seem to me that he asked people to first understand life, and i suspect this was so because, if one really understood life, at the end of the day, there would probably be no need to "understand" death.

link text

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #25
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

b. teulada wrote:
if one really understood life, at the end of the day, there would probably be no need to "understand" death

Didn't K see that life and death as one whole? Also, as I have already pointed out, K talked of dying everyday to all the fears, anger, hurts, suffering and start each day fresh. I know how that sounds. Nearly hopelessly idealistic but he meant it literally.

Can we die to each day without carrying on all the mental anguish and all the rest of it that marks the days for most of us?

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Fri, 13 May 2016.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #26
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1352 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
Can we die to each day without carrying on all the mental anguish and all the rest of it that marks the days for most of us

Looked at in one way it seems stupid that we would carry all this burden, this baggage...why we do it perhaps is that it's 'our' baggage, it defines us, individualises us. Without it we'd be 'nothing'? And that seems is the basic fear ...to be 'nothing', unattached.... But that is what he said we are in essence 'no-thing'. And as he also said, we can't take any of it with us when we die: the furniture, the money, the status, etc., "so why not die to all that now, while we are alive"?

And I think he wasn't only referring to us 'individually' but that holding on to these attachments, this dependency, precludes the necessary change needed for human society to change.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 13 May 2016.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #27
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5491 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
why we do it perhaps is that it's 'our' baggage, it defines us, individualises us.

There is no "perhaps" about it. Our baggage is who we are. We, so called civilized humanity, have been conditioned to accept this concept of the self and thought as being separate for so long and so deeply so that for most of us it's extremely difficult to even conceive of something different.

I have been wrestling with this for more than 40 years and it just relatively recently became clear that any movement of thought is a movement away from the present, the now. If we can arrange to have a quiet place where we can sit without being disturbed and watch our thought processes it becomes maddening after a short while.

Thought seems to be constantly demanding the consumption of something: What's in the kitchen to snack on, what am I going to have for breakfast or supper or dreaming of the upcoming vacation, etc, etc. The obvious point is thought is constantly seeking entertainment, diversion of one kind or another. For most of us this has continued uninterrupted for our whole lives. Can we agree that this running monologue is what blocks all awareness of what is when the self isn't? So we die to this? Yes? Without asking how.

And like you said, without this we would be no-thing. Maybe the biggest block to realizing this state of nothingness is that it scares most of us to death to think about "being nothing". Maybe we really don't want to change. Maybe most of us would prefer just talking about it, debating it, intellectualizing about it.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #28
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1352 posts in this forum Offline

Agreed. When in those rare moments you realize that you really don't know anything about all this...it is very 'unsettling'! It's that we have lost our 'certainty' and normally there would be a rush to regain that psychological state of equilibrium. You come up against the wall and now the cliches, the formulas, the k.-stuff doesn't 'help'. You realize if only partially, that you really DON'T KNOW! And in that very uncomfortable state you also realize that there is always a kind of 'certainty', that you carry with you and that keeps things on an 'even keel'(buttresses the ego?)... But isn't it 'natural' that with the 'taking in' of K's teaching, the false 'integration' will start to give way? That's the way it seems to me. The false 'certainty' is there in us to maintain the 'status quo' which obviously, is also false. How it manifests in each of is probably different.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 13 May 2016.

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Sat, 14 May 2016 #29
Thumb_beautiful-nature-wallpaper pavani rao India 541 posts in this forum Offline

Dan : so why not die to all that now, while we are alive"?

Jack : And like you said, without this we would be no-thing. Maybe the biggest block to realizing this state of nothingness is that it scares most of us to death to think about "being nothing". Maybe we really don't want to change. Maybe most of us would prefer just talking about it, debating it, intellectualizing about it.

Hi dan & Jack

It's indeed a true heart to heart communication that's going on between you two there .
' Change ' I feel begins with oneself . When one starts taking cognizance of ones state of being , ones feelings , emotions and all that muddle we call 'ourselves'and the dull boring unchanging routine of our lives . I wonder if you see this Jack . But as you stated in your above post , when we sit quietly and try observing our ' thoughts ' how our brains can never stay calm even for few moments ( which is so true ) ... And all those thoughts about food , snacking and vacation :) , I feel those are thoughts which are still not harmful . But the thoughts of psychological realm like anger , irritation , desire and greed are the deep issues we all need to go into and understand , see for what they are . And may in understanding and unravelling that entity called ' ME ' and ' myself ' one starts progressing towards ' change '

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Sat, 14 May 2016 #30
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 513 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnamurti said:
Either you are uncertain, confused, or you are certain in your own belief, in your own particular form of thought. Now, for a man who is truly uncertain, there is hope...

Krishnamurti would question and seem to come at issues anew, yet he always came to the same conclusions, perhaps stated a little differently. So was he really coming from uncertainty? It's more like that was just his way of talking and working you around to the same conclusions he always eventually arrived at, sometimes through all kinds of torturous twists and turns and dead ends. Worst was when he would bring up an extremely interesting question, say that he'd come back to it, and then never come back to it.

Sometimes he would talk about beginning with uncertainty and then through insight arriving at certainty: "It's finished!" So was he really coming from uncertainty or was that all just a way to explore the listener's every possible doubt until leading to the inevitable?

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