Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Self-knowledge, what exactly do we mean by that ?


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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 #61
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5514 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
What I am seeing Jack is beside the 'naming' which is as you say bringing the past into the present, there is also the illusion that I am separate from the emotion taking place.

Yes, Dan. I understand what you are saying. And I see what you are saying about the observer is the observed. We use this term often on this forum and I know you know what it means but let's expand on the "observer is the observed" just to be clear.

The observer is the observed when thought, by way of naming something, is brought into the observation. Both the self and the description of the thing being observed are the product, the invention, of thought. The accumulation of knowledge and experience is stored in memory. Thought is the expression of memory.

Is there an observer present if there is just awareness without the naming? Without the description? I don't see that there is. So I think we are saying the same thing. I hope I am being clear.

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Tue, 11 Dec 2018.

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 #62
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1375 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
Is the observer present if there is just awareness without the naming? Without the description? I don't see that it is. So I think we are saying the same thing. I hope I am being clear.

I think that we are. Upon the arising of an emotion, thought recognizes it as having occurred before...that recognition is the 'naming'. (Though it hasn't really occurred before, it is new.) But thought places a name on it out of past memory i.e., 'anger', 'jealousy', etc. Thought has already separated itself from the emotion by naming it. Thought is the observer separated from what is being observed, the emotion. Right? It has created a 'distance' between itself (me) and what "I'm feeling'. But if there is the realization that there really is no separation between 'me' and what I'm feeling, that they are one and the same thing, then there is no 'distance' or space where the conflict of 'me' trying to do something about 'me' can take place. Do you see it this way?

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 #63
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 1357 posts in this forum Offline

will, knowing the process of the self/me, trigger the fundamental change or is it a natural existence when the self/me stops interfering ?

from collective works III '
Sarobia Notes on Sarobia Discussions, 1940 "

Thought moves from certainty to certainty, from the known to the known, from one substitution to another, and thus it is never still, it is ever pursuing, ever wandering; this chattering of the mind destroys creative understanding and love, but these cannot be craved for. They come into being when thought becomes aware of its own process, of its cravings, fears, substitutions, justifications, and illusions. Through constant, discerning awareness, thought naturally becomes creative and still. In that stillness there is immeasurable bliss.

Truth will unfold itself to those who enquire their own actions.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Wed, 12 Dec 2018.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 #64
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1375 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
K.... constant, discerning awareness,

It is seeing how active thought is psychologically, unnecessarily active, that can bring about a stillness in itself. It seems to me that thought with time is like an 'addiction' for the brain, the past is there with all its experiences, the painful as well as the pleasureful and they are being brought into the present, chewed over for a time and then replaced by others. Old 'problems' are revived and dropped with still no resolution. The same with the future, the specter of what 'might' happen to me... In the meantime the 'actual' present, that of the senses: sight, sound, touch, (free of the past) are ignored...the dead images of the past overshadowing the living present. Is this so because the past holds a security of familiarity for the brain even with the suffering and fear it recalls and imagines, and this is more preferable to meeting the present free of any baggage at all because the actual present conjures the feared image of the 'unknown'?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 12 Dec 2018.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 #65
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5514 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Do you see it this way?

Maybe. I haven't thought about that much. I just read something by K that seems pertinent to what we're talking about.

Page 7 UNDERSTANDING OURSELVES (A 30th anniversary re-print of The First Public Talks and Discussions at Brockwood Park in 1969

Can the mind observe only the fact and not what thought says about the fact-the opinions, conclusions, the prejudices, the like and dislike, the feelings of frustration and despair-just observe without thought reacting to what is observed? I think that is the real awareness: to observe with such sensitivity that the whole brain, which is so conditioned, so heavily burdened with it's own conclusions, ideas, pleasures and hopes, is completely quiet and yet alive to what it is observing.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 #66
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5514 posts in this forum Offline

Thought, as K often pointed out, is a movement in time. Thought seems to be moving constantly from remembering past events to the present activities and on to making plans for tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and on and on.

Thought, of course, is necessary for those "physical" things that fill our days. Driving a car has become so routine for most of us that we really don't think much about it, which can be worrisome for other drivers. I used to fly ultralight airplanes and that is a situation where thought is focused on the task at hand. Moving back and forth like a ball in a tennis match from the pure thrill of sitting completely out in the open under a large Dacron covered wing five hundred to a thousand feet above the ground to controlling the aircraft. At times like this thought seems to be totally in the present.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 #67
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5514 posts in this forum Offline

Interesting quote Wim.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 #68
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 1357 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
Interesting quote Wim.

Yes there are in "Collective works III" in those notes;
Sarobia Notes on Sarobia Discussions, 1940 "several beautiful descriptions, it is only the question if they are literally from K., or indicate the essence of what was said.

take for example this one:

"Self-analysis and awareness are two different things; the one is morbid. But awareness is joyous. Self-analysis takes place after action is past: out of that analysis mind creates a pattern to which a future action is forced to conform. Thus there comes about a rigidity of thought and action. Self-analysis is death and awareness is life. Self-analysis only leads to the creation of pattern and imitation, and so there is no release from bondage, from frustration. Awareness is at the moment of action; if one is aware, then one understands comprehensively, as a whole, the cause and effect of action, the imitative process of fear, its reactions, and so on. This awareness frees thought from those causes and influences which limit and hold it, without creating further bondages, and so thought become deeply pliable which is to be deathless. Self-analysis or introspection takes place before or after action, thus preparing for the future and limiting it. Awareness is a constant process of liberation.

We should approach life, not from the point of what can I know but what can I do. The path of what can I know leads to the worship of authority, fear, and illusion; but in understanding what can I do, there is self-reliance which alone brings forth wisdom.

From what source does our thought process come? Why do I think that I am separate? Am I really separate? Before we can transcend what we are, we must first understand ourselves. So what am I? Can I know this for myself or must I rely for this knowledge on others?"

Where it is made obvious that:
it's not in what one knows but by what one is living make the difference.

Truth will unfold itself to those who enquire their own actions.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Wed, 12 Dec 2018.

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Sat, 15 Dec 2018 #69
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 1357 posts in this forum Offline

Walking in the Forrest today in the midst of talking about the weather suddenly "Exploration into insight" came into mind and at home found this title amongst the books of K.
This is what is written and a beautifully intro into this topic:


  1. Self-knowledge and the Teaching

P. Jayakar: What is the relationship between your teaching, as expressed in the words you use in your books and in your talks, and the actual process of self-knowing? In all other ways of arriving at truth, the words of the teacher are taken as an indication of a direction, something to move towards. Are your words of the same nature and, if so, what is their relationship to the perceptive process of self-knowing?

Krishnamurti: I wonder whether I have understood the question. Am I right if I put it this way: What is the relationship between the word and the actuality that K is talking about? Is that it?

P. Jayakar: When K talks about discipline, or talks about the holistic approach, that is the word. Then there is the actual process of self-knowing and what is revealed in self-knowing. What is the relationship of K’s word to this revealed knowing?

Krishnamurti: I don’t quite catch this.

P. Jayakar: You say ‘no authority’, no psychological or spiritual authority. We have a tendency to take that expression ‘no authority’ and apply it to our lives; which is, not be in that state, not discover freedom from authority in the process of self-knowing, but simply to try to see whether we can reach a state of non-authority. We take your word as the truth.

Krishnamurti: I understand. ‘No authority,’ is it an abstraction of words and therefore an idea and then one pursues that idea? When K says ‘no authority’, is it self-revealing, or is it merely a conclusion, a slogan?

A. Patwardhan: There is also another side: when you say ‘no authority’, does it become a commandment, a commandment to which one tries the nearest approximation?

Krishnamurti: Yes, that’s right.

A. Patwardhan: One is in the field of action, and the other is in the field of abstraction.

P. Jayakar: There is self-knowing; that which is revealed in the process of self-knowing is not knowable through the word. One hears you speak, one takes in what you say, or one reads your books and applies it to one’s daily life; therefore there is a gap between self-knowing and your word. Now, where does truth lie?

Krishnamurti: Neither in the word nor in the self-revealing. It is completely apart.

Truth will unfold itself to those who enquire their own actions.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Sat, 15 Dec 2018.

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