Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What can thought do?


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Wed, 11 May 2016 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

What can thought do???

This is a continuation of the discussion on the thread “What am I really 2” mostly between Tom and I. I am starting a new thread to give emphasis.

What can thought do? All the time it is trying to do things. To this end it takes on the guise of the thinker, the controller, the analyser – but what can it actually do?

It can act through the body, and this is a powerful thing. It can till the soil, handle technology, wage wars, write books.

It can analyse, compare and measure, and this is also tremendously powerful, as it gives rise to science and technology.

What else can it do?

One thing it CANNOT do, I suggest, is to fundamentally change itself. The self cannot change the nature of the self, it just is not possible. It tries to do so, distorting itself through suppression, mechanical repetition. It divides itself as controller and controlled, but I would say thought cannot really control itself.

Anyone have any input on this?

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Wed, 11 May 2016 #2
Thumb_farside0411 m christani United States 650 posts in this forum Offline

I would say, if only for the sake of argument, that it can adjust. This is not really change, certainly not fundamentally, but it is a bit of a change. One can stop drinking, and other detrimental habits, and, there is the whole field(s) of therapy, which are supposed to help the individual either learn about himself, or adjust to society as it is.

Another question (and I put this tentatively, not to water down the question), is what changes thought? A view from a mountaintop that is breathtaking, trying something new, daring; experiences- the birth of a child, hearing a symphony or choir, new relationships- these all change thought. [And tell me if this is going off the point too far].

Another question is, can thought grow, mature?

mike

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #3
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 743 posts in this forum Offline

if thought is behaving like a master while in fact it is a tool nothing good comes from it. But when the master handles its tool correctly it knows its boudary and look for something new with the help of his tool on hand.

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_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
But when the master handles its tool correctly it knows its boudary and look for something new with the help of his tool on hand.

Not quite sure I understand this, Wim. What are you saying is the master which can handle thought? And what meaning are you putting on the word 'handle'?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #5
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
What can thought do?

As I see it, the only thing thought can do is to influence the physical to react. We react based on our thinking. We "make physical" what we think. We think violence and we react with violence We think this or that and we react to this or that.

We allow the physical to be controlled by the psychological.

max

This post was last updated by max greene Thu, 12 May 2016.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

m christani wrote:
I would say, if only for the sake of argument, that it can adjust.

I would agree, Mike, thought can adjust, it can modify itself.

m christani wrote:
Another question (and I put this tentatively, not to water down the question), is what changes thought? A view from a mountaintop that is breathtaking, trying something new, daring; experiences- the birth of a child, hearing a symphony or choir, new relationships- these all change thought. [And tell me if this is going off the point too far].

Would you say that all these things come into the category of experience?

Of course thought is modified by experience - it would not be of much use otherwise. But there seems limits to this learning from experience, areas where it does and areas where it doesn't, and I do not understand the differences. For example, after thousands of years of destructive war, bringing great suffering, we have not learnt not to fight. We have learnt how to use weapons of greater and greater power of destruction.

m christani wrote:
Another question is, can thought grow, mature?

what would these terms mean when applied to thought?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
As I see it, the only thing thought can do is to influence the physical to react.

But what about some of the things pointed out above, Max? Surely thought can measure, can compare, can analyse, for example?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

More things that thought can do have occurred to me:

Thought can conform and imitate
and we have forgotten the big one – it can be, and is conditioned.

But maybe we need to draw a distinction here between what thought can do, and what can be done to thought. Is thought conditioned, or does it condition itself?

Also, alongside these things that thought can do, we should consider what it CANNOT do. I feel that is very important, because at the moment thought is constantly trying to do things that it cannot do – and I would lump all these things together under the phrase “trying to change itself'. Trying to become other than it is.

Can the self become other than it is? And if the answer is no, as it seems to be, why does it keep on trying?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #9
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But what about some of the things pointed out above, Max? Surely thought can measure, can compare, can analyse, for example?

Thought can do none of those things. It is only the physical that can act and react.

This is a physical universe. The psychological (thought) is a brain-made fabrication -- idea, concept, imagination. Thought acts only as an influence on the physical.

True, there is psychological violence and psychological domination when there is ignorance and misunderstanding, but until activated by the physical, there is no physical conflict, no war.

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
Thought can do none of those things.

I'm sorry Max, but your answer does not make sense to me. I can SEE thought comparing, thought measuring, analysing.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #11
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

The brain is the reality, the actor. Thought is idea. How can idea compare, measure, analyze?

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #12
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 572 posts in this forum Offline

Can thought see? Can thought see anything?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #13
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 572 posts in this forum Offline

If thought cannot see, then all seeing is done by something else, something that is not thought.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #14
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

How can an idea "see"? Thought is idea.

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #15
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 572 posts in this forum Offline

Is any seeing done by something that is material?

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #16
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Peter,

Yes. What is it that sees --i.e., senses, is aware? Do we see with the eyes, or do we see through the eyes?

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #17
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 572 posts in this forum Offline

Max:"How can an idea "see"? Thought is idea."

Are you asking a question? Or just stating something known. Is your statement just thought...mechanical?

This post was last updated by Peter Kesting Thu, 12 May 2016.

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #18
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

I was asking, how can one come to the conclusion that an idea can see. Since thought is nothing but idea, I don't see that thought can see.

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #19
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

It would seem that awareness operates through the physical senses, but awareness is not of those physical senses.

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #20
Thumb_img001 Sudhir Sharma India 591 posts in this forum Offline

Thought can contribute in the following:

Help in Taking care of needs of the body.

facilitate functioning in the physical world by virtue of its ability to analyze, project, compare, judge, imagine etc.

Facilitate functioning in the technological world by its ability to perform same functions as above.

Form a data bank broadly based on what gives one pleasure and pain.

Create a psychological center as me/I that is divisive, violent and aggressive in blindly pursuing self interests.

Concentration of energy while performing a function.

Disturb awareness.

Disturb attention.

Find/understand the limits of its action field.

FLOW WITH LIFE!

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #21
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 743 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:

Wim Opdam wrote:

But when the master handles its tool correctly it knows its boudary and look for something new with the help of his tool on hand.

Not quite sure I understand this, Wim.
What are you saying is the master which can handle thought?
And what meaning are you putting on the word 'handle'?

Every bird sings as it is beaked.

Only when one can say it in one's own words it tells something about one's understanding

In order to join the teaching it is my way of saying that
'I' am the same as the one that has 'thoughts'.
Thoughts are just tools and describe something about a case but is not complete.

If one take thoughts too serious they are the master,
but if one use it seriously one accept its limits.

The action is in accordance with the facts and leads
to the state of mind " I do not know. " so the thinker = thought and act as one.

I only hope this description make its meaning clearer for you.

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 #22
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Sudhir,

There is no evidence that thought can do anything except influence an individual's reactions. It is the brain that thinks. It is the brain that creates thought, the psychological. The psychological can be made physically manifest only through physical reaction to thought -- the psychological.

max

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #23
Thumb_farside0411 m christani United States 650 posts in this forum Offline

Related to awareness, thought can choose, label, describe, like or dislike, evaluate, psychologically speaking. And of course it can act, build, invent, destroy. It can create elaborate theories or poetic leaps; try to nurture, care, be generous, hate and so on.

In fact the inner and outer capacities of thought is the history of man.

mike

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Thu, 12 May 2016 #24
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Mike.

Is it thought that does all of that, or is it the brain that chooses, labels, etc?

Thought does not go to war, physical bodies go to war. Thought did not construct the hydrogen bomb, it was the brain of man that created the bomb.

In the history of mankind, as I see it, thought has acted very much as an influence on what actions or reactions individuals have taken, but thought, by itself, is and has never been anything more than concept and idea.

Until acted upon physically, thought is very much like radio waves without a receiver -- totally without effect.

max

This post was last updated by max greene Thu, 12 May 2016.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #25
Thumb_farside0411 m christani United States 650 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
In the history of mankind, as I see it, thought has acted very much as an influence on what actions or reactions individuals have taken, but thought, by itself, is and has never been anything more than concept and idea.

Until acted upon physically, thought is very much like radio waves without a receiver -- totally without effect.

I think this is slightly pedantic- thought is the activity of the brain, or one of them. But actions surely are instigated by thought. Or whatever other word you would like to use- our actions are the expression of thought.

mike

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #26
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2263 posts in this forum Offline

m christani wrote:
But actions surely are instigated by thought. Or whatever other word you would like to use- our actions are the expression of thought.

This seems to be correct, mike. I fear my neighbor. I have the fear that he'll steal from me or hurt me financially....or steal my wife. I have the thought that he'd be better off dead. I threaten him with violence. If that doesn't scare him, in a rage, I shoot him. Technically, its my finger that pulled the trigger, but thought is the cause of the murder....probably all murder...war, violence, etc.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 13 May 2016.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #27
Thumb_farside0411 m christani United States 650 posts in this forum Offline

Of course, I mean, who else or what else could be behind it?

mike

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #28
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
How can idea compare, measure, analyze?

Thought does exactly that. When planing, when designing something, it makes mental models, and of course part of this is measuring, comparing, analysing.

Of course to physically realise the plan a pair of hands is needed. And sometimes those hands hold a ruler and do the physical measuring that thought asks them to, but that does not mean that thought itself does not measure,compare, analyse.

How could anyone study maths, the sciences, if the brain was incapable of doing these things?

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #29
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

Sudhir Sharma wrote:
Thought can contribute in the following:

I would go along with your list, Sudhir.

The last thing you mentioned:

Find/understand the limits of its action field.

Is most interesting, and perhaps controversial. It implies, does it not, that thought can bring about order in itself, by seeing its limits. But now we are into the argument ''Can thought see''. I intend to make a post on this issue soon.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 #30
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4470 posts in this forum Offline

It was interesting to see the argument that arose over the question “can thought see”. It is not the first time this has arisen.

I am not taking sides in the argument at all – although it is certainly an interesting and important question – but I am wondering why such an argument should arise. Or indeed, why argument should arise about any aspect of the workings of the mind?

Why can we not just look and see? If we were to look and see, presumably we would all come up with the same observation, and there would be no argument.

I am asking this question in all seriousness – why can we not just look and see? Is there something preventing us? Is it asking the impossible, to just look and see?

Obviously this question is related to the original inquiry, can thought see?

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