Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Awareness .... hesitantly


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Tue, 14 Feb 2017 #1
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

We were brought up to believe that the intellect, the faculty of thought, was the gateway to and the source of creativity, learning, understanding, intelligence, even love. That belief has been our education, the conditioning which has been inculcated into our brain, our “wrong turn”, hasn’t it? Therefore, believing it, we have cherished, nurtured, nourished, attended to the intellect and, in our ignorance, we have neglected, even discarded, awareness as being insignificant, haven't we?

“We” means the human being - you, me, the world. “I” means you, “you” means I. If that is understood, I can say “I, we, you, without it being personal, without it being divisive. No?

Awareness is silent, wordless, but the word can come out of silent awareness and fall back into the silence. "Fall back" in the sense that it is not held onto, accumulated. Then we can use the word while understanding its limits. Where the word comes out of awareness, then we can truly communicate, understand each other, can’t we?

Do we need to be aware OF, or is it just awareness itself that is needed? If there is awareness, doesn’t it choicelessly, effortlessly follow that there is awareness OF? Then, BEING AWARE, isn’t there naturally, inevitably, awareness OF the contradictions, OF greed, envy, fear, conceit, violence, OF the intimations from the unconscious - so that it is awareness itself which teaches us about ourselves?

Awareness has its own presence or energy. The lifeless, vacuous silence of expectant thought is without energy, it seems to me. Dead or lifeless silence is what is experienced when “self” is waiting in expectation. A lifeless silence is thought, not awareness. We all “have” awareness, we do not have to get or achieve awareness. We just don’t understand the significance of awareness because we have been conditioned to the supremacy of thought. So awareness is “there” but we overlook or ignore it. No?

Awareness does not lend itself to being split or dualized. The moment it is split or dualized, it evaporates. The moment it is split or dualized, it is thought. The moment, I ask what exactly is the nature of awareness, it is thought asking, isn’t it? There cannot be the watcher and the watched in awareness. There are not 2. There is only 1 - awareness. In this sense, awareness is fragile. It is shattered by the slightest movement of self-centredness, by the slightest self concern, by the slightest explanation or analysis - all these being the occupations of self/thought. Awareness does not assert itself. Assertion is self asserting itself, isn’t it?

Without awareness, can there be understanding, learning, joy, peace, love, compassion? Without awareness, understanding and joy are merely the ideas of thought, aren’t they? Awareness is not a lifeless vacuum or void. Awareness is a living presence or energy.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 14 Feb 2017.

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Wed, 15 Feb 2017 #2
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 468 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
In this sense, awareness is fragile. It is shattered by the slightest movement of self-centredness, by the slightest self concern, by the slightest explanation or analysis - all these being the occupations of self/thought. Awareness does not assert itself.

Thank you Huguette for the whole post.

Being aware that the current state of awareness is so much clearer and greather than some years ago I also see that this has nothing to do with time or accumulation or gaining, but with the energy on hand it grows, it's living in the moment without constraints or borders but as you say it soo fragile.

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.

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Wed, 15 Feb 2017 #3
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

Yes, Wim, nothing to do with time, accumulating or exploiting :-)

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Wed, 15 Feb 2017 #4
Thumb_2474 Dan McDermott United States 531 posts in this forum Online

I enjoyed reading your post Huguette. Here is a quote that I've posted before that I think also attempts to describe the "rarely heeded" awareness:

K."What you are...what you actually are, is being. Being is not the mind thinking. Thinking is a movement, a motion. Being is the silence that precedes the motion. You cannot see it; you cannot grasp it because you are it. The feeling that you are. The unadorned naked awareness that is always there, rarely heeded, is what you have always been, always will be. Cannot not be. You can't look for it because it is what is looking. It is like space, you can't see it but everything is in it. Everything is it. So I say to you, 'be aware when you are unaware' let its presence warm you, fill you. Be present in the Presence."

(J. Krishnamurti- private talk with Terrance Stamp in Ojai, CA )

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 15 Feb 2017.

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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
and, in our ignorance, we have neglected, even discarded, awareness as being insignificant, haven't we?

I find myself wondering when I first heard the word “awareness”. I doubt very much it was ever mentioned as part of my education, or my being raised generally. Perhaps my first exposure was in the pages of a K book.

Yes, as you say, knowledge, the use of the intellect, was everything. It was the key to success, both in a career and in relationship. And perhaps the reason is that knowledge can be accumulated but awareness cannot. So it has no utility.

Obviously this neglect represents a serious warping of the growth of a human being.

One wonders how things might have turned out if one was fortunate to have had an education that was centered in awareness (as awareness played a central part in the lives of people in the book "Island” by Aldous Huxley). Can awareness be cultivated, encouraged? Either in another or in oneself, in fact. This is a question in itself. As a teacher I have dabbled with this. It was interesting, but somehow the demands of a knowledge-based society always take precedence.

But this is perhaps idle speculation. Awareness is the challenge of life to be met now, in whatever circumstances. And without prior knowledge of it

Huguette . wrote:
Do we need to be aware OF, or is it just awareness itself that is needed? If there is awareness, doesn’t it choicelessly, effortlessly follow that there is awareness OF?

Thank you for making this distinction, Huguette. Interesting. Are you saying that there is a state of awareness which has no object? And that from this state, awareness can focus as necessary, when the occasion arises? If this state exists, could one call it the state of alertness?

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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Awareness has its own presence or energy. The lifeless, vacuous silence of expectant thought is without energy, it seems to me. Dead or lifeless silence is what is experienced when “self” is waiting in expectation. A lifeless silence is thought, not awareness.

I am somewhat puzzled by this Huguette, and perhaps we can go into it? Can silence be thought? Or can thought be silent? You seem to be suggesting it can be silent, but somehow still be contaminating that silence. As if it still has some ghostly presence when it has ended.

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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 #7
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

#5

Clive Elwell wrote:
Are you saying that there is a state of awareness which has no object? And that from this state, awareness can focus as necessary, when the occasion arises? If this state exists, could one call it the state of alertness?

Clive, can "I" be aware OF anything if I'm not already aware ... without an object? ... it being understood that this "I" is the functional "I", not self. Perhaps more accurate - but awkward - to say, "can there be awareness OF anything if there is not already awareness?"

This post was last updated by Huguette . Thu, 16 Feb 2017.

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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 #8
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

#6

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am somewhat puzzled by this Huguette, and perhaps we can go into it? Can silence be thought? Or can thought be silent? You seem to be suggesting it can be silent, but somehow still be contaminating that silence. As if it still has some ghostly presence when it has ended.

I'm definitely not saying thought can be silent but it can "masquerade" as silence when it is expecting, hoping, bored, waiting patiently or impatiently. No?

50 minutes later: My words ("not saying thought can be silent") just came back to me and I realize that this is not clear. I think it is clearer to say that silence cannot BE thought, silence cannot be an action OF thought in any way. But when thought truly falls totally silent - consciously, subconsciously, unconsciously - there is silence. Do you see what I mean?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Thu, 16 Feb 2017.

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Fri, 17 Feb 2017 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
but awkward - to say, "can there be awareness OF anything if there is not already awareness?"

So does that state of unfocused awareness (do you accept this term, Huguette?) differ in any way from the state of ... being alive ...... being conscious?

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Sun, 19 Feb 2017 #10
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

re #9:

I wonder what you mean by this, Clive. What can we say about what awareness IS?

We can say that it is NOT the result of choice or effort, can’t we? I can’t CHOOSE to be aware if I’m in a state of unawareness.

We can say that it is NOT a matter of effort, can’t we? How can I possibly make an effort to be aware? I can make an effort not to scratch an itch, to write neatly, not to colour outside the line but, if I’m not aware, what would make me want to make that effort unless I see a reward in it or some such motive?

We can say that whatever is remembered or known is not awareness, can’t we? That is, awareness is only in the present moment, it is not put together by thought/memory/time, it is without desire, jealousy, anxiety, depression, anger, fear, because those ARE put together by thought.

So if awareness is not thought, doesn’t awareness mean inner silence - not because a decision is made to be silent but because awareness itself IS silent?

So whatever awareness is or isn’t, it cannot be produced or willed by the mind, can it?

Is awareness the same as being alive, does awareness = life? I don’t know. I can’t explain it scientifically. I think we can say that life itself, love, compassion, beauty, serenity and awareness are not UNrelated to each other, no? But essentially, they are unknown, not measurable, unquantifiable. Maybe science will prove me wrong.

Don’t such questions as this inevitably lead endlessly to more questions:


  • When I am unaware, inattentive, am I
    fully alive or psychologically dead,
    is just the body alive but for all
    intents and purposes the living being
    that “I am” is dead? Is self “alive”
    but awareness is not?

When “I am unaware”, is awareness in
effect “dead”? When I am knocked out
by a blow to the head, am I still
“conscious” in the sense that the
unconscious is still active? If the
unconscious is inactive, then am I
conscious? If the unconscious too is
inactive, am “I” dead? When I am in
deep sleep, “what am I”?

If we were to conclude that awareness
differs or does not differ from being
alive or being conscious, will that
put an end to the questions? Will the
conclusions or answers
satisfy…..”me”?

Do you see what I mean? As I see it, thought cannot articulate, compare or explain awareness, but who knows. But thought can understand what is beyond its capacity, as I understand it.

That is, thought remembers love, compassion, having been aware, serenity, joy, and it does realize that this rememberance/knowledge is not the real thing, it clearly does not have the vitality, depth, fulness of the real thing. The memory of it is a pale shadow. Try as it might, memory/thought cannot bring these about through effort, method, will, planning, choice, “the power of positive thinking”. Can it? The closest thought can come to these is by pretending but pretending is … pretending. It’s not the real thing, is it? There is no joy in pretending, it seems to me.

But for thought, traditionally, understanding can only be factual if it is positively validated by the word. Isn’t it so? Mere awareness, attention, observation - this is too delicate or ethereal for thought to accept as proof of fact. For thought, proof must be measured and quantified in order for thought to accept the validity of a thing. And in the fields of science, mechanics, cooking, engineering, mathematics, planning events, and so on, it is so. In those fields, it is necessary to use the word, the number, the image, the chart, the graphic, isn’t it? So thought thinks only IT is the final authority or arbiter in ALL facets of life. Is it so?

Knowledge is necessary and it can be wonderful but it is limited. In relationship, in matters of the heart, it cannot provide clarity or solve problems. There’s no way around this, is there?

Maybe tomorrow a scientist will be able to put awareness in a formula, make a diagram of it, prove its coordinates or fit it into an algorithm. I can’t say for sure. Scientists have certainly made unbelievable discoveries. But it seems to me that awareness cannot be “known” ... nor can it or its energy be denied.

Please understand, I don't know if what I say is "right". I’m questioning just as you are. How do I live in this world without constantly being a slave to compulsion, to the past, to knowledge, to propaganda, and so on? Can I/one/we live in this world without discontent, conflict, suffering?

There’s obviously a place for thought and questioning. Without questioning, it seems clear that thought must be incapable of understanding its own limitations and so it will endlessly try to solve its problems. The need for thought in this questioning is not to solve problems but to understand its limitations and abilities, isn’t it? So there is value and significance to thought’s questioning. Being conditioned to the supremacy of thought as the thinker, as the solver of all problems, as the actor of all actions, thought itself must do whatever it can, ask whatever questions that arise, go as far in its field as it can, in order to come face to face with its own abilities and limitations. I could be wrong but it seems to me that this self-understanding is the turning point.

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Tue, 21 Feb 2017 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
So if awareness is not thought, doesn’t awareness mean inner silence - not because a decision is made to be silent but because awareness itself IS silent?

Well, it is clear that noise itself is not aware, it is perhaps the antithesis of awareness. Yes I think we can say that awareness is silence, inner silence. It comes in silence.

Huguette, I feel moved that some one should care enough to respond to my one-sentence question with a two page response.

There is much to consider in your post. But first I would like to ask you a further question about awareness, tentatively of course. Would you say that there are degrees of awareness, or is it that one is either aware, or not aware – just two possibilities.

But one may question if there IS a 'one' in the state of awareness.

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Tue, 21 Feb 2017 #12
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Would you say that there are degrees of awareness, or is it that one is either aware, or not aware – just two possibilities.

But one may question if there IS a 'one' in the state of awareness.

If it is as we say that awareness is not thought, there can be no "one" in awareness. But, having come this far together, since "we" see that the word/thought is limited, "one" may say "one is aware", it being understood that there is no "one" ... "no one". No?

If the fact is that there is no "one" who is aware, then there is just awareness ... without degrees. Can awareness be partial? That is, is "partial awareness" actually awareness?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 21 Feb 2017.

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Tue, 21 Feb 2017 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
If it is as we say that awareness is not thought, there can be no "one" in awareness. But, having come this far together, since "we" see that the word/thought is limited, "one" may say "one is aware", it being understood that there is no "one" ... "no one". No?

There can be no one, nobody, no self, who is aware. This must be so because any self is the construction of thought – there is not really any self, any entity. And I would say – hesitantly of course – that if the self is active, present, there is no awareness. The two are mutually exclusive.

Nevertheless ….... in a sense you and I are aware separately. I mean we are aware of different things. We have separate bodies, and our sense organs are recording different impressions. There are separate brains, even though K talks of the human brain.

Is it that there is only one awareness, but that one awareness can be aware of different things?

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Tue, 21 Feb 2017 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Can awareness be partial? That is, is "partial awareness" actually awareness?

I am not sure how to answer that, Huguette. It seems so. I sit here and see the keys moving over the keyboard. Then that awareness seems to expand to encompass the sounds of pressing the keys. The awareness of sound expands even more, so that the hum of the laptop is heard and then the sounds of the birds outside. Now I hear an aeroplane overhead. A thought comes about the aeroplane, and there is awareness of the thought. A cool breeze enters the open window,, and that is felt.

But as this process continues the original awareness of the keypad has been lost. Am I really talking about awareness, or is it concentration on these apparently separate things?

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Tue, 21 Feb 2017 #15
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

Clive,

We are back into trying to quantify or measure awareness it seems to me. Is it (perhaps) somewhat like standing on the edge of the ocean and wanting to know all the details - how deep it is, how salty, its volume, currents, life forms, and so on - before stepping in? Can't we just plunge in and observe wordlessly, effortlelssly? Am I oversimplifying? In any case, whether or not I am (oversimplifying), whether or not I am mistaken, I don't think this particular questioning can lead to understanding. What do you say?

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Wed, 22 Feb 2017 #16
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

It is the thinker "who" is asking about about awareness. That is concentration, isn't it? .... Looking for an answer, a specific answer which will bring clarity.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Wed, 22 Feb 2017.

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Wed, 22 Feb 2017 #17
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 468 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The awareness of sound expands even more, so that the hum of the laptop is heard and then the sounds of the birds outside. Now I hear an aeroplane overhead.

Clive,

look at it in a different level !!

One can't hear partly the hum of the laptop or birds outside or whatever ...

There is coming more and more in awarenesss, which is in itself whole immense and all parts can come in it but are not because of lack of energy by distraction of thought, which is the noise.

If one's whole brain is in use by awareness there can't be noise, can it ??

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.

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Wed, 22 Feb 2017 #18
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

Reasoning is part of the faculty of thought, of the ability to think, to produce thought, isn’t it? And in considering the thinker and the thought, the observer and the observed, doesn’t the mind usually overlook or neglect the process of reasoning?

The thinker thinks that IT reasons, doesn’t it? And because IT reasons - which the thought does not do - it is different from the thought. But - whether the reasoning is faulty or accurate, logical or illogical, sane or insane - aren’t both thinker and thought the outcome of reasoning, aren’t they both the product of thought?

So the thinker, the product of reasoning, is still the thought, no?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Wed, 22 Feb 2017.

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Fri, 24 Feb 2017 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
If one's whole brain is in use by awareness there can't be noise, can it ??

This does seem a useful way of looking at the issue, Wim.

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Fri, 24 Feb 2017 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3039 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Can't we just plunge in and observe wordlessly, effortlelssly? Am I oversimplifying? In any case, whether or not I am (oversimplifying), whether or not I am mistaken, I don't think this particular questioning can lead to understanding. What do you say?

I am still with the questions you are posing, Huguette. I am travelling and being with nature and quietness a lot. But are you basically saying that it is useless to talk about awareness? That in discussing it, we merely (and perhaps destructively) turn awareness into an idea?

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Sat, 25 Feb 2017 #21
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

Clive,

I’m NOT saying it’s useless to talk about awareness. I’ve certainly said a lot about it already, haven’t I? :-) …. Not that what I say is a measure of a thing’s worth, but it does show that looking into the significance, action and natural role of awareness in relationship does have value to me.

I AM saying that it’s useless to talk about what awareness IS, to try to encapsulate it .... not only useless but isn’t such effort an escape of sorts … from awareness?

(I realize I’m not expressing this well.)

19 hours later:

By "about what awareness IS", I mean scientifically, whether awareness is the same as being alive, being conscious, for example. There may or may not be a scientific "explanation" for awareness, I don't know. But no scientific explanation can demonstrate to the suffering human being the essential "place" of awareness in life, can it? --- a bit like breathing perhaps. Maybe I'm speaking nonsense.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sun, 26 Feb 2017.

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #22
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 468 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
This does seem a useful way of looking at the issue, Wim.

Clive,

If it is too busy or full in the head-office no clear work can be done !

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.

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #23
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 106 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
If one's whole brain is in use by awareness there can't be noise, can it ??

It's my inner feeling that noise is always there, only that when there's awareness it takes care of it ... To me awareness doesn't stop the noise, it only prevents the attachment of the 'i' to that noise that comes about when awareness is not ... Otherwise awareness could never talk about noise ... But this is my inner feeling and i could be mistaken.

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #24
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

re 17:

Wim Opdam wrote:
One can't hear partly the hum of the laptop or birds outside or whatever ...

There is coming more and more in awarenesss, which is in itself whole immense and all parts can come in it but are not because of lack of energy by distraction of thought, which is the noise.

If one's whole brain is in use by awareness there can't be noise, can it ??

Wim,

Are you saying that it isn't the same awareness that is aware of the hum of the laptop or the sound of the birds or the movement of thought? Awareness doesn't include or exclude anything, does it? That is, does awareness make an effort to concentrate?

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #25
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

re 23:

Juan E wrote:
It's my inner feeling that noise is always there, only that when there's awareness it takes care of it ... To me awareness doesn't stop the noise, it only prevents the attachment of the 'i' to that noise that comes about when awareness is not ... Otherwise awareness could never talk about noise ...

Juan,

Are you saying that there's "wall-to-wall" noise, that there's no moment without a single movement of thought/emotion? Is it awareness that ends attachment? Or does attachment end when memory-knowledge-reason (thought) sees its own limits and abilities, sees the nature of self?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sun, 26 Feb 2017.

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #26
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 106 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Or does attachment end when memory-knowledge-reason (thought) sees its own limits and abilities, sees the nature of self?

Perhaps you could tell me what's the tool that memory-knowledge-reason (thought) uses to see its own limits?

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #27
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 106 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Are you saying that there's "wall-to-wall" noise, that there's no moment without a single movement of thought/emotion?

Yes, that's what i'm saying ... There's not a single moment without noise in human being ... only that for some that noise is seen as utterly real, and for some others as a complete illusion ...

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

This post was last updated by Juan E Sun, 26 Feb 2017.

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #28
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

re 26:

Juan E wrote:
Perhaps you could tell me what's the tool that memory-knowledge-reason (thought) uses to see its own limits?

Thought (memory-knowledge-reason) asks the question. Thought sees its own limits, what it can and can't do, and awareness is watching. But I'm not "telling" you it's so.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sun, 26 Feb 2017.

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #29
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 216 posts in this forum Offline

re 27:

The Quote of the Day says it better than I can.

Ojai, California | Fifth Talk in The
Oak Grove, 1946

Questioner: This complexity is so deep
that one does not seem to have an
opportunity for quietness.

Krishnamurti: Must there be an
opportunity to be still, to be quiet?
Must you create the occasion, the
right environment to be peaceful? Is
it then peace? With right probing
there comes right stillness. When do
you look into yourself? When the
problem demands it, when it is urgent,
surely.
But if you are seeking an
opportunity to be silent, then you are
not aware. Self-probing comes with
conflict and sorrow, and there must be
passive receptivity to understand.
Surely self-probing, stillness, and
understanding are in awareness a
single process and not three separate
states.

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Sun, 26 Feb 2017 #30
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 106 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Thought (memory-knowledge-reason) asks the question.

How can you know that?

Huguette . wrote:
Thought sees its own limits, what it can and can't do, and awareness is watching.

How can a limited thing see its own limits?

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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