Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
A Quiet Space | moderated by Clive Elwell

Why does the self persist?


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Tue, 16 May 2017 #271
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3234 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Do you see any deeper significance to this movement of rebellion?

I don't know. There might be, at times. But as you say, it is all too quickly smothered. And often it just a matter of a young person struggling to drop a particular identity, only to succeed by taking up another one - while thinking he has achieved some sort of freedom. One could think of numerous examples of this.

"Standing alone" seems altogether too dangerous a proposition for the mind.

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Tue, 16 May 2017 #272
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 240 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
So why does the little child accept the words like good and evil...God and the devil...that the parent uses?

You put very good questions, Tom! :-) ...
... as in #259 ;-) (which i expect to answer as soon as i can have a quiet space)

Tom Paine wrote:
Is it because he sees the parent as an all knowing being?

Perhaps it is so at the beginning, but soon after the child starts meeting other people: relatives, parent's friends and known people, that also utter words, sometimes different from parents' words ... So, i would forget that "line of investigation" and i would begin by observing that perhaps the child derives pleasant and unpleasant feelings that it identifies with words which eventually are translated by it as a behavior trying to get pleasant feelings while avoiding unpleasant ones ... and so, conditioning itself without it being conscious that it is doing so.

But i would say also, that not all the children "succumb" to that pattern ... All the children comes to life with a bunch of questions, but while most of them accept "that is so because i say so" as a response to all their questions (mostly due to the pain that comes with not accepting it), some (very few) do not accept such an answer and continue questioning that answer during the rest of their lives whenever they find it ... and what's more important despite the feeling of aloneness, incomprehension, and some tears coming out from their eyes because that sometimes ... they never stop.

"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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Tue, 16 May 2017 #273
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 240 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
How deep you wanna go, Juan ??
Until nothing's left just observation of all what's moving ?
Or even behind that ??

Is observation of anything made to go anywhere?
Does one start any observation with the objective to find an end?
Or one simply starts observing, and goes on, neither wishing-for, nor knowing-anything about an end?

Wim Opdam wrote:
And what could describe such an event ??

Could you explain me why should it be described?

Anyway, what is observation to you, Wim?

"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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Tue, 16 May 2017 #274
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1562 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
trying to get pleasant feelings while avoiding unpleasant ones ... and so, conditioning itself without it being conscious that it is doing so.

Yes...this paragraph is clear...well said. The following one is less so. I've known thousands of people in my many years on the planet, and only a small percentage seemed to be interested in questioning at all...and even less in questioning deeply.....close to zero percent

Let it Be

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Wed, 17 May 2017 #275
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3234 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
but while most of them accept "that is so because i say so" as a response to all their questions (mostly due to the pain that comes with not accepting it), some (very few) do not accept such an answer and continue questioning that answer during the rest of their lives whenever they find it ...

Juan E wrote:
but while most of them accept "that is so because i say so" as a response to all their questions (mostly due to the pain that comes with not accepting it), some (very few) do not accept such an answer and continue questioning that answer during the rest of their lives whenever they find it ...

A young and questioning friend of mine has recently taken on the raising and education of a couple of children. Their grandparents are staunch Christians, and they loose no opportunity to condition the children according to their belief system. Recently whenever my friend asked the children "why.........?" the answer would come back immediately and firmly "God did it".

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Wed, 17 May 2017 #276
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3234 posts in this forum Offline

Just looking at the world around me, it came to me yesterday at least one of the reasons why the self persists.

From the self, we have created a society that is firmly based on the self. Self interest, to be concerned for oneself, is the norm, and is in fact what is expected of one. Self interest is what we are raised in, it is the basis of our education system, with its exams and endless comparison. From an increasingly early age we are encourage to compete with each other. It may start in play, in games and sport, but it ends up as the ruthless competition of business and between nations. Simply, we are taught to regard ourselves as separate individuals, and we have to function in society that way. When I say “taught”, I do not necessarily mean taught directly, but that is implicit, that is what is happening all around us, unquestioned, and that is what we pick up.

The whole commercial world continually encourages individual greed, vanity. It is based on stimulating our desires, which are personal. “Look after yourself because no one else will” used to be a common saying, and even if it is not spoken, it is implicit. "Because you are worth it”, “Because you deserve it”, “You are special”, "rewards" these are the messages coming at us from all quarters.

So society – all societies – feed into us, directly and directly, the relentless message of selfishness. And we as selfish individuals, from our greed and fears, continue to built a society based on the self. It is the ultimate “vicious circle”. There is a vague ideal of selfishness, but it is hardly taken seriously. It is almost laughable.

And all this is hardly questioned.

So is there a way out of the circle, if there is a way? Where does one begin? It seems all one can do, all that is left, is watching. without trying to interfere. But such watching may not be insignificant.

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Wed, 17 May 2017 #277
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 483 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
It seems to me that we're always looking at the gross level ...
... but what about the deeper level?

Wim Opdam wrote:

How deep you wanna go, Juan ??
Until nothing's left just observation of all what's moving ?
Or even behind that ??

Is observation of anything made to go anywhere?
Does one start any observation with the objective to find an end?
Or one simply starts observing, and goes on, neither wishing-for, nor knowing-anything about an end?

what's observed here is; you seem to questioning the level of our looking,
which is a kind of measuring... comparing..., isn't it ??

So by asking you this question.....'How deep you wanna go, Juan ?? '
I already seem to see your questioning my reply, but questioned you yours in the first place ??

So your botom line is relevant, you know... but what do you do with it ??

Juan E wrote:
Could you explain me why should it be described?

Anyway, what is observation to you, Wim?

My description could not explain...,
one understands 'observing' or not and that has nothing to do with me or you.

so this exchange is going nowhere and has no goal, but could put some light on the understanding of observing and describing.

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, 17 May 2017 #278
Thumb_original_1483892555622 Link Smickman United States 38 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am uneasy about what seems a racist element in your posts, though, Link. Although you write: “One thing that i have learned from all this is that stereotypes are false and not everyone is like this” , you do seem to stereotype racially. There may indeed be certain racial and national characteristics, but I cannot see that to emphaise these in any way helps self-understanding.

Didnt krishnamurti talk about the Indians often? He often talked about how they were buried under thousands of years of tradition, had gods on every street corner and were psychologically crippled. He said they had never did well in the olympics. He talked about how in Asia thousands of years ago the people had something vital but now they did not. Wouldnt anyone who was introduced to the meglomania of the capitalist west and then encouraged to live in that ruthless way have the same uppity reaction? Is this snobbism not a core of the nature of capitalism? To have a form of unyielding capitalism is a form of tyranny. When you take out the elements of criticisation, disturbance and free speech you have a kind of tyranny which is very unfair on a human level although seen as fair from the standpoint of someone who is wealthy, secure, ruthless, greedy. The white people are doing this out of phoniness because they dont want to give up what they are attached to. Is that compassion?

Krishnamurti spoke once of a guru that he talked to and the man got very angry at him and said he was evil. He wanted him killed. This same reaction is very much possible in a common person if their minds are angry enough or made to believe that tyranny is fairness.

Krishnamurti also talked about the Arabs. He said they were very violent people. Their oil was their pride. I am going to kill you for my oil he said in regard to them. Wouldnt all this phonily be considered racism by our society if Krishnamurti wasnt well known? What if he was a white guy who wasnt well known?

Krishnamurti talked about the plight of the negro, he even used that very word not in any special context. He said these people often acted uneducated, rough and did not understand their demands.

Krishnamurti said that someone who stole for no reason had no education and that some of these anarchists were very bright but did not understand the problems of existence.

Krishnamurti also talked about the problems of poverty and how it wasnt criminal for a person to be caught up in these problems and act pathologically when the real evil was greed. He spoke often about the nature of this circumstance.

Are not all these things involved in compassion? It isnt just phony understanding with the mind but lacking the heart, but it is also to see the nature of these problems.

Would you say that because one of these people has not been truly educated and has been made tyrannical by society, that is made to believe that is right and ok and benefits them, would you say that person is just right? Wouldnt it be necessary to question them? Are they any different from a ruthless tyrannical capitalist who was white? Is there really any difference when someone shares the same ambition even if they may not be as powerful? Because i'll you one thing none of this questioning is allowed. You will be like a witch during the time when they were hunted. You will be damn near fugitive, damn near at the level of a dissenter in communism. I mean no sarcasm or distortion of the truth when i say this.

When you have an entire society of people who do not want to be distrubed in their own ambition and are fearful to lose what they have and they tell poor people that it is ok to live like that and be tyrannical then what do you have? You have a society where very little else is allowed or tolerated. All it takes is for someone to be dishonest and the rest just simply agree. Does that mean this judgment is truth? This has become so childish and disgusting. We're on a Krishnamurti forum, afterall.

Is this movement that is going on all across the USA with extreme leftism and liberalism any different from the circus of mardi gras and Vegas that k spoke of? What im talking about is entire courses dedicated to educating people that whites are evil and you must leave your privilege behind. Are these legit? Obviously this is not legit, obviously it is very much a circus. I fail to see how or why Krishnamurti would not criticize this just as he did vegas, mardi-gras etc.


Clive Elwell wrote:
Link, I have just spent an hour and a half replying to your post, which was principally about myself, on the other thread and have no more time or energy to start on this very long post of yours at the moment. We shall see how things develop.

Wouldnt this indicate that a person has a type of security that they hold onto? Security in knowing something or being different.. What does it mean for the mind to be without security? Wouldnt that mean that it would be aware of all the things going on in the world and the society and have no relationship to all that? To live like that it would also have to understand what made it dull and what made it insecure in relationship. It would need to understand the root factors which made the mind need security. This would imply that a person would need to look into all this very deeply but it is difficult to teach, a person must do most of it on their own accord.

When i am holding onto something my mind is asleep. There must be fear, fear of losing that thing. So i tell poor people that i agree with them when i really dont, it is really for myself, it is really phony, just like what most people call respect. Is this action any different from that? Where there is respect or disrespect there is either avoidance of punishment or the gaining of reward. It is phony and done for oneself because i want something from the person whom i say i respect. This has no meaning just as what political correctness calls compassion has no meaning. It creates very crooked people.


Clive Elwell wrote:
I am not saying that children think this out, of course. It is pretty much instinctual.

But does anybody really do this? As i look around i dont see much of this. Do we do this? Didnt you yourself say that it is unintelligent to think in terms of what should be but instead look at what is? Do we do that? Is this just speculation? It appears so. When someone raises fundamental questions we are bothered by them, ignore them and move on to this non-sensical speculation. Then we post questions like you did in your original post.


Clive Elwell wrote:
Clive: I have to decide whether this “you” means “me personally, as distinct from all others”, or the “you as being representative of all human beings”. As you talk about the forum and moderation below, I take it you mean the former, Link.

Yes that is what i mean.. I dont mean anything personal at anyone. You yourself seem like anyone else here or in the world. Most people here on this forum, including you, seem like the common person, and that is what im talking about. Its ok if they dont respond, dont feel inclined. K wrote many long books and not many people even paid attention.. He would do that even if no-one paid attention. There is also the possibility that someone will read it in the future or at a more practical time and have the information sink in over time. That doesnt mean that he thought he was important.


Clive Elwell wrote:
Clive: I think this is a tendency in all of us, or most of us at least. I say “tendency” because I actually make a point of look hard at the challenges thrown at me, as I am doing now. This does not mean one automatically accepts all criticism levelled at one, but one examines it for the truth it contains.

Yes, i do agree.. To learn it is important not to condemn.. In any form or to any degree. To be angry or fearful or depressed is natural and common.. But it is important to learn about, not just externally but more importantly inwardly.

But do we do this? We do not. We are outward oriented.. 99% of the time even serious people are outward oriented. Once again you said that one should be concerned with what is and not with what should be. I think a person asking a question such as are we doing this is important. No one does this.. At least not often. And the way we speak on this forum suggests otherwise. Wouldnt that mean a person would need to have revolt against it, question it etc?? I dont know how a person doing that would just go on in this seemingly phony dialog.


Clive Elwell wrote:
Clive: Did I get such an idea? Present some evidence please.

Well, im not condemning you nor trying to present any kind of incrimination, afterall, people are different one day to the next. But the very concept behind this forum and the way that youve acted in replying to my posts suggests that your mind is geared in that manner. Once again these are the common factors of everyone and important not to condemn and to have great humility in regard to. Afterall, we're on a Krishnamurti forum and such suggestions should be tolerated.


Clive Elwell wrote:
Clive: When I set the ground rule about not insulting others, I was referring to a one-to-one personal level. I have often pointed out (too often) that if people demand the “freedom” to insult others, there are plenty of other forums they can join where this happens. And the rule was not set as some sort of protection, but simply because I cannot see that personal attacks play any useful part in inquiry.

Personally I don't care if people insult me (and I have certainly received a lot of it as a moderator!), but I see no reason why others should be exposed to it on this forum. And is it not, as was once said of nationalism, “the last refuge of scoundrels”? If one wants to question, to doubt, the words of another, obviously one is free to do so. To resort to personal insult implies, does it not, that one has no real argument?

Yes, thats alright.. I'm not condemning you or anyone else.. Just looking at this as a whole. The problem is that whoever judges what is insulting or offensive is usually doing so according to their own conditioning/pathology.. Also most people arent serious and cant be bothered. If they hear a word that is enough, they have their finger on the ban button, or whatever button. Most of what people are offended by, especially when they are secure, is arbitrary. These people are acting from a fortress of psychological defense and this action is no different from any of the violence or offense that happens in the world. As K said to be non-violent does not mean to assume some sort of stance either political or social or through ones own pathology.. It means to understand onself and be free of oneself. If one acts from the past, they are violent no matter what the circumstance.. To learn about oneself in this manner one must set aside all sentimentality or romanticism. Most people that are on one side of a war are filled with those things.


Clive Elwell wrote:
Clive: Seems to me you have strange idea of what is funny, Link. But I leave you to your opinions of me. Is this what you meant by “discuss” at the end of your last post? Is your idea of discussion merely to criticise me personally?

No it isnt.. So dont think like that.. I dont know much about you at all.. It is natural to take things personally, but just as important to understand this factor of ones psychology. I was mostly criticizing your words on this forum.. Also alot of misunderstanding can occur when people communicate with text only. Do you remember when K was nearing the end of his life and was sorting out his foundations and what would happen with his publisher funding etc? He said that people are going to be missing out alot when they just read his books alone as non-verbal communication is of utmost importance.. Alot of misunderstandings can occur.

I have talked about these things in person many times and 95% of the time it was extremely positive.. No one felt hurt. On the other hand i have tried to do the same thing on the internet with nothing but text... It is very, very different. It shows one how important non-verbal communication is. If i was communicating in person i would not have to express what other people would see to be insults to get their attention or disturb them in a healthy manner.. Its a very different ordeal and much more primitive. I can also understand the other people being in this same circumstance.


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Thu, 18 May 2017 #279
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3234 posts in this forum Offline

Link Smickman wrote:
Didnt krishnamurti talk about the Indians often? He often talked about how they were buried under thousands of years of tradition, had gods on every street corner and were psychologically crippled.

Yes, I know he did.

Link Smickman wrote:
. He said they had never did well in the olympics.

Smiling at this. I have never heard this comment, but not disputing its accuracy at all.

Link Smickman wrote:
To have a form of unyielding capitalism is a form of tyranny.

There is no doubt that most governments, and governmental organisations, are indeed tyrannical, and increasingly so. I cannot even buy certain herbs to treat myself with now. But the issue for me is: how do I meet this tyranny? And do I see if there is tyranny in my own relationships, do I seek to dominate people, bully people? Am I myself power-seeking?

Link Smickman wrote:
The white people are doing this out of phoniness because they dont want to give up what they are attached to.

Don't black people, brown people, yellow people, etc, behave in the same way? In their everyday lives, of course they do. Or they would if they had the chance to do so.

I did admit, Link, that there certain racial/national characteristics do exist. But do we need to emphasise these? Do we approach people on this basis, or do we approach as they are – human beings. On that level we can possibly meet, without distinctions.

All the examples you give, the K references – where does it get us? Does it help at all in the understanding of ourselves? If you think it does, please explain how.

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Thu, 18 May 2017 #280
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3234 posts in this forum Offline

You raise a lot of interesting issues, Link, unfortunately I do not have the time to explore most of them. I do agree that a communication through text, words only is limited, incomplete, and of course that applies to this forum. Everything to do with thought is limited, in fact. That seems to me an absolute limitation which thought itself cannot go beyond.

For me it is seeing this limitation of thought that is really interesting, significant, and dare I say, transformative? We cannot just acknowledge that thought is limited, and then carry on giving importance to ourselves, to our opinions, our conclusions. Not if one really sees that thought is absolutely limited; and sees that from moment to moment.

And as you say:

“The problem is that whoever judges what is insulting or offensive is usually doing so according to their own conditioning/pathology. ”

But also the implication is that the insult-er, the condemn-er of another, is not aware of the origins of his condemnation.

Link Smickman wrote:
Wouldnt this indicate that a person has a type of security that they hold onto? Security in knowing something or being different.. What does it mean for the mind to be without security? Wouldnt that mean that it would be aware of all the things going on in the world and the society and have no relationship to all that? To live like that it would also have to understand what made it dull and what made it insecure in relationship. It would need to understand the root factors which made the mind need security. This would imply that a person would need to look into all this very deeply but it is difficult to teach, a person must do most of it on their own accord.

K said, that purpose of relationship is to provide a mirror in which to see ourselves. I think we would agree on that. For me, this is a truth that reveals itself more and more. And of course it applies just as much on the forum as in our personal lives.

So I am not sure what you mean by “this seemingly phony dialogue” I don't get the impression that people are being phoney. But again, the only real issue is: “Am I being phoney?” If I see that I am, then I can do something about it (actually the seeing IS the doing something about it). I cannot really do anything about other people's phoney-ness, except question a little.

I know I have not addressed many of your points, Link. If you want to repeat any, please do.

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