Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Coming to grips with awareness


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Sat, 27 May 2017 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

The last two threads that I started have not somehow focused in to what I see as the fundamental issue of awareness. Yes, there has been interesting discussion, but I am feeling I have not actually come to grips with the matter.

It may be that I have reached the limits of words. Perhaps there is no point in trying to investigate verbally. I presume everyone here is familiar with Krishnamurti's (true) story about the the car hitting the goat, and the other occupants not noticing, because they were too busy discussing the issue of awareness?

So perhaps I should stop formulating words, and look at the flock of white doves flying across the lake. Perhaps I just need to look at the brilliant colours of the autumn trees that fringe the water, the winter flowers coming into bloom (NZ is a wonderful place for flowers). Perhaps just listen to the conversation of the group of people at the cafe table nearby, instead of being annoyed at the noisy triviality of their talk. Perhaps this is all there is. This moment. Thought can only take me away from the moment.

I think it fair to say, without trying to present any image of myself, that I am reasonably aware of the activity of the mind. I realise when the self is acting. I see the reactions of the mind (not suggesting that there is a me separate from the mind). I see the motives of my actions, even when they are coming from the unconscious – and there is no choice in this. In fact I am incapable of ignoring those motives, one cannot simply push them aside. One cannot pretend that the self is other than it is.

But although there is a certain awareness of the movements of the mind, throughout the day (not saying at all this is complete awareness), when it comes to physical awareness I know I am hugely deficit. One can be, and usually is, utterly unaware of one's surroundings. Unconscious of the what the body is doing, resulting in clumsiness and accidents. Sometimes I am amazed I have managed to reach the age that I am without serious mishap, given this insensitivity.

I believe Krishnamurti said that one cannot be aware of the inner world unless one is aware of the outer – but this is not how it seems to me. I don't know about others.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

*>Clive Elwell wrote:

I believe Krishnamurti said that one cannot be aware of the inner world unless one is aware of the outer

Here is a quote exemplifying this:

If you sit on the bank of a river after a storm, you see the stream going by carrying a great deal of debris. Similarly, you have to watch the movement of yourself, following every thought, every feeling, every intention, every motive, just watch it. That watching is also listening. It is being aware with your eyes, with your ears, with your insight, of all the values that human beings have created, and by which you are conditioned; and it is only this state of total awareness that will end all seeking.

[cut]

We are not concerned with what is supposed to be sacred - the symbol, the word, the person, the picture, a particular experience, which are all juvenile - but with the essence; and that demands on the part of each one of us an understanding that comes through watching or being aware, first, of outward things. The mind cannot ride the tide of inward awareness without first being aware of outward behaviour, outward gestures, costumes, shapes, the size and colour of a tree, the appearance of a person, of a house. It is the same tide that goes out and comes in, and unless you know the outward tide, you will never know what the inward tide is.

Please do listen to this. Most of us think that awareness is a mysterious something to be practised, and that we should get together day after day to talk about awareness. Now, you don't come to awareness that way at all. But if you are aware of outward things - the curve of a road, the shape of a tree, the colour of another's dress, the outline of the mountains against a blue sky, the delicacy of a flower, the pain on the face of a passer-by, the ignorance, the envy, the jealousy of others, the beauty of the earth - then, seeing all these outward things without condemnation, without choice, you can ride on the tide of inner awareness. Then you will become aware of your own reactions, of your own pettiness, of your own jealousies. From the outward awareness, you come to the inward; but if you are not aware of the outer, you cannot possibly come to the inner.

When there is inward awareness of every activity of your mind and your body; when you are aware of your thoughts, of your feelings, both secret and open, conscious and unconscious, then out of this awareness there comes a clarity that is not induced, not put together by the mind. And without that clarity, you may do what you will, you may search the heavens, and the earth, and the deeps, but you will never find out what is true.

(Saanen 1965 Talk 10)

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Sun, 28 May 2017 #3
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The last two threads that I started have not somehow focused in to what I see as the fundamental issue of awareness.

Perhaps you are too focused on it... K said that when you are too focused on something then it becomes necessary to "loosen up" and take a different stance. That is involved in learning.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, there has been interesting discussion, but I am feeling I have not actually come to grips with the matter.

Well, I have had many factors like this.. For example, i used to stick to K's teaching religiously.. But i was holding myself back... When i did infact loosen up, i learned a great deal. The wheel revolves more loosely when it is not tethered.

Clive Elwell wrote:
I presume everyone here is familiar with Krishnamurti's (true) story about the the car hitting the goat, and the other occupants not noticing, because they were too busy discussing the issue of awareness?

Somewhat familiar.. I recall a collection of K's recollections of when he talked about speeding...


Clive Elwell wrote:
I think it fair to say, without trying to present any image of myself, that I am reasonably aware of the activity of the mind.

Oh, isnt that what people say when they arent aware? I urge you to question such a thing and think wider.. More and expanded awareness is necessary.

K said that one cannot realize pride, egotism or anything like that. The minute you do, you are out of humility.. When you are living as K stated you barely realize it.. You are doing what you love and enjoy. K said that when you are a housewife you bake the bread before you realize it.. Your barely think of yourself and when you do it is only slight and minor questions.

Clive Elwell wrote:
I see the reactions of the mind (not suggesting that there is a me separate from the mind). I see the motives of my actions, even when they are coming from the unconscious – and there is no choice in this. In fact I am incapable of ignoring those motives, one cannot simply push them aside. One cannot pretend that the self is other than it is.

I feel i have an important question: Can this alertness or awareness come without danger? Without the undersatanding of fear or danger? I believe i tried to ask this question previously. It was deflected.


Clive Elwell wrote:
I believe Krishnamurti said that one cannot be aware of the inner world unless one is aware of the outer – but this is not how it seems to me. I don't know about others.

Well, i used to think like that.. But think about it for a bit.. Is the inner separate from the outer? I mean is it really? When i understand the inner, i understand the outer. Is this not so? Think about it.


Clive Elwell wrote:
listening.

Yes, Listening is an art.. K spent an hour talking about it on PBS with allen w. andersen.


Clive Elwell wrote:
Please do listen to this. Most of us think that awareness is a mysterious something to be practised, and that we should get together day after day to talk about awareness. Now, you don't come to awareness that way at all. But if you are aware of outward things - the curve of a road, the shape of a tree, the colour of another's dress, the outline of the mountains against a blue sky, the delicacy of a flower, the pain on the face of a passer-by, the ignorance, the envy, the jealousy of others, the beauty of the earth - then, seeing all these outward things without condemnation, without choice, you can ride on the tide of inner awareness. Then you will become aware of your own reactions, of your own pettiness, of your own jealousies. From the outward awareness, you come to the inward; but if you are not aware of the outer, you cannot possibly come to the inner.

Excellent. Regarding the last few messages i posted, you have learned alot and are coming on.

Clive Elwell wrote:
When there is inward awareness of every activity of your mind and your body; when you are aware of your thoughts, of your feelings, both secret and open, conscious and unconscious, then out of this awareness there comes a clarity that is not induced, not put together by the mind. And without that clarity, you may do what you will, you may search the heavens, and the earth, and the deeps, but you will never find out what is true.

(Saanen 1965 Talk 10)

Yes, but inward awareness is only encouraged by conflict/friction etc.

This post was last updated by Link Smickman Tue, 30 May 2017.

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Mon, 29 May 2017 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

Link Smickman wrote:
Perhaps you are too focused on it... K said that when you are too focused on something then it becomes necessary to "loosen up" and take a different stance. That is involved in learning.

Perhaps. I certainly realise there is an ever present danger of turning awareness into an idea, into something one should achieve. Of thinking, in fact, that it is something that one CAN achieve.

On the other hand, I could find a quote from K that would suggest one needs to “gather all one's energy together”. :-). But perhaps that is not a fair comparison, the word “focus” does suggest there is a focus-er - ie it is an action of the self.

.. For example, i used to stick to K's teaching religiously..

Can you explain what you mean by this, Link? It is not immediately obvious to me what “sticking to K's teachings” would mean in practice.

(Clive had said) I think it fair to say, without trying to present any image of myself, that I am reasonably aware of the activity of the mind.

Oh, isnt that what people say when they arent aware? I urge you to question such a thing and think wider.. More and expanded awareness is necessary.

I don't know what “people” would say, but I did start to question it – as there is questioning of all positive statements of thought. It came to me later that this was not a correct statement of mine. Better to have said something like “there is a certain awareness of the activities of the mind”

More and expanded awareness is necessary

Yes, this is what this thread is basically about. The necessity of it is seen, but this outer awareness remains very very limited.

K said that one cannot realize pride, egotism or anything like that. The minute you do, you are out of humility .

Yes, this is seen. And I did say in the earlier post “without trying to present any image of myself”

I feel i have an important question: Can this alertness or awareness come without danger? Without the undersatanding of fear or danger?

I presume you mean without danger to the self, without its very existence being threatened?

I believe i tried to ask this question previously. It was deflected.

Link, you are a prolific write. I have only a limited time to spend on the forum (it varies) and I am not able to respond to everything I read – or even to read all the postings sometimes. On the other hand, I have stated several times if people feel a question has been ignored, or not met, they are welcome to repeat it – at least as far as I am concerned.

Excellent. Regarding the last few messages i posted, you have learned alot and are coming on.

This sounds very patronising, Link. Do you think you have taken on some role as my mentor? I am not looking for such a thing.

Yes, but inward awareness is only encouraged by conflict/friction etc.

I am in the dark about what you mean by this. We are discussing on the other thread that self consciousness comes into being when there is friction.

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Mon, 29 May 2017 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

It is surely no coincidence that Krishnamurti's writings invariably contain descriptions of nature, showing his acute observation of the world. Actually he does not just describe nature but the whole scene around him, perhaps some city street, some person - the beautiful and the ugly. Is this not the basic message of the teachings, the necessity of choiceless awareness …. behind the words, behind the explanations and descriptions of the workings of the mind?

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Tue, 30 May 2017 #6
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I feel i have an important question: Can this alertness or awareness come without danger? Without the undersatanding of fear or danger?

I presume you mean without danger to the self, without its very existence being threatened?

No, that isnt what i meant. Once again, this is one of the things which we disagree about as well as the meaningfulness of what is going on in this forum and the inner vs. the outer.

How can there be alertness without danger? Without the awareness of danger and the other ugly things which keep the mind alert? What is it that would keep me alert if there wasnt this danger to which my mind does not fall asleep?

There is psychological fear and there is danger, but when one is serious about psychological fear then one is alert to danger and the mind does not fall asleep.

Krishnamurti said that sentimentality and love cannot exist together.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, but inward awareness is only encouraged by conflict/friction etc.

I am in the dark about what you mean by this. We are discussing on the other thread that self consciousness comes into being when there is friction.

If there was no friction or conflict how would a person be conscious of their reactions, thought process or the workings of their mind? This friction and conflict comes from the animal world. How can one be free of it if they are not aware of it? How can i be free of these reactions if i am not aware of them? If i was not aware of them i would either be like an animal justifying my behavior thoughtlessly or i would be like someone who was blind drunk on romanticism and sentimentality. I would be lacking any true firsthand insight.

We do this and become attached to this world of romanticism and then the truth frightens us. We arent capable of reacting to it directly so we filter out what is being said and distort the truth to cater to this world of romanticism. It becomes all that is important and we totally disregard everything K has said.

It seems that having a dialogue on these forums is nothing but a compromise to this world of romanticism and sentimentality. A sort of subtle arm wrestling match. The scam-artistry involved, the crookedness in discussion. And the person who throws out what they dont want to hear and accepts this as the truth of Krishnamurtis message.

To live a life without conflict does not mean to avoid conflict by deceiving oneself. One may say they are not deceived and be lying and at that point what further discussion can occur? To me, it isnt even subtle and it is almost pointless to discuss here. What it comes down to is this disagreeance between us.

When this is questioned dozens of times in a manner which would absolutely indicate that the other person was actively disregarding the question it becomes obvious that the other person is playing a superficial game. Beauty or love or compassion does not mean to be unaware of what other people go through or the ugliness of the world. One cannot have meaningful discussion with a group of people who endlessly suggest that this romanticism is the only thing that is important. They are zealous about it and react how a zealot reacts when the object of their obsession is questioned. It is no different than any other religion or belief system or tradition. It exists only to give that person security for themselves it creates division and all of the other things which K claimed to be free of.

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Tue, 30 May 2017 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

Link Smickman wrote:
No, that isnt what i meant. Once again, this is one of the things which we disagree about as well as the meaningfulness of what is going on in this forum and the inner vs. the outer.

Clive: I do not know that I have disagreements. I feel I am generally ready to look at things anew, to reassess, to drop any conclusions that might have been formed. Of course one might arrive at the same point after a new inquiry.

How can there be alertness without danger? Without the awareness of danger and the other ugly things which keep the mind alert? What is it that would keep me alert if there wasnt this danger to which my mind does not fall asleep?

Clive: I see what you are getting at. Is the mind itself not “danger”? Is it not the mind, the human mind, that is behind all the conflict and ultimately war? Is it not the mind, with its greed, that has bought the environment to the very edge of destruction? Is it not the mind that holds doggedly to some belief, in opposition to other people's beliefs, that is incredibly dangerous to the safety of others? History, and the current state of affairs in the world, shows this to be true.
So I am the danger. Trouble is, the self has been conditioned not to think in these terms, but rather to see itself as the possible savour from danger.

[cut]

We are discussing on the other thread that self consciousness comes into being when there is friction.
If there was no friction or conflict how would a person be conscious of their reactions, thought process or the workings of their mind?

Clive: I still have not seen this clearly. I am not much interested in being convinced intellectually about it, but I have to actually see it in my own mind.

This friction and conflict comes from the animal world. How can one be free of it if they are not aware of it? How can i be free of these reactions if i am not aware of them? If i was not aware of them i would either be like an animal justifying my behavior thoughtlessly or i would be like someone who was blind drunk on romanticism and sentimentality. I would be lacking any true firsthand insight.
We do this and become attached to this world of romanticism and then the truth frightens us. We arent capable of reacting to it directly so we filter out what is being said and distort the truth to cater to this world of romanticism. It becomes all that is important and we totally disregard everything K has said.
It seems that having a dialogue on these forums is nothing but a compromise to this world of romanticism and sentimentality. A sort of subtle arm wrestling match. The scam-artistry involved, the crookedness in discussion.

Clive: This is not my impression of the discussion that goes on here. But there seems little point in arguing about it. I see no point in getting heated about what other people do or don't do – and I cannot escape the perception that any opinions I draw are no more than that – opinions. What is of concern is the mind that is drawing those opinions.

Clive: I note that once again the thread has gone off in on a complete tangent to the original topic, which was awareness. As usual, things have scattered into a general discussion, not to mention complains about the forum. Just for once, I wish we could have an inquiry that keeps focused on the original, intended inquiry. Is this not possible?

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Wed, 31 May 2017 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

Link, some things came in response to your saying that alertness is related to a sense, or condition, of danger. I feel some some uncertainty about equating alertness and awareness, but let us push on with the inquiry for now, and see where it goes.

We can observe that animals, even domesticated ones, seem to have this sense of alertness all the time. Even when sleeping, perhaps. The state seems to exist at some unconscious, or semi-conscious level in the body rather than the mind – if we can distinguish between the two.

I think this same sense of body-alertness exists in humans, at the physical level. Probably all car-drivers have had the experience of suddenly realising they must have passed through sets of traffic lights without being cognizant of the fact at the time. But the body had behaved appropriately, perhaps stopping on red when necessary. There seems to be some some of automatic pilot system in us, and perhaps this is necessary at a certain level, in certain circumstances. After all, most of our bodily functions, like breathing, happen automatically.

But we instantly 'wake up' when something unexpected happens – a change in our environment. “Unexpected” means, to the body, possible danger. If a car pulls out in front of us, we instantly brake. If there is a change in our breathing pattern, we notice it – we are alert.

But this state of alertness is not carried over into psychological matters, is it? The self lives in a state of fear, and this is not alertness – what it fears is really its own projections, its own imagination, not what is happening now. And in fact the mind is not generally alert, aware, to the danger that it itself is perpetuating, through its own fears, its own self-defensiveness. I went into this a little in the previous post.

The mind has created a state of great danger, at many levels. I suggest it is its state of unawareness that has done this. And we do not have to look far for the 'culprit'. How can a mind constantly preoccupied with thought be at all alert, aware?

Many questions arise, but I will finish for now.

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Wed, 31 May 2017 #9
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
We can observe that animals, even domesticated ones, seem to have this sense of alertness all the time. Even when sleeping, perhaps.

Hmmm. i dont know.. Im going to have to disagree, respectfully. The human being is the animal, we are the same thing. A domesticated animal will suffer trauma when put into a cage with a wild animal not only because they are physically different but also mentally. The domesticated animal is less alert. We come from the animal world and this part of us that does not see the dangers in life which Krishnamurti spoke about is the same part of us that the animals have. The animals do this just as unadulterated as the human. Krishnamurti spoke of the dangers of the world and also the dangers of carrying over pleasure and the I. These things exist, they are already there and without freeing oneself of these things by being aware of them ones activity is escape.

Clive Elwell wrote:
The state seems to exist at some unconscious, or semi-conscious level in the body rather than the mind – if we can distinguish between the two.

How can alertness or awareness be unconscious or semi-conscious? If that were the case than one would be unaware or only partially alert.

Clive Elwell wrote:
But the body had behaved appropriately, perhaps stopping on red when necessary

That means the mind has become mechanical and is asleep. People do this with knowledge that they have learned and something becomes repetitive and mechanical like a habit.

Clive Elwell wrote:
But we instantly 'wake up' when something unexpected happens – a change in our environment. “Unexpected” means, to the body, possible danger.

Do we? Im not sure we wake up, we may respond on a shallow level. Most people dont even want to be disturbed because they are concerned with escape and imagination. This is also something which is being weeded out of the stream-lined life of pleasure because it is disturbing. People tolerate this less and less as time goes by. They want robots, automation.

Clive Elwell wrote:
But this state of alertness is not carried over into psychological matters, is it?

If it was real alertness it would leave an impact on that persons life as if getting run over by a garbage truck. They would feel it in their whole being, not just in their mind or in ideas. As K said the brain is the same unified organism as the body and how can one be alert only in their mind? What meaning does that have? What is that person actually aware of when they snub poor people or dont see the atrocities going on in the world and the suffering which exists?

Clive Elwell wrote:
The self lives in a state of fear, and this is not alertness

Yes, but there is also security, escape. Alot of people probably arent even aware they have fear when they are young. If you asked them they wouldnt know what you meant and they would be ashamed of such things because they are either young and unalert or they are escaping into psychological security. The known is psychological security.

Clive Elwell wrote:
what it fears is really its own projections, its own imagination, not what is happening now.

Hmmmm... I feel i understand what you are saying and would like you to investigate this particular factor very deeply so that you can find the truth and not just be satisfied with an answer. I would say that escape is like that, entertainment, romanticism, imagination and that is what most people are doing. When fear exists in that it is because ones mind is trying to tell them something which is usually connected to reality and sensitivity to truth. This is very difficult to learn about because it is so deep rooted and ones entire life is based upon escape from this. They invest in this escape. So in our society is ingrained this counter-paradox as K spoke about. K said that many who cultivate good are influenced by what they are against until they are not good etc.

Clive Elwell wrote:
The mind has created a state of great danger, at many levels. I suggest it is its state of unawareness that has done this. And we do not have to look far for the 'culprit'. How can a mind constantly preoccupied with thought be at all alert, aware?

I dont agree. I think that most of what the mind has created is escape. This is also societies meglomanic drive to entertain itself with pleasure, sensation and disregard for what is real. These things seem to be related. It seems to me that one cannot be free of fear in this manner unless they are asleep to the nature of conflict and relationship and division. All of the things involved are also related to everything involved in the nature of society. Competitiveness, respectability, class division etc. I would not be able to do this if i was poor, i would have all kinds of people who felt that i did not understand them and also face many other problems. It would be sort of like putting a domesticated animal with wild animals, the domesticated animal would get killed. I would need some kind of position in society to do this.

Society is the collection of psychology which is the mass, the majority. It is a battlefield. Already present is fear and the products of thought. One does not need to create these things. It may be possible that it was easier to be aware of in the past when there was more crisis in ones life, but it is there. If i was free of fear i would also be aware of all of the things going on in relationship (this is part of communication). Most people do not care to be free of the society, they dont even question much of it. To them right and wrong means only what the society says.

If there was a very ambitious, ruthless person who had invested much in escape and felt that they were offended when i said that it isnt natural for a biological organism to live mechanically and manage its energy mechanically and started threatening me and saying i should be dead (this happens to me), then i would need to understand fear completely right down to the understanding of the image of myself. To do this i would be void of though because i was aware of it. If i didnt do this my mind would be coerced and conditioned. From there i would have an image of myself and my judgment would be imbalanced. Does awareness mean to be only concerned with a part or corner of life and be less concerned with the rest of it? Or is it to see the entire picture of life all ot once without motive, without one desire pulling stronger than another?

Also to be aware means to be aware of the other, of what is going on in relationship. If an ambitious person was threatening me i would be aware of what is going on in relationship and inside them. If someone was not concerned that their egotism was involved in relationship and that they were ruthless i would get kicked around endlessly (K said he had been through everything but was never hurt inwardly). I would be aware of this persons hypocrisy. I would be aware that they have no care for others, that they are very violent. If they are hurt or fearful or insecure i would see all that. Most ambitious people get heavily offended when i am like that around then and i have little rights because of how the society has changed and operates, but i still do this and it has caused me great loss.

I recall a dialog with krishnamurti and another about insecurity. This other person kept suggesting that security was integral and legit (kind of like what you are suggesting). And krishnamurti kept saying no, no, no. He said that security causes insensitivity and insecurity in relationship. This was 50 or so years ago so politics have changed greatly, but the same foundational significance remains. Krishnamurti kept trying to suggest that this other was not aware of insecurity.

Here.. I'll post the link: Well, i cant find the link, sorry. You may recall this text. It was a discussion related to discontent i believe.. the flame and vitality of discontent. Here is a similar link: http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/commentari...

The reason why i sound so patronizing is because it is important for one to to go into things deeply which they arent clear about.. right into the depths of their own thinking and one cannot suggest this if they were to agree with the escape which leads away from this, with an answer etc. An answer means little when it isnt something which is clearly understood first hand.

I have been in so many situations where i questioned myself to the core when someone was saying i was egotistical and i found clearly, most of those times, that there is no way i could hold onto what is true if i was acting in any other way, i would be departing from truth. Usually these kinds of things are like an arm wrestling match. If someone did infact have egotism, yet they felt they did not it would create a paradox in relationship that i would need to understand to remain free of conditioning and persuasion. Usually these people arent totally honest. I would need to understand the image that would exist if i did not understand thought/the society. Most of these times i was not being egotistical, but very humble and serious and honest.

There many types of fear, fear is not just connected to something real, but can there be freedom from fear when there is escape? Are we aware of this escape? Is not security and pleasure the same mental mechanism which is fear? Like Krishnamurti said they are 2 sides of the same coin. The problem is that if i was to agree with you the way you put it i would also be agreeing with the society and its dishonesty and meglomania. You may say that isnt true, but those are just words. I guess what we should be discussing first is whether we are conditioned, whether we are asleep in security and or relationship to that security.

"Are you aware that you are conditioned?

Are you aware that you are conditioned? That is the first thing to ask yourself, not how to be free of your conditioning. You may never be free of it, and if you say, 'I must be free of it', you may fall into another trap of another form of conditioning. So are you aware that you are conditioned? Do you know that even when you look at a tree and say, 'That is an oak tree', or 'that is a banyan tree', the naming of the tree, which is botanical knowledge, has so conditioned your mind that the word comes between you and actually seeing the tree? To come in contact with the tree you have to put your hand on it and the word will not help you to touch it."

Freedom from the Known,25

"Questioner: Discontent prevents clear thinking. How are we to overcome this obstacle?

Krishnamurti: I don't think you can have listened to what I was saying; probably you were concerned with your question, worrying about how you were going to put it. That is what you are all doing in different ways. Each one has a preoccupation, and if what I say is not what you want to hear you push it aside because your mind is occupied with your own problem. If the questioner had listened to what was being said, if he had really felt the inward nature of discontent, of gaiety, of being creative, then I don't think he would have put this question.

Now, does discontent prevent clear thinking? And what is clear thinking? is it possible to think very clearly if you want to get something out of your thinking? If your mind is concerned with a result, can you think very clearly? Or can you think very clearly only when you are not seeking an end, a result, not trying to gain something?

And can you think clearly if you have a prejudice, a particular belief - that is, if you think as a Hindu, a communist, or a Christian? Surely, you can think very clearly only when your mind is not tethered to a belief as a monkey might be tethered to a stake; you can think very clearly only when you are not seeking a result; you can think very clearly only when you have no prejudice - all of which means, really, that you can think clearly, simply and directly only when your mind is no longer pursuing any form of security and is therefore free of fear.

So, in one way, discontent does prevent clear thinking. When through discontent you pursue a result, or when you seek to smother discontent because your mind hates to be disturbed and wants at all costs to be quiet, peaceful, then clear thinking is not possible. But if you are discontented with everything - with your prejudice, with your beliefs, with your fears - and are not seeking a result, then that very discontent brings your thought into focus, not upon any particular object or in any particular direction, but your whole thinking process becomes very simple, direct and clear.

Young or old, most of us are discontented merely because we want something - more knowledge, a better job, a finer car, a bigger salary. Our discontent is based upon our desire for "the more'. It is only because we want something more that most of us are discontented. But I am not talking about that kind of discontent. It is the desire for"the more' that prevents clear thinking. Whereas if we are discontented, not because we want something, but without knowing what we want; if we are dissatisfied with our jobs, with making money, with seeking position and power, with tradition, with what we have and with what we might have; if we are dissatisfied, not with anything in particular but with everything, then I think we shall find that our discontent brings clarity. When we don't accept or follow, but question, investigate, penetrate, there is an insight out of which comes creativity, joy."

-This Matter of Culture Chapter 5

Clive Elwell wrote:
Clive: I note that once again the thread has gone off in on a complete tangent to the original topic, which was awareness. As usual, things have scattered into a general discussion, not to mention complains about the forum. Just for once, I wish we could have an inquiry that keeps focused on the original, intended inquiry. Is this not possible?

It would not be possible for someone who is concerned with the truth to make that which is not true truth. That is what you want is it not? You will say it is not, but i see that it is. The only thing which is causing any tangent is motive in you coming into conflict with the words of someone who is concerned with truth. And this would happen if that was the case, there would be friction. Do you want to coerce people away from what is truth because you want to hear what sounds nice?

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Wed, 31 May 2017 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

Link Smickman wrote:
The domesticated animal is less alert.

Well, it may be, but this is not the sort of thing that I want to discuss. That would seem a terribly oblique way of approaching the issue of awareness. In fact I do not think that any intellectual discussion will really serve our purpose here. Remember the car hitting the goat?

Link Smickman wrote:
How can alertness or awareness be unconscious or semi-conscious? If that were the case than one would be unaware or only partially alert.

Why not? Why can there not be a dormant alertness in the body? Some sense, below the conscious level, that is always on the look out for danger, or at least changes in the environment that may be sigificant?

Perhaps in this we meet the real difference between the meaning of "alerness" and "awareness"

Link Smickman wrote:
That means the mind has become mechanical and is asleep.

Yes, the mind is asleep in a sense, but something is awake, that is my point. Otherwise there would be a heck of a lot more traffic accidents.

Link Smickman wrote:
Do we? Im not sure we wake up, we may respond on a shallow level.

I would not call it shallow at all. At times in my life this sudden waking up - and one characteristic if this state is that thuoght instantly drops as away - has been life saving. There is a sense of pure awareness, and also pure action. I think at that moment the reptilian brain becomes dominant.

Link Smickman wrote:
If it was real alertness it would leave an impact on that persons

Wait a moment. Does not K suggest the opposite? Does he not suggest that when we are fully aware - aware, for example, of flattery or insult, then there is NO residue left? And when we are are not aware, that is when we create all this detritus. That is when things are never fully finished with, and so remain to clutter up the mind in the future? Talking psychologically here

I think this is worth going into. Have to stop for now.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Wed, 31 May 2017.

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Wed, 31 May 2017 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

During this inquiry, an inquiry mostly with myself, I have been watching the mind that is concerned with awareness. And I see the 'mistake' it has been making, perhaps for many years. It is a fundamental mistake, that seems built into the mind itself. The mind does not, and perhaps can not, know awareness. All it can know is an idea, a concept of awareness. Whenever the mind thinks about awareness this is all it has.

And as with all ideas, the mind wants to be it. It wants to be this state of awareness, it sounds very attractive. And the only way the mind thinks it can be anything, is by becoming that thing. I cannot see any real difference between being and becoming, for the mind.

So, however subtly, the mind wants to capture the state of awareness. And it thinks, at some level, that it can DO something about awareness, it can make itself aware, it can practice being aware. I believe this is the concept behind various forms of meditation, including the practice of 'mindfulness'.

Seeing the falseness of all this, seeing that simple awareness of what is around me, of what the senses bring in, is nothing to do with 'me', with thought, with ideas, all such mental activity around the concept must cease. By “must cease” I am not implying some effort to make it cease. But there must be negation. These perceptions point towards negation.

When there is negation, what is left? It seems to me what is left is awareness of one's non-awareness, awareness that that one exists in a state of non-attention. This is a fact, it is not a concept, not an idea that can be manipulated. It is a fact that can only be faced.

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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 #12
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Well, it may be, but this is not the sort of thing that I want to discuss. That would seem a terribly oblique way of approaching the issue of awareness. In fact I do not think that any intellectual discussion will really serve our purpose here. Remember the car hitting the goat?

Yes, i usually would agree. I have found myself saying the same thing you have just said.. I feel that i cannot just agree with you, though. Please understand... I can tell you are serious about this.. That is why i put an importance on agreeance vs disgreeance which you have pointed to in the past. Please read further without pre-mature judgement..

Clive Elwell wrote:
That would seem a terribly oblique way of approaching the issue of awareness.

Yes i do agree. Involved in such an approach would mean that there is no opportunity left open to communicate.. Clive, what is this factor which is not left open to communicate? Its a very important factor.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why not? Why can there not be a dormant alertness in the body? Some sense, below the conscious level, that is always on the look out for danger, or at least changes in the environment that may be sigificant?

Feel it out. Dont just be satisfied with an answer. No one can give another such a complicated answer. If my mind and body are separated and i feel that i am a successful wall-street broker and i have told myself for many years that i am right, that i must do this, or that.. then i am sperated from mind and body. Thiere is conflict, it is present.

My mind pursues meditation, my body pursues wall-street.. A conflict.

When you feel something with your whole being, you feel it as if you have just been hit by a bus... And the fear involved is also involevd.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Wait a moment. Does not K suggest the opposite? Does he not suggest that when we are fully aware - aware, for example, of flattery or insult, then there is NO residue left?

Youre jumping ahead.. When there is no accumultion left, does he not suggest that when we are fully aware - aware

No, clive, its a bit more complicated than that... As K has said, The world is mechanical.... And to free oneself of that is first necessary... as you said, that is all that is necessary..

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Fri, 02 Jun 2017 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

Link Smickman wrote:
. When there is no accumultion left, does he not suggest that when we are fully aware - aware

Well, I am not in that state of there being no accumulation left. In fact there is the constant realisation that I AM accumulation, I AM the past. This is the problem, is it not, that the past keeps responding to the present, interpreting it, condemning it, analysing it, and all the rest of it. Judgement of various firms. And where there is judgement, there is no awareness, is there. K keeps emphasising that awareness is choiceless.

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Thu, 08 Jun 2017 #14
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

If i dont feel something with my whole being then i only learn according to a pattern. In this case the pattern would be crookedness and deceit. When i learn to ride a bike i do it with my whole being. If i learn something only according to an intellectual skit, or i learn something with my mind while my body is stoned then it becomes a hard thing to manage..

To learn, first hand, means to do so with your entire being, just as you learn to ride a bike. That is why political correctness is a tawdry farce... We agree only in a small chunk of our minds. The rest of us is doing as we please, conflicts and all. And then we ask for answers..

The world is now filled with all kinds of people who only understand in their mind.. And they have narrowed life down to a cheap, shallow affair.. These people seek respectability where they can hide.. They are fearful and they hide in respectability because they have no spine.

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Thu, 08 Jun 2017 #15
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 348 posts in this forum Offline

I think you're quite right, Link. To learn is an action involving one's whole being.

What would it mean to learn to ride a bike partially, not with your entire being? If the child (or grownup) is afraid but is scolded or ridiculed for being afraid, that is an impediment or obstacle to learning, isn't it? As long as the child is not "allowed" to feel and face his fear, then the child cannot give himself fully to learning to ride the bike, can he?

You bring up political correctness. Isn't fear the root of political correctness? By the time political correctness comes into our lives, we are so conditioned to masking our true feelings that we are not even aware of them. Isn't it so?

Then what does it mean to "have a spine"? Does it mean to be aggressive (for example), or does it mean to be fully aware of what I am feeling and - understanding the false division between self and thought - "letting" awareness of the totality of what I am feeling/thinking/perceiving guide my actions?

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Fri, 09 Jun 2017 #16
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

To understand ourselves requires objective, kindly, dispassionate study of ourselves, ourselves being the organism as a whole -our body, our feelings, our thoughts. They are not separate, they are interrelated. It is only when we understand the organism as a whole that we can go beyond and discover still further, greater, vaster things. But without this primary understanding, without laying right foundation for right thinking, we cannot proceed to greater heights.


  • Krishnamurti, Ojai 1944,Talk 1

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Fri, 09 Jun 2017 #17
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
You bring up political correctness. Isn't fear the root of political correctness? By the time political correctness comes into our lives, we are so conditioned to masking our true feelings that we are not even aware of them. Isn't it so?

Yes.. I do think that is so and pretty obvious, also being careful not to hurt anyone in the true sense of the word.

Huguette . wrote:
Then what it mean to "have a spine"? Does it mean to be aggressive (for example), or does it mean to be fully aware of what I am feeling and - understanding the false division between self and thought - "letting" awareness of the totality of what I am feeling/thinking/perceiving guide my actions?

To have a spine may not mean the same thing that someone thinks when they strive to have a spine or try to be courageous. It does not mean to be aggressive. Does it mean that i am agressive to see the truth? To see, to percieve, as k spoke of? Does it mean that i am agressive or angry merely to see that the world we live in is violent, disordered, geared to killing, without love, without compassion, without mere consideration.. To see.. To see that.. To see that is true.. does that make one angry or aggressive?

It does not mean that to see that.

The mind is conditioned to profile in that manner.. though it isnt truth..

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Fri, 09 Jun 2017 #18
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 348 posts in this forum Offline

Link Smickman wrote:
To have a spine may not mean the same thing that someone thinks when they strive to have a spine or try to be courageous. It does not mean to be aggressive. Does it mean that i am agressive to see the truth?

I certainly don't think that seeing the truth is aggression. But what does it mean to say that people have no spine? Is it that seeing the truth, part of the truth, the whole truth, or is it something else?

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Sun, 11 Jun 2017 #19
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
To understand ourselves requires objective, kindly, dispassionate study of ourselves, ourselves being the organism as a whole -our body, our feelings, our thoughts. They are not separate, they are interrelated. It is only when we understand the organism as a whole that we can go beyond and discover still further, greater, vaster things. But without this primary understanding, without laying right foundation for right thinking, we cannot proceed to greater heights.

Krishnamurti, Ojai 1944,Talk 1

Yes, i agree with this. Is there something you were trying to suggest that you didnt write? Is this not what we are discussing?

Huguette . wrote:
I certainly don't think that seeing the truth is aggression. But what does it mean to say that people have no spine? Is it that seeing the truth, part of the truth, the whole truth, or is it something else?

No, neither do i. It isnt the condemnation of aggression either. Please question me to great depth, freely. What i meant by people having no spine is that they dont question anything, they are pursuing pleasure and therefore fearful. They dont even really care to learn about any of the things involved if it doesnt give them the reward they are currently after.

Huguette . wrote:
Then what does it mean to "have a spine"? Does it mean to be aggressive (for example), or does it mean to be fully aware of what I am feeling and - understanding the false division between self and thought - "letting" awareness of the totality of what I am feeling/thinking/perceiving guide my actions?

But i am the society and there would be no way to understand it and be free of it without understanding it, which is understanding myself. They are the same thing. The inner is the outer. There would be no way for me to be free of the i if there wasnt the other which i was aware of, not just in the present moment but also all throughout the past. My mind is conditioned by the past and to be free of the i means to be free of the past. To be free of the i does not mean the past and the present are separate, nor does it mean the mind and body are separate. Is it even possible to be free of the i and therefore free of the society only in the mind? If i separate then there is a division. How can i be whole when there is a division, a contradiction? How can awareness be divided?

Krishnamurti made it fairly clear that to be free of the i meant to perceive the other. He said that where i am not the other is. He also spent some time speaking about the nature of the world which is corrupt and has no love and he said the freedom of the i and the freedom from the society is the seeing of all this.

It seems clear to me that the freedom from the i, the freedom from the society and the perceiving of the truth of the society and what another goes through are one. They are the same thing. All of this is the truth.

If i see clearly that someone is fearful and because of that they are aggressive, if i see clearly that they are aggressive because they are fearful then the relationship changes. It is no longer a battle. If i see that someone who is pacified is unhappy with that pacifism, that they feel incomplete and somewhat discontent, that they want answers, then the relationship changes. Then i am no longer battling with these shallow level symptoms of a deeper contradiction. If i did not see clearly then it becomes a battle. If i did not see clearly and i was concerned with esoterics or romanticism or sentimentality or i was concerned with what a person is concerned with when they only want patch-work then i would be agreeing or disagreeing with something trivial, something which led us all into more pacifism, more problems, more conflict. If i was the common person seeking pleasure and holding the images involved in pleasure the same principle is involved, then i encourage the false, i encourage the problems and confusion. Then we all have problems, then we all have a partial understanding, then we all are pacified but pat each other on the back encouraging romanticism for a temporary time, then we all ask these questions indicating that we only partially feel the truth, that we are only partially clear. This is the movement of degradation, this is the movement away from clarity.

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Mon, 12 Jun 2017 #20
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 348 posts in this forum Offline

19:

Link Smickman wrote:
What i meant by people having no spine is that they dont question anything, they are pursuing pleasure and therefore fearful. They dont even really care to learn about any of the things involved if it doesnt give them the reward they are currently after.

"They" are conditioned and "I" am conditioned. Therefore, we are in the same boat, aren't we? I might be questioning the human condition, I might perhaps have a certain degree of insight or understanding, but I am still conditioned, confused, a prisoner to fear, compulsion, habit. Being in that condition, how can I talk about "their" failings, the failings of others, the blindness of others, as though it were relevant to, or even the cause of, my condition? Are their failings really the source of my suffering? As I see it, if you and I are not suffering, prisoners of conditioning, what are we doing here?

And aren't we all pursuing pleasure of one sort or another? Not necessarily the pleasure of fame, money, entertainment, power, alcohol, partying, aggression, and so on. Perhaps our pleasure lies in pursuing wisdom, understanding, serenity, superiority, comparison, conceit, for example.

Does focusing on the failings of others deepen my own understanding? Does it free "my own" mind from fear, jealousy, anger, hurt, and so on? I'm not pretending that I don't have those reactions of anger at others, of comparing others to me, and so on... But I feel that what matters is to see the whole process of conditioning clearly in me, and learn from it. There is no learning, wisdom, freedom, peace, love or understanding in condemning others. Is there?

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Mon, 12 Jun 2017 #21
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 348 posts in this forum Offline

19:

Link Smickman wrote:
There would be no way for me to be free of the i if there wasnt the other which i was aware of, not just in the present moment but also all throughout the past. My mind is conditioned by the past and to be free of the i means to be free of the past. To be free of the i does not mean the past and the present are separate, nor does it mean the mind and body are separate. Is it even possible to be free of the i and therefore free of the society only in the mind? If i separate then there is a division. How can i be whole when there is a division, a contradiction? How can awareness be divided?

Can "I" be free of the "I"? The "I" IS the past, isn't it? The "I" does not deliberately separate itself from society. It is conditioning which creates the illusion that I AM - that the thinker, the observer, the "individual" IS - separate from society, isn't it? Can a fictional image, an illusion, an idea, a belief - i.e. a fragment - be whole?

And isn't "the other" just another "I", believing himself or herself to be separated from society, each one perhaps struggling to be free of the "I", each one trying to correct the other? Aren't the same psychological processes of separation and effort operating in both me and the other? If I am aware of the processes within, does it give me any further understanding into the human condition to be "aware" of the other? Is judging the other "awareness"?

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Tue, 13 Jun 2017 #22
Thumb_stringio Link Smickman United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
"They" are conditioned and "I" am conditioned. Therefore, we are in the same boat, aren't we? I might be questioning the human condition, I might perhaps have a certain degree of insight or understanding, but I am still conditioned, confused, a prisoner to fear, compulsion, habit. Being in that condition, how can I talk about "their" failings, the failings of others, the blindness of others, as though it were relevant to, or even the cause of, my condition? Are their failings really the source of my suffering? As I see it, if you and I are not suffering, prisoners of conditioning, what are we doing here?

Suppose a UFO comes crashing down out of the sky. It tells me things that confirm without a doubt what is right and wrong. Not because i need something to tell me what is right or wrong, but because i have good judgment already, because i question, because i deduce, because i use intelligent judgment.

Suppose someone else sees the UFO and has a conditioned response that the UFO is a childish conspiracy theory. At that point they feel they already have the answer and later they ask the questions like Clive, saying they obviously only are partially clear.

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Tue, 13 Jun 2017 #23
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 348 posts in this forum Offline

Personally I think that one (the mind) has to doubt and question everything, including one's own perceptions, because one's perceptions are clouded, coloured or shaped by what one knows. But where one observes without coming to conclusions regarding perception or fashioning new ideas out of perception, one does not accumulate and refer to the accumulation for insight and understanding. As long as one observes without conclusions or ideas about truth, one is not paralyzed and there is right action, not action based on the past.

What is one's urgent problems, what really matters right now - not just for me but for humanity? Thirty years or 6 months ago one was attacked, another was defrauded, another saw a UFO come crashing down. It happened and "I" (the past) think that it happened to "me". But there is no "me", is there? The memory of it IS the "me", no? Can the mind let that go and act regarding the actual problems facing it right now, i.e. face "what is", not "what was"? So that the mind is not divided by time and therefore action is not divisive? Or do I depend on the past for all my energy, my raison d'etre, my purpose and drive? If the mind lives in the past, if the past governs the mind, that is inescapably division and conflict, isn't it?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 13 Jun 2017.

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Tue, 13 Jun 2017 #24
Thumb_stringio Heather Strong United States 15 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Huguette . wrote:
"If the mind lives in the past, if the past governs the mind, that is inescapably division and conflict, isn't it?"

Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás wrote-Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

A definition of remember: have in or be able to bring to one's mind an awareness of (someone or something that one has seen, known, or experienced in the past).

A definition of live:
to be thoroughly absorbed by or involved with

It seems that if the mind can be aware of the past, but not become absorbed by the past...then the past can play a role educationally, but not disable the minds ability to move forward.

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Tue, 13 Jun 2017 #25
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 348 posts in this forum Offline

But I don't agree with Jorge Agustin Nicolas Ruiz de Santayana y Borras, Heather.

As I see it, it has been and still is Man's tradition, pride and desire to memorialize, glorify and vindicate the past. Far from being forgotten, the past is glorified and used as justification for more and more conflict. It is a source of pride and self-pity. Isn't the present a constant repetition of brutality, conflict, national, ethnic, religious, social pride? Isn't it an ever strengthening and glorification of the past and a deepening of the divides created by the past?

Awareness is not of the past, is it? This doesn't mean that knowledge is condemned.
But how can the mind which does not understand itself, which does not understand the nature of self, identification and time be aware of the past without being absorbed, fixated on, driven by the past? Where there is no self-understanding, then choice, decision, conclusion, fear, hate, anger, desire, etc., are the choosers of action. No?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 13 Jun 2017.

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Mon, 10 Jul 2017 #26
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Awareness is not of the past, is it?

From K:

So one has to be tremendously aware of every movement of thought. That is very easy, don't complicate it. When you are angry, for the moment you do not know even that feeling. But when you examine it you can observe the arising of it - right? The arising of greed, the arising of envy, the arising of ambition, aggression, as it arises to watch it, not at the end of it, as it is arising, as you watch it, it withers away. You understand? So the brain can be aware of the arising of a thought. The awareness of the arising of thought is attention, not to smother it, destroy it, put it away, but just the feeling that - don't you know the feeling of hunger when it arises? Obviously you do. Or your sexual feeling, as it arises to be completely aware of it. So the awareness, the attention of the movement of the 'me', my desire, my ambition, my egotistic pursuit, when one is aware as it arises, it withers away. That is absolutely necessary so that there is not a particle, a shadow of this 'me', because the 'me' is separate. I went into all that. So that is the first thing I have to understand. Not control my body, special breathing, yoga - you know all those - you wash your hands of all those.

So K is talking about watching thought ARISE.

This is an issue that I have looked at a lot. I realise that I never see thought arise – I do not see the the very origins of it. Is that possible?

But perhaps that is not quite true. Perhaps there are times when that happens, but its hard to say, because then the thought never gets the chance to really form at all, and so there is no memory of it.

But usually awareness of the thought comes in AFTER it has formed

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Mon, 10 Jul 2017 #27
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 709 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But usually awareness of the thought comes in AFTER it has formed

Thought has to be aware of itself.

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Tue, 11 Jul 2017 #28
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3560 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:

Clive: But usually awareness of the thought comes in AFTER it has formed

Dan: Thought has to be aware of itself.

Are you saying that there is a contradiction between these two statements, Dan?

BTW, perhaps it would have been better if I had said awareness comes in DURING the thought?

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Thu, 13 Jul 2017.

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