Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Effort


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Tue, 04 Jul 2017 #1
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

From today's QOTD:

Here K is once again saying we can understand ourselves without effort, and, in fact, that effort is prohibitive to understanding. Any comments?

Commentaries on Living, Volume II | Chapter 12, 'Education and Integration'

Is conflict in any field productive of understanding? Is there not a continuous chain of conflict in the effort, the will to be, to become, whether positive or negative? Does not the cause of conflict become the effect, which in its turn becomes the cause? There is no release from conflict until there is an understanding of what is. The what is can never be understood through the screen of idea; it must be approached afresh. As the what is is never static, the mind must not be bound to knowledge, to an ideology, to a belief, to a conclusion. In its very nature, conflict is separative as all opposition is; and is not exclusion, separation, a factor of disintegration? Any form of power, whether individual or of the State, any effort to become more or to become less, is a process of disintegration. All ideas, beliefs, systems of thought, are separative, exclusive. Effort, conflict, cannot under any circumstances bring understanding, and so it is a degenerating factor in the individual as well as in society.

Let it Be

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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote, citing K, :
Effort, conflict, cannot under any circumstances bring understanding,

I know that you have inquired into this matter of effort for quite a Time now, Tom. Do you accept that effort IS conflict?

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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:

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From today's QOTD:

Here K is once again saying we can understand ourselves without effort, and, in fact, that effort is prohibitive to understanding. Any comments?

The following is from the 14th, and last public talk in Ojai 1949. In it K asks the question:

"Is the maker of effort different from the object toward which he is making effort?"

Now, why do we seek? What does it mean to make effort? We are making effort. Why are we making effort? What is the significance of effort? We say we are making an effort in order to find, in order to change, in order to be something. If we did not make effort, we should disintegrate, or retard, go back. Is that so? Please, this is very important to go into fully, and I will try as much as I can this morning to go into it. If we did not make effort, what would happen? Would we stagnate? But we are making effort. And why? Effort to change, effort to be different in ourselves, to be more happy, to be more beautiful, to be more virtuous - this constant strife and constant effort. If we can understand that, then perhaps we will understand more deeply, other issues.

Why do you seek? Is the search prompted by disease, by ill health, by moods? Do you make an effort because you are unhappy and you want to be happy? Do you seek because you are going to die, and therefore you want to find? Do you seek because you have not fulfilled yourself in the world, therefore you want to fulfil here? Do you seek because you are unhappy, and, hoping for happiness, you seek, you search, you try to find out? So, one must understand the motive for one's search, must one not? What is the motive for your eternal search? - if you are really searching, which I question. What you want is substitution: as this is not profitable, perhaps that will be; as this hasn't given me happiness, perhaps that will. So one is really seeking, not truth, not happiness, but a substitution that will give one happiness; a thing that will be profitable, that will be safe, that will give one gratification. Surely, that is what we are seeking, if we were very honest and clear in ourselves; but we clothe our gratification with words like God, love, and so on.

Now, why do we not approach this question differently? Why don't we understand what is? Why are we not capable of looking at the thing exactly "as is'? Which means that, if we are in pain, let us live with it, look at it, and not try to transform it into something else. If I am in misery, not only physically but especially psychologically, how am I to understand it? By not wishing it to be different, surely. First, I must look at it, I must live with it, I must go into it; I mustn't condemn it, mustn't compare it, wish it to be something else; I must be entirely with that thing, must I not? Which is extremely arduous, because the mind refuses to look at it. It wants to go off at a tangent, it says,"Let me seek an answer, a solution, there must be one'. In other words, it is escaping from what is. And this escape, with most of us, is what we call search - search for the Master, search for truth, search for love, search for God: you know the various terms we use to escape from what exactly is taking place. And, do we have to make an effort to understand what is taking place? We have to make an effort to escape when we don't want it. But when it is there, to understand it, do we have to make an effort? Obviously, we have made effort to escape, to avoid, to cover up what is; and, with that same mentality, which is to make an effort in order to avoid, in order to escape, we approach what is. Do you understand what is, with an effort? Or, must there be no effort to understand what is? So, that is one of the problems, is it not? This constant effort to avoid the understanding of what is, has become habitual with most of us, and with that same mentality of making an effort in order to escape, we say, `All right, I'll drop all escapes and make an effort to understand what is'. Do we understand anything really, significantly, deeply, do we understand anything that has a meaning, through effort? To understand something, must there not obviously be a passivity of the mind, an alertness which is yet passive? Please, you cannot arrive at that passivity of the mind which is alert, through effort, can you? If you make an effort to be passive, you are no longer passive. If one really understands that, the significance of that, and sees the truth of it, then one will be passive. One doesn't have to make an effort.

So, when we seek, we are seeking either with the motive of escape, or of trying to be something more than what is, or else one says, `I am all these things, I must run away' - which is unbalance, insanity. Surely, the search for truth, for the Master, is a state of insanity when the thing is there which must be understood before you can go further. That breeds illusion, ignorance. So, first one must find out what one is seeking and why. Most of us know what we are seeking, and therefore it is a projection, therefore unreal; it is merely a homemade thing. Therefore, it is not truth, it is not the real. And, in understanding this process of search, this constant making effort to be, to discipline, to deny, to assert, one must inquire into the question of what is the thinker. Is the one who makes the effort separate from the thing which he wants to be? Sorry, it may be a little difficult to pursue this, but I hope you don't mind. You have asked the question, and I am going to try to answer it.

Is the maker of effort different from the object toward which he is making effort? This is really very important; because if we can find the truth of this, we will see that there comes immediate transformation, which is essential for understanding - which is understanding, rather. Because, as long as there is a separate entity which makes the effort, as long as there is a separate entity as the experiencer, the thinker, different from the thought, from the object, from the experience, there will always be this problem of seeking, disciplining, bridging the gulf between the thought and the thinker, and so on. Whereas, if we can find the truth of this matter, whether the thinker is separate from the thought, and see the real truth of it, then there will be quite a different process at work. Therefore, you have to find out before you seek, before you find the object of your search - whether it is a Master or a cinema or any other excitement, they are all on the same level - , whether the seeker is different from the object of his search, and why he is different. Why is the maker of effort different from the thing which he wants to be? And is he different? To put it in another way: you have thoughts, and you are also the thinker. You say, `I think. I am this, and I must be that. I am greedy, or mean, or envious, or angry, I have certain habits, and I must break away from them'. Now, is the thinker different from the thought? If he is different, then the whole process must exist of making an effort to bridge, of the thinker trying to alter his thought, the thinker trying to concentrate, to avoid, resist the encroachments of other thoughts. But if he is not different, then there is complete transformation of the way one lives. So, we will have to go into that very carefully and discover - not at the verbal level at all; but experience it directly if we can, as we go along this morning. Which is not to be mesmerized by what I am saying, or accept it, because that has no meaning; but actually to experience for oneself, whether this division is true, and why it exists.

Surely, memories are not different from the me which thinks about them. I am those memories. The memory of the way to the place where I live, the memory of my youth, the memories of both inexperienced and fulfilled desires, the memories of injuries, resentments, ambitions - all that is me, I am not separate from it. Surely, that is an obvious fact, isn't it? The me is not separate, even though you may believe that it is. Since you can think about it, it is still part of thought, and thought is the result of the past. Therefore, it is still within the net of thought, which is memory.

So, the division between the maker of effort, the seeker, the thinker, and the thought, is artificial, fictitious; and the division has been made because we see that thoughts are transient, they come and go. They have no substance in themselves, and so the thinker separates himself to give himself permanency: he exists while thoughts vary. It is a false security; and if one sees the falseness of it, actually experiences it, then there are only thoughts, and not the thinker and the thought. Then you will see - if it is an actual experience, not merely a verbal assertion nor just an amusement, a hobby - then you will find, if it is a real experiencing, that there is a complete revolution in your thinking. Then there is a real transformation, because then there is no longer a seeking for quietude or aloneness. Then there is only the concern with what is thinking, what is thought. Then you will see, if this transformation takes place, that there is no longer an effort, but an extraordinary, alert passivity, in which there is understanding of every relationship, of every incident as it arises; therefore, the mind is always fresh to meet things anew. And hence that silence, which is so essential, is not a thing to be cultivated, but comes into being naturally when you understand this fundamental thing, that the thinker is the thought, and therefore the I is transient. Therefore, the I has no permanency, the I is not a spiritual entity. If you are able to think that the I is gone, or is something spiritual, everlasting, it is still the product of thought, and therefore of the known, therefore not true.

Therefore, it is really important, essential to understanding, to have this sense of complete integration - which cannot be forced - between the thinker and the thought. It is like a deep experience which cannot be invited; you cannot lie awake thinking about it. It must be seen immediately; and we do not see it because we are clinging to past beliefs, conditioning, what we have learned - that the I is something spiritual, more than all the thoughts. Surely, it is so obvious that whatever you think is the product of the past, of your memories, of words, sensations, of your conditioning. You cannot think about the unknown, surely; you cannot know the unknown, therefore, you cannot think about it. What you can think about is the known. Therefore, it is a projection from the past. And, one must see the significance of all this, and then there will be the experiencing of that integration between the thought and the thinker. The division has been artificially created for self-protection, and is therefore unreal. When once there is the experiencing of that integration, then there is a complete transformation with regard to our thinking, feeling, and outlook on life. Then there is only a state of experiencing, and not the experiencer apart from the experienced, which has to be altered, modified, changed. There is only a state of constant experiencing - not the core experiencing, not the centre, the me, the memory, experiencing, but only a state of experiencing. We do this occasionally when we are completely absent, when the self is absent.

I do not know if you have noticed that when there is a deep experiencing of anything, there is neither the sensation of the experiencer nor the experience, but only a state of experiencing, a complete integration. When you are violently angry, you are not conscious of yourself as the experiencer. Later on, as that experience of anger fades, you become conscious of yourself being angry. Then you do something about that anger to deny it, to justify it, to condone it - you know, various forms of trying to pass it away. But if there is not the entity who is angry, but only that state of experiencing, then there is a complete transformation.

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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 #4
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 516 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I know that you have inquired into this matter of effort for quite a Time now, Tom.
Do you accept that effort IS conflict?

Hi Tom, Clive and others

In my opinion, it is not as simple as now being defined.
There are efforts that are worthwhile ....

Last week I was in the morning next to my wife in the bathroom going to wash me and told her I did not feel well ........

The next thing I remember is that there are eight people around my bed, including the GP, who was very nervous, and I was taken in the ambulance to the hospital to be on cardiac monitoring for three days.

On the third day, my heart returned spontaneously back to my normal low heart rate of 44/48, with in the past days 130 being measured.

All the time, I saw different people doing efforts for various reasons. The one on the basis of professional competence, the other to worry about my health and another for only having bread on the table.

It is the motive behind the effort that can lead to conflict,
not effort = conflict.

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, 05 Jul 2017 #5
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I know that you have inquired into this matter of effort for quite a Time now, Tom. Do you accept that effort IS conflict?

I know we went into this issue a lot lately, and intellectually it's clear that psychological effort, not the effort Wim talked about by a doctor or nurse, only perpetuates conflict. Yet time and time again, when I'm feeling some conflict or dealing with some problem, I find that I begin to try to 'figure out' what it's all about....figure it out intellectually....which takes effort....struggle of some sort. If I make no effort at all, then I simply run away from it. I pick up my guitar or a mystery novel (I've enjoyed reading good mysteries like K did, for many years), or I work on my photography hobby. But if it's a pressing problem I'm facing, it never seems to resolve itself effortlessly. Not if I keep running from it. So I make an effort to face it....to observe what my responses are. Let's take a common example: I'm feeling depressed and anxious about my job or about my relationship at home with my wife. Because of this I smoke and drink. I want to find out why I'm living this way. I must do something about it, no? My depression and anxiety and addictions are not going to suddenly resolve themselves effortlessly.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 05 Jul 2017.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I know we went into this issue a lot lately, and intellectually it's clear that psychological effort, not the effort Wim talked about by a doctor or nurse, only perpetuates conflict.

Good that you are focusing us on this issue of effort, Tom. It really is fundamental.

Perhaps rather than saying, as I did, that “effort is conflict”, it would be better to say “effort is resistance”. Of course resistance does imply conflict. Perhaps the very essence of the self is effort. Is it not always concerned with overcoming something, and achieving something (implied is that the something does not exist at the moment, so its absence must be overcome). I remember K saying that the only time we are conscious of the self is through conflict.

Looking at your post:

“My depression and anxiety and addictions are not going to suddenly resolve themselves effortlessly.”

But are not people's depression, anxiety, addictions, etc actually CAUSED in the first place by this making an effort, or at least by thoughts that they SHOULD make an effort?

If there was no mental movement of trying to resolve a problem, then would there be a problem? Does not the problem lie in trying to resolve an issue, and not in the issue itself?

“ time and time again, when I'm feeling some conflict or dealing with some problem, I find that I begin to try to 'figure out' what it's all about....figure it out intellectually....which takes effort....struggle of some sort. ”

Was the original conflict/problem independent of making effort?

“But if it's a pressing problem I'm facing, it never seems to resolve itself effortlessly. Not if I keep running from it. So I make an effort to face it....to observe what my responses are.”

Can one make an effort to observe, to be aware? I am really looking at that question. I know at school one is urged to “pay attention”. So we drag our attention back to our books, but immediately it diffuses, one starts to day-dream, look at something else. Unless we are genuinely interested in what we are doing.

“My depression and anxiety and addictions are not going to suddenly resolve themselves effortlessly. ”

I don't know if this is true or not. Can we say this? Are we ever in that state of freedom from all effort, to make such a statement?

K has often described the common human situation where we are struggling mentally with a problem, either physical or mental, to no avail at all. Finally we get so exhausted with it, we just give up. Then in that state of having given up, that absence of struggle, the solution simply appears – to the mind that is no longer making an effort to find a solution. I certainly recognise this situation.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:

All the time, I saw different people doing efforts for various reasons. The one on the basis of professional competence, the other to worry about my health and another for only having bread on the table.

It is the motive behind the effort that can lead to conflict,
not effort = conflict.

Hi Wim,

How are you feeling now? One has to say that life always comes up with the unexpected.

Once again, as I see it, it boils down to what meaning one puts on a word.

Let us imagine one of those doctors attending you is enthusiastic about his job. He really enjoys his work. Of course there would be many emotions involved being a doctor, but fundamentally he does, as K talks of, “loves to do what he does”. Would you say he is making an effort? He might be rushed off his feet, he may have to meet many difficult challenges, with life and death hanging on his decisions, but is such a man “making an effort”? In my terminology, no. He is one with his work, and so there is no conflict – although he might well get tired.

Imagine another doctor, who is rather jaded, he is tending a patient, but really has an eye on the clock, wondering how long before he can go to the pub. He is not one with his work. To a superficial observer he might appear to be doing the same work as the first doctor, but all the time he is making an effort. Having to drive himself. That is, a mental effort, irrespective of the physical effort involved. Because his heart is not in his work.

This is the meaning I am putting on the word “effort”, and I think Tom also.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #8
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 516 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
How are you feeling now?

Thanks I'm fine now, it's something that in different situations happened before but the last three years more frequently.

Clive Elwell wrote:
One has to say that life always comes up with the unexpected.

Yes one can say that, and it gave me a surprising new look.

So was it clear to me that "Truth" being a land without paths also has no borders !!
So this 'professional competence' can go along with pride or competiotion with his collegues in very subtle ways and only self-examination and/or awareness can reveal that.

I agree with you that in the ideal situation it is one or the other, but that is not the situation humanity is in at the moment.
Very subtile one can slip in the psychological pitfall.

Even the finding that I did not have anxiety to die, can be wearing a trace of pride or having achieved something.

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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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #9
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Thanks for the replies today and yesterday. I'm unable to reply back as there's a problem with my internet connection at home. Typing on my tiny phone screen at the moment. Will try to connect later when we visit our local University. They have wifi for guests.

Let it Be

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #10
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Looking at your post:

“My depression and anxiety and addictions are not going to suddenly resolve themselves effortlessly.”

But are not people's depression, anxiety, addictions, etc actually CAUSED in the first place by this making an effort, or at least by thoughts that they SHOULD make an effort?

Yes, that may in fact be the case. All my life I've been making effort. But let's start with the fact....my desire to smoke or over eat as an example. Can I be free of that without making further effort, as K seems to imply?

Clive Elwell wrote:
If there was no mental movement of trying to resolve a problem, then would there be a problem? Does not the problem lie in trying to resolve an issue, and not in the issue itself?

Can you relate the above two questions to the fact of a smoking addiction or alcoholism? How is one to uncover the cause of his smoking or drinking effortlessly? Or must one 'do something'?

Clive: K has often described the common human situation where we are struggling mentally with a problem, either physical or mental, to no avail at all. Finally we get so exhausted with it, we just give up. Then in that state of having given up, that absence of struggle, the solution simply appears – to the mind that is no longer making an effort to find a solution. I certainly recognise this situation.

Tom: Yes, I have found the same sometimes. I'm not sure we can solve all mankind's problems...or even our own....by simply giving up the effort to do so. Can one be free of violence or greed or cravings by doing nothing at all to understand or to at least face the problem?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 06 Jul 2017.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #11
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 708 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
How is one to uncover the cause of his smoking or drinking effortlessly? Or must one 'do something'?

It occurs to me Tom reading your post that the application of K.'s teaching to the ending of personal habits may be misguided? More in line with 'self- improvement' than the 'ending' of the self. We smoke, drink, over eat, because we 'want' to. Then along comes another 'I' who says, "that's terrible, we must stop doing those things"...And that battle it seems to me rages on until at some point the scales tip definitively one way or another and you either stop doing whatever it is or you say "the hell with it, life is short"etc.

Observation doesn't have a 'goal', it's more like "see which way the scales tip". Which isn't to say , don't do anything...do what ever you can and as much you can to change and end unhealthy habits... but don't identify with that 'doer'.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 06 Jul 2017.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
We smoke, drink, over eat, because we 'want' to. Then along comes another 'I' who says, "that's terrible, we must stop doing those things"...And that battle it seems to me rages on until at some point the scales tip definitively one way or another

As a former smoker myself I can identify with what you say Dan. I made a huge effort to stop and did in fact stop because I didn't want to die young of cancer or emphysema or heart disease. It was inner conflict that led me to smoke, and quitting the smoking habit did nothing to address the conflict. But at least I'm not destroying my health. So assuming that most of us have some sort of conflict in their life, how is that fear or anger or jealousy or greed addressed effortlessly?

Here's K again from the OP:

"If I am in misery, not only physically but especially psychologically, how am I to understand it? By not wishing it to be different, surely. First, I must look at it, I must live with it, I must go into it; I mustn't condemn it, mustn't compare it, wish it to be something else; I must be entirely with that thing, must I not? Which is extremely arduous, because the mind refuses to look at it. It wants to go off at a tangent, it says,"Let me seek an answer, a solution, there must be one'."

It seems we have a problem here ;)

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 06 Jul 2017.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #13
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 708 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
It seems we have a problem here ;)

Hi Tom

This comes up for me from your post, for what it's worth. Is what is being sought here, an 'effortless method'? K. can't help in this. No one but myself can 'know' myself. What needs to be looked at is right in front of me. Can I do that without judgement, without condemnation, without comparison? If I can't, there is no-one who can do it for me and no-one who can show me 'how' to do it. I can postpone doing anything until I figure out the 'right' (effortless?) way to do it but that just pushes it off into an imaginary, ever receding future.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #14
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
No one but myself can 'know' myself. What needs to be looked at is right in front of me.

Hi Dan,

So if it's right in front of me what's the problem? What's the difficulty? Why can't I look at the conflict(fear, jealousy, anger, etc) free of images? Images DO pop up as soon as a problem is recognized. That's how our minds work. It seems that I/you/we don't look that way(free of images) as most of us are never free of problems.

Dan McDermott wrote:
Can I do that without judgement, without condemnation, without comparison? If I can't, there is no-one who can do it for me and no-one who can show me 'how' to do it

That's it. We cannot look the way K tells us we need to look. Obviously most of us are still full of problems even those of us who read K.

Let it Be

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #15
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 708 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
Can I do that without judgement, without condemnation, without comparison?

Judgement, comparison, condemnation all take 'effort'. All are the past looking at the present. Isn't K. saying, drop all that and look at yourself as if you're seeing yourself for the first time? But the mind resists seeing yourself like that. So you persist and you lose it and you pick it up again, etc. Thought seems to much prefer to work in the 'dark'.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #16
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Judgement, comparison, condemnation all take 'effort'. All are the past looking at the present

When I condemn my anger, or condemn my neighbor for that matter, does that really take effort?

Let it Be

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #17
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 708 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
When I condemn my anger, or condemn my neighbor for that matter, does that really take effort?

Sure, isn't that us flexing our 'righteous' muscles?

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #18
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

When I condemn my anger, or condemn my neighbor for that matter, does that really take effort?
Sure, isn't that us flexing our 'righteous' muscles?

I don't think so. It's more of a conditioned reaction like Pavlov's dogs in the famous psychology experiment. Why do you say that 'I'm' being 'righteous' when I'm feeling guilty about being angry at my wife or child? I don't think that takes effort at all. Or when I'm feeling proud about some accomplishment, for that matter. Or when I condemn myself for being lazy or judge myself in some manner?

Let it Be

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #19
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 708 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
It's more of a conditioned reaction like Pavlov's dogs in the famous psychology experiment. Why do you say that 'I'm' being 'righteous' when I'm feeling guilty about being angry at my wife or child? I don't think that takes effort at all. Or when I'm feeling proud about some accomplishment, for that matter. Or when I condemn myself for being lazy or judge myself in some manner?

Tom:

I guess I don't understand how you see the 'problem'. Is there something you are doing that you don't want to do? Is there something that you would like to change about yourself? Do you want to act, feel, differently than you do? Be different than what you think you are?

Because if any of that is so, that is 'material' for self-knowing. Right?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 07 Jul 2017.

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I guess I don't understand how you see the 'problem'.

I see problems wherever I go...wherever I look. All around in my town and surrounding towns....crime, violence, vandalism, drugs, alcohol, smoking, lots of obesity...incredible exploitation and competition and vulgarity.

D: Is there something you are doing that you don't want to do? Is there something that you would like to change about yourself? Do you want to act differently than you do?

T: Not that I am aware of. But I'd like to have more leisure time...and to live in an area without a lot of crime and violence. I'd like to have a little house with a yard and some trees. To have the leisure to sit out on the back porch, if I had such a house....and look at the trees and the sky and the stars on a cool summer evening.

One of the major problems is obviously violence. Not necessarily in me, but as a problem we humans are facing...crime, war, etc. I was speaking about human probLems and suffering in general....you know, fear, anger, sorrow, violence, cravings, the greed of the billionaire who still wants more.

K says we can solve all our problems effortlessly...by simply observing. And that I am the world. Well the world around me that I see locally here where I live as well as the world I see on the news is full of problems....obviously. These are the problems I was speaking of.

Let it Be

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #21
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 708 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
I'd like to have a little house with a yard and some trees. To have the leisure to sit out on the back porch, if I had such a house....and look at the trees and the sky and the stars on a cool summer evening.

That's something we all should have. But our ancestors 'dropped the ball' somewhere along the line and this cruel chaos is what we have inherited. Our 'task' I suppose is to figure out how to not perpetuate it in ourselves...to not continue it and strengthen it.

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #22
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
Even the finding that I did not have anxiety to die, can be wearing a trace of pride or having achieved something.

That's right, Wim, that's exactly how the self creeps in to everything, corrupts everything.

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #23
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I'm not sure we can solve all mankind's problems...or even our own....by simply giving up the effort to do so. Can one be free of violence or greed or cravings by doing nothing at all to understand or to at least face the problem?

Well, when I start to envisage, imagine, what the world would be like if instantly everyone ceased to try to solve thought-based, image based, problems …... it seems to me that the world WOULD be free of all problems. No necessity for nationalism and the like, since one is not imagining that one will be attacked. No more suspicion, mistrust of others.

Have not thought this out deeply, maybe later …. but would we then not be free to face, to deal with REAL, not imagined problems? Poverty, inequality, environmental destruction ….. these NECESSARILY have to be met, and they can be easily solved without the psyche.

Remembering now K asked “Can the mind be free of problems, and so solve all problems” - something like that. Meaning I think can the mind be free of self-created problems, and then it can easily meet external problems

Tom Paine wrote:
Can one be free of violence or greed or cravings by doing nothing at all to understand or to at least face the problem?

Perhaps this question can only be answered by actually giving up on all psychological effort

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #24
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

Can one be free of violence or greed or cravings by doing nothing at all to understand or to at least face the problem?
Perhaps this question can only be answered by actually giving up on all psychological effort

One cannot give up on effort making because it's a part of one, isn't it? I think you yourself said in a previous message, Clive, that we've been conditioned to make an effort all our lives. To work hard....in school there was always brainwashing to study hard so as to be a success in life. But perhaps we can be aware of all the effort and contradiction in our daily living and how it pollutes our actions and our thinking. As K said, just to be aware of ourselves as we are without desiring(making effort) to change. We are all that effort, after all....and desire and fear.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 07 Jul 2017.

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #25
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
One cannot give up on effort making because it's a part of one, isn't it? I think you yourself said in a previous message, Clive, that we've been conditioned to make an effort all our lives.

If we accept that our basic conditioning cannot be changed, fundamentally negated, then we might as well give up on the forum, give up all inquiry, and ...... well, I don't know what one would do - utter despair perhaps? But we cannot assume this, we cannot know this as a certainty.

Tom Paine wrote:
But perhaps we can be aware of all the effort and contradiction in our daily living and how it pollutes our actions and our thinking.

IS there a "perhaps"? Are we not, somewhat at least, aware? Aware of the contradiction, the falseness?

Tom Paine wrote:
We are all that effort, after all....and desire and fear

Yes, I think to see this is the turning point.

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Sat, 08 Jul 2017 #26
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
If we accept that our basic conditioning cannot be changed, fundamentally negated,

You misunderstood. I didn't say it cannot be changed, but that it cannot be changed by 'me' making effort. Or at least that's the issue that I'm investigating in this thread. CAN I change by making effort? Or is all effort counterproductive to change?

Let it Be

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Sat, 08 Jul 2017 #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

This business of effort making. I feel I am one with your basic question, Tom, I feel I have been living it.

I think there are only two possibilities. Effort, no matter how it is disguised, how much it is 'softened', is always aimed at becoming. This can be questioned of course. But doesn't effort imply that I want to achieve, become something? That achievement might be “I want to analyse this, I want to be aware, I want to understand it ….. but they are all forms of becoming, and so require effort, are they not? After all, effort is the attempt to change an idea into actuality.

What was the other possibility? To be simply aware of the whole process, without any effort to change it. Without fear of what might happen if we don't try and interfere.

Which brings up another point, there is an assumption that you KNOW what will happen if you DON'T make an effort.. An image is involved in that, that you will stagnate in some way. I question this. As I asked before, do we know what it is, to be free of effort making, psychologically? Have we ever experienced that state.

Perhaps we all have, somewhat, and is there not a sense of real peace then?

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Tue, 11 Jul 2017 #28
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Effort, no matter how it is disguised, how much it is 'softened', is always aimed at becoming. This can be questioned of course. But doesn't effort imply that I want to achieve, become something? That achievement might be “I want to analyse this, I want to be aware, I want to understand it ….. but they are all forms of becoming, and so require effort, are they not?

Also, I want to achieve some kind of security...in my job...by becoming a famous artist or great athlete...or a big success as an author or academic or scientist. All that takes great dedicated effort. Do you know how many hours a day a concert pianist spends practicing if he wants to become top notch? Or a skier or a tennis player...if they want to become pro or make the Olympics? Their whole life centers around their ambition...their effort to achieve success...greatness.

Clive Elwell wrote:
After all, effort is the attempt to change an idea into actuality.

True. Action based upon idea....goal.

What was the other possibility? To be simply aware of the whole process, without any effort to change it. Without fear of what might happen if we don't try and interfere.

If we don't try to interfere, won't the ambition just follow its natural course? More and more effort....or if that is thwarted, a life of escapes....movies, music, tv, spirts, etc.?

Clive Elwell wrote:
Which brings up another point, there is an assumption that you KNOW what will happen if you DON'T make an effort.. An image is involved in that, that you will stagnate in some way

Not just stagnate....I will be a nobody all my life....relegated to serving burgers and fries at the local McDonald's....or maybe I'll become a paper pusher in some office or a city garbage collector. But there's not much perceived fulfillment or excitement in that kind of job...nor financial security. So we dream of something better. I will practice my guitar and become a rich and famous rock star.

Let it Be

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Tue, 11 Jul 2017 #29
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3555 posts in this forum Offline

Although I cannot give the citation, I remember someone coming to K and saying that his feelings were all dying. K's response - and these were the exact words -

"Let them die!"

Which I take to imply, spend no energy in the effort to keep them alive.

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Tue, 11 Jul 2017 #30
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 1826 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Although I cannot give the citation, I remember someone coming to K and saying that his feelings were all dying. K's response - and these were the exact words -

"Let them die!"

I'm not sure how this relates to what we were discussing about effort, Clive. Are you implying that effort can be 'let' to die? That wouldn't make sense. One is making effort to keep some idea or goal alive right?

Let it Be

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