Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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this issue of language


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Mon, 02 Oct 2017 #1
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 552 posts in this forum Offline

Language is our tool for communicating.
The language is both based imagination, abstraction as well as cumulating and the past.
Communication has, among other things, the potential of 'unification', 'understanding'.

Are we aware that language has the same shortcomings as thought ??

Lastly, Clive corrected me with the word 'Good' in his reply by replacing it with 'could'. Phonetically, that sounds the same to my Dutch ears.

In the end, the meaning is at a deeper level and often we see misunderstandings or that a word is first removed from its 'old meaning' or it is misunderstood.

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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Mon, 02 Oct 2017 #2
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 552 posts in this forum Offline

Below are some comments from K. about language.

Public Talk 21st March, 1948 | Mumbai, India
There is a tendency, I think, especially among those who have read a great deal and have experienced according to their reading, to translate what I say in terms of their old knowledge. ….

That is generally what happens. Similarly, perhaps, those who have read along a particular line are apt to translate what I say according to their previous knowledge, and I think it is a mistake merely to translate or put into the old language what one hears.

Early Writings, Volume VII | Talks at Adyar, India 1932-33
Question: You constantly change your ideas, your views, your assertions. At one time you urged us to establish a goal. Now you say, "Seek no goal". Do you express to us your realization? If so, does that realization keep constantly changing, as does your expression of it?
If, as you say, your truth is ever flowing, ever changing, how can one keep pace with it?
Krishnamurti: If you are stationary on the bank of a river, the moving waters ever change; and I am afraid most of you are stationary, with fixed ideas, anchored to the bank through your attachment. Hence the apparent contradictions. Why need you keep pace with me? I am not setting the pace for you.
If you realize for yourself that constant renewal of life, then there will be the cessation of time.
After all, during these past years I have been trying to find a new technique of expression, using the same old words but giving to them a new significance. If one could invent a new language altogether, it would be worthwhile, but unfortunately one cannot. I am trying to find a way of expressing to you the approach to the realization of immortality.
I do not wish to use my technique of expression to describe God, truth, life or immortality. That living ecstasy cannot be described. When it is described it is dead. You cannot discuss that which is beyond all description, but you can discover and discuss the hindrances which prevent you from realizing that which is true and everlasting.

Madras, India | Intro to Group Discussions 24th October, 1947
Before we begin to discuss anything, we ought to know our intention, what it is that we want, or what it is that we are unconsciously, deeply, seeking. If we can find that, our problems become comparatively simple.

Another point in discussion is that I will use words which have meaning to me but not to you. I am using words very carefully because they have a meaning to me, and I use very simple and straight language which I am willing to explain carefully. I do not know if you have ever thought about this. Words have the verbal meaning as well as the nervous response. Take, for example, the word God. It has a verbal as well as a nervous response.

These discussions should not deteriorate into mere argumentation, nor should we indulge in verbal expression. We want to discuss together so that we can see something which is beyond words, beyond emotional, sentimental or intellectual froth. And that can only be done if each one of us is willing to expose himself.

Public Talk, March 7th, 1948 | Mumbai, India
A mind that is caught in words, in phrases, in mantra’s, in patterns of action, can never understand that which is real. It must strip itself of everything to be free, and only then, surely, can the real come into being.

Bombay, India | Third Public Talk, February 26, 1967
So, we are going to find out the origin, the beginning, of thought; and this is important. Please listen to this, not just merely to the words. You know what it is to listen? You listen, not in order to learn. Do not listen to learn, but listen with self-abandonment so that you see for yourself the true or the false. It means that you neither accept nor reject.
Learning is - as you watch you are moving with the action itself; therefore, there is no residue in your learning, but always learning. Learning is an active-present of the word, not the past-present. We are going to learn, but not from what has been accumulated. In learning a language, you have to accumulate. You have to know the words, you have to learn the various verbs, and so on, and after having learned, you begin to use them.

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, 04 Oct 2017 #3
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 552 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam quoting Krishnaji wrote:
Learning is - as you watch you are moving with the action itself; therefore, there is no residue in your learning, but always learning. Learning is an active-present of the word, not the past-present.

Hi all,

It takes already two weeks that something have been seeing (present perfect continuous) very very clear and instantly when writing about it, it is immediately obvious that it is not clear in words and silencing is the only answer.

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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Tue, 10 Oct 2017 #4
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 552 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote in another tread:
But the words can be misleading, right? Your use of words...your understanding of the meaning of certain words...must be somewhat different than mine.

May be this will be of some help from a not dated and not publiced article
of David Bohm.

The negative approach of the meaning of language.
D. Bohm (Date unknown)

Words and their meanings are never more than abstractions, which cannot substitute for that to which they refer (e.g. using the word for “dinner” and thinking about what it means to us cannot provide the kind of nourishment that comes from actually eating a meal). Moreover, words cannot abstract all that is to be known about any given thing.

Indeed, they not even abstract all that is essential to the function of that thing (e.g. the word “chair” abstracts what is essential for the function of supporting a person who sits on it, but not what is essential to its function at the atomic or nuclear level).

So, it is necessary to recognize that all language has an essentially negative and partial relationship to that to which it refers.

A.Korsybski has put this relationship very succinctly in the assertion:
“ Whatever we say it is, it isn’t.”

This statement is not a metaphysical assertion about the basic nature
of “what is.” Rather, it is a very deep challenge to the entire structure of our communications, both external and internal ( which latter are called “thought”).

To understand this challenge, let us begin with the fact:
“We are always talking about "it” ( “It” refers to anything whatsoever).
When we read Korzybski’s statement, our first response is to see that we already begun to say something about “it” (whatever “it” may happen to be). And then, noticing that “it” is not what we say, and that what we say is at most incomplete abstraction even from what is to be known, we assume that “it” must be something else, as well as something more.
But "something else" and "something more" are also what we say "it" is.
As we do this for a while, we begin to be struck by the absurdity of the whole procedure.
For whateverwe say it is, it isn't.

What is the appropriate response to such a situation ?
Evidently, one has to stop saying anything at all, not merely outwardly, but also inwardly. It is suggested here that if all the “chatter” of thought can really stop, then something new can happen.

But even to say this much may be going too far. For if this means that “it” will be something new, “ then the novelty that we say “it” is will be what “it” is not.

The paradox with which the reader has to be left is
“What is it when there is no saying at all, neither outwardly nor inwardly ?”

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Tue, 10 Oct 2017.

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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 #5
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 552 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnaji about being clear in words:

Ojai, California | 3rd Talk in the Oak Grove 19th April, 1936

Question: Last Sunday you seemed very uncertain in what you said, and some of us could make nothing of it. Several of my friends say they are not coming any more to hear you, because you are becoming vague and undecided about your own ideas. Is this impression due to lack of understanding in us, or are you not as sure of yourself as you used to be?

Krishnamurti: You know, certain things cannot be put into words definitely, precisely. I try to express my comprehension of life as clearly as possible, and it is difficult. Sometimes I may succeed, but often I seem not to be able to convey what I think and feel. If one thinks deeply about what I have been saying, it will become clear and simple; but it will remain merely an intellectual conception if there is no comprehension in action. Some of you come repeatedly to these meetings, and I wonder what happens to you in the intervals between these talks. It is during these intervals that you can discover whether action is liberating, or creating further prisons and limitations. It is in your hands to fashion your own life, either to comprehend or to increase ignorance.

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, 12 Oct 2017 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3729 posts in this forum Offline

Of late I have come to see that thinking that I have to explain, or possibly having to explain, the experiences that I have, the perceptions that come, is very limiting indeed. In fact I discovered that as soon as anything that seem significant happened, I was immediately shaping it into words, into descriptions - and in fact especially thinking of posting on the forum!

Such shaping is always shaping according to the past, according to what is already known, and can never be new. So it is, as I say, limiting, inhibiting.

Seeing this has had its own effect.

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