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

A dream


Displaying all 13 posts
Page 1 of 1
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4369 posts in this forum Offline

I had a strange and very frightening dream in the night – in fact I awoke to it. As I did not write it down immediately, some of it has faded now …...but I can remember now that in it I bit by bit lost all sense of identity. I mean all the thoughts, all the memories, that normally tell me “who I am”, or “where I belong”, dropped away one by one.

So memories of all the people I know disappeared, so that I knew no one in this world. There was no one I could go to. Memories of where I might have lived dropped away – so I had nowhere special to go, no place to find to shelter. All personal memories started to fade – so there was no past. There was a sense of being completely alone in this world. The only emotion felt was fear, perhaps panic.

There were other dreams along with this. I remember – I think I was travelling on a train, or on some metro, standing up, and discovering I was dressed in rags. The soles of 'my' shoes were coming away from the tops., so it was almost impossible to walk. The thin blue trousers were paint stained. And I knew my meagre clothing was all I had in this world, so I could never go anywhere 'respectable', never apply for 'a good job'. Perhaps that is when the loss of identity started.

It is interesting to see that all my identity lies in memory. One might extend the concept of memory to include the records that society makes of me, bank account, medical records, income tax. But there is no “me”, in the conventional sense, without memory, without thought.

And it seems to me that one cannot just let all these memories go. Without them one is helpless in this world. Utterly lost, unable to fend for oneself, unable to find food and shelter. Would you question this? And yet one sees the necessity to let go of the self. Is there a contradiction there?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 #2
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 594 posts in this forum Offline

Clive,

I see no contradiction in this. There might BE, but I don’t see it.

We acknowledge that thought/memory is essential - the memory of where I live, where I put things, including banking, medical and tax records, where the grocery store is, what everything is that I encounter, how to use things, skills, techniques, know-how. The memory of “who I am” in the functional sense is part of that. If I don’t know who I am, my child will not get picked up from school, I can’t get to and from work, the fridge will be empty, I can’t get dressed or take care of hygiene, and so on.

So we’re not saying we WANT to have Alzheimers. We don’t want to be standing on the street and have no idea how we got there or “who” we are in the functional sense. We don’t want to stand there wondering whether I do or don’t have a home to go to. With every person we encounter, we don’t want to wonder, is that my son or my friend, an acquaintance or a stranger? Alzheimers is one sense of being alone in the world but it is not a “letting go” of thought/memory. It is being alone because thought/memory is destroyed and that IS frightening where time is not understood. Isn’t time the root of this fear? I have seen people in the early stages of Alzheimers (or some other dreadful disease) where they understand the progression of the disease and they fully live in the moment, not in the dreaded future.

What we talk about is being alone in another sense, isn’t it? It is being alone in the sense that thought and memory are INTACT (not destroyed as in Alzheimers) but where there is no self-importance, no arrogance, no desire to be or become special, no will, no psychological attachment to things or memories, no fragmentation, - no self-centre.

So is the unconscious saying, “I don’t care about the fancy theories of being alone in THIS sense or in THAT sense. I see what happens when memory is gone - it is frightening. So don’t bother me with understanding time and becoming. I don’t want to be alone, without my memories.” Is that perhaps the significance of the dream? If so, isn’t fear the crux of it? There is no contradiction in fear itself. Doesn’t the contradiction or conflict comes when fear arises and the mind immediately says, “I must not be afraid”. Then it goes off on a tangent about what should be done about fear. But in sleep, the unconscious mind says, “To hell with you, I AM afraid.” To be so clear about the presence of fear is not contradiction. Contradiction lies in the condemnation of it and in the effort to do something about it, doesn’t it?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4369 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
I have seen people in the early stages of Alzheimers (or some other dreadful disease) where they understand the progression of the disease and they fully live in the moment, not in the dreaded future.

Can you explain this further, Huguette? Do you mean they have accepted their condition, they are not resisting what is?

Huguette . wrote:
What we talk about is being alone in another sense, isn’t it? It is being alone in the sense that thought and memory are INTACT (not destroyed as in Alzheimers) but where there is no self-importance, no arrogance, no desire to be or become special, no will, no psychological attachment to things or memories, no fragmentation, - no self-centre.

It seems to be alluding me, why the lack of ego implies aloneness.

Huguette . wrote:
There is no contradiction in fear itself. Doesn’t the contradiction or conflict comes when fear arises and the mind immediately says, “I must not be afraid”.

Yes, I would say this is so. There is no contradiction in any what is. Only when something spearates itself from what is, observes what is as an observer, is there contradiction.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4369 posts in this forum Offline

Sometimes it seems that …..... the nature of thought starts to reveal itself for what it is. I don't know why this starts to happen, it may appear “out of the blue”, or they may be causes, perhaps hidden. But when it does happen, thought starts to loose it absolute quality. Before, thought was the basis for reality, but now ….... it continually reveals itself as “only thought”, with all its limitations. It is seen for the transitory thing that it is. This perception is very much tied up with the realisation that the thinker is the thought. That the self is not some permanent, solid, independent entity, but is composed of impermanent thought.

So the self starts to dissolve, if I can put it that way.

Yet we have to function in this world. I make this statement knowing it can be challenged, can be questioned. Do we need to “take care of ourselves”? Do we need a self to survive? Or is it that if the self, the ego dissolves completely, then some other ….. force, quality, arises, steps in, and does the necessary “taking care of our physical needs”? We may call this quality “intelligence”, as has been suggested.

I don't know. Judging from my own life, there is some evidence for thinking this. There have been times when I have had no interest at all in taking care of myself ….. yet I have survived. Not to draw comparisons, but K survived. Life seemed to provide him with just what he needed – not just to survive, but to do the things that he perhaps needed to do. And I have read and heard from other people who appear to have found the same thing.

One thing I feel fairly sure of is that it is not a matter of picking and choosing what thoughts are necessary and what are not. That would be confused thought choosing among confused thoughts. That denies the fact of “dissolving”.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 #5
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 893 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Do we need a self to survive? Or is it that if the self, the ego dissolves completely, then some other ….. force, quality, arises, steps in, and does the necessary “taking care of our physical needs”?

This is the self's, ego's, thought's, fear of ending, of being 'no-thing', isn't it?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 11 Dec 2017.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 #6
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 893 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
With your words are you trying to say that it is the self/ego/thought, who fearing its ending, puts the question Clive is asking as a final attempt to not disappear, or in other words to continue in another disguise?

Yes Juan, that is how I heard it.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 #7
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 594 posts in this forum Offline

#4:

Huguette . wrote:
I have seen people in the early stages of Alzheimers (or some other dreadful disease) where they understand the progression of the disease and they fully live in the moment, not in the dreaded future.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Can you explain this further, Huguette? Do you mean they have accepted their condition, they are not resisting what is?

What is the source of the fear, as expressed in the dream, of not remembering “who I am”? Isn’t such a dream the expression of a fear that the conscious mind tries to ignore or suppress in the waking hours? In the waking hours, I might see the “necessity” of denying the past or letting go of the known. But without the known or time, I lose all my points of reference, I lose the comfort and security of knowing who is trustworthy and reliable and who is not, where I keep the documents I need to apply for a passport, and so on. Without the past, I have nothing and no one to turn to, I can’t take care of myself and others, I am alone in the world. Doesn’t the idea of it provoke fear? I can rationalize it or try to ignore the fear in the waking hours but rationalizing and effort do not actually get rid of the fear. All the conscious efforts and rationalizations do not "convince" the unconscious.

This is not a question of ATTACHMENT to images, ideas, opinions, beliefs. Were I to actually LOSE the memory of my name, my address, my family, my skills and knowledge - as is the case in Alzheimers - I would be lost like a baby. In Alzheimers, it is not that I deny the VALUE attached to my name, address, family, skills, knowledge, accomplishments, experiences. In Alzheimers, the actual memory is gone, deleted from the brain. Is there a fear that the ending of thought and time as we talk about it - i.e. the ending of ATTACHMENT to thought and time - might lead to the actual destruction of thought/memory? Is this a source of fear? I’m asking, not saying it’s so.

Consciously, I might poo-poo the idea of such fear, but unconsciously it seems to me that the fear might be there. If I did not project the possibility of a future with Alzheimers (or anything else I fear), could there be fear of it?

If in my waking hours I do not turn away from fear by ignoring or rationalizing it, if I am fully attentive to it, doesn't fear end effortlessly and so does not show up in my dreams?

I don’t want to go on and on about it. I’m not sure of what I’m saying.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 12 Dec 2017.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 #8
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 594 posts in this forum Offline

#4:

Clive Elwell wrote:
It seems to be alluding me, why the lack of ego implies aloneness.

What will people say if they find out this or that about me, about my shameful past or secret activities, if they know I’m a coward, a liar, a cheat, ignorant? What will happen if I don’t condemn “the enemy” that everyone else in my community is condemning? So I am not alone. Inwardly, I am inhabited by the multitude. Something like that.

Added:
And also I am inhabited by the authority of others and of my own beliefs, ideas, opinions, etc.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 12 Dec 2017.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 #9
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 594 posts in this forum Offline

Hello Juan,

The past is not just the self-image and the memories of experiences, opinions, ideas, beliefs, etc., to which I’m attached (but don't actually need), is it? The past is also the skills which have been accumulated throughout the past - cooking, tying my shoelaces, going from place to place, dressing myself or someone else who can’t, keeping my domestic and personal affairs in order, and so on, isn’t it? These skills and this knowledge are memories. They are not innate abilities. I was not born with these skills and this knowledge. So if these functional memories of necessary skills and knowledge are destroyed - not “denied” in the sense we have been talking about - then, as far as I can see, the ability to take care of myself or others is also destroyed. You don’t think so?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4369 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:

This is the self's, ego's, thought's, fear of ending, of being 'no-thing', isn't it?

(I had written:

Do we need a self to survive? Or is it that if the self, the ego dissolves completely, then some other ….. force, quality, arises, steps in, and does the necessary “taking care of our physical needs”?)

I am not sure that this is so, Dan. I would agree that the original dream show every sign of arising from a mind deeply disturbed by the continual perception that the self is an illusion, thought has no permanency, and it is actually dying all the time. The dream reflects at least a partial truth, that the brain has been relying on mere images for its security.

But to ask if we need a self, in some form, to survive physically seems a reasonable, rational question, one that can be enquired into. A question that Juan looks at in his post #3.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4369 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
And if the answer is the later, i would like to know why, if i have no past, i can't take care neither of myself nor of others?

Are you suggesting, Juan, that we don't need thought at all, to function/survive in the material/practical world?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4369 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
And if the answer is the later, i would like to know why, if i have no past, i can't take care neither of myself nor of others?

Are you suggesting, Juan, that we don't need thought at all, to function/survive in the material/practical world?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4369 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
I don’t want to go on and on about it. I’m not sure of what I’m saying.

I do respect your not wanting to “go on and on about it”, Huguette, and thanks for taking the time to reply to my questions. In any case I find myself in fundamental agreement with what you say.

We often talk about the necessity of “ending thought”, but I would say that this is wrong. If thought ends we are exactly in the position of those Alzeimer's patients that you mention. What is necessary is the ending of the THINKER, the centre from which thought purports to act. The psychological controller, observer, analyser, etc etc.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Displaying all 13 posts
Page 1 of 1
To quote a portion of this post in your reply, first select the text and then click this "Quote" link.

(N.B. Be sure to insert an empty line between the quoted text and your reply.)