Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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A Jewel on a Silver Platter


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Wed, 13 Dec 2017 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

A Jewel on a Silver Platter

I have just started to read the recent book by Professor P Krishna, entitled “A Jewel on a Silver Platter”. Has anyone else on the forum read it?

I skipped to the chapter entitled “Anecdotes from the life of Krishnamurti”. It contains the following:
Once Krishnaji was asked to summarize his entire teachings in one sentence. He said:

“Attempt, without effort, to live with death, in timeless silence”.

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Fri, 15 Dec 2017 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

In fact in the book Achyut Patwardhan reports that K once said that the entire teaching can be summed up in one word, which is "attention".

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Fri, 15 Dec 2017 #3
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 430 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Attempt, without effort

How difficult for an 'ordinary' mind to keep silent at this, without jumping to ask "How can i attempt to do something without effort?"

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Fri, 15 Dec 2017 #4
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 430 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
“Attempt, without effort, to live with death, in timeless silence”.

This sentence does not only sumarizes the entire teaching of Krishnamurti, but of some others too ... and yet it says nothing.

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Sat, 16 Dec 2017 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
How difficult for an 'ordinary' mind to keep silent at this, without jumping to ask "How can i attempt to do something without effort?"

Yes, that is how the mind reacts. Such is its conditioning.

"Attempt, without effort ......". This is a very interesting phrase, isn't it? I think this is very relevant to the point we sometimes arrive at together with Tom. As he wrote recently:

"Isn't the stream equivalent to the whole of our consciousness? The urge to step out is a movement of that consciousness, too, wouldn't you say? The desire to change , too. There's nothing 'I' can do that's not an action of the stream. As you yourself said: "And any attempt to step out of the stream is just more doing. As you say, it just adds to the stream." It's an action of the stream....'me'".

So K summarised the teachings with the words:

Attempt, without effort, to live with death in timeless silence”

So what does it mean, “attempt, without effort”?

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Sat, 16 Dec 2017.

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Sat, 16 Dec 2017 #6
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 430 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
So what does it mean, “attempt, without effort”?

Just to observe death without any word, either outwardly or innerly.

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Sun, 17 Dec 2017 #7
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 438 posts in this forum Offline

#5:

Clive Elwell wrote:
So what does it mean, “attempt, without effort”?

He could have said “live with death” alone, “live in timeless silence”, “live with death in timeless silence”, but he said it with all of the 3 parts. Each part raises questions, doesn't it?

“Live with death” as I understand it means to shed the past (time) at every moment, which means endless renewal. Where time (the past) is not continued or carried forward, then “what is” is timeless, new. Time is not needed for life to “be”. Life does not need time - neither time by the clock, nor the time that thought produces.

What does “timeless silence” mean? There is the silence that thought puts together through effort, suppression, repression, desire, time. So, not THAT. There are other kinds of silence. But it is the silence which contains no thought, images, ideas, about past, present or future, that is needed. It is timeless silence that is needed in order for the action of “living with death” to take place.

Then what does “attempt, without effort” mean? Not just in this context - on its own, what does it mean? Doesn’t it start with seeing the necessity for something to occur, for something to be done, the necessity for some action to be taken?

As a human being facing strife, the strife of life, the strife in “the world”, I see the necessity of taking the action of living with death. If I do not live with death, then I can only live in the endless continuation of the past - endless permutations, endless variations, modifications, and so on, all of which continue strife. If I do not live with death - which (“live with death”) is action - then action must continue to be endlessly determined by the past, and I see what the past has wrought in “the world”.

As a human being living in “the world”, questioning everything, I see the necessity of living in timeless silence.

So I see the necessity of living with death and of timeless silence. And I also see the nature and sigificance of effort. I must act without effort. I don’t “know” how but I see the necessity. So I attempt to act, without effort, because - as K pointed out and as is the fact - life demands action.

Something like that is how I understand it.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sun, 17 Dec 2017.

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Sun, 17 Dec 2017 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Not-identifying is the attempt that must be free of effort because effort implies a choosing in a particular direction, doesn't it?

Yes, exactly, I was thinking along these lines. Effort must always have an object in mind, a destination. One cannot make an effort to do nothing. Well, one can try, but if one does it is because one has turned “nothing” into a concept, an idea, a “something”.

Negation is not effort; negation has no direction.

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Sun, 17 Dec 2017 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
If I do not live with death - which (“live with death”) is action - then action must continue to be endlessly determined by the past, and I see what the past has wrought in “the world”.

Yes, there is really nothing to add to what you have written, Huguette. There is a sense here – at least at times – of living with death. Which is to live without knowledge, but allowing the unknown to come, or not come, as it will.

Looking out through the upstairs window of where I am staying, through the rain and slight mist, over the quiet fields, into the silent, dark, brooding woods. There is no “past” out there. Only the brain has created time, and the endless chain of cause and effect.

I understand K's close-to-last words to friends were:
“You do not know what you are missing, this vast space”

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Sun, 17 Dec 2017 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

The following is an excerpt from the book, a conversation between Professor Krishna and Achyut Patwardhan, a long time associate of K

P Krishna:
Why is it then that no-one has been able to make the transformation in consciousness which K talks about? At least not in that revolutionary manner about
which he talks? Does it indicate a failure of his mission to set man free?

Achyut:
I will not say that. I would say here that Annie Besant comes to my aid, because she has said that this process should not be understood in the framework of a life-span.
This is an ongoing destiny of many which is unravelling itself, and you have a role to play. It is not a destiny imposed upon man by some external force but man in this sense is the architect of his own destiny and this is the grandeur of the human potential.

I think that Krishnaji has indicated that don't wait for ultimate liberation and mutation, etc, but at any passing moment unbeknown to you, if you can rise to the full stature of your manhood and negate the factor of the self, then in the total communion with what is, there is a moment of release.

It is not the original question that interests me so much as the words in bold, which touch me deeply. “Man is the architect of his own destiny”. They remind me of K's comment: “the brain has infinite capacity, it is really infinite”. One hardly dare comment on these words, since all comment would be an attempt to limit that infinite capacity.

We don't live that way, do we? We don't live as if we are the architect of our own destiny? We sort of assume that there is some sort of absolute reality “out there”, some truth or truths that actually exist, and it is up to us to discover them, and perhaps try to approximate ourselves to them. We live as if there are limits – and perhaps in one sense there are. Sorry, I really cannot put into words how Achyut's words touch me, I cannot explain. Perhaps others can help?

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Thu, 21 Dec 2017 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

I find Prof Krishna quite skilled in explaining in his own words K's teachings. I found the below passage useful in understanding something I have always had problems with – how I am, according to K, responsible for all the violence in the world, even the wars that are going on (the words are mostly my own):

I was suggesting that the root cause of all the problems of mankind that we see in the world, the division, the conflict, the violence, the inequality, the unhappiness, lies in the human mind. The fundamental problem is the self, the ego, and by extension the things the self identifies with – the nation, the race, the religious belief, the political party. But this obvious fact receives very little attention. Focusing on violence as a particular example, only when violence erupts in some particular, spectacular way – a war, an act of terrorism, a mass shooting, a brutal murder, etc, does it receive much attention. The there is debate and some action perhaps to somehow overcome the manifestation of violence, or at least to lessen it, to control it. But such action is very limited, or ineffective, it is a palliative, and hardly ever is the root cause looked at; only the symptoms are treated.

Let me put it this way: When each one of us is violent (which we are, in so many ways) we contribute to a sort of sea of violence in human consciousness. This has been going on for thousands of years. The existence of this sea allows storms to manifest. These storms are circumstantial – sometimes it happens in Ireland, sometimes in Rwanda, sometimes in Cambodia, in Palestine, some mass shooting in the US, …...... The potential for such storms are ever present as long as the sea of internal violence is there.

So surely each individual must take responsibility for the ending of violence in his/her consciousness? Without that, there is no possibility of ending violence “out there” in the world.

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Thu, 21 Dec 2017 #12
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I find Prof Krishna quite skilled in explaining in his own words K's teachings.

He is indeed very skilled in explaining but the two times that I met him, he unfortunately showed to me rather like a teacher, a know-it-all guy, and totally not inspiring.
But that was my observation, don't let it stop you from understanding anything.
The man is not important but what he said... can be !!

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 Thu, 21 Dec 2017.

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Fri, 22 Dec 2017 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
He is indeed very skilled in explaining but the two times that I met him, he unfortunately showed to me rather like a teacher, a know-it-all guy, and totally not inspiring.

I also have met and discussed with Prof Krishna, and I have watched members of a certain European Krishnamurti Committee question him, and get rather frustrated in the process. It is true that he met all the questions immediately, with answers that evolved smoothly. There was little or no hesitation. And yet to me his replies were always appropriate – they were the inevitable response to the questions.
I am trying to remember if his responses included questions back to his questioners, but I am afraid my memory is not keen enough to do that now.

When he spoke to gatherings – and he was deliberately invited to do just that – he did speak, rather than take part in a dialogue. But if one reads certain books, one sees he is certainly capable of participating deeply in dialogue. And reading exchanges between him and K in “The jewel on a Silver Platter”, especially when K offered him the position of rector of Rajghat, what comes over is considerable humility.

I would rather not take this discussion further, Wim, I feel uneasy discussing “personalities”, which generally means the exchange of images we have created, of our conclusions and prejudices. But we can certainly discuss his words. Have you read the book, Wim?

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Fri, 22 Dec 2017 #14
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Have you read the book, Wim?

No Clive, but also for me it was uneasy to write down #12 after deleating in the past days four earlier concepts, so why did I post this one ??

Is it because I take my observations of the non-verbal expression of his words not serious, or is it something else ......??

When I decide not to post a draft for a reply - and this is happening more than there are posted - it's vading away, but this time it came back again.... and again, Why .....??

why is a critical comment about a person his behavior, interpreted as which generally means the exchange of images we have created, of our conclusions and prejudices ??

Does not that also apply to all other words that are exchanged on this forum?

Full communication consists of both verbal and non-verbal components and what was observed should also be taken seriously !!

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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Sat, 23 Dec 2017 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
why is a critical comment about a person his behavior, interpreted as which generally means the exchange of images we have created, of our conclusions and prejudices ??

Does not that also apply to all other words that are exchanged on this forum?

Apart from comments about a particular person, is not thought always biased, prejudiced? Is it not always based on limited experience (and I am not suggesting that there is 'unlimited experience'). Although in many, if not most, cases, opinions are taken as fact, they really are only expressing the limited perceptions of the person holding the opinions, are they not?

To put it another way, as I was asking myself yesterday, is not all thought conditioned?

Perhaps, Wim, if you would like to respond to this - and I find it is a fundamental question - you might start a new thread, so as to reserve this thread for a discussion on Professor Krishna's book, or extracts from it?

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Sun, 24 Dec 2017 #16
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Apart from comments about a particular person, is not thought always biased, prejudiced? Is it not always based on limited experience (and I am not suggesting that there is 'unlimited experience'). Although in many, if not most, cases, opinions are taken as fact, they really are only expressing the limited perceptions of the person holding the opinions, are they not?

Clive,

I am well aware that it is a personal experience from the past and may therefore possibly be wrong and even afterwards changes have occurred that contradict that experience.

It is indeed not useful to going on talking about
whether that perception was right or not.

What I have noticed now is that beautiful words - of any kind from whomever - that are given quickly are more likely to point to the spitting of knowledge than to finding out what it really is.

The content of his book is as much thought as my description of this encounter,
isn't it ??

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 Sun, 24 Dec 2017.

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Sun, 24 Dec 2017 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
I am well aware that it is a personal experience from the past and may therefore possibly be wrong and even afterwards changes have occurred that contradict that experience.

I was asking, Wim, if ALL thought does not contain bias, and is limited? If ALL thought is not conditioned? So I consider the question fundamental rather than personal. I am not asserting that it is so, I am enquiring.

Wim Opdam wrote:
What I have noticed now is that beautiful words - of any kind from whomever - that are given quickly are more likely to point to the spitting of knowledge than to finding out what it really is.

"the splitting of knowledge" - a nice phrase. Indeed we see that happening in all discussion.

Wim Opdam wrote:
The content of his book is as much thought as my description of this encounter,isn't it ??

Can thought simply describe what happened in the past, accurately, without introducing our own opinions, without judgement about what happened? I don't see why not, do you? Is this not a legitimate and useful function of thought?

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Sun, 24 Dec 2017 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Some comments by K on reincarnation from “ A Jewel on a Silver Platter”:

Question: Sir, is reincarnation a fact?
K: Sir reincarnation happens to be a fact for me as I remember certain things; but I do not want you to believe in it.

And

Mary Zimbalist told me in Ojai that in 1984 Krishnaji suddenly asked her: “Mary, could you be the incarnation of my brother?” Mary replied: “no Sir, I was already born when he died in 1925” K responded: “then it cannot be”.

In another conversation K is reported to have said: “Reincarnation is a fact, but not the Truth”. Prof Krishna adds to that: “I assume that to mean that it is ignorance or illusion that reincarnates, and illusion is not a fact.

Narayan told me that Krishnaji said to him: “Nitya will reincarnate since his mission in life was not completed. He was supposed to be the chief architect for the teachings”

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Tue, 26 Dec 2017 #19
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
the splitting of knowledge" - a nice phrase. Indeed we see that happening in all discussion.

Clive, I don't know if it is intentional to have quoted:
" splitting " in stead of my " spitting " but both seem to have meaning, but the one is non-verbal and the other is in the order of cause and effect theory

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, 26 Dec 2017 #20
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Can thought simply describe what happened in the past, accurately, without introducing our own opinions, without judgement about what happened? I don't see why not, do you? Is this not a legitimate and useful function of thought?

So why is reply #12 interpretated as personal and the content of the book as truthfully ?.

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, 27 Dec 2017 #21
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

To make it a neutral question:
" Based on what do we take the words of one person
more seriously than those of others ?"

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 Wed, 27 Dec 2017.

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Wed, 27 Dec 2017 #22
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
So why is reply #12 interpretated as personal and the content of the book as truthfully ?.

I was not aware that I claimed, or thought to myself, that Professor Krishna's book was "true", Wim. I was interested in it because of his descriptions of what it meant to have known K personally, and also the revelation of things K said outside of the context of his talks and previously unpublished dialogues.

There is no question of spiritual authority in that.

Neither would I claim that my reluctance to talk about another person on a personal level (other than factually) represents "the truth". I am merely acting according to my feelings. I am not claiming that that is wrong or right.

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Wed, 27 Dec 2017 #23
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
To make it a neutral question:
" Based on what do we take the words of one person
more seriously than those of others ?"

I have been at the K Centre at Brockwood, where there are a number of people staying over the Christmas period, and I have found myself listening to what a few of them have to say. I find myself listening just as I listen to “my own thoughts”. And in this way one does not take the words of others either more or less seriously than my own.

This is so because it is seen clearly that the distinction between “myself” and “others” is entirely artificial. There is no distinction in fact, all words stem from thought, and thought arises from the common human consciousness. It is all human condition – others seem to have drawn their conclusions, and I perhaps draw other conclusions, but they are all conclusions, and I would suggest no conclusions are “more serious” than other conclusions.
In seeing conclusions as conclusions, they are no longer conclusions.

In seeing conditioning as conditioning, where ever it is seen, conditioning looses its power, would you say, Wim?

However, people have had different life-experiences than myself, and so are more qualified to speak on certain subjects than others, including myself. This includes people who had known K personally. And this includes the books people have written, like Professor Krishna. I find myself listening to and reading such people of late – something that has not interested me much in the past, in fact. Again, I am not claiming any “truth” in this matter. Generally such contact just extends my area of questioning.

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Wed, 27 Dec 2017 #24
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
To make it a neutral question:
" Based on what do we take the words of one person
more seriously than those of others ?"

I have been at the K Centre at Brockwood, where there are a number of people staying over the Christmas period, and I have found myself listening to what a few of them have to say. I find myself listening just as I listen to “my own thoughts”. And in this way one does not take the words of others either more or less seriously than my own.

This is so because it is seen clearly that the distinction between “myself” and “others” is entirely artificial. There is no distinction in fact, all words stem from thought, and thought arises from the common human consciousness. It is all human condition – others seem to have drawn their conclusions, and I perhaps draw other conclusions, but they are all conclusions, and I would suggest no conclusions are “more serious” than other conclusions.
In seeing conclusions as conclusions, they are no longer conclusions.

In seeing conditioning as conditioning, where ever it is seen, conditioning looses its power, would you say, Wim?

However, people have had different life-experiences than myself, and so are more qualified to speak on certain subjects than others, including myself. This includes people who had known K personally. And this includes the books people have written, like Professor Krishna. I find myself listening to and reading such people of late – something that has not interested me much in the past, in fact. Again, I am not claiming any “truth” in this matter. Generally such contact just extends my area of questioning.

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Thu, 28 Dec 2017 #25
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
In seeing conditioning as conditioning, where ever it is seen, conditioning looses its power, would you say, Wim?

I'm not always sure Clive, because it could be ones own conditioning to see the other as being conditioned, but you're right if one see them both as a possible conditioning.

However, people have had different life-experiences than myself, and so are more qualified to speak on certain subjects than others, including myself. This includes people who had known K personally. And this includes the books people have written, like Professor Krishna.

This seems to me a tricky one because ' are more qualified '
indicates more knowledge or conditioning.

By the way for me 'truthfully' means something different than ' true ', isn't it.
Someone can truthfully belief in his being right, which doesn't mean it is true.

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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Fri, 29 Dec 2017 #26
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
This seems to me a tricky one because ' are more qualified '
indicates more knowledge or conditioning.

Yes, it IS a matter of more knowledge - and that does not necessarily mean more understanding. And yes, more knowledge does not necessarily imply less conditioning.

So in reading books about K, one is always wary of other people's interpretation of the teachings. But gosh, the whole phenomenon of "K" is so interesting!

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Fri, 29 Dec 2017 #27
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But gosh, the whole phenomenon of "K" is so interesting!

Yes, it is and at the same time so fragile and open for misinterpretation !!

I saw last week a street artist busy with his life-size soap bubbles,
the splendor of colors and the sparkling in the children eyes
who were full of astonishmentand forced their parents to unwind
and suddenly came this in mind:
' Sometimes it's chrytal clear and than
it splash like this soap bubble when it gets touched '

P.S.: Wish all of readers a Happy New year !

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 Fri, 29 Dec 2017.

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Sat, 30 Dec 2017 #28
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3921 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
it splash like this soap bubble when it gets touched '

I am assuming that you mean "burst" when you say splash, is that right, Wim?

That seems the right word to me. Thought/knowledge is always bursting, and the soap-bubble reality that it had created is revealed as .... nothing. Or at least whatever it was, it has ended.

The intriguing and interesting aspect of the teachings - or better say simply, of learning about oneself - is that the learning can never be accumulated. Is this what makes it unique?

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Tue, 02 Jan 2018 #29
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 612 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am assuming that you mean "burst" when you say splash, is that right, Wim?

With the help of a dictionairy I say: yes you are right, 'burst' is the correct expression of what was meant. 'splash' is phonetically closer to the Dutch expression !

Clive Elwell wrote:
Thought/knowledge is always bursting, and the soap-bubble reality that it had created is revealed as .... nothing. Or at least whatever it was, it has ended.

One could also say that the metafoor is pointing to the attractive appeal because of its colorfulness, but it misses the aspect of by holding it, it burst, so it should bursting but sadly it doesn't by its attractive appeal one holds it for real, which it isn't in reality.

Clive Elwell wrote:
The intriguing and interesting aspect of the teachings - or better say simply, of learning about oneself - is that the learning can never be accumulated. Is this what makes it unique?

Yes, everything looks like what it is and at the same time it is not what it is !
As well in science as well in the religions it is handled as if it is 'truth' with their laws and rituals.

But although it seems the same stream, the stream of Truth / Love is always different !

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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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #30
Thumb_img-0590 Mina Martini Finland 194 posts in this forum Offline

'But although it seems the same stream, the stream of Truth / Love is always different !'

Mina: Yes, because it never continues, is never turned into the experience of time.

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