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

What is experience?


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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #61
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
"Remember, my friend, it's a closing down sale in the mind. Everything must go"

It's all too easy to make that into another ideal or goal, I think. It's one thing to actually see the danger of psychological knowledge, and another to say thst it 'must' be dropped.

Let it Be

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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #62
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4023 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
It's one thing to actually see the danger of psychological knowledge, and another to say that it 'must' be dropped.

There are two senses of the concept of must, aren't there?

If my car is to work, there must be petrol in the tank.

And, there is the psychological compulsion sense of the word.

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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #63
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
There are two senses of the concept of must, aren't there?

If my car is to work, there must be petrol in the tank.

Maybe in the sense that in order to understand oneself, one must be free of belief, opinions, conclusions? But we are not. If one accepts his 'must', that just becomes a belief. It would be similar to stating that all attachments must go. Well, my attachment to smoking may be a fact, right? I can't simply make it go away. The most I can do is to observe it as it is. I do see the distinction you're making, however....valid point, Clive.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 07 Feb 2018.

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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #64
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 465 posts in this forum Offline

re 64:

Tom,

I may not be free of my opinions, beliefs, conclusions, in that I think "I am right" and I therefore give them authority, or I want to impose conformity to them or convince others of their rightness. But “I” do KNOW what the opinions etc. are that I hold, that I’m willing (or not) to fight for physically or verbally. Or IS the imposition by force or legislation ever justified? DOES force and coercion ultimately solve our problems and bring peace?

If I know my own opinions but also understand that opinions, conclusions and beliefs do not represent truth, that they do not solve humanity’s problems, that they cause division and conflict, doesn’t that understanding “defuse” my opinions, take the wind out of their sails? That understanding is not belief, is it?

I cannot end my compulsion to smoke but I can understand that smoking is unhealthy even though I can’t stop. Can’t I honestly say that to be healthy I must stop smoking? That "must", that understanding, doesn't change even though I realize that "I" am powerless to stop.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Wed, 07 Feb 2018.

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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #65
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
But “I” do KNOW what the opinions etc. are that I hold, that I’m willing (or not) to fight for physically or verbally.

There's also a vast(?) storehouse of unexamined unconscious ideals, beliefs, conclusions, I think.

Huguette . wrote:
If I know my own opinions but also understand that opinions, conclusions and beliefs do not represent truth, that they do not solve humanity’s problems, that they cause division and conflict, doesn’t that understanding “defuse” my opinions, take the wind out of their sails?

Somewhat, yes. But deep unconscious ideals and beliefs like being 'good' or being a 'sinner'...the importance of 'making an effort' to achieve...of having goals...purpose....values....and the beliefs I got as a child in church or at home from religious parents, may remain. Being a hard worker...a good provider...a success...being brave, strong, courageous....being admired by the community....societal values... may not be so easily shaken.

Huguette . wrote:
I cannot end my compulsion to smoke but I can understand that smoking is unhealthy even though I can’t stop. Can’t I honestly say that to be healthy I must stop smoking?

Yes, the damage from smoking can be measured physically...scientifically proven. The damage from ideals and beliefs cannot. It must be seen for ourselves....IN oneself.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 07 Feb 2018.

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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #66
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

If one accepts his 'must', that just becomes a belief. It would be similar to stating that all attachments must go.

In the sense that we're talking of "freedom from the known", all attachments must cease. The 'me' must go.

It's only a belief...or a logical conclusion....unless it's seen for/in oneself, however. It's not a true understanding unless we see it for ourself. So, barring that 'seeing', the 'must' may simply be a logical conclusion.

Let it Be

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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #67
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4023 posts in this forum Offline

I will drop the phrase “food for thought” completely. Instead, I am asking myself this question:

The self continually fails to deliver what it promises, or tries to deliver, doesn’t it? It forever seeks pleasure, but any pleasure it finds lasts for a short while only, and always seems to contain its own opposite, the pain of frustration, loss, attachment, disappointment. The self seeks a lasting satisfaction, but fails to find it. It seeks a life of peace among the conflict, but can never attain lasting peace, harmony.

The self apparently can never come across the security it desires. Always new problems arise, new threats, new anxieties, fears. I am sure we all recognise this. But it never gives up trying!

Why?

Normally, if we are trying to do something, and we see the method we are using to achieve our aims doesn’t work, then we give up that method. It’s just common sense. But not the self. It’s keeps trying and trying to find contentment, success, stability. But it seems it has never succeeded, never succeeded to go beyond its own suffering. It’s keeps trying, in the same old path. Why does it never learn, why does it never just give up?

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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 #68
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The self apparently can never come across the security it desires. Always new problems arise, new threats, new anxieties, fears. I am sure we all recognise this. But it never gives up trying!

Why?

Pleasure? I've got my guitar and my rock band. I may not find the ultimate, but there's that gorgeous young lady at my job that I'm dying to get a dinner date with....some good food, wine, conversation, and who know what....? As long as pleasure seems within reach, 'I'll' go that road.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 07 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #69
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4023 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Pleasure? I've got my guitar and my rock band. I may not find the ultimate, but there's that gorgeous young lady at my job that I'm dying to get a dinner date with....some good food, wine, conversation, and who know what....? As long as pleasure seems within reach, 'I'll' go that road.

But surely there comes a time when the limitations of the search for pleasure become apparent?

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #70
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 539 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But it never gives up trying! Why?

Why? ... Easy to answer this, simply because I have a firm believing that eventually I will get what I want, i.e.: a lasting happiness free from suffering ... Because Buddha, K, and others whom I consider wise men have told me that this is possible, as well as economists, psychologists, scientists, priests and so on say it to me also ... So, I try one method, and if it doesn't work, I will try the next, and so on ... But as there are thousands of methods, and the life is so short, there will be no time for Me to try all of them (as it seems that none of them work with me) ... But it doesn't matter, because if I believe in a next life, I will say to myself "Fortunately there's another life after this one! Surely I will complete there my training and finally I will become totally free of suffering" ... And if I don't believe in a next life, I will simply conform myself with the situation saying: "Life is like that, just suffering, and there's nothing to do about it!" devoting myself the rest of my life searching for that pleasure Tom is talking about.

My apologizes if someone feels disturbed somehow by these words or do not consider them friendly enough or simply thinks "here is again Juan's non-sense" ...

"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)

This post was last updated by Juan E Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #71
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But surely there comes a time when the limitations of the search for pleasure become apparent?

Not for most of us. My grandmother lived for pleasure, as far as I could tell, for all her 92 years....looking forward to a nice dinner...some tasty chocolate cake for desert....a trip to the shopping mall to buy a nice dress....a trip to the hair salon....TV...occassional book. She loved the beauty of the natural world out in Southern California as well. But I think she had some terrible loneliness too, late in life when she could no longer drive. Some of the Rolling Stones rock band are still at it...they're in their early seventies, and they're still trying to play the rock star. Of course they've got more money than God, so the search for pleasure can be seemingly endless. I want to add, that I recall speaking with my grandmother when she was well up in her 80's, and she told me she felt like she had lived a very full...good...life.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #72
Thumb_bandak Vikram P India 7 posts in this forum Offline

Hello Clive, thanks for the welcome.

Before i start a dialogue on the topic of this thread i would like to make a disclaimer since i am a newcomer and we don't know each other: i approach a dialogue rather simply which happens to also be in sync with what K suggested throughout his life and that is, i go slowly, step by step, humbly, and DO NOT give or receive any handouts. By handouts I mean providing or receiving any ready answers. My effort is to have an interactive dialogue in which the participants are meeting each other in clean motives, equal effort and not where one is doing all the work and another has their legs stretched out as a passive listener wanting to be spoon fed. Also i won't respond to declarative statements unless it includes a question. Does this seem fair and acceptable to you? if so we can proceed and if at any time my approach creates a problem let me know and i will stop contributing.

If we are in agreement then i will start by saying: In regards to your original post (without reading all the responses of others) and since you postulate that "experience" requires a "recognition"...... would it be acceptable to distinguish between experience and experiencing? For an experiencing without an experience? That way the experiencing is ever new?

This post was last updated by Vikram P Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #73
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 539 posts in this forum Offline

Vikram P wrote:
For an experiencing without an experience? That way the experiencing is ever new?

Yes, to me this is what passion does ... a constant experiencing without experience ... For instance, for some, K may appear as repeating once and once again the same, but everything was constantly new no matter if the words were always the same ... difficult to see for someone that moves with things from experience.

BTW welcome to the forum!

"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)

This post was last updated by Juan E Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #74
Thumb_bandak Vikram P India 7 posts in this forum Offline

Thank You Juan!

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #75
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 630 posts in this forum Offline

Vikram P wrote:
..... would it be acceptable to distinguish between experience and experiencing? For an experiencing without an experience? That way the experiencing is ever new?

Hi Vikram,

This is a very good distinction to make, does this prevent a remembering of this action ? Recently someone stated that if one remember such an event it did not took place as such !

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, 08 Feb 2018 #76
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 539 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
does this prevent a remembering of this action ?

No, as it is shown by K himself talking many times about 'past experiences' in his dialogs ... to me the point is if we attach ourselves to that remembrance as an actual experiencer or not.

"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)

This post was last updated by Juan E Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #77
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 630 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
No, as it is shown by K himself talking many times about 'past experiences' in his dialogs ...

That's also my view, but this person claimed being right because of the very deep feeling: "it was not correct ! "

It was a very delicate and also common action with another person I referenced and this statement was the cause of ruin the on going dialogue.

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, 08 Feb 2018 #78
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 465 posts in this forum Offline

#67:

Huguette . wrote:

If I know my own opinions but also understand that opinions, conclusions and beliefs do not represent truth, that they do not solve humanity’s problems, that they cause division and conflict, doesn’t that understanding “defuse” my opinions, take the wind out of their sails?

Tom Paine wrote:

Somewhat, yes. But deep unconscious ideals and beliefs like being 'good' or being a 'sinner'...the importance of 'making an effort' to achieve...of having goals...purpose....values....and the beliefs I got as a child in church or at home from religious parents, may remain. Being a hard worker...a good provider...a success...being brave, strong, courageous....being admired by the community....societal values... may not be so easily shaken.

Tom, I do see that the conscious mind has no authority or control over the unconscious mind. The beliefs, ideals, etc., which were inculcated in the child by parents and educators are not eradicated by "new" beliefs the adult adopts, are they? The old beliefs remain active in the depths of consciousness; and superficial consciousness is unaware of them directly, but it is aware of the intimations. Aren’t fear, anger, depression, anxiety, the intimations arising from depths of consciousness, from the contradictions between conscious and unconscious? The mind doesn't like or want to face the intimations, but it is aware of them, isn't it?

So there's contradiction and conflict within consciousness - between unconscious and conscious beliefs, opinions, ideals, conclusions and so on. That’s how it seems to me. Is that what you’re also saying?

We're looking into what keeps the self going. Is it contradiction, this division and battle between conscious and unconscious? Consciously I think that I’m quite capable and wonderful but unconsciously I think that I’m incompetent and weak (as an example).

If the mind sees the falseness of all belief, opinion, etc. - conscious and unconscious - and it sees that effort cannot overcome the contradictions, divisions, fear, and so on, that perception is very significant, isn’t it? So there’s nothing to "do" but observe, learn - and not make this into a new conclusion or belief. Or is this all wrong?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #79
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 465 posts in this forum Offline

#74:

Tom Paine wrote:
My grandmother lived for pleasure, as far as I could tell, for all her 92 years....looking forward to a nice dinner...some tasty chocolate cake for desert....a trip to the shopping mall to buy a nice dress....a trip to the hair salon....TV...occassional book. She loved the beauty of the natural world out in Southern California as well. But I think she had some terrible loneliness too, late in life when she could no longer drive. Some of the Rolling Stones rock band are still at it...they're in their early seventies, and they're still trying to play the rock star. Of course they've got more money than God, so the search for pleasure can be seemingly endless. I want to add, that I recall speaking with my grandmother when she was well up in her 80's, and she told me she felt like she had lived a very full...good...life.

There’s nothing wrong with pleasures such as these, is there? There’s no obligation or reason to deny oneself pleasure, or condemn oneself for enjoying pleasure. It doesn’t sound like your grandmother was obsessed with pursuing pleasure or that she was trying to escape pain. Looking forward to a nice dinner is not divisive or rooted in fear, is it? Sometimes there is pleasure, sometimes sadness, sometimes joy, sometimes sorrow and loneliness - both sides of the coin.

Isn’t it when one doggedly pursues pleasure and tries to escape the flip side of the coin that conflict ensues?

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #80
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
It doesn’t sound like your grandmother was obsessed with pursuing pleasure or that she was trying to escape pain.

Not sure, Huguette. I know she had a mostly an unfulfilling marriage with much conflict and bickering with my grandfather. My mother told me that as a child she heard almost constant arguments in the home. But my grand dad lived for his work, and made a very comfortable living, so my grandmother was free during the day to indulge her desires and whims. I think she lived a very superficial life....possibly as an escape from being bored and lonely. She had few close friends and was something of a compulsive talker which drove some of her family away. But she was obsessed with superficial appearances....clothes....manners....being a financial success...the lives of celebrities....the rich and famous movie stars who lived not too many miles away from her out in L.A. This obsession with the superficial may have been an escape from deep inner conflict and boredom....loneliness. She never talked of anything 'deeply' meaningful to her...mostly superficial babbling, so I never knew what lied beneath the surface with her.

There’s nothing wrong with pleasures such as these, is there? There’s no obligation or reason to deny oneself pleasure, or condemn oneself for enjoying pleasure.

Not that I can see. It's the attachment to a particular pleasure or experience that causes pain...pain, when the pleasure which we seek ....are attached/addicted to...is denied. Then we're faced with our loneliness or boredom or anxiety.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #81
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
We're looking into what keeps the self going. Is it contradiction, this division and battle between conscious and unconscious? Consciously I think that I’m quite capable and wonderful but unconsciously I think that I’m incompetent and weak (as an example).

Not sure. I need to look more closely at your point. I'll give one example of the way that I see that conflict is created. If I'm told as a child that it's supremely important to be a success...be the best at what I do(business or accounting or academics, sports, for example) and/or be financially successful, then inner conflict is inevitable if I fail. If my business fails, if I'm cut from the college football team....if I'm not recognized as a success as a scholar or an artist....if others get the fame or recognition I desire and I'm a 'failure' in my own eyes and/or society's eyes. If my father was a great college athlete and I fail to even make the varsity team, he may consider me a to be a great disappointment. Sounds cruel, but this kind of thing DOES happen. And I will be disappointed in myself as a consequence. This keeps the self going, as I see it, because I dont want to face the disapproval of my father...the society...the pain of failure. The other side of the coin is that there's great pleasure if I DO succeed and win society's approval. Attachment (to a goal or experience) seems to be one cause of conflict/suffering, as the Buddha famously said.

If the mind sees the falseness of all belief, opinion, etc. - conscious and unconscious - and it sees that effort cannot overcome the contradictions, divisions, fear, and so on, that perception is very significant, isn’t it? So there’s nothing to "do" but observe, learn - and not make this into a new conclusion or belief

Makes good sense to me!

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #82
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 465 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette wrote:
It doesn’t sound like your grandmother was obsessed with pursuing pleasure or that she was trying to escape pain.

Tom Paine wrote:
Not sure, Huguette.

Your grandmother might have been or not, Tom. It doesn’t really make a difference in terms of understanding self and the human being which is each one of us, does it? We see that the human being - I, you, she, he - pursues pleasure and tries to escape from pain and all that is involved in that effort. In understanding myself, I understand the other. No?

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #83
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2109 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Your grandmother might have been or not, Tom. It doesn’t really make a difference in terms of understanding self and the human being which is each one of us, does it?

My point in going into some detail on this subject was that beneath what seems to many of us to be a 'normal' upper middle class existence with nice clothes, furniture, appearance, good food and drink, etc....superficial happiness...may be deep unconscious conflict.

Let it Be

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #84
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 465 posts in this forum Offline

Of course, Tom. It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society - i.e. "normal" - is it?

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #85
Thumb_bandak Vikram P India 7 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
This is a very good distinction to make, does this prevent a remembering of this action ? Recently someone stated that if one remember such an event it did not took place as such !

Hello Wim, your question is a good one but has jumped way ahead if i may say so, if it was me then i will be investigating on what all is involved in "experiencing without an experience". The same goes for Juan E.

This post was last updated by Vikram P Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #86
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 630 posts in this forum Offline

Vikram P wrote:
Hello Wim, your question is a good one but has jumped way ahead if i may say so, if it was me then i will be investigating on what all is involved in "experiencing without an experience".

But that's precisely the problem with experience, one only can go back and not jump way ahead. Experiencing is in the present and afterwards there is a shadow of something special has happened, it overcomes you and there was nothing you did that coursed it or could prevent it. The experience nestled as a memory in your brain and there is nothing one can do to repeat er prevent it for recurring.

you as a person are not involved, but are the executive action.

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, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #87
Thumb_bandak Vikram P India 7 posts in this forum Offline

What is the first requirement of investigation and inquiry into these matters? How does one initiate and continue in an inquiry?

This post was last updated by Vikram P Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #88
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4023 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Maybe in the sense that in order to understand oneself, one must be free of belief, opinions, conclusions?

Can one simply see this statement as a fact? Not that it is something that must be achieved. Not that one must struggle about it. It is just a fact, like the sky is a fact. And perhaps the perception of that fact will act - not that "I have to do something about it" ?

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Thu, 08 Feb 2018.

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #89
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4023 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
"But I never give up trying!" I found it interesting to read your #69 above using "I" instead of "it"or "self". For me it brings those important questions 'closer to home'.

"Why don't I ever learn, Why don't I ever just give up?"

I understand what you are saying, Dan. But there is another way for us blind men to feel the elephant.

By emphasising the “I”, is this not another way of reinforcing the idea that it is “my” suffering, “my conflict”, “my” fear etc? Whereas this is actually a false way of looking – it is human suffering, human conflict and fear …… To approach these things as if they are “mine” is to start in illusion. Any action would then be based on a misconception.

What do you say?

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Thu, 08 Feb 2018 #90
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4023 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
But it doesn't matter, because if I believe in a next life, I will say to myself "Fortunately there's another life after this one

First of all let us put aside belief in reincarnation, and any other religious belief. I don't think they are worth pursuing as part of a rational enquiry. In any case, I doubt if merely holding on to a belief does overcome sorrow, fear, all the misery that the self creates, although adherents to the faith may claim they do.

Why? ... Easy to answer this, simply because I have a firm believing that eventually I will get what I want, i.e.: a lasting happiness free from suffering ..

But this begs the question, Juan. The question is still there; why in the face of all the evidence to the contrary do people carry on believing that they will eventually get what they want? After a hundred frustrations, why should one “carry on”? And even when one does “get what one wants”, as for example get the job one has been striving for, marry the person one has desired for years, made a lot of money – does not the satisfaction one envisaged from these “successes” quickly evaporate, turn to ashes in one's mouth? Is this not a fact? So why do not people realise their pursuits are fruitless, and let go of them? Or at least let go of the idea of fulfilment in things?

As K said, there's no such thing as fulfilment. Why do we carry on as if there was?

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