Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What exactly IS the state of awareness?


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Sun, 18 Mar 2018 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

I was in a discussion about awareness recently. The question arose “What exactly is this state of awareness?”, and I realised to my surprise that I had never really asked that before.

Let us say I am lying in bed in the morning, and I become aware of the sound of a bird singing. I realise that the bird was singing before I came aware of it also. But – there was no awareness of it. So what is the difference between the two states?

Is it that there is some sort of block, some sort of gate, that the brain is somehow operating that keep the sound of the bird, the sensation out of the mind? And if that is so, what is it that opens the gate, that lets the sound 'manifest'?

Is thought that block, that involuntary gate?

Many question arise, but I will leave it there for now, and see if there are any responses.

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Mon, 19 Mar 2018 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

I am fairly clear that in awareness there is no “I” that is aware. This can be questioned of course. But are there two separate things, the awareness, and what one is aware of? Or awareness IS the object of awareness? I don't know if this question is clear?

To return to the bird singing outside my window – is there the singing AND a state of awareness, or is the singing the very state of awareness?

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #3
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

I start out wanting to understand the functioning of my mind because I suffer and I want to find out if suffering can end. Therefore I ask what thought is, what awareness is. Am “I” the cause of my own suffering? Are my habits the cause? Is suffering something that is caused by external circumstances? Is it due to a physical impairment or condition? Is a life of suffering inevitable?

In order to understand suffering and myself, thought - memory and reasoning - must be silently observed, mustn't it? ... as the scientist observes through his microscope. Such effortless, innocent, observation is awareness.

In looking into the question of what thought is and what “I” am, I discover that I and my suffering, my habits, my experiences, my knowledge and time are part of one and the same thing, which is “my” consciousness. They are not 2 or 3 or 100 separate things as I had taken for granted. Through the silent observation of thought in all its guises, I see that thought - memory (and all its derivatives) and reason (in all its expressions) - is the root of psychological suffering.

So I see that "I" am inadequate to the task of ending suffering.

Thought/consciousness is very complex; it is made up of millions of fragments which can be looked at either individually or as a whole, with one glance. Thought also includes reason. Awareness is simple in that it has no parts, no fragments, no contradictions. There is awareness or there is not.

The mind - thought - can be in different states or conditions, can’t it? --- agitation, excitement, pleasure, concentration, confusion, anxiety, fear, anger, and so on. But awareness itself is not IN a state, nor is it a state, is it? It is not a part of any state the mind is in. Awareness simply is, isn’t it?

There is awareness of fear, for example, but there is no fear IN awareness and no awareness IN fear. And fear is not awareness, nor is awareness fear. Is it so? Then in the same way, the bird song is not awareness and awareness is not the song of the bird, is it?

And in understanding these things about thought and awareness, the fundamental issue for the mind has changed, hasn’t it? The fundamental issue is no longer “my” personal happiness or sorrow, is it? The fundamental question is understanding the truths that govern the human being, “the world”. And if the fundamental issue has changed, does it means that the mind has changed, been altered ... without effort or intention? Does it? Or not?

There’s surely a lot more that can be said about all this.

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #4
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Through the silent observation of thought in all its guises, I see that thought - memory (and all its derivatives) and reason (in all its expressions) - is the root of psychological suffering.

How many of us actually see that? Don't we normally think that the cause of 'my' suffering is something outside of consciousness? It's those liberals in congress....or the right wing conservatives....or the greedy rich. Or the Jews, Catholics, Blacks, Arabs, my spouse, my kids who won't behave, my job, my boss, my lack of status...lack of money. "If only I had more money, I'd be happy!" How many of us have felt like...thought... that?

Let it Be

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #5
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
How many of us actually see that?

But my dear friend Tom, do we have to bring "how many of us" into it?

Do you see it? Do I see it? Can't we just stick to that? You and me? We know for a fact that the mind blames and vilifies "others" for the state of "the world". Do WE?

We're both interested in this. We can talk this thing over between us, can't we? What can we do about those who are not interested or concerned? I'm not saying they don't MATTER. They do of course. But do we have to wait for everyone to join us where we are in our questioning?

Maybe - MAYBE - if more and more see it, if more and more "eyes" are open, it will have an effect on others. Maybe not. I don't know. We're not "doing it" for a reason. There's a curiosity, a passion, which can't be denied or repressed, it seems to me.

When a peddlar of religions comes to my door (which hasn't happened for years), there can be no meeting of minds. But between you and me, is there? Or can there be if we listen to each other? Maybe not.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 20 Mar 2018.

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #6
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Do you see it? Do I see it? Can't we just stick to that? Y

OK. I meant by 'we'....all of us here on the forum. I was putting the question to all of us(we)...Tom included. I'll put it differently. I'm not sure I see that as a fact. I want to observe it more closely. But I cant do that here. I must observe 'my own' thinking/feeling. Obviously I can't observe someone else's. Sometimes it does seem clear to me...insight has revealed it to be the case... but at other times the mind projects the cause outside of itself. Or thinks, 'Oh, if only I had enough money to buy a nice house with a small yard and some trees! That would make my life better...not to live in this small apartment without even a little deck to sit outside and observe the birds...the sky....breath the fresh scents of Spring or Fall." And there's some confusion at times....what is this conflict all about? Is it something in 'me', or is it outside? Or both?

Do WE?

I think so....at times I get caught up in placing the blame on Trump and the far right wing here in the US. But I also inquire inwardly. "Is my conflict due to some inward 'should'....some ideal of behavior....or some self judgment?"

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 20 Mar 2018.

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #7
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

Tom,

My question stands: Can’t we stick to you and me who are now talking it over? “We” - you and I - see that there is no such thing as certainty in our understanding, don’t we? We might be mistaken in our understanding. We might mistake thinking for observation. So we proceed with caution, hesitantly. And curiosity, interest, passion, “pushes” us to question.

Even in a moment of insight, there is no certainty, is there? Certainty is thought, isn’t it? And insight is not.

Clarity or insight can’t be “carried forward” or carried around and pulled out when needed, can it? I remember yesterday’s insight into the root of suffering. That memory is completely worthless today, isn’t it? Yesterday, it seemed clear to me, and now it’s all muddied again. So I must forget about yesterday’s clarity and look at it from scratch, mustn’t I? Insight or not, things change constantly, everything is in constant movement. It is not because I understood something yesterday (maybe) that I can apply that understanding like a template to “similar” circumstances in time.

Then also, what is the source of a question?

If I ask what awareness is, for example, is it because there is the hope or desire that I can use awareness as a vehicle to freedom? If hope or desire is prompting the question, that again is thought , isn’t it? And “we” - you and I - see that thought is incapable of finding and bringing about freedom, don’t we?

Or does the question arise spontaneously as I observe the workings of the mind? Then I’m not looking for a verbal answer, am I? I’m not looking for a definitive, categorical answer. I’m just asking, really asking, and the answer is in the observation. I don’t have to tell you what it is, and you don’t have to tell me what it is. But we can talk it over.

I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m tired.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 20 Mar 2018.

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
But we still can bring attention to the sounds and colors around us and 'push' thinking into the background

Can we? How are you using the word "can", Dan? Are you suggesting that this is a matter of choice? A matter of applying one's will? Are you suggesting, as many do, that one can practice awareness, or mindfulness as some call it?

Or is it either there or not? Does it just come and go according to - well, according to what, that is what we are both asking?

Dan McDermott wrote:
and 'push' thinking into the background, even if only for a few moments. (the soldier in the enemy jungle had better not lose his/her 'awareness' of the surroundings, even for a second.)

it is very interesting that this awareness arises naturally when one faces an emergency, perhaps a life-threatening situation. I have experienced this several times in car accidents (and if I had been aware in the first place there wouldn't have been an accident!). Everything goes into slow motion, there is an objective appraisal of the whole situation. But thought and feeling go into abeyance. There is no analysis by thought (I think it is too slow to act), there is no fear whatsoever.

So awareness does arise when there is a need of the body for it. Why is it so often not there without that bodily need? Is it that the mind does not see that actually IS a need; that actually we ARE in a state of crisis, as the mind/society IS degenerating, facing utter collapse?

Dan McDermott wrote:
The immediate 'now' no longer demanding 'attention' replaced by thought with its creation of psychological time: a 'past', a 'present' and a 'future'?

Yes.

Dan McDermott wrote:
Infinitely more 'seductive' (and entertaining?) than the sights, sounds, textures, forms, colors, etc. of the 'now' (real) world around me?

Yes. Is this the essence of the problem? Like watching nature programs on television, so much more fascinating than real life, with the clever, amazing, camera techniques. Thought is able to produce a much more entertaining reality than the world around us? Of course it brings its problems, but it doesn't always see that.

Or is it that we never really look at the world around us, our senses are dulled, insensitive?

Knowledge has become so dominant.

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #9
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
And curiosity, interest, passion, “pushes” us to question.

Suffering pushes us to question. If there were no suffering we'd never question anything. It may be our own unhappiness or the suffering of our loved one or child or just the immense suffering we see on the news every night....war, starvation, genocide.

Huguette . wrote:
Even in a moment of insight, there is no certainty, is there? Certainty is thought, isn’t it? And insight is not.

Not so sure about that, Huguette. When K in a talk says, 'thought is conflict', he seems quite certain that it's a fact for him. I can't say whether it's a fact for me unless I see it for myself, of course. But when I or you see a fact as true, doesn't it seem like a certainty? Or is that the wrong word? "Thought divides". We can look and see for ourselves if it's a fact or just an idea. But once there's insight into a fact doesn't it seem a certainty? I'm speaking of right at the moment of insight. I have insight into something K points out, and I say, "yes...that's indeed a fact". At that moment there's certainty. But only at that moment. A certainty that's not of thought. I don't know if that makes sense at all.

Let it Be

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Tue, 20 Mar 2018 #10
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Thought is able to produce a much more entertaining reality than the world around us? Of course it brings its problems, but it doesn't always see that.

Why do we prefer entertainment to the actual world around us....the world our senses perceive? Probably because we're suffering and we can escape temporarily through looking at a movie on TV or listening to some music we enjoy.

Or is it that we never really look at the world around us, our senses are dulled, insensitive?

Yes, they're dulled when we're preoccupied with our problems for sure.

Knowledge has become so dominant.

Only when we have problems. If we didn't have problems we'd perhaps be able to look and observe the world around us with real interest. I mean, it IS fascinating when one has the freedom to observe, isn't it? To the little child just seeing a cat or a frog is a very exciting event. I know this because I recall being with a little child when a cat wandered into her line of view. She became full of incredible excitement and joy, "Look, a cat!" Of course, her mind wasn't full of knowledge about the cat.

Let it Be

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Then in the same way, the bird song is not awareness and awareness is not the song of the bird, is it?

I don't know. I cannot isolate the state of awareness from it is aware of. It does seem that there is only "one thing", existing in the moment.

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
It does seem that there is only "one thing", existing in the moment.

Wasn't that what K meant when he spoke of thought creating division....a division that is in fact illusory...false? In observation free of the observer, isn't the inner the outer....with no division?

Let it Be

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #13
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
But why don't we 'escape' Tom into the "actual world" as well
to escape the "suffering" rather than only the 'self's' creations?

Don't we try to 'escape' when we are suffering? But our senses when we suffer are no longer sensitive. Our focus is on the inner pain. It's that suffering that commands our attention, not the birds singing in the trees. When I was very young I was very sensitive to the natural world....loved walking or riding my bike alone and smelling the flowers or the scents autumn....feeling the soft breeze of a summer night when relaxing out doors...the smell of the wood fire when camping outdoors. But I had no bills to pay....no financial worries....hardly any worries at all. As soon as suffering takes over the mind and body our attention goes to that, and it's painful. In order to reduce the pain we drink a beer or escape to the TV or sports. You are asking why we don't take a walk in the woods and listen to the birds singing in the trees....look at the clouds or the sunset? Why? I think it's because our senses are dulled by the inner conflict....our mind chews over the problem/s we face....be it unpaid bills or an insult I received from my employer at work. For some reason, a comedy film on TV or some good music has more power to distract my mind from the problem than the song of the bird or the smell of the flowers does. I have no idea why that is.

Let it Be

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #14
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
but it feels even though it is constantly changing that there is this permanent thing called 'I' and that is what worries and suffers. Isn't it?

I'm not sure that an illusion can suffer, though. I have a thought/image that I am a bad or inferior person, compared to you who are a 'great' man. Is it this false image that suffers or the body that suffers due to the image? It's the body that feels the pain that we call suffering. And it's the image that's producing the pain/suffering. It's thought causing suffering for the body, not suffering for the 'me' image. The me is only another image. Images don't suffer as far as I can see.

Let it Be

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #15
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

#10:

Tom Paine wrote:
Suffering pushes us to question. If there were no suffering we'd never question anything. It may be our own unhappiness or the suffering of our loved one or child or just the immense suffering we see on the news every night....war, starvation, genocide.

You’re right, Tom. I think that suffering does push us to question, initially. But I also think at some point there’s another movement at work. I could be mistaken, of course.

Initially, I just want suffering to end and this draws me to K or to whomever or whatever.

Listening to K, guided by K, I now “see very clearly that any action born of confusion only leads to more confusion. That's very simple and very clear. Then what is right action? We live by action. We cannot but act. The whole process of living is action. We must again go into this question of what action is. We know very clearly the action born of confusion, through which act we hope to achieve certainty, clarity. If we see that, then, not being committed to any course of thought, philosophy or ideals, what is action? This is a legitimate question after we have said all these things.” [NY, 3rd Public Talk, Sept 30 1966 Collected Works, Vol. XVII, pp. 17-8]

Listening to K, guided by K, I “look at that fear, and in the very act of looking, watching fear, one begins to discover the origin of fear, the beginning, what is the causation of fear. Because the very fact of looking at it is to see how it came about, not analyse fear because the analyser is the analysed. Not analyse, dissect fear but that very close, delicate watching reveals the content of fear, the content being the origin, the beginning, the causation because where there is a cause there is an end. Right? The cause can never be different from the result. So the discovery, or in the observation, in the watching, the causation is revealed.” [Brockwood Park 2nd conversation with Mary Zimbalist 5 October 1984 “Fear”]

Of course there are many more examples that can be given, but what I’m trying to say is that “something” has changed from the initial point of just wanting fear to end for “me”. Hasn’t it? IF I have understood ANYTHING (and maybe I haven’t - there is NO certainty), am I - is the mind - the same confused, disorderly mind which began the enquiry? If the mind is the same, it is still expecting a miracle of sorts. If the mind is the same, it is still looking to the intellect for solutions and answers, it is still making efforts to overcome, acquire, achieve, attain. And is that still NOW its approach to life and its problems? As I see it, it is NOT. Realizing I might be deluding myself.

Or is the perspective, the approach to life, now fundamentally different? I say (realizing that I could be mistaken) it is fundamentally different. And if I’m NOT mistaken - if there IS a fundamental difference in my approach - I’m not claiming enlightenment, bliss or anything else of that sort. I’m saying that the mind which observes now is not the same old mind, in the same old state of confusion, as the mind which initially saw itself as a victim of circumstance, as lucky or unlucky, as a loser or a winner, as smarter than everyone else or more foolish than everyone else.

The mind which observes now is not looking outwardly from a centre. It is not seeing itself as separate from its qualities, actions and relationships. The mind which observes now is not situating itself on a time continuum …. except in moments of inattention which still occur. Those moments of inattention still occur but they pass and they are understood to be fundamentally false.

Initially, there was crisis followed by denial and escape. That is, in the moment of crisis, when suffering was intense, the mind wanted suffering to end. And it is the way of life that everything that fades in also fades out. Crisis in and fades out and something else fades in ... and out. Amusements, pleasure, entertainment, occupation, ambition, greed, acquisition, crisis, and so on, alternate in the psychological landscape.

The mind which wants suffering to end never to appear again, is more than willing to let suffering fade out so it can go back to “normal” life, amusements, pleasure, entertainment, occupation, ambition, greed, acquisition, and so on. Then suffering comes round again - as it inevitably must since nothing has changed fundamentally - the mind says, “poor me, here it comes again, I must get rid of it, solve it”. It is the merry-go-round we are accustomed to. The mind wants to take the suffering out of it and keep the rest.

But the mind which now understands the nature of self, time, pleasure, attachment, relationship, death, fear, and so on, that mind still wants to understand, observe, explore. “It is like holding a jewel, an intricate pattern by an artist, who has brought this extraordinary jewel. You look at it, you don't condemn it, you don't say. "How beautiful" and run away with words, but you are looking at this extraordinary thing put together by hand, by cunning fingers and the brain that has brought this. You are watching it, you are looking at it. Turn it round, look at the various sides, the back and the front and the side, and you never let it go.” [Brockwood Park 2nd conversation with Mary Zimbalist 5 October 1984 “Fear”]

This mind no longer wants merely to end suffering. There is an interest, a curiosity, a passion to understand which is not of the “me”. Isn’t there?

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #16
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

#12:

Clive Elwell wrote:
I don't know. I cannot isolate the state of awareness from it is aware of. It does seem that there is only "one thing", existing in the moment.

No, awareness cannot be isolated. But aren't you isolating the birdsong from awareness? If you're saying there's only the one thing, where is the human being then? What is relationship then between the human being and the bird song? Doesn't relationship depend on awareness?

TO KNOW OURSELVES means to know our relationship with the world - not only with the world of ideas and people, but also with nature, with the things we possess. That is our life - life being relationship to the whole. Does the understanding of that relationship demand specialization? Obviously not. What it demands is awareness to meet life as a whole. How is one to be aware? That is our problem. How is one to have that awareness - if I may use this word without making it mean specialization? How is one to be capable of meeting life as a whole? - which means not only personal relationship with your neighbour but also with nature, with the things that you possess, with ideas, and with the things that the mind manufactures as illusion, desire and so on. How is one to be aware of this whole process of relationship? Surely that is our life, is it not? There is no life without relationship; and to understand this relationship does not mean isolation. On the contrary, it demands a full recognition or awareness of the total process of relationship.

The First and Last Freedom Chapter 12

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #17
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
We don't interact with the world as if I'm just an "illusion"

Indeed, we become hurt because of the self image. Yet, the hurt is felt in the body. The 'me'/image can't feel hurt. But 'me' reacts to the hurt/pain that's felt in the body...identifies with it... and the hurt gets amplified. I need to look further into this. Have work to do around the apartment at the moment.

Let it Be

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Wasn't that what K meant when he spoke of thought creating division....a division that is in fact illusory...false? In observation free of the observer, isn't the inner the outer....with no division?

It is clear that thought DOES create division, I cannot see that there is any doubt of that. And surely the state of awareness does NOT contain any division?

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote #14 :
Yes, attention can be directed to the (neglected) body and its sensations..

Directed by what, Dan?

Dan McDermott wrote:

The function of 'awareness/alertness is to keep us from being physically destroyed.

Does not K suggest there is another significance to awareness that that? Does he not imply that it is the only "way out" of the psychological prison that we have created?

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote #14 :
But why don't we 'escape' Tom into the "actual world" as well

Interesting question. Not putting any emphasis on the word "escape" at the moment (which you also put in quotes, Dan;) is it that the escapes of the mind are instantly available, can so easily create pleasurable images, which can be played with, manipulated? Whereas nature is uncompromising. And really it involves a certain amount of participation, work, from oneself.

Yes, very interesting question. Another point that arises is that nature is not really an effective escape, as we tend to "take our thoughts with us" on a walk in nature. Our worries, preoccupations, unfinished business are our companions.

In fact actually there aren't any escapes!

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
But it is transient, changing with each thought, but it feels even though it is constantly changing that there is this permanent thing called 'I' and that is what worries and suffers. Isn't it?

Yes, the self IS transient. And is it not precisely its attempts to deny that that is the very root of suffering?

Can there be a "transient self"? Or is that a contradiction in terms? A self with full awareness of what it really is? Or does such an aware self instantly dissolve in the light of that awareness?

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018 #22
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, very interesting question. Another point that arises is that nature is not really an effective escape, as we tend to "take our thoughts with us" on a walk in nature. Our worries, preoccupations, unfinished business are our companions.

Exactly. But an exciting action/adventure movie can remove us from our preoccupations, at least temporarily....or cheering on our sports team on TV at the local pub or bar. Music was a huge escape for me when I was young. I was obsessed with the great musicians of my day...the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkle. Even though I was full of conflict, I could put on a good rock album and lose myself in the music for a while. And I did this a LOT. If I was to take a walk 'in nature', as you say above, I'd have taken my worried/anxious thoughts with me.

Let it Be

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, the self IS transient. And is it not precisely its attempts to deny that that is the very root of suffering?

Interesting. Not sure of that....will have to look further into this point. As I see it, the root of suffering is thought...psychological thought....ideals, should's, should not's, beliefs, goals, ambitions, etc. It's these that make up the self....and theses are what makes up our sense of psychological time/becoming and identity.

Let it Be

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #24
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4482 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote #19:
But aren't you isolating the birdsong from awareness?

I thought I was exploring exactly the opposite, Huguette :-)

Huguette . wrote:
If you're saying there's only the one thing, where is the human being then?

I am not sure that I understand you, Huguette, "Where is the human being?" In the awareness of the bird singing (which I admit is probably partial, incomplete) there is no awareness of a me being aware.

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #25
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

re #28:

I'm sorry Clive. I guess I completely misunderstood you when you said (at #2): "is there the singing AND a state of awareness, or is the singing the very state of awareness?"

I'll just leave it alone for now.

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #26
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
"Where is the human being?" In the awareness of the bird singing (which I admit is probably partial, incomplete) there is no awareness of a me being aware.

Right, 'I'/me is only there when I am in conflict. When I'm listening or looking free of the observer/listener, the human being is only the body; and the listening, I think, is one with the body...the senses. But, at that moment of observing/listening there is no 'I'/me/self in the body. Then there are the practical matters that have to do with caring for ...maintaining the health and safety of...the body. There's a human being involved there, yes....the body, as well as the practical thoughts and actions needed to maintain said body. Just exploring this issue....not really sure of anything here.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 22 Mar 2018.

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #27
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
But the mind which now understands the nature of self, time, pleasure, attachment, relationship, death, fear, and so on, that mind still wants to understand, observe, explore.

If the mind understands all of what you mentioned above, what is left to explore? It seems to me that we only inquire ...question...when we're in conflict....when there's suffering....when something is out of sync. I'm not implying that understanding puts an end to curiosity and passion in daily living. But, if the 'me' is gone, what is there to inquire into?

Huguette . wrote:
This mind no longer wants merely to end suffering. There is an interest, a curiosity, a passion to understand which is not of the “me”. Isn’t there?

As long as there's suffering, the 'me' is there too, no?

Let it Be

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #28
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

Tom,

Is suffering all there is to understand? Is the ending of suffering the “answer” to all one’s existential questions? Should suffering end, does one then not care about the nature of one’s action, about the impact of one’s actions on others? Is the ending of suffering necessarily the dissolution of the self? I’m not saying it is or isn’t but after all, there is also pleasure when the self is around, not just suffering. So if I could have pleasure “all the time” and no suffering, would existential questions still arise? I'm really asking.

The mind that would really understand what is true, the real - the extraordinary state of mind that comprehends that thing called truth - must have, psychologically, no fear of any kind. A mind which would really understand, take a journey into the most extraordinary thing called reality and go deeply into it where there is no measure, no time, no illusion, no imagination - must be completely free from fear. And, therefore, such a mind is always living, neither in the past nor in the future.
A mind that is aware of all the things that are connected with fear is not concerned with the past but, as the past arises, it deals with it, not as a steppingstone to the future. Therefore, such a mind is living in the active present and, therefore, comprehends every movement of thought, feeling, fear, as it arises. There is a great deal to learn: there is no end to learning; therefore, there is no despair, no anxiety. This you must have completely in your blood so that you are never caught in the things that have been done or that will be done in the future, so that you are never held in time as thought. It is only the mind that has emptied itself of all this fear that is empty. Then, in that emptiness, it can understand that which is supreme and nameless. [Collected Works, Vol. XIV,94]

When K says (above) "Therefore, such a mind is living in the active present and, therefore, comprehends every movement of thought, feeling, fear, as it arises", what does he mean by "such a mind"? A mind that has no insight into fear and suffering?

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #29
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2267 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
When K says (above) "Therefore, such a mind is living in the active present and, therefore, comprehends every movement of thought, feeling, fear, as it arises", what does he mean by "such a mind"? A mind that has no insight into fear and suffering?

Understand every movement "As it arises" is different from inquiry/questioning, isn't it? Will come back to this later, time permitting. Have to start breakfast.

Let it Be

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Thu, 22 Mar 2018 #30
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 626 posts in this forum Offline

#34:

Dan McDermott wrote:
he suggested that 'awareness' is what in essence we actually are..."Unadorned, naked awareness that is always there, rarely heeded, is what you always have been, always will be. Cannot not be."

Dan,

This passage has been cited several times. It is not quoting K. It's from a story told by Terence Stamp remembering a meeting he had had with K. I'm not saying it's true or false but to me it is suspect.

K examined the nature self (among other things) and, as far as I know, nowhere did he says that "awareness is self". I understand that this (if it is so) doesn't prove anything since K did not speak by rote, mechanically. So he might have said many things only once in a way that is found nowhere else. But awareness is not a "me" or a "you" and K was very careful about using personal pronouns, so it doesn't seem to me that he would have said "what you have always been". And "rarely heeded" ... by whom?

What makes it even more suspect to me is that Terence Stamp calls K a "fella": "This fella is a diamond", "Impressed as I was by the perfume of the little fella's personality". It is indicative to me of a disconnection, that a wall has been erected between Terence Stamp and K. I can't imagine taking the things that someone has told me in seriousness and then calling that person "a little fella". Is it just me?

You can find the full story by Terence Stamp here link text

This post was last updated by Huguette . Thu, 22 Mar 2018.

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