Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Understanding problems


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Fri, 04 May 2018 #1
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 561 posts in this forum Offline

BANARAS (Varanasi, Rajghat) 5TH PUBLIC TALK 20TH FEBRUARY 1949:

"It is the lack of capacity to understand that creates problems. The incapacity to understand a problem brings about conflict, and if we have the capacity to understand a problem, then the problem itself ceases to exist. It is the incapacity to understand a challenge that brings about a problem.

Life is, and must be, a series of challenges and responses. The challenge is not according to our likes and dislikes, nor according to our particular desires, but assumes different forms at different times. And if we have the capacity to meet that challenge adequately, fully, directly, then there is no problem. But because we do not meet that challenge fully, adequately, a problem arises. How is it possible to have that capacity? Life's challenge is not at any one particular level of existence. Life is not at one level only, neither the economic nor the spiritual. Life is, as we discussed, a relationship at different levels; it is all the time in flux, all the time expressing itself in different ways; and he is a happy man who is able to meet life completely and fully at different levels all the time.

So, the man who regards life as being merely the conditioning by environment, either economic or intellectual, and who meets life only from that point of view is obviously an unintegrated person, and his conflicts are innumerable because surely life isn't at one level of existence. Life is relationship with things, people, and ideas; and if we do not meet these relationships rightly, fully, then conflicts arise from the impact of the challenge.

So, our problem is, is it not, how to bring about, how to cultivate deliberately - if one can deliberately cultivate - that capacity to meet the challenge all the time. Because, there is not a moment when there is no challenge, and if there is not a response, there is death, there is decay. It is only when we know how to meet the challenge all the time, continuously, freely, fully, that there is life, that there is depth, the height of thought and feeling.

Now, how is one to have that capacity, how does one come by it? Surely, no information can give it. Though you may study all the books written about how to meet life, that very factual understanding is really an impediment; because, having the facts, you try to meet the challenge with that framework of information. And, obviously, facts do not create or bring about that capacity. Without the capacity to meet life fully, life becomes a constant source of pain. So, it is not facts, it is not knowledge - you may read the Bhagavad Gita, you may read all the sacred books, listen to the talks given by all the saints, practise innumerable disciplines - , that will help you to have that capacity with which to meet life.

So, if it is not facts, if it is not knowledge, what is it that is required? Before we can find that out, we have to discover, have we not?, what is life itself, what is living. If we can understand that, perhaps we shall have the capacity to meet the challenge, which is life itself. Life is, is it not?, both challenge and response. It is not challenge alone nor response alone. Life is experience, experience in relationship. One cannot live in isolation; so, life is relationship, and relationship is action. And how can one have that capacity for understanding relationship, which is life? Does not relationship mean, not only communion with people, but intimacy with things and ideas? Life is relationship, which is expressed through contact with things, with people, and with ideas. In understanding relationship, we shall have capacity to meet life fully, adequately. So, our problem is not capacity - for capacity is not independent of relationship - but rather the understanding of relationship, which will naturally produce the capacity for quick pliability, for quick adjustment, for quick response.

Relationship, surely, is the mirror in which you discover yourself. Without relationship you are not; to be, is to be related; to be related is existence. And you exist only in relationship; otherwise, you do not exist, existence has no meaning. It is not because you think you are, that you come into existence. You exist because you are related; and it is the lack of understanding of relationship that causes conflict. [K pounding it home, saying it this way and that]

Now there is no understanding of relationship because we use relationship merely as a means of furthering achievement, furthering transformation, furthering becoming. But, relationship is a means of self-discovery, because relationship is to be, it is existence. Without relationship, I am not. To understand myself, I must understand relationship. So, relationship is a mirror in which I can see myself. That mirror can either be distorted, or it can be `as is', reflecting that which is. But most of us see in relationship, in that mirror, things we would rather see; we do not see what is. We would rather idealize, escape, we would rather live in the future than understand that relationship in the immediate present. [still pounding it home, saying it this way and that]

So, the present is merely used by the past as a passage to the future. And so, relationship, which is always in the present, and not in the future or in the past, has no meaning, and therefore conflict arises. Conflict arises because we use the present as a passage to the future or to the past. The mind is the result of the past; without the past, there is no thought. Without the background, without the conditioning, there is no thought. But thought, which is the result of the past, cannot understand the present, as it only uses the present as a passage to the future. The future is always a becoming, so the present, in which alone there can be understanding, is never grasped. While there is a becoming, there is conflict; and the becoming is always the past using the present, to be, to achieve. In the process of that becoming, thought is caught in the net of time. And time is not a solution to our problems. You understand only in the immediate, not tomorrow or yesterday; always in the now, though that now may be tomorrow. So, understanding is timeless. You cannot understand next life or next year. [pounding pounding]

So, that capacity to understand life comes into being only when one understands relationship. Relationship is a mirror. It must reflect, not as one wishes oneself to be, ideally or romantically, but what one actually is, and it is very difficult to perceive oneself as one actually is, because one is so accustomed to escaping from what is; it is arduous to perceive, to observe silently what is, because one is so used to condemning, justifying, comparing, identifying. And in that process of justification, condemnation, that which is, is not understood. Only in the understanding of what is, is there freedom from what is.

So, life has problems and conflicts and miseries only when you use relationship as a means of becoming, that is, when you gratify yourself through relationship. When I use another, or when I use property or an idea, as a means of self-expansion, which is the perpetuation of gratification, then life becomes a series of ceaseless conflicts and miseries. It is only when I understand relationship - which is the beginning of self-knowledge - that self-knowledge brings about right thinking with regard to what is; and it is right thinking that dissolves our problems - not the gurus, not the heroes, not the Mahatmas, not the literature, but the capacity to see what is and not escape from what is.

To acknowledge what is, is to understand what is. But to acknowledge what is, is most difficult, as the mind refuses to see, to observe, to accept what is. To see what is, to observe what is, demands action; and an ideal, the process of becoming, is an escape from action, is the avoidance of action. Since we surround ourselves with inaction, with escape, with ideals, we are running away from what is, which is relationship; but it is only in that relationship that we see ourselves clearly as we are. The more you go into what is, the more you see the deeper layers of consciousness, that is, life at different levels. In that there is freedom - not of discipline, not of cultivated, enclosed thought, but the freedom that truth, as virtue, brings; for without virtue there is no freedom. But the man who is becoming virtuous is not free. Virtue is only in the present, not in the future. So, we see that the whole significance of existence is not the avoidance of the present, but the comprehension of the present in relationship; and there is no relationship except in the present, and therein is the beauty of relationship. [still pounding it home]

After all, that is love, is it not; Love is not in the tomorrow. You cannot say that you will love tomorrow. Either you love now, or never. And that tremendous thing, that significance and beauty of love, can be understood only in relationship; but the mere cultivation of love, through discipline, is the denial of love. Then love is merely intellection. A man who loves with the mind, is empty of heart. Mind can adjust itself, thought can adjust itself, but love never 'adjusts'. It is a state of being. What is pure, is pure always, though it be divided. And it is that love, it is that truth which liberates.

Question: You say the mind, memory and the thought process, have to cease before there can be understanding, and yet you are communicating to us. Is what you say the experience of something in the past, or are you experiencing as you communicate?

Krishnamurti: When do you communicate? When do you tell another your experience? When you have had the experience, not in the moment of experiencing. It is only an after result, this communication. You must have memory, words, gestures, to communicate an experience which you have had. So your communication is the expression of an experience which is over.

Now, when do you understand, when is there understanding? I do not know if you have noticed that there is understanding when the mind is very quiet, even for a second; there is the flash of understanding when the verbalization of thought is not. just experiment with it and you will see for yourself that you have the flash of understanding, that extraordinary rapidity of insight, when the mind is very still, when thought is absent, when the mind is not burdened with its own noise. So, the understanding of anything - of a modern picture, of a child, of your wife, of your neighbor - or the understanding of truth which is in all things, can only come when the mind is very still. But such stillness cannot be cultivated, because if you cultivate a still mind, it is not a still mind, it is a dead mind.

It is essential to have a still mind, a quiet mind, in order to understand, which is fairly obvious to those who have experimented with all this. The more you are interested in something, the more your intention to understand, the more simple, clear, free the mind is. Then verbalization ceases. After all, thought is word, and it is the word that interferes. It is the screen of words, which is memory, that intervenes between the challenge and the response. It is the word that is responding to the challenge, which we call intellection. So, the mind that is chattering, that is verbalizing, cannot understand truth - truth in relationship, not an abstract truth. There is no abstract truth. But truth is very subtle. It is the subtlety that is difficult to follow. It is not abstract. It comes so swiftly, so darkly, it cannot be held by the mind. Like a thief in the night, it comes darkly, not when you are prepared to receive it. Your reception is merely an invitation of greed. So, a mind that is caught in the net of words, cannot understand truth.

The next question is: Is it not possible to communicate as one is experiencing? For communication there must be factual memory. As I am talking to you, I use words, which you and I understand. Memory is a result of the cultivation of the faculty of learning, of storing words. The questioner wants to know how to have a mind which does not merely express or communicate after the event, after the experience, but a mind that is experiencing and at the same time communicating. That is, a new mind, a fresh mind, a mind that is experiencing without the interference of memory, the memory of the past. So, first let us see the difficulty in this.

As I said, most of us communicate after the experience; therefore communication becomes a hindrance to further experience; because communication, the verbalization of an experience, merely strengthens the memory of that experience. And strengthening the memory of one experience prevents the free experiencing of the next. We communicate either to strengthen an experience, or to hold onto it. We verbalize it in order to fix it as memory, or to communicate it. The very fixing, through verbalization, of an experience is the strengthening of an experience that is over. Therefore, you are strengthening memory; and so it is memory that is meeting the challenge. In that state, when the response to challenge is merely verbal, experience of the past becomes a hindrance. So, our difficulty is to be experiencing and, in communicating it, not to make verbalization a hindrance to further experience.

In all these discussions and talks, if I merely repeated the experience of the past, it would not only be extremely boring to you and to me, but it would also strengthen the past and therefore prevent experiencing in the present. What is actually taking place is that the experience is going on, and at the same time there is communication. The communication is not verbalization, it is not clothing the experience. If we clothe the experience, give it a garment, shape it, the perfume and depth of that experiencing will be lost. So, there can be a fresh mind, a new mind, only when experiencing is not clothed by words. And, in expressing it verbally, there is the danger of clothing it, giving it a shape, a form, and therefore burdening the mind with the image, with the symbol. It is possible to have a new mind, a fresh mind, only when it is not the word which is important, but the experiencing. That experiencing is from moment to moment. There cannot be experiencing if it becomes accumulative, for then it is accumulation that experiences, and there is no experiencing. There is experiencing from moment to moment only when there is no accumulation. Verbalization is accumulation. It is extremely difficult and arduous to express, and still not be caught in the net of words.

Mind is, after all, the result of the past, of yesterday. And that which is not of time cannot be followed by time. The mind cannot follow that which is exceedingly swift, not of space, not of time; but in that state of the mind which is experiencing, which is not becoming everything is new. It is the word that makes what is, old. It is the memory of yesterday that clothes the present. And to understand the present, there must be experiencing; but experiencing is prevented when the word becomes all-important. So, there is a new mind, the mind that is experiencing continuously without shaping or being shaped by the experience, only when the word, the past, is not used as a means of becoming."

This post was last updated by Huguette . Fri, 04 May 2018.

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Sat, 05 May 2018 #2
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2215 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
K: So, that capacity to understand life comes into being only when one understands relationship. Relationship is a mirror. It must reflect, not as one wishes oneself to be, ideally or romantically, but what one actually is, and it is very difficult to perceive oneself as one actually is, because one is so accustomed to escaping from what is; it is arduous to perceive, to observe silently what is, because one is so used to condemning, justifying, comparing, identifying. And in that process of justification, condemnation, that which is, is not understood. Only in the understanding of what is, is there freedom from what is.

Fascinating exerpt....thanks Huguette! I place that sentence above in bold because K is pointing out the absurdity of jumping to any conclusion about what one is....the absurdity of having ANY image of what I am...be it 'silence', awareness, being, presence, or whatever the gurus tell me I am. The image is the barrier to finding out the truth of what is...always.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 05 May 2018.

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Sat, 05 May 2018 #3
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 561 posts in this forum Offline

Tom,

For me too, this extract is very energizing, very eye-opening.

This is the question that K is asking over and over: how IS one to have the capacity to meet life’s challenges? Isn’t that THE problem - how do I respond “rightly” to the challenges life throws at me in such a way that life is not “a constant source of pain”? The problem is not to determine “what I am” in essence - although it IS necessary to understand “what I am”. And “obviously, facts do not bring about that capacity [to meet life fully]. Without the capacity to meet life fully, life becomes a constant source of pain” (K).

“What I am” is revealed in relationship - I don’t have to look elsewhere for “what I am”. “Without relationship you are not; to be, is to be related; to be related is existence” (K).

Without relationship, “I don’t exist”. And relationship is challenge and response together, not just one or the other. Challenge and response together constitute relationship. That’s what K is saying. More importantly, that’s what I see …. although that understanding might, as Clive says, come toppling down.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 05 May 2018.

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Sun, 06 May 2018 #4
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2215 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
how do I respond “rightly” to the challenges life throws at me in such a way that life is not “a constant source of pain”?

A big question! Mostly we don't respond 'rightly'. We respond according to the way we've been conditioned....according to ideas aND ideals of right and wrong, good and bad. And according to K, "It is the word that is responding to the challenge, which we call intellection." So without understanding our conditioning we can only continue to respond 'wrongly'....putting our own 'spin' on everything life throws at us. Trying to turn everything to our own advantage...even people! So there's obviously the need for self-knowledge or nothing will change. I need to re-read the excerpt before responding any further. Hopefully others here will share their view of this very 'challenging' excerpt. One more point that K makes above that I feel is crucial: "So, we see that the whole significance of existence is not the avoidance of the present, but the comprehension of the present in relationship; and there is no relationship except in the present, and therein is the beauty of relationship. "

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 06 May 2018.

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Mon, 07 May 2018 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4266 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Isn’t that THE problem - how do I respond “rightly” to the challenges life throws at me in such a way that life is not “a constant source of pain.

Is not the first step - I am not talking about processes, or about time, or about becoming, when I use the word "step" - is not the first step to see that to ask "how" is the wrong question right at the start?

I am not suggesting, of course, that you should not ask this question, Huguette, one can see there are shades of meaning in the word "how", as in most words. What I mean is do we see that if "how" indicates seeking out a method to apply to meet the challenges of life, a method from others, or a method from some conclusion we have drawn in the past, then this is the wrong question, the wrong approach. And seeing this puts us in quite a different space. We are then forced into our own inquiry.

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Mon, 07 May 2018 #6
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 561 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is not the first step - I am not talking about processes, or about time, or about becoming, when I use the word "step" - is not the first step to see that to ask "how" is the wrong question right at the start?

I think the first step is to ask how. I cannot see that "how" is the wrong question until I ask it and observe the state of mind that asks how and that is expecting an answer.

Of course, as you say, there is also the asking "how" which is not asking for a method but which is enquiring into what action is. When K asks, "Now, how is one to have that capacity, how does one come by it?", he is not asking what is the method. He is pointing out that there is in fact no answer in knowledge, isn't he?

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Mon, 07 May 2018 #7
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 703 posts in this forum Offline

Hi all

Reading the past activity on the forum one sentence of K. Seems suddenly odd.

Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect.

All those paths away from truth - and they seems to be countless - are they lying down in another land ??

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, 08 May 2018 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4266 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
All those paths away from truth - and they seems to be countless - are they lying down in another land ??

I am not understanding, Wim - can you enlarge?

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Tue, 08 May 2018 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4266 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
I think the first step is to ask how. I cannot see that "how" is the wrong question until I ask it and observe the state of mind that asks how and that is expecting an answer.

Yes, quite right, Huguette.

Huguette . wrote:
Of course, as you say, there is also the asking "how" which is not asking for a method but which is enquiring into what action is. When K asks, "Now, how is one to have that capacity, how does one come by it?", he is not asking what is the method. He is pointing out that there is in fact no answer in knowledge, isn't he?

Well, there seems to be an implication there is no answer in knowledge. Anyway, whatever K was pointing out or not, There IS no answer in knowledge, that is clear. Or, any answers knowledge comes up are only - knowledge. And so not actual. So the question of what action is, is still there.

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Tue, 08 May 2018 #10
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 703 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am not understanding,

me neither...., Clive.

Truth comes to us and we are walking away from it , so there is movement in the same direction ?.?

In oneness there cannot be two lands, one with and one without paths !!

there are well-trodden paths in the attemp to get there, but suddenly no more paths ... is there a border ?

these are just some of the countless aspects that wander unasked through my mind around this sentence of K.

at the same time they do not make sense .?....and they have meaning ..... that makes this all odd.

Did i put an impossible question ?.?

I'm curious if and how this will stop , I'm sure no one can put a light on this

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, 08 May 2018 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4266 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
In oneness there cannot be two lands, one with and one without paths !!

I don't know what you mean by "one-ness", Wim.

What I see, what I experience, is fragmentation and duality. I cannot start to inquire from "over there, the other shore". For me that would be starting in imagination, and does that lead anywhere, except more imagination?

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Tue, 08 May 2018 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4266 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
I think the first step is to ask how. I cannot see that "how" is the wrong question until I ask it and observe the state of mind that asks how and that is expecting an answer.
Of course, as you say, there is also the asking "how" which is not asking for a method but which is enquiring into what action is. When K asks, "Now, how is one to have that capacity, how does one come by it?", he is not asking what is the method. He is pointing out that there is in fact no answer in knowledge, isn't he?

This "how to", what is implied? We are agreed that there is no method, there is no answer in knowledge, in the past. But "to be agreed" is one thing, and action is another, isn't it?

It seems to me that the mind is deeply conditioned into thinking it must try to act to solve a problem, or what is conceived of as being a problem. Is this not merely a reaction to the problem? And as such is not this movement an obstacle to "real action", if I can use that term?

This movement is so strong, so ubiquitous, that it can fill conscousness. It probably originates from the simple, obvious, necessary movement for thought to try to solve physical problems. But in the psycholooigcal field, it is another matter, isn't it? The movement fills conscousness, it obscures. Does it not prevent simple looking, observation?

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Wed, 09 May 2018 #13
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 703 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I don't know what you mean by "one-ness", Wim.

What I see, what I experience, is fragmentation and duality. I cannot start to inquire from "over there, the other shore". For me that would be starting in imagination, and does that lead anywhere, except more imagination?

Experiencing a flow of questions around a sentence and seeing the oddness of them, the partially truth of them as well as the falseness , is that imagination ??

It's more a feeling of falling apart or vanishing of images, a cleansing of the mind and this feeling is strange new for me.

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, 09 May 2018 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4266 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
Experiencing a flow of questions around a sentence and seeing the oddness of them, the partially truth of them as well as the falseness , is that imagination

I said "for me"

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Wed, 09 May 2018.

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Wed, 09 May 2018 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4266 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
It's more a feeling of falling apart or vanishing of images, a cleansing of the mind and this feeling is strange new for me.

Ok, this I can relate to. In fact I have just posted on the ohter thread "the extraordinary state ......" about everday psychological dying, is this close to what you are getting at, Wim?

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Thu, 10 May 2018 #16
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 703 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Ok, this I can relate to. In fact I have just posted on the ohter thread "the extraordinary state ......" about everday psychological dying, is this close to what you are getting at, Wim?

I can't say it is or it isn't it's something new I'm aware off.

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, 10 May 2018.

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