Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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‘Think intensely’


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Tue, 15 May 2018 #1
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

There was some talk recently on the forum about ‘silence’...even about one being silence. Yet I find many instances of K speaking about thinking....’right thinking’, ‘thinking it through’, thinking intensely, and so on. He also speaks of being aware of each thought and following it to the end. So he is never denying thought and claiming we can ‘be silence’ or that we already ARE silence as Mina and others here have maintained in these or similar words. Nor is he in the excerpt speaking of the space between thoughts. So what is the essence of what he’s saying about thinking? Is it simply being aware of one’s thinking? And what is preventing this ‘flame of awareness’ of our thinking that he talks of? Why don’t we/I understand ourselves ‘instantaneously’? Why don’t we become instantaneously free, but find ourselves constantly burdened with problems? Is it because our minds are ‘constrained’, to use his word? And how is he using this word in the second sentence below? Thought itself is ‘constrained’ and limited, right? So, does it relate to conformity of thinking? Conforming to an ideal or goal....seeking to be free of ‘what is’...the problem?

Early Writings, Volume VII | Talks at Adyar, India 1932-33

“I am not preaching self-contentment or satisfaction. Quite the contrary. I say that as long as the mind is in any way constrained, it is unable to discern the many hindrances that impede true perception. To discover those hindrances you must become fully aware of all your words, your actions, your thoughts and feelings. In that flame of awareness, the cause and the effect are understood instantaneously, and thereby is created that harmony without struggle or effort.

To become aware, you must think wholly and intensely.”

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 15 May 2018.

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Wed, 16 May 2018 #2
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

For the most part, as I see it, what the mind calls “thinking” means the movements it makes along the mental grooves that have been formed through repetition. These grooves are the mind's conditioning. There is obviously nothing new or creative about such thinking. Nor can anything new or creative emerge out of the incomplete, fragmentary action of the past. Conditioned thinking follows the existing grooves or paths of the psychological past. It is fundamentally a repetition of the past. Whenever a question or a problem arises, the mind searches the past for a solution or answer. It is constrained/conditioned to do so and it is constrained to attempt to put together a “solution” out of the existing fragments.

But there is another type of thinking which is not based on the grooves of the past. It is the thinking which flowers where the mind is intensely aware of the problem but not looking for a solution. Awareness is silence. Not looking for a solution is silence. Not a self-imposed silence, not a constrained silence, but the silence of intensity. This to me is holistic or right thinking in that “what is” is not immediately fragmented into “problem and potential solution”, “what-is and what-should-be”. Holistic thinking is right thinking in that, where a question, a desire, a hindrance or a problem arises, the mind stays with what it is experiencing, and does not seek an answer. The mind realizes that the answer does not lie in the past. It is silently aware. Such “staying with the problem or question” naturally is intense. The intensity is not the product of thought but it comes organically out of "what is". Staying with “the thing” cannot be done lackadaisically, absent-mindedly, without care or sensitivity where there is a serious problem, question or issue. Staying with the thing IS awareness, unfragmented action.


It gives the mind pleasure and comfort to think along the grooves carved out by repeatedly following the same path. Repetition is the process which conditions the mind. The mind finds comfort and pleasure in repetition, doesn't it? At the same time, this constant repetition or conditioning is felt as a bondage, isn't it? So the same conditioning which gives rise to pleasure and comfort, also produces anxiety, depression, discontent, aggression, and so on.

Can the mind “step out of” or end the process of repetition altogether, so that daily living is not filled with either pleasure or discontent? After all, pleasure and comfort are not joy. One does not want to renounce freedom or joy for a lollipop. And yet, isn’t that what "being attached" amounts to: renouncing freedom for a lollipop?

I'm not condemning the pursuit of pleasure and comfort. There’s no obligation to condemn anything. But isn’t it important to acknowledge the fact of what actually is, to be aware of the contradictions that the mind is producing and living with? Being aware of the contradictions, there is understanding of the discontent, there is the beginning of clarity, isn’t there?

Among other things, the mind gets comfort and pleasure from winning an argument or a war. It doesn’t want to back down from a conflict. It looks for the pleasure of “showing the world” its superiority. This is just one example of seeking gratification from, of being attached to pleasure, isn’t it?

“The other side of the coin of pleasure” is pain, discontent, but the mind wants to have its cake and eat it without gaining weight, without suffering the consequences. The mind is attached to pleasure. Does facing the totality of attachment - which includes the fear of being deprived of it - weaken or dissolve the attachment? I'm not asking for an answer. This is not a question that can be answered through debate or dialogue. There is no right or wrong conclusion: What is the fact? The mind sees the necessity for its bondage to pleasure to end and it sees that it cannot end it through will, effort, determination or choice.

Can the mind stay with the fact of its attachments? Can the mind face the fear of being definitively deprived of its pleasures, including the pleasure and comfort of its habits? Seeing that with pleasure inevitably comes pain, can the mind find out what life without pleasure IS? IS there something beyond the cycle of pleasure and pain?

What is the point of having lofty ideals of what should be and admirable goals of striving for future satisfaction, if what ACTUALLY drives us (the mind) is the pursuit of pleasure and the escape from fear? Attachment inevitably keeps those ideals and goals of peace, brotherhood, justice, etc. - perpetually in the future. So is attachment inevitable?

I am a floundering fish caught on the hook of pleasure and fear. Still looking into all this.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Wed, 16 May 2018.

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Wed, 16 May 2018 #3
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
But there is another type of thinking which is not based on the grooves of the past. It is the thinking which flowers where the mind is intensely aware of the problem but not looking for a solution. Awareness is silence. Not looking for a solution is silence. Not a self-imposed silence, not a constrained silence, but the silence of intensity. This to me is holistic or right thinking in that “what is” is not immediately fragmented into “problem and potential solution”, “what-is and what-should-be”.

You were speaking of silence, Huguette, and in the same train of thought, of right thinking. Are you saying right thinking leads to silence...silent awareness....or that right thinking IS silence, which doesn’t seem to make sense.

One does not want to renounce freedom or joy for a lollipop. And yet, isn’t that what "being attached" amounts to: renouncing freedom for a lollipop?

But the roots of the self are very deep...much deeper than the pleasure of a lollipop, aren’t they? I’m attached to my great achievements as a scientist...or to my great skill as a concert pianist which I have achieved after many hard years of practice. I’m the best basketball player in my high school. All the other boys look up to me...envy me. The girls want to go out with me on Saturday nights. That gives tremendous strength to the ‘me’. Or an exciting sexual experience...the thrill of sport...of making great music or art. There’s tremendous joy in that, as I can attest to, and one can easily get attached to that. Then, the whole world may recognize my great talent and achievement as an artist, a musician, an athlete. There’s ego fulfillment in that too. I become attached to all those kind of things. Or attachment to a political goal. I want to become a great leader of my nation or political party. There’s the powerful attachment to an idea or ideal. It’s far more than attachment to a sweet candy, isn’t it?

What is the point of having lofty ideals of what should be and admirable goals of striving for future satisfaction, if what ACTUALLY drives us (the mind) is the pursuit of pleasure and the escape from fear?

There is none. Yes, that’s what the ‘me’ boils down to....pleasure and fulfillment and fear.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 17 May 2018.

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Thu, 17 May 2018 #4
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
You were speaking of silence, Huguette, and in the same train of thought, of right thinking. Are you saying right thinking leads to silence...silent awareness....or that right thinking IS silence, which doesn’t seem to make sense.

I’m saying right thinking is that thought which is engendered by silence. Out of silence, comes spontaneous, uncontrolled, unmanipulated, unsought thought which is not the result of seeking, fear, desire, effort, and so on. That thought which is the product of silence is not the product of the past. That is right thinking as I see it.

Tom Paine wrote:
But the roots of the self are very deep...much deeper than the pleasure of a lollipop, aren’t they? I’m attached to my great achievements as a scientist...or to my great skill as a concert pianist which I have achieved after many hard years of practice. I’m the best basketball player in my high school. All the other boys look up to me...envy me. The girls want to go out with me on Saturday nights. That gives tremendous strength to the ‘me’. Or an exciting sexual experience...the thrill of sport...of making great music or art. There’s tremendous joy in that, as I can attest to, and one can easily get attached to that.

Sorry, I wasn't clear. The lollipop represents the petty absurd things things I crave or desire, the things which seem more important than eternity, love, compassion, peace, right action, relationship, and so on. I don’t agree that the things you list bring tremendous joy. They bring tremendous pleasure, as I see it - the pleasure of being recognized, envied, desired, and the pleasure of remembering it all and looking forward to more of it. I’m not denying that there’s joy in playing basketball, science, music, in doing anything you love doing. If one loves doing it, that is not attachment, is it?

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Thu, 17 May 2018 #5
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
The lollipop represents the petty absurd things things I crave or desire, the things which seem more important than eternity, love, compassion, peace, right action, relationship, and so on

Right. I see your point. OUr attachment to our appearance....which can be taken to an absurd degree. Like women getting several plastic surgeries....face lifts, etc...breast enlargements, etc, etc. Or body builders...weight lifters... who care only about how much muscle they can pack on....so that they wind up looking like a grotesque monster. These are petty superficial things for sure, but they are based upon our desire to be accepted. That's what I meant by stating the self has deep roots. It's not just all the petty desires, but the deep down desire to be loved and accepted (and the fear of being rejected...unwanted) that causes us to attach to appearance, etc.

Huguette . wrote:
I’m not denying that there’s joy in playing basketball, science, music, in doing anything you love doing. If one loves doing it, that is not attachment, is it?

There's not attachment when one loves making music or playing sports, but one easily becomes attached to the memory of the joy one has experienced in the past...makes a memory of the great fun one had... which can become a source of attachment. For most of my life I've gotten great joy from music...listening and playing it...but it also became a source of attachment. When I was feeling great conflict I'd escape to my music. It may seem much less superficial than being attached to nice clothes or my physical appearance, but it was a source of attachment nonetheless.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 17 May 2018.

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Thu, 17 May 2018 #6
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 958 posts in this forum Offline

Insight into the illusory 'me' as an 'individual' as discussed today on John R's post changes, if not doing away completely with that illusion, results in a different way of thinking about these "attachments". For example, there is no 'me' who 'has' these attachments. No 'me' to become 'free' from these attachments; there are just (what we are calling) 'attachments and they are the same for all of us at their root. They are the "bundle of memories" and experiences that 'cluster' around a 'center'. That center is the illusion of 'I'; the illusory 'thinker' that sees itself as permanent, as an 'individual'. The thinker who yearns (craves) for pleasure, comfort, security. (and enlightenment) That is the human consciousness we are. And it seems to me that without the insight into the total conditioned state of this consciousness and therefore, the impossibility ( the 'fallacy') of 'escaping'...it will continue.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 17 May 2018.

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Thu, 17 May 2018 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
And it seems to me that without the insight into the total conditioned state of this consciousness and therefore, the impossibility ( the 'fallacy') of 'escaping'...it will continue.

I think that's a good point, Dan. Any attempt to escape or control is just one fragment of this consciousness trying to act upon another, or other, fragments. Everything 'I' do to try to change is an action of the conditioning and fragmentation. If that is clearly seen, then do I act at all as one fragment acting upon another? Or is that divided acting finished?

Let it Be

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Fri, 18 May 2018 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4531 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
And it seems to me that without the insight into the total conditioned state of this consciousness and therefore, the impossibility ( the 'fallacy') of 'escaping'...it will continue.

Yes, you are right to put the emphasis on the word "total". The mind has an incredibly deep rooted conviction that there is something in it that is not conditioned, that knows better, that can see clearly, that is not confused. And so can act on the confusion.

This is a fallacy, isn't it? But it is a fallacy that is propagated every time the thinker, the analyser, the control, appears in the mind - which is pretty much all the time. This is still thought trying to act, still confusion, still limit.

As K said,to be free of sorrow, you cannot do a thing about it. It is because we have always done something about it that we are still in sorrow.

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Fri, 18 May 2018 #9
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 958 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
If that is clearly seen, then do I act at all as one fragment acting upon another? Or is that divided acting finished?

It would have to be "finished", wouldn't it? If we look at it as 'patterns'; changing one pattern for a different one...always searching for the 'right' one. But if the 'searcher' himself is a 'pattern'.?..so it is all going on in this 'box' of consciousness.

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Fri, 18 May 2018 #10
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 958 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, you are right to put the emphasis on the word "total". The mind has an incredibly deep rooted conviction that there is something in it that is not conditioned, that knows better, that can see clearly, that is not confused. And so can act on the confusion.

Yes, the 'thinker'.

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Fri, 18 May 2018 #11
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Dan: If we look at it as 'patterns'; changing one pattern for a different one...always searching for the 'right' one. But if the 'searcher' himself is a 'pattern'.?

Good point, Dan. The ‘me’ is a limited pattern. And a pattern by definition is limited and bound...not free. So, seeing this, there’s no more effort to try to change. Any effort is an action of limitation and fragmentation. The ‘me’/I/self is limitation.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 18 May 2018.

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Sat, 19 May 2018 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette: “I’m saying right thinking is that thought which is engendered by silence. Out of silence, comes spontaneous, uncontrolled, unmanipulated, unsought thought which is not the result of seeking, fear, desire, effort, and so on.”

Tom: I don’t think I know that kind of thinking, Huguette. But when we have a problem, there isn’t silence, right? There’s fragmented thinking and emotional turmoil. How does silence or right thinking enter the picture? Or ‘thinking wholly and intensely’. It was never clear to me what K meant by ‘right thinking’. I will do a search on JKrishnamurti.org, I think the site is called, for that phrase.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 19 May 2018.

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Sat, 19 May 2018 #13
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
It's not just all the petty desires, but the deep down desire to be loved and accepted (and the fear of being rejected...unwanted) that causes us to attach to appearance, etc.

Isn’t ALL attachment, craving or desire rooted in self - my fear of loneliness, isolation, inadequacy, insignificance, boredom or depression, and so on? Whatever the attachment or craving is - food, drugs, fame, being loved and accepted, admiration - is one attachment, craving or desire “deeper” or “more superficial” than another? Is the craving for drugs more superficial than the craving for love or admiration? Is the depth of desire determined by the quality of the thing desired? The common factor is self (thought), isn’t it? The thinking that is craving, effort, desire - is not engendered by silence. Isn’t it engendered by the fears, images, ideas, ideals, memories, and so on, which are the content of consciousness? Can’t this movement be silently observed?

Can’t the mind be aware of all the confusion, contradictions, fears, desire and realize unequivocally that none of self’s (its own) efforts can end anxiety, fear, craving? Does it understand that nothing new can come out of this kind of thinking. This "wrong thinking" is repetitive, following the grooves of the past. Is there such an understanding? Is that understanding the movement of “thought” along the grooves of the past? Can this understanding, and the action which it engenders, and the thought it communicates to another who is interested .... can it be “right thinking”?

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Sat, 19 May 2018 #14
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I don’t think I know that kind of thinking, Huguette.

I may be thick-headed, Tom, but as I see it, right thinking “happens” to all of us. Without self-awareness or self-understanding, we do not perceive its quality of innocence ("lack of cunning or corruption; purity"), its source, its nature. I mean by this that the mind can (as I see it) have such a moment, followed by inattention, and that self immediately claims insight as its own.

Have you (the mind) never have an insight of any sort - related to a technical, mathematical or psychological field? Have you (the mind) never had a moment where the mind is observing its own movements and understands intensely, actually, that the observer is the observed, that the observed is the observer .... itself? Does insight come about when you (the mind) are stressing, making an effort? Or does it come about unbidden, when you have stopped seeking and trying? Or does it never happen?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 19 May 2018.

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Sat, 19 May 2018 #15
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Have you (the mind) never have an insight of any sort - related to a technical, mathematical or psychological field?

Of course. But I wouldn’t call any insight, ‘right thinking’. Insight is not thought. Observation of thinking or insight into ones thinking is what you are calling ‘right thinking‘? I’ve never looked at it this way. Observing ...or awareness...free of thought is not thinking of any sort, surely.

Let it Be

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Sat, 19 May 2018 #16
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette: Can’t the mind be aware of all the confusion, contradictions, fears, desire and realize unequivocally that none of self’s (its own) efforts can end anxiety, fear, craving?

Tom: I don’t know. I must look into the question afresh. Obviously the the self and it’s efforts are not easily done away with.

H: This "wrong thinking" is repetitive, following the grooves of the past. Is there such an understanding? Is that understanding the movement of “thought” along the grooves of the past?

T: No.

H: Can this understanding, and the action which it engenders, and the thought it communicates to another who is interested .... can it be “right thinking”?

T: The understanding is expressed in thought, yes. Perhaps that’s what K was calling ‘right thinking’. I’m not sure.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 19 May 2018.

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Sun, 20 May 2018 #17
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Right thinking can only be the action of intelligence, and intelligence is not the result of effort which emanates from the self-centre. The self-centre is the factor which constrains thinking, the factor which traces out a set trajectory for thought. No?

Intelligence acts where there is attention and not where self "is". No?

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Sun, 20 May 2018 #18
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Right thinking surely starts with observation, awareness, attention, doesn't it? From that "ground" of intense silence, the mind - unhindered, unconstrained by self - can understand AND reason, without leaving its foundation of silence. No?

(I'm not using "ground" in the sense K used it ... although it might ultimately BE the same ground.)

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Sun, 20 May 2018 #19
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Right thinking surely starts with observation, awareness, attention, doesn't it? From that "ground" of intense silence, the mind - unhindered, unconstrained by self - can understand AND reason, without leaving its foundation of silence. No?

I honestly don’t know Huguette. I’ll have to look into this further. Perhaps others will share their view or understanding of this ‘right thinking’ that K spoke of.

Let it Be

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Mon, 21 May 2018 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4531 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Perhaps others will share their view or understanding of this ‘right thinking’ that K spoke of.

I was intending to remain out of this discussion for a change, but since you ask …..

Everything Huguette says seems right to me. “Right” just as in right thinking – it follows, or reflects, what is true, what is actual. It has its basis in what is actual, what is real, it is not just an invention of thought. Not a projection of thought, which has no real basis. Not just an invention because we had some experience or other, or we accepted what someone else said as true. Or what the majority accept as true, without questioning.

Bohm once said – I think it was in “The Ending of Time” but I cannot give you the reference – that the trouble with thought as it is, is that it is “running on its own program” This is obviously not right thinking, there is an element of randomness in it (my words).

I just searched for Bohm’s words, and came up with this page:
http://dbohm.com/david-bohm-proprioception-of-thought.html

He says that thought at the moment lacks proprioception:

“We could say that practically all the problems of the human race are due to the fact that thought is not proprioceptive”.

And:

“But in fact you can get evidence that thoughts and feelings move as a processes on their own; they are not being run by “me.” They are not being produced by the me, and they are not being experienced by the me

This seems very relevant to the discussion on hand. All the webpage is very interesting, as with:

“Egotism, in the extended sense of identification with the concept of "me" or "mine", is a consequence of a failure to be aware of what is going on inside the brain. Something is missing in awareness and this is the reason the brain usually goes in a kind of runaway loop even under normal living conditions. Without proprioception, the brain does not know what it is doing. As a result it can not maintain an harmonious order between the emotional and the intellectual levels of the brain. This leads us to say that the brain is in some sense incomplete. This missing facility in awareness is called proprioception”

but people can read it themselves if they care to. It seems to me the basic suggestion reflect what Huguette is saying, that right thinking occurs when thought IS proprioceptive.

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Mon, 21 May 2018 #21
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2271 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
This missing facility in awareness is called proprioception”

Thanks for the exerpt Clive. I'll have to read Bohm's article more carefully. It's a bit difficult for me to get a handle on. As I understand what he is trying to say, right thinking is when thought is aware of what it's doing. It's thought being aware of...observing (NOT thinking about) itself. So there's thinking going on, yes, but an awareness and understanding of what thought is doing. It's kind of hard to put into words, but I'll leave it at that for now. Perhaps this is what K actually meant by 'right thinking'. It was unclear to me in the past what he meant by that.

Let it Be

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