Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Self and environment


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Sun, 15 Jul 2018 #1
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

We here talk a lot about the self and very little about the environment. Aren’t self and environment two aspects of one process, two sides of the same coin - the tide going out and coming in as K put it? There is no tide without the “back and forth” motion; without an ebb and flow motion, there is only emptying out or filling up - no tide. So environment shapes the self and self shapes the environment - “you can’t have one without the o-o-o-o-other”.

I take the libery of submitting the following long extract for your consideration:

1934, 1935, What Is Right Action?
Ojai, California, 9th Public Talk 28th June, 1934:

>This morning I want to deal with the idea of values. Our whole life is merely a movement from value to value, but I think there is a way, if I may use that word with consideration and delicacy, whereby the mind can be freed from the sense of valuation. We are accustomed to values and their continual change. What we call the essential soon becomes the unessential, and in the process of this continual change of values lies conflict. As long as we do not understand the fundamental in the change of values, and the cause of that change, we shall ever be caught up in the wheel of conflicting values.
>
I want to deal with the root idea of values, whether it is fundamental, whether mind which is intelligence, can always act spontaneously, naturally, without imparting values to environment. Now wherever there is dissatisfaction with environment, with circumstances, that discontent must lead to the desire for change, for reform. What you call reform is merely the creation of new sets of values and the destruction of the old. In other words, when you talk of reform, you really mean mere substitution. Instead of living in the old tradition with established values, you want, with the change of circumstances, to create new sets of values; that is, where there is this sense of valuation, there must be the idea of time, and therefore continual change of values.
>
In times of stagnation, in times of settled comfort, that which is but the gradual transformation of values we call the struggle between the old generation and the new. That is, in times of peace and quietness, there takes place a gradual change of values, mostly unconscious, and this change, this gradual change, we term the struggle between the old and the young. In times of upheaval, in times of great conflict, violent and ruthless changes in values take place, which we call revolution. The swift change of values, which we call revolution, is violent, ruthless. The slow, gradual change of values is the continual battle that takes place between the settled, comfortable, stagnating mind and the circumstances that are forcing that stagnating mind into new conditions so that it has to create a new set of values.
>
So then, these circumstances change slowly or rapidly, and the creation of new values is merely the result of adjustments to ever changing environment. Therefore values are merely the pattern of conformity. Why should you have values at all? Please don't say: "What will happen to us if we do not have values?" I haven't come to that, I haven't said that yet. So please follow this. Why should you have values? What is this whole idea of searching for values but a conflict between the new and the old, the ancient and the modern? Aren't values merely a mould, established by yourself or by society, to which mind, in its laziness, in its lack of perception desires to conform? Mind seeks a certainty, a conclusion, and in that search it acts; or it has trained itself to develop a background, and from that background it functions; or it has a belief, and from that belief it begins to colour its activities. Mind demands values so that it will not be at a loss, so that it will always have a guide to follow, to imitate. Hence values become merely the moulds in which the mind stagnates, and even the purpose of education seems to be to compel mind and heart to accept new conformities.
>
So all reforms in religion, in moral standards, in social life and political organizations are merely the dictates of desire for adjustment to ever changing environment. That is what you call reform. Environments are constantly changing; circumstances are continually in movement, and reforms are made only because of the need for adjustment between the mind and the environment, not because the mind pierces through the environment, and therefore understands it. These new values are glorified as being fundamental, original and true. To me they are nothing else but subtle forms of coercion and conformity, subtle forms of modification; and these new values help, futilely, to bring about a scrappy reformation, a deceitful transformation of cloaks which we call change.
>
So through this ever increasing conflict, divisions and sects are created. Each mind creates a new set of values according to its own reactions to the environment, and then begins the division of peoples; there come into being class distinctions and fierce antagonisms between creeds, between doctrines. And out of the immensity of this conflict, experts come into activity and call themselves reformers in religion and healers of social and economic ills. Being experts, so blinded are they by their own expertism, that they merely increase division and struggle. These are the religious reformers, social reformers, and economic and political reformers, all experts in their own limitations, and all dividing our life and human functioning into compartments and conflict.
>
Now to me life cannot be divided that way at all. You can't think you are going to change your soul and yet be a nationalist; you can't be class conscious and yet talk about brotherhood, or create tariff walls around your own particular country and talk about the unity of life. If you observe, this is what you are doing all the time. You may have plenty of money, well established conditions about you, and be possessive, nationalistic and class conscious, and yet divide that separative consciousness from your spiritual consciousness in which you try to be brotherly, follow ethics, morality and try to realize God. In other words, you have divided life into various compartments and each compartment has its own special values, and you thereby only create further conflict.
>
This division, this reliance on experts, is nothing else but the laziness of the mind, so that it need not think, but merely conform. Conformity, which is but the creation and destruction of values, is environment to which mind is constantly adjusting itself, and so mind becomes increasingly bound and enslaved. But conformity must exist so long as mind is bound by environment. So long as mind has not understood the significance of environment, circumstances, conditions, there must be conformity. Tradition is but the mould for the mind, and a mind that imagines itself free from tradition merely creates its own mould. A man who says, "I am free of tradition", has probably another mould of his own to which he is a slave.
>
So freedom is not in going from an old mould into a new one, from an old stupidity into a new stupidity, or from restraint of tradition to the license of mindlessness, of lack of mind. And yet you will observe that those people who talk a great deal about freedom, liberation, are doing that; that is, they have put away their old tradition and have now a pattern of their own to which they conform, and naturally this conformity is but mindlessness, the absence of intelligence. What you call tradition is merely outer environment with its values, and what you call freedom from tradition is but enslavement to some inner environment and its values. One is imposed, and the other self-created; isn't it? That is, circumstances, environment, conditions, are imposing certain values and making you conform to those values, or you develop your own values to which you are again conforming. In both cases there is merely adjustment, not comprehension of environment. From this there arises, naturally, the question whether mind can ever discover lasting values, so that there will not be this constant change, this constant conflict created by values which one has established for oneself, or which have been imposed on one externally.
>
What is it that we call changing values? To me these changing values are but cultivated fears. There must be the change of values so long as there are essentials and unessentials, so long as there are opposites, and the whole idea and the great worship of success, in which we include gain and loss and achievement - as long as these exist and the mind is pursuing these as its aim, its goal, there must be the changing of values, and therefore conflict.
>
Now what is it that creates the changing of values? Mind which is also heart, is befogged and clouded by memory, and is ever undergoing a change, modifying or altering itself, is depending ever on the movement of circumstances, the lack of understanding of which creates memory. That is, as long as mind is clouded by memory, which is the outcome of adjustment to environment, and not the understanding of environment, that memory must come between intelligence and environment, and therefore there cannot be the full comprehension of environment.
>
This memory, which you call mind, is giving and imparting values, isn't it? That is the whole function of memory, which you call mind. That is, mind, instead of being itself intelligence which is direct perception, mind clouded by memory is giving values as true and false, essential and unessential, according to its cunning, according to its calculating fears and its search for security. Isn't that so? That is the whole function of memory, which you call the mind, but which is not mind at all. To the majority of people, except perhaps here and there to one rare, happy person, mind is merely a machine, a storehouse of memory which is continually giving values to the things it meets, to experiences. And the imparting of values depends on its subtle calculations, cunning and deceitfulness, based on fear and the search for security.
>
Though there is no such thing as fundamental security - it is obvious, the moment you begin to think, observe awhile, that there is no such thing as security - memory seeks security after security, certainty after certainty, essential after essential, achievement after achievement. As the mind is constantly seeking security, the moment it has that security, it regards as unessential what it has left behind. Again, it is only imparting values, and thus in this process of movement from goal to goal, from essential to essential, in the process of this constant movement, its values are changing, always coloured by its own security and anxiety for its perpetuation.
>
So mind-heart, or memory, is caught up in the struggle of changing values, and this battle is called progress, the evolutionary path of choice leading to truth. That is, mind, seeking security and reaching its goal, is not satisfied with it, therefore again moves on and again begins to give new values to all things in its path. This process of movement you call growth, the evolutionary path of choice between the essential and the unessentials.
>
This growth is to me nothing else but memory conforming and adjusting itself to its own creation which is the environment; and fundamentally there is no difference between that memory and the environment. Naturally, action is always the result of calculation when it is born of this conformity and adjustment. Isn't it? When mind is clouded over by memory, which is but the result of the lack of understanding of environment, such a mind, befogged by memory, must in its action seek an escape, a culmination, a motive, and therefore that action is never free, it is always limited, and is always creating further bondages, further conflict. So this vicious circle of memory, burdened by its conflict, becomes the creator of values. Values are environment, and mind and heart become its slaves.
>
I wonder if you have understood all this. No, I see someone shaking his head. Let me put the same idea differently and perhaps make it clear, if I can.
As long as mind does not understand environment, that environment must create memory, and the movement of memory is the changing of values. Memory must exist so long as the mind is seeking a culmination, a goal; and its action must ever be calculated, can never be spontaneous - by action I mean thought and emotion - and therefore that action must ever lead to greater and greater burdens, greater and greater limitation. The growth of this limitation, the extension of this prison, is called evolution, the path of choice towards truth. That is how mind functions for most people, and so the more it functions, the greater becomes the suffering, the greater the intensity of struggle. The mind creates ever new and greater barriers, and then seeks further escapes from that conflict.
>
So how is one to free the mind from giving values at all? When the mind imparts values, it can only impart them through the fog of memory, and therefore cannot understand the full significance of environment. If I examine or try to understand circumstances through the various deep-rooted prejudices - national, racial, social or religious prejudices - how can I understand environment? Yet that is what mind attempts, the mind which is befogged by memory.
>
Now intelligence imparts no values, which are but the measures, standards or calculations, born out of self-protectiveness. So how is there to be this intelligence, this mirror of truth, in which there are only absolute reflections and no perversions? After all, the intelligent man is the summation of intelligence; his is an absolute, direct perception without twists and perversions which result when memory functions.
>
What I am saying can only apply to those who are really in conflict, not to those who want to reform, who want to do patchwork. I have explained what I mean by reform, by patchwork - it is an adjustment to an environment, born out of the lack of understanding.

> How is one to have this intelligence which destroys struggle and conflict and the ceaseless effort which wears out mind itself? You know, when you make an effort, you are as a piece of wood that is being whittled away continually until there is no wood left at all. So if there is this continual effort, this constant wear, mind ceases to be itself; and effort only exists so long as there is conformity or adjustment to environment. Whereas if there is immediate perception, immediate, spontaneous understanding of environment, there is no effort to adjust oneself. There is an immediate action.

> So how is one to awaken this intelligence? Now, what happens in moments of great crisis? In that rich moment when memory is not escaping, in that acute, intense awareness of the circumstance, of the environment, there is the perception of what is true. You do this in moments of crisis. You are fully conscious of all circumstances, of the condition about you, and also you are aware that mind cannot escape. In that intensity which is not relative, in that intensity of acute crisis, intelligence is functioning and there is spontaneous understanding.
> After all, what is it that we call a crisis, a sorrow? When the mind is lethargic, when it has gone to sleep, when it has conditioned itself in contentment, in stagnation, there comes an experience to awaken you, and that awakening, that shock, you call crisis, sorrow. Now if that crisis or conflict is really intense, then you will see in that state of acuteness of mind and heart, that there is an immediate perception. That intensity becomes relative only when memory comes in with its calculations, modifications, and clouds.
>
Please, I hope you will experiment with what I am saying. Each one has moments of crisis. They occur very often; if one is aware they occur every minute. Now in that crisis, in that conflict, observe, without the desire for a solution, without the desire for escape, without the desire to overcome it. Then you will see that mind has understood instantaneously the cause of conflict, and in understanding the cause, there is the dissolution of the cause. But we have so trained the mind to escape, to let memory cloud the mind, that it is very difficult to become intensely aware. Hence we seek means and ways of escape or of awakening that intelligence, which to me is again false. Intelligence functions spontaneously if the mind ceases to escape, ceases to seek solutions.
>
So when the mind is not imparting values, which is mere conformity, when there is spontaneous understanding of the prison, which is environment, then there is the action of intelligence, which is freedom.
>
As long as the mind, clouded by memory, imparts values, action must create further walls of prison; but in the spontaneous understanding of the walls of the prison, which is environment, in that understanding there is the action of intelligence, which is freedom; because that action, that intelligence, is not creating or imparting values. Values must exist - values which are circumstances and therefore bondage, conformity to environment - these values of conformity, of circumstances, must exist so long as there is fear, which is born of the search for security. And when the mind, which is intelligence, sees the full significance of environment and therefore understands environment, there is spontaneous action which is intelligence itself, and therefore that intelligence is not imparting values, but is completely understanding the circumstances in which it exists.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sun, 15 Jul 2018.

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Mon, 16 Jul 2018 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
We here talk a lot about the self and very little about the environment. Aren’t self and environment two aspects of one process, two sides of the same coin - the tide going out and coming in as K put it? There is no tide without the “back and forth” motion; without an ebb and flow motion, there is only emptying out or filling up - no tide. So environment shapes the self and self shapes the environment

So strange. What you say, Huguette, is so very similar to an insight that came to me a few evenings past. I had thought of sharing it, but did not. I will do so now.

I found myself watching a snippet, on Youtube, of a tv series made from a book I had read many years ago at school. It was set in a culture – in an environment to use the word Huguette is using – that I was once familiar with, the north of England, Yorkshire, in the 1950’s. I was not interested at all in the plot, only in the manifestation of this culture – the way people spoke, the houses they lived in, the work they did, their patterns of behaviour, the values they held, etc.

Then it suddenly came to me that it was not true to say the characters I was watching HAD a particular culture. They WERE that culture. The culture did not exist apart from the characters, did it? It only manifested in them, through them. And in a way the characters did not exist apart from their culture.

It is related to the thinker being the thought. They don’t exist as two separate things. And “consciousness is its content”.

These days, as people travel more, leave their places of birth to work elsewhere, including overseas, are perhaps are more socially mobile (I am generalising of course) it is not quite so simple, so obvious. People are exposed to different cultures and they absorb parts of all of them into themselves. And this is what they manifest. But it is still true that we ARE the results of these cultures, these environments, we are not separate from them. We are, as K says, second hand human beings. There is very little in us that is original.

I have not yet read the excerpt.

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Tue, 17 Jul 2018 #3
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 248 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette and Clive,

Yes, that which we call 'environment' is our own outer reflection, the observed not separate from the observer.

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Tue, 17 Jul 2018 #4
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Mina and Clive,

I have no argument with what you're saying.

My post is looking at another aspect of there being no division between observer and observed, between “me” and “the world”. The aspect of it I’m looking at, as reflected in the long K extract I quoted, is relationship. That is, the observer, the observed, the world, society, friends, family, neighbours, colleagues are all governed by the same psychological processes. In that way, they/we are the same: the observer is the observed, I am the world.

However, there is relationship between me and you, me and the world, me and ideas, me and nature, me and technology, and so on.

This is the definition of relationship I found on Google:

the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
the way in which two or more people or organizations regard and behave toward each other.

Of course, the definition can be altered or tweaked but, however it is phrased, relationship is between someone and someone or something else. What particularly interests me is the relationship I have with others - who are also “me” - “others” who constitute the environment, the society, the world, with which I have a relationship, the tide coming in from the environment to me, and going back out to the environment.

We here often say, “I am the world, the world is me”, meaning that the same processes which impel societal action or behaviour are those which impel “me”. This "me" and its action or behaviour - mine, theirs, the nation’s, the community’s - is fueled by fear, anger, desire, and so on. Whether I explode in anger at someone who has “offended” me or whether there is an explosion of political violence on a local or international scale, the root of it is the same. Whether I inwardly cower in fear in the face of an aggressive person or whether heads of state try to placate the aggressive nation out of fear, the root of it is the same. Whether I kowtow to my boss or whether the nation kowtows to an aggressor, the root is the same. The root is “me”. And the “me”, it seems to me, is the thing we mostly look at.

But what is the environment and what determines my relationship with it? If someone offends, praises or frightens me, my point of view is that the offense or praise comes from “the other”, the other is "good" or "bad", and I am simply responding appropriately, in accordance with what has come from the environment. The mechanism is the same whether I am being praised or attacked (or my family or my social group) or any variation on this. The reaction comes from “me” and it is directed at the environment, and "me" and the environment are seen as 2 completely different things.

This tide coming in and going out as behaviour/action is relationship.

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Tue, 17 Jul 2018 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

This was written yesterday, before reading the two posts above:

I have recently started to read some of K’s earlier talks – although not as earlier as the one you have presented here, Huguette – and I do find them tough going at times (I am not claiming that I fully understand his later talks and dialogues, come to that!)

As you start by talking about “environment”, can you say, Huguette, what is meant by this exactly? What forms does it take? It may be I have too limited a concept of it at the moment. I can understand ‘social environment’, including economic, technological (increasingly), political, the natural world, but also the world of buildings, shops, offices, health services ……. And since K’s death I would say “environment” has been widened vastly by the world wide web.

Trying to get a comprehensive picture of environment, I come up with the idea “anything outside of myself”, but I find two issue with this:

1) K mentions at one point in the talk “inner environment”

2) What is the ‘myself’ that environment is supposed to be outside of?

These two issues perhaps encompass the point that you are making – that the distinction between me and environment is entirely artificial

And K throws doubt on all I have tried to describe about environment above what he says:

“memory adjusting itself to its own creation, which is the environment”.

I am prepared to consider that the universe may be a far more mysterious place than I presently understand, but these words seem to exclude the natural world as being “environment”, which is actually the most common usage of the word.

More questions arise for me from K’s words:

“memory is the lack of understanding of environment”

Can anyone throw light on this? And what exactly does “understanding environment” mean?

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Tue, 17 Jul 2018 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Mina Martini wrote:
Yes, that which we call 'environment' is our own outer reflection, the observed not separate from the observer.

Nice to see you "back", Mina.

Would you include the natural world - the plants, forests, rivers, lakes, ocean, sky, the stars, galaxies, as our own outer reflection?

Would you (or anyone) say that what we, and K, seem to 'pointing towards' is that we live entirely in a prison of our own creation?

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Wed, 18 Jul 2018 #7
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 753 posts in this forum Offline

Thanks for all the contributions of this thread.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Would you include the natural world - the plants, forests, rivers, lakes, ocean, sky, the stars, galaxies, as our own outer reflection?

They have an existing form of their own and 'WE' make an incomplete copy of it.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Would you (or anyone) say that what we, and K, seem to 'pointing towards' is that we live entirely in a prison of our own creation?

I WOULD say we create our own cocoon by the unnecessary protection of the psychological I/Me, a full mind is slower than an empty one. The empty one makes no copy.

A nice metafoor is the transformation of the butterfly !

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Wed, 18 Jul 2018.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
a full mind is slower than an empty one.

This seems to me to be incontradiction to K's suggestion that in order to understand thought it need to be slowed down. Is it to you, Wim?

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 #9
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 753 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:

Wim Opdam wrote:

a full mind is slower than an empty one.

This seems to me to be incontradiction to K's suggestion that in order to understand thought it need to be slowed down. Is it to you, Wim?

Clive, look deeper than the skin !
In an empty mind there could not be thought !

Another look/analogy at it is, 'we created "GOD" to our image's.
The new god is knowledge manipulated by computers.
You have to clean your computer/phone/laptop regularly otherwise it slows down or has a overload and That's only within the boundary of thought manipulating thought.

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

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Fri, 20 Jul 2018 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
Clive, look deeper than the skin !
In an empty mind there could not be thought !

I know nothing about “an empty mind”, Wim. I know nothing about a mind without thought, if such a thing exists. Not knowing it, I will not create a concept of it, with all that that entails – pursuing it, trying make the concept real, and all the conflict that goes with that.

All I know is THIS mind, the mind of human beings, the mind that is everlastingly full of thought/feeling, occupied with itself, trapped in itself. The mind that is in crisis, but is mostly oblivious or blind to that crisis. It is this mind that I am concerned with, the actual mind.

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Fri, 20 Jul 2018 #11
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 753 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I know nothing about “an empty mind”, Wim. I know nothing about a mind without thought, if such a thing exists. Not knowing it, I will not create a concept of it, with all that that entails – pursuing it, trying make the concept real, and all the conflict that goes with that.

Let us look at it the other way aroud: If it exists, could one know it ?
Obviously not, but it is clear - at least to me me - that if K. speaks of 'emptying' it's an activity of the ME and can lead to an empty mind.

Huguette . wrote:
We here talk a lot about the self and very little about the environment. Aren’t self and environment two aspects of one process, two sides of the same coin - the tide going out and coming in as K put it? There is no tide without the “back and forth” motion; without an ebb and flow motion, there is only emptying out or filling up - no tide. So environment shapes the self and self shapes the environment - “you can’t have one without the o-o-o-o-other”.

Huguette asked the question of the tide going out, coming in and to me the analogy with the computer is clear to a certain point.
The computer itself (the hardware ) is a human artefact, the software/ the programm also and de information gathered evenso. This artefacts are becoming more and more complexer and faster and we human beings depending more and more on those artefacts, but it can never create the revolution K. is talking of.

Also this revolution is not known to us because we are depending on our own knowledge and artefacts, not realizing that something else is necessary.

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Fri, 20 Jul 2018.

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Fri, 20 Jul 2018 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
Let us look at it the other way aroud: If it exists, could one know it ?

This still feels like speculation to me. It is feeling extraordinarily important to me of late to avoid all forms of speculation.

Wim Opdam wrote:
Obviously not, but it is clear - at least to me me - that if K. speaks of 'emptying' it's an activity of the ME and can lead to an empty mind.

Have you made a typo here, Wim? Did you mean CANNOT lead to an empty mind?

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Fri, 20 Jul 2018.

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Sat, 21 Jul 2018 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
But what is the environment and what determines my relationship with it?

In #5 above, I posed certain questions that had arisen in me, on reading Huguette’s words about relationship and environment, and the K talk from 1934. To pursue these questions in myself, I read other of the talks in this series at Ojai. In particular I will post talk 2 below. Just because this is uppermost in my mind. They can all be found on line at:

http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/1934-1935-what...

They are all very challenging – but then that is the whole point of reading K, isn’t it? Not to get answers, but to encourage us to question ourselves, doubt.

In these talks K keeps insisting that the result of environment is the “I”. This statement seems to have great depth to me. I associate it with “I am the world”. He says that conflict can only exist between environment, and the result of environment which is the “I”.

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Sat, 21 Jul 2018 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Ojai 1934 talk 2

You may remember that yesterday I was talking about the birth of conflict, and how the mind seeks a solution for it. I want to deal this morning with the whole idea of conflict and disharmony, and show the utter futility of mind trying to seek a solution for conflict, because the mere search for the solution will not do away with the conflict itself. When you seek a solution, a means of dissolving the conflict, you merely try to superimpose, or substitute in its place, a new set of ideas, a new set of theories, or you try to run away from conflict altogether. When people desire a solution for their conflict, that is what they seek.

If you observe, you will see that when there is conflict, you are at once seeking a solution for it. You want to find a way out of that conflict, and you generally do find a way out; but you have not solved the conflict, you have merely shifted it by substituting a new environment, a new condition, which will in turn produce further conflict. So let us look into this whole idea of conflict, from where it arises, and what we can do with it.

Now, conflict is the result of environment, isn't it? To put it differently, what is environment? When are you conscious of environment? Only when there is conflict and a resistance to that environment. So, if you observe, if you look into your lives, you will see that conflict is continually twisting, perverting, shaping your lives; and intelligence, which is the perfect harmony of mind and heart, has no part in your lives at all. That is, environment is continually shaping, moulding your lives to action, and naturally out of that continual twisting, moulding, shaping, perversion, conflict is born. So where there is this constant process of conflict there cannot be intelligence. And yet we think that by continually going through conflict we shall arrive at that intelligence, that fullness, and that plenitude of ecstasy. But by the accumulation of conflict we cannot find out how to live intelligently; you can find out how to live intelligently only when you understand the environment which is creating conflict, and mere substitution, that is, the introduction of new conditions, is not going to solve the conflict. And yet if you observe you will see that when there is conflict, mind is seeking a substitution. We either say, "It is heredity, economic conditions, past environment", or we assert our belief in karma, reincarnation, evolution; so we are trying to give excuses for the present conflict in which the mind is caught, and are not trying to find out what is the cause of conflict itself, which is to inquire into the significance of environment.

Conflict then can exist only between environment - environment being economic and social conditions, political domination, neighbours - between that environment, and the result of environment which is the "I". Conflict can exist only so long as there is reaction to that environment which produces the "I", the self. The majority of people are unconscious of this conflict - the conflict between one's self, which is but the result of the environment, and the environment itself; very few are conscious of this continuous battle. One becomes conscious of that conflict, that disharmony, that struggle between the false creation of the environment, which is the "I", and the environment itself, only through suffering. Isn't that so? It is only through acuteness of suffering, acuteness of pain, acuteness of disharmony, that you become conscious of the conflict.

What happens when you become conscious of the conflict? What happens when in that intensity of suffering you become fully conscious of the battle, the struggle which is going on? Most people want an immediate relief, an immediate answer. They want to shelter themselves from that suffering, and therefore they find various means of escape, which I mentioned yesterday, such as religions, excitements, inanities, and the many mysterious avenues of escape which we have created through our desire to protect ourselves from this struggle. Suffering makes one conscious of this conflict, and yet suffering will not lead man to that fullness, to that richness, that plenitude, that ecstasy of life, because after all, suffering can only awaken the mind to great intensity. And when the mind is acute, then it begins to question.he environment, the conditions, and in that questioning, intelligence is functioning; and it is only intelligence that will lead man to the fullness of life and to the discovery of the significance of sorrow. Intelligence begins to function in the moment of acuteness of suffering, when mind and heart are no longer escaping, escaping through the various avenues which you have so cleverly made, which are so apparently reasonable, factual, real. If you observe carefully, without prejudice, you will see that so long as there is an escape you are not solving, you are not coming face to face with conflict, and therefore your suffering is merely the accumulation of ignorance. That is, when one ceases to escape, through the well-known channels, then in that acuteness of suffering, intelligence begins to function.

Please, I do not want to give you examples and similes, because I want you to think it out, and if I give examples I do all the thinking and you merely listen. Whereas if you begin to think about what I am saying, you will see, you will observe for yourself how mind, being accustomed to so many substitutions, authorities, escapes, never comes to that point of acuteness of suffering which demands that intelligence must function. And it is only when intelligence is fully functioning that there can be the utter dissolution of the cause of conflict.

Whenever there is the lack of understanding of environment there must be conflict. Environment gives birth to conflict, and so long as we do not understand environment, conditions, surroundings, and are merely seeking substitutions for these conditions, we are evading one conflict and meeting another. But if in that acuteness of suffering which brings forth in its fullness a conflict, if in that state we begin to question environment, then we shall understand the true worth of environment, and intelligence then functions naturally. Hitherto mind has identified itself with conflict, with environment, with evasions, and therefore with suffering; that is, you say, "I suffer." Whereas, in that state of acuteness of suffering, in that intensity of suffering in which there is no longer escape, mind itself becomes intelligence.

To put it again differently, so long as we are seeking solutions, so long as we are seeking substitutions, authorities for the cause and the alleviation of conflict, there must be identification of the mind with the particular. Whereas if the mind is in that state of intense suffering in which all the avenues of escape are blocked, then intelligence will be awakened, will function naturally and spontaneously.

Please, if you experiment with this, you will see that I am not giving you theories, but something with which you can work, something which is practical. You have so many environments, which have been imposed on you by society, by religion, by economic conditions, by social distinctions, by exploitation and political oppressions. The "I" has been created by that imposition, by that compulsion; there is the "I" in you which is fighting the environment and hence there is conflict. It is no use creating a new environment, because the same thing will still exist. But if in that conflict there is conscious sorrow and suffering - and there is always suffering in all conflict, only man wants to run away from that struggle and he therefore seeks substitutes - if in that acuteness of suffering you stop searching for substitutes and really face the facts, you will see that mind, which is the summation of intelligence, begins to discover the true worth of environment, and then you will realize that mind is free of conflict. In the very acuteness of suffering lies its own dissolution. So therein is the understanding of the cause of conflict.

Also, one should bear in mind that what we call accumulation of sorrows does not lead to intensity, nor does the multiplication of suffering lead to its own dissolution; for acuteness of mind in suffering comes only when the mind has ceased to escape. And no conflict will awaken that suffering, that acuteness of suffering, when the mind is trying to escape, for in escape there is no intelligence.

To put it briefly again, before I answer the questions that have been given to me: First of all everyone is caught up in suffering and conflict, but most people are unconscious of that conflict; they are merely seeking substitutions, solutions and escapes. Whereas if they cease seeking escapes and begin to question the environment which causes that conflict, then mind becomes acute, alive, intelligent. In that intensity mind becomes intelligence and therefore sees the full worth and significance of the environment which creates conflict.

Please, I am sure half of you don't understand this, but it doesn't matter. What you can do, if you will, is to think this over, really think it over, and see if what I am saying is not true. But to think over it is not to intellectualize it, that is, to sit down and make it vanish away through the intellect. To find out if what I am saying is true, you have to put it into action, and to put it into action you must question the environment. That is, if you are in conflict, naturally you must question the environment, but most minds have become so perverted that they are not aware that they are seeking solutions, escapes through their marvellous theories. They reason perfectly, but their reasoning is based on the search for escape, of which they are wholly unconscious.

So if there is conflict, and if you want to find out the cause of that conflict, naturally the mind must discover it through acuteness of thought and therefore the questioning of all that which environment places about you - your family, your neighbours, your religions, your political authorities; and by questioning there will be action against the environment. There is the family, the neighbour and the state, and by questioning their significance you will see that intelligence is spontaneous, not to be acquired, not to be cultivated. You have sown the seed of awareness and that produces the flower of intelligence.

Question: You say that the "I" is the product of environment. Do you mean that a perfect environment could be created which would not develop the "I" consciousness? If so, the perfect freedom of which you speak is a matter of creating the right environment. Is this correct?

Voices from audience: "No."

Krishnamurti: Wait a minute. Can there ever be right environment, perfect environment? There cannot. Those people who answered"no" haven't thought it out fully, so let us reason together, go into it fully.

What is environment? Environment is created, this whole human structure has been created, by human fears, longings, hopes, desires, attainments. Now, you cannot make a perfect environment because each man is creating, according to his fancies and desires, new sets of conditions; but having an intelligent mind, you can pierce through all these false environments and therefore be free of that "I" consciousness. Please, the "I" consciousness, the sense of "mine", is the result of environment; isn't it? I don't think we need discuss it because it is pretty obvious.

If the state gave you your house and everything you required, there would be no need of "my" house - there might be some other sense of "mine", but we are discussing the particular. As that has not been the case with you, there is the sense of"mine', possessiveness. That is the result of environment, that "I" is but the false reaction to environment. Whereas if the mind begins to question the environment itself, there is no longer a reaction to environment. Therefore we are not concerned with the possibility of there ever being a perfect environment.

After all, what is perfect environment? Each man will tell you what to him is a perfect environment. The artist will say one thing, the financier another, the cinema actress another; each man asks for a perfect environment which satisfies him, in other words, which does not create conflict in him. Therefore there cannot be a perfect environment. But if there is intelligence, then environment has no value, no significance, because intelligence is then freed from circumstance, it is functioning fully.

The question is not whether we can create a perfect environment, but rather how to awaken that intelligence which shall be free of environment, imperfect or perfect. I say you can awaken that intelligence by questioning the full value of any environment in which your mind is caught up. Then you will see that you are free of any particular environment, because then you are functioning intelligently, not being twisted, perverted, shaped by environment.

Question: Surely you cannot mean what your words seem to convey. When I see vice rampant in the world, I feel an intense desire to fight against that vice and against all the suffering it creates in the lives of my fellow human beings. This means great conflict, for when I try to help I am often viciously opposed. How then can you say that there is no conflict between the false and the true?

Krishnamurti: I said yesterday that there can be struggle only between two false things, conflict between the environment and the result of environment which is the "I". Now between these two lie innumerable avenues of escape which the "I" has created, which we call vice, goodness, morality, moral standards, fears, and all the many opposites; and the struggle can exist only between the two, between the false creation of the environment which is the "I", and the environment itself. But there cannot be struggle between truth and that which is false. Surely that is obvious, isn't it? You may be viciously opposed because the other man is ignorant. It doesn't mean you mustn't fight - but don't assume the righteousness of fighting. Please, you know there is a natural way of doing things, a spontaneous, sweet way of doing things, without this aggressive, vicious righteousness.

First of all, in order to fight, you must know what you are fighting, so there must be understanding of the fundamental, not of the divisions between the false things. Now we are so conscious, we are so fully conscious of the divisions between the false things, between the result and the environment, that we fight them, and therefore we want to reform, we want to change, we want to alter, without fundamentally changing the whole structure of human life. That is, we still want to preserve the "I" consciousness which is the false reaction to environment; we want to preserve that and yet want to alter the world. In other words, you want to have your own bank account, your own possessions, you want to preserve the sense of "mine", and yet you want to alter the world so that there shall not be this idea of "mine", and"yours".

So what one has to do is to find out if one is dealing with the fundamental, or merely with the superficial. And to me the superficial will exist so long as you are merely concerned with the alteration of environment so as to alleviate conflict. That is, you still want to cling to the "I" consciousness as "mine", but yet desire to alter the circumstances so that they will not create conflict in that "I". I call that superficial thought, and from that there naturally is superficial action. Whereas if you think fundamentally, that is, question the very result of the environment which is the "I", and therefore question the environment itself, then you are acting fundamentally, and therefore lastingly. And in that there is an ecstasy, in that there is a joy of which now you do not know because you are afraid to act fundamentally.

Question: In your talk yesterday you spoke of environment as the movement of the false. Do you include in environment all the creations of nature, including human forms?

Krishnamurti: Doesn't environment continually change? Doesn't it? For most people it doesn't change because change implies continual adjustment, therefore continual awareness of mind, and most people are concerned with the static condition of the environment. Yet environment is moving because it is beyond your control, and it is false so long as you do not understand its significance.

"Does environment include human forms?" Why set them apart from nature? We are not concerned so much with nature, because we have almost brought nature under control, but we have not understood the environment created by human beings. Look at the relationship between peoples, between two human beings, and all the conditions which human beings have created that we have not understood, even though we have largely understood and conquered nature through science.

So we are not concerned with the stability, with the continuance of an environment which we understand, because the moment we understand it there is no conflict. That is, we are seeking security, emotional and mental, and we are happy so long as that security is assured and therefore we never question environment, and hence the constant movement of environment is a false thing which is creating disturbance in each one. As long as there is conflict, it indicates that we have not understood the conditions placed about us; and that movement of environment remains false so long as we do not inquire into its significance, and we can only discover it in that state of acute consciousness of suffering.

Question: It is perfectly clear to me that the "I" consciousness is the result of environment, but do you not see that the "I" did not originate for the first time in this life? From what you say it is obvious that the "I" consciousness, being the result of environment, must have begun in the distant past and will continue in the future.

Krishnamurti: I know this is a question to catch me about reincarnation. But that doesn't matter. Now let's look into it.

First of all you will admit, if you think about it, that the "I" is the result of environment. Now to me it doesn't matter whether it is the past environment or present environment. After all, environment is of the past also. You have done something which you haven't understood, you did something yesterday which you haven't understood, and that pursues you till you understand it. You cannot solve that past environment till you are fully conscious in the present. So it doesn't matter whether the mind is crippled by past or present conditions, What matters is that you shall understand the environment and this will liberate the mind from conflict.

Some people believe that the "I" has had a birth in the distant past and will continue in the future. It is irrelevant to me, it has no significance at all. I will show you why. If the "I" is the result of the environment, if the "I" is but the essence of conflict, then the mind must be concerned, not with that continuance of conflict, but with freedom from that conflict. So it does not matter whether it is the past environment which is crippling the mind, or the present which is perverting it, or whether the "I" has had a birth in the distant past. What matters is that in that state of suffering, in that consciousness, that conscious acuteness of suffering, there is the dissolution of the "I".

This brings in the idea of karma. You know what it means, that you have a burden in the present, the burden of the past in the present. That is, you bring with you the environment of the past into the present, and because of that burden, you control the future, you shape the future. If you come to think of it, it must be so, that if your mind is perverted by the past, naturally the future must also be twisted, because if you have not understood the environment of yesterday it must be continued today; and therefore, as you don't understand today, naturally you will not understand tomorrow either. That is, if you have not seen the full significance of an environment or of an action, this perverts your judgment of today's environment, of today's action born of environment, which will again pervert you tomorrow. So one is caught up in this vicious circle, and hence the idea of continual rebirth, rebirth of memory, or rebirth of the mind continued by environment.

But I say mind can be free of the past, of past environment, past hindrances, and therefore you can be free of the future, because then you are living dynamically in the present, intensely, supremely. In the present is eternity, and to understand that, mind must be free of the burden of the past; and to free the mind of the past there must be an intense questioning of the present, not the considering of how the "I" will continue in the future.

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Sun, 22 Jul 2018 #15
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 753 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:

Wim Opdam wrote:

Let us look at it the other way aroud: If it exists, could one know it ?

This still feels like speculation to me.
It is feeling extraordinarily important to me of late to avoid all forms of speculation.

Is it speculation that there is a horizon and yet one cannot reach it, although vast when one move towards it it is seemingly changed.

Wim Opdam wrote:

Obviously not, but it is clear - at least to me me - that if K. speaks of 'emptying' it's an activity of the ME and can lead to an empty mind.
Have you made a typo here, Wim? Did you mean CANNOT lead to an empty Mind?

It's not the 'ME' who's creating the empty mind, It's the origin of the innocent mind which get a change to operate.

It's logic not speculation or imagination but a seeing with the hart instead of the eyes.

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

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Sun, 22 Jul 2018 #16
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
Is it speculation that there is a horizon and yet one cannot reach it, although vast when one move towards it it is seemingly changed.

Sorry Wim, I don't understand the relevance of your analogy here.

Wim Opdam wrote:
It's not the 'ME' who's creating the empty mind, It's the origin of the innocent mind which get a change to operate.

What are you saying brings this empty mind into operation?

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Mon, 23 Jul 2018 #17
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 753 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Sorry Wim, I don't understand the relevance of your analogy here.

Why sorry, It is what it is.
The environment delivers me a lot of metafoors for what's working inside but what is clarifying for me is that not always for someone else.

Wim Opdam wrote:

It's not the 'ME' who's creating the empty mind, It's the origin of the innocent mind which get a change to operate.

What are you saying brings this empty mind into operation?

Here I see I made a typo with 'change' this must be 'chance' and as such being within the whole and not a creation at all.

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, 25 Jul 2018 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

The QOTD

Each Sunday I have been trying to take up a different subject and approach the problem of existence from a different point of view. I am going to try this evening to approach it from the point of view of effort, this constant battle that we make to overcome something, to succeed, to achieve, and see if we can have a brief period to comprehend the full significance of this struggle. There is so much sorrow and so little happiness in our lives. When there is happiness, the problems of power, position, and achievement, come to an end. When there is happiness, the struggle to become ceases, and the divisions between man and man are broken down. We must often have noticed, in those rare moments when we are perfectly happy, quiet, that all conflicts cease to exist. So, happiness comes only with the highest form of intelligence. Intelligence is the understanding of sorrow. We know sorrow, it is always with us, a constant companion; it seems to be without end - sorrow in different forms, at different levels, physical and psychological. We know certain remedies to overcome physical pain; but psychologically it is much more difficult. The psychological problem is much more complex, demanding greater attention and greater study, deeper penetration and wider experience; but sorrow, wherever it be, at whatever level, is still painful.

This QOTD articulates the question I keep asking myself as I read the talk that Huguette originally posted, and my subsequent reading of other of the talks in the 1934 series.

What does it mean, to UNDERSTAND sorrow? What does it mean to understand anything, psychologically? In the 1934 talks K keeps suggesting that the “I” is the result of the lack of understanding of environment. I am not really seeing this clearly. Can anyone help? But if it is so, what would it mean to UNDERSTAND environment?

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Wed, 25 Jul 2018 #19
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2275 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
In the 1934 talks K keeps suggesting that the “I” is the result of the lack of understanding of environment. I am not really seeing this clearly. Can anyone help? But if it is so, what would it mean to UNDERSTAND environment?

He means the social environment, I’m assuming. The society...culture...economic pressures...conformity to social pressures...what the neighbors think....the priest or guru...peer pressure....religious and political conformity...all that makes up ‘me’. We don’t understand the extent to which we are slaves to the environment....are a reflection of the environment.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 26 Jul 2018.

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Thu, 26 Jul 2018 #20
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 958 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
We don’t understand the extent to which we are slaves to the environment....are a reflection of the environment.

The "environment" creates the 'I' (when the significance of the environment is not "understood"). And the 'I' in turn creates and strengthens the environment? But if the environment is "understood", no 'I' is created. If no "value" is placed upon the environment, no 'I' arises in relation to that non-valuation? "Understanding" the environment is the non-placement of 'valuation'? "Understanding" here is not an intellectual understanding (though that can be a part) but a more total, nonjudgmental, choiceless awareness of the environment? Closer to Love, Compassion, Intelligence etc.?

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Fri, 27 Jul 2018 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
He means the social environment, I’m assuming. The society...culture...economic pressures...conformity to social pressures...what the neighbors think....the priest or guru...peer pressure....religious and political conformity...all that makes up ‘me’. We don’t understand the extent to which we are slaves to the environment....are a reflection of the environment.

Yes, all these things and more. The education we receive. The idiosyncrasies, particular beliefs, habits, ‘social class’ of our families. The particular “milieu”. The diet we were raised on. The level of technology we were raised on.

I agree we don’t understand the extent to which we are conditioned. Is it 100%?

I think the phrase you use “reflection of the environment” is am apt one, a telling one. In her original post Huguette used K’s phrase of the tide going out and coming in. Influence inwards from society to the individual (if that word has any meaning, if the distinction has any validity), outwards from the individual to society.

I tend to find the first movement easier to understand – obviously we are conditioned by the influences around us (not to ignore our basic psychological patterns), subconsciously and consciously’ If we want to survive even physically in the world, we have to do a lot of conforming; we have to put on at least some of society’s mantles.

It is a very, very, serious business. It is one thing to see it intellectually, quite another to feel it going on. I was talking to a friend today who fathers 2 children, 6 and 10 years old. From every side the commercial world is seeking to influence their behaviour, control their actions. Turn them into obedient consuming slaves basically. But it is more subtle that this; since Freud the ‘experts’ know how to reach inside the minds of others and turn the knobs there, pull the switches. It is all done perfectly deliberately, professionally even. And it is all perfectly respectably – even though the outcomes of manipulating children to consume, for example, soda drinks, include dreadful tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, addiction, kidney and heart disease, and more.

But to describe any one example of this psychological influence is to miss the wider picture.

I finder it harder to see how the individual is responsible for society. But too tired to carry on at the moment.

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Fri, 27 Jul 2018 #22
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
But if the environment is "understood", no 'I' is created. If no "value" is placed upon the environment, no 'I' arises in relation to that non-valuation?

Dan,

Whether I’m embarking on a physical trip or a psychological journey, I must start from the point where I am. Not “I must” as a personal value, but because there is no other way to start a journey. I obviously can’t start my journey from the destination! I can’t set out from a palace if I’m in a hovel. I can’t set out from the desert if I’m at the seashore. I can’t start from freedom if I’m in jail. I can’t start out from love if I’m hateful. I can’t start out from understanding if I’m confused. And so on.

If I don’t understand myself, relationship and the environment at this moment, then this ignorance is “what is”. If I’m in a state of confusion, conflict, fear, etc., or if I’m struggling to solve a problem of relationship, that is “where” I am psychologically speaking - and that is where I must start. There is no other possible place to start, is there?

Then what does it mean to say as you did that “if the environment is "understood", no 'I' is created, if no "value" is placed upon the environment, no 'I' arises in relation to that non-valuation” --- if the fact is that the environment is NOT understood, that the self IS present, that I don’t understand the falseness of my values? What do I do?

If I want to escape through entertainment, then I escape. But the fact is that any escape is short-lived. Whether the escape is riches, fame, power, sex, drugs, it is never enough and it never brings lasting satisfaction.

I can only start by observing my suffering or discontent in the moment I’m actually suffering; by observing my thoughts and feelings about my suffering. I don’t have to look for thoughts and feelings. They arise. It is similar to finding the source of a strange sound, squeaking or bumping in the house. I must be quiet and observe to find the source of it.

K said that “to understand the actual requires awareness, a very alert, swift mind”. That awareness is choiceless. Not that there is another awareness in which there is choice. The mind does not choose to be aware. Awareness IS the choiceless, natural, spontaneous movement of life. Where there is psychological choice, there is psychological effort to actualize that choice - that effort is driven by thought.

And so self-understanding comes through awareness because it is through awareness that the mind observes its bondage to values, choices, effort, fear, and so on. It is only in awareness that the mind observes that fear is at the root of its bondage. It is only in awareness that the mind observes itself contradicting “what is” and pretending, trying to suppress fear, being deceitful, arrogant, and so on and so on.

So I observe my discontent or suffering and I see that there is no intelligence in it. If there were, I would be able to act intelligently to solve it. I also see the values I am constantly attributing to myself and to the environment, and the repetitive and compulsive nature of these values which never shed light on any of my problems.

And where there is self-understanding, there is naturally intelligence, it seems to me. Because I cannot understand the movements of the mind - the mind cannot understand itself or anything else - without intelligence, and intelligence cannot flower without awareness. The effort of thought to understand itself is not awareness and does not solve problems, does not lead to understanding relationship. The effort of thought to understand blocks awareness. So effort is not the ground in which intelligence can germinate and flower.

So where there is awareness, there is self-understanding, there is understanding relationship and environment, because through awareness the mind sees that it is caught in the habit of attributing values, it is caught in the habit of divisiveness and conflict, and so on. So where there is understanding, there is intelligence. Obviously, there can be no understanding of anything without intelligence. No?

So the problem of action in relationship, the problem of “knowing what to do”, is solved through self-understanding. Then action is without effort - which is negative action. That is, where there is awareness, understanding and intelligence, it is the unknown which acts. How beautiful is that.

I’m not saying all this is so. I could be grossly mistaken. This is how I see it: it’s not that “I” need to understand “myself” in a psychoanalytical, Freudian, Jungian, Hebbian, theoretical, sense. It is the human mind which needs to understand itself by observing itself intimately, organically, directly - not through ideas, not by accumulating.

Each human mind which comes to understand itself is like a light turning on in "the world". This understanding changes not only the particular mind, it changes the world, the society, the environment. Because the total network of relationship between individuals IS the world, the society, the environment. No?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Fri, 27 Jul 2018.

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Fri, 27 Jul 2018 #23
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Influence inwards from society to the individual (if that word has any meaning, if the distinction has any validity), outwards from the individual to society.

I tend to find the first movement easier to understand – obviously we are conditioned by the influences around us (not to ignore our basic psychological patterns), subconsciously and consciously’. [.....] I find it harder to see how the individual is responsible for society.

Clive,

My relationship with society is determined by my past. The past has shaped me, my beliefs and values, my likes and dislikes, my comfort and discomfort. It is inculcated through the family, the community, the school, the temple, the friends, work, the group, and so on. So the past is not only “me” (me, you, them), but my “relationship” with you is also determined by the past - my past and your past. Whether it is my past or your past, whether it is me or you, the psychological process or mechanism is the same for all of us.

What does a child learn when it witnesses confrontation between sides? That there is a right side and a wrong side - isn’t that what he is taught? It’s one of the ways that the individual is shaped by environment, isn’t it? He might conform to that teaching for some years or for his whole life, or he might rebel against it and adopt a different side or opinion. To take this side or that side - here too the process or mechanism is the same.

There are also the fluctuations in what is acceptable politically, socially, scientifically, religiously, educationally, and so on. Female priests, transgender rights, fake news, abortion rights or no abortion rights, and so on, start with an individual "me" and with an organization, don't they? Societal values change but the processes which govern the individual, society, organizations, groups, do not. Those fluctuations are my responsibility.

When I react to the news, to gossip, to what I see happening around me, that reaction is the past acting. There are “sides” and opinions on every issue and event which confronts us. The nature of my relationship with the events, opinions and issues shapes society, just as society (the environment) shapes me. The nature of the totality of the network of relationship IS society, isn’t it? So I am responsible for society. My responsibility does not lie in choosing and conforming to the “right” opinion or side. My responsibility lies in being FREE of conditioning, free of belief, conclusion, opinion, ideal, and so on.

If I support NO side, if I conform to NO opinion or belief, because I have understood that mechanism and am free of conformity, opinion and belief, then my relationship is not shaped by conformity, opinion or belief. If I belong to no side, if my actions are not based on conclusions, if I do not attribute values from my high horse, then the tide going out is not a part of society, it is not moulded by the past. Then the tide going out is a movement without a past.

Because, whether the mind is conditioned or free, there is relationship. There can be no life without relationship, can there? Where there is life, there is relationship. The question is whether relationship is shaped by the movement of the past - by conditioning - or by something unknown, something without a past, something that is not part of the chaos.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Fri, 27 Jul 2018.

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Fri, 27 Jul 2018 #24
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 958 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
If I want to escape through entertainment, then I escape. But the fact is that any escape is short-lived. Whether the escape is riches, fame, power, sex, drugs, it is never enough and it never brings lasting satisfaction.

'Escape' cannot. Because the cause of the sorrow that is being denied is the impossible desire to find an ultimate security. We run a million unseen ways from the 'emptiness' that is us.

Huguette . wrote:
I can only start by observing my suffering or discontent in the moment I’m actually suffering; by observing my thoughts and feelings about my suffering.

I think that this is of course true and also I'm seeing that the not naming of these feelings 'releases them from the past "frame of reference" that one has built up over time and that precludes experiencing these feelings in a new way.

Huguette . wrote:
Each human mind which comes to understand itself is like a light turning on in "the world". This understanding changes not only the particular mind, it changes the world, the society, the environment. Because the totality of relationship between individuals IS the world, the society, the environment. No?

Yes how could it be anything but? What I sense in myself and perhaps you do too is that we really are in a 'prison'. Not just the intellectual idea of a prison but truly 'bound'. It is a shocking realization when come upon. That the conditioning is 100% (as Clive was wondering) and that does explain why the "light" that you describe so rare among us, if ever, turns on. It seems that as more and more 'escapes' become more 'sophisticated', the addressing of the main 'problem', the aversion to come face to face with the poverty in ourself, to understand totally the root of our suffering becomes less and less likely.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 27 Jul 2018.

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Fri, 27 Jul 2018 #25
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
My relationship with society is determined by my past. The past has shaped me, my beliefs and values, my likes and dislikes, my comfort and discomfort. It is inculcated through the family, the community, the school, the temple, the friends, work, the group, and so on. So the past is not only “me” (me, you, them), but my “relationship” with you is also determined by the past - my past and your past. Whether it is my past or your past, whether it is me or you, the psychological process or mechanism is the same for all of us.

Clive: In fact I am the past, am I not? I am those thoughts which arise from memory, there is no me apart from them, is there? This is the very origin if the self.

Huguette . wrote:
If I support NO side, if I conform to NO opinion or belief, because I have understood that mechanism and am free of conformity, opinion and belief, then my relationship is not shaped by conformity, opinion or belief. If I belong to no side, if my actions are not based on conclusions, if I do not attribute values from my high horse, then the tide going out is not a part of society, it is not moulded by the past. Then the tide going out is a movement without a past.

Clive: Very interesting. You are saying, are you, that although there is no content as such, the tide still goes out; as if an empty wave washes over society, free of values, of conditioning – and this has it own, unique effect on society? But a negative effect, rather than the usual so-called positive effect, which is merely part of the chaos. A cleansing effect, if I may use that word. Not part of the known at all?

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Sun, 29 Jul 2018 #26
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2275 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Huguette . wrote:

If I support NO side, if I conform to NO opinion or belief, because I have understood that mechanism and am free of conformity, opinion and belief, then my relationship is not shaped by conformity, opinion or belief. If I belong to no side, if my actions are not based on conclusions, if I do not attribute values from my high horse, then the tide going out is not a part of society, it is not moulded by the past. Then the tide going out is a movement without a past.

Clive: Very interesting. You are saying, are you, that although there is no content as such, the tide still goes out; as if an empty wave washes over society, free of values, of conditioning – and this has it own, unique effect on society?

The tide still goes out because I act...I speak. But such actions and words are not coming from the 'stream'/content.

Let it Be

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Sun, 29 Jul 2018 #27
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
and this has it own, unique effect on society? But a negative effect, rather than the usual so-called positive effect, which is merely part of the chaos. A cleansing effect, if I may use that word.

Perhaps it does have a "cleansing effect", but it's not clear to me. For example, if hate and love interact, is hate cleansed by love? There is still a responsibility or questioning, some action that must come from hate, isn't there? The only thing that seems clear to me in this respect is that love or negative action does not contribute to the toxicity of relationship.

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Sun, 29 Jul 2018 #28
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2275 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
is hate cleansed by love? There is still a responsibility or questioning, some action that must come from hate, isn't there?

It depends how self enclosed the 'hater' is in his hate. Someone like K, for instance, who meets someone like Donald Trump. Perhaps there's no cleansing effect. But if there's even a little openness in the 'hater' (if he listens to what K is saying with at least a small bit of interest and attention) then there may be the possibility of some 'cleansing' as I see it.

Let it Be

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Sun, 29 Jul 2018 #29
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 589 posts in this forum Offline

Self and environment,

If you take a step back you will see that the self is actually also
environment. It is just the closest part of what is outside of what you really are.

This post was last updated by Peter Kesting Mon, 30 Jul 2018.

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Sun, 29 Jul 2018 #30
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4534 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
The tide still goes out because I act...I speak. But such actions and words are not coming from the 'stream'/content.

Several questions arise for me,; I will try this one:

Is acting and speaking (speaking is acting) the only way that "the tide goes out"? Or is there a more direct way, that affects the Stream directly? After all we are in that stream, we are part of that stream (I think K once objected to that phrase "part of the stream"). So every thought we have MUST be/become/affect the stream.

The image of each of us being "processing units" of the stream suddenly comes to mind, but it may not be accurate.

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