Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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All one inquiry


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Wed, 29 May 2019 #691
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
. So what makes memory into a ‘me’ or a you or a ‘self’

So is it a matter of identification?

Here is an excerpt from the 3rd discussion with Budhist scholars in 1978 at Brockwood Park. I have ended rather randomly, here is a link to the full text:

http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/1978/1978-06-23-jiddu-krishnamurti-3-bohm-narayan-buddhists

There is a condensed form of this discussion in the book "Reflections on the Self", page146.

B: Could we ask why - before we go into that - why there is identification, why is it that this is so prevalent?

K: Why does thought identify.

B: With sensation and other things.

K: Why is there identification with something?

B: Specially sensation.

K: Yes. Go on sirs. Answer it sirs. You are all experts.

N: Is it the very nature of thought to identify, or are there forms of thought which don't identify with sensation?

K: Narayan, why do you - if I may again most politely and respectfully, etc., etc., why do you put that question? Is it a theoretical question or an actual question? Why do you, Narayan, identify?

N: Let me put it this way...

K: No, I won't put it differently.

N: Why I can identify with these sensations, I have nothing else to identify with.

K: So why do you give importance to sensation? Do you say, I am a sentient being and nothing else?

N: No, no.

K: Ah, that's it.

N: If I have to identify with anything it can only be with sensation.

B: Is there a duality in identification? Could we make it clear.

K: In identification, as you point out sir, there is duality, the identifier and the identified.

B: Is it possible that you are trying to overcome the duality by identifying, by saying, "I am not different", when you are, or when you feel you aren't.

K: You see I don't want to enter into the field of ideologies, theories. To me, I have no interest in it. But I really, in investigating I want to find out, perhaps I have found out but talking over together, is there an action in which the self is not? In daily life, not in nirvana, when I have reached freedom and all the rest of it, I want to do it in this life, as I live. Which means I have to find out - the mind has to find out an action which has no cause, which means no motive, an action which is not the result or an effect of a series of causes and effects. If that exists action is always bound, chained. Am I making myself clear? So is there such an action?

B: Well, it seems to me we can't find it as long as we are identifying.

K: That's right. That's why I said as long as identification exists I can't find the answer.

B: But why does thought identify?

K: Why does thought identify with sensations?

B: Is that irresistible or is that just something you can put aside?

K: I don't know if that is irresistible, or if it is part of sensation.

B: How is that?

K: Let's investigate.

B: You think that sensation is behind that?

K: Perhaps, when I say perhaps, that word is used for the purpose of investigation, not "I don't know", but let's investigate. But it may be. So why have sensations become so important in life - sexual sensations, the sensation of power, whether occult power or political power, economic power, or power of a woman over man, or man over woman, power of environment, the influence of the environment, the pressures - why has thought yielded to this pressure? Right, sir?

B: Does sensation necessarily produce a pressure?

K: It does when it is identified.

B: Yes, but then it is the two together.

K: I know, but let's examine. What do we mean by sensation?

B: Well it is clear that we may have a remembered sensation of pleasure.

K: Senses, the operation of the senses - touching, tasting, seeing, smelling, hearing.

B: The experience that happens then; and also the memory of it.

K: No, the memory is only when there is an identification with it.

B: I agree, yes.

K: When there is no identification the senses are senses. But why does thought identify itself with senses?

B: Yes, that is not yet clear.

K: We are going to make it clear.

B: Are you saying that when the sensation is remembered then we have identification?

K: Yes.

B: Can we make that more clear?

K: Let's make it a little more clear. Let's work at it. There is perceiving a pleasurable lake, seeing a beautiful lake, what takes place in that seeing? There is not only optical seeing by the eye, but also the senses are awakened, the smell of the water, the trees on the lake...

B: Could we stop a moment? When you say seeing, of course you see through the visual sense.

K: I am using purely visual sense.

B: Therefore you already have the visual sense awakened merely to see. Is that what you mean?

K: Yes. Just seeing.

B: Visually.

K: Visually, optically, I am just seeing, then what takes place?

B: And the other senses start to operate.

K: And the other senses start operating. Why doesn't it stop there?

B: What is the next step?

K: The next step is thought comes in - how beautiful that is, I wish I could remain here.

B: So thought identifies it.

K: Yes.

B: It says, "It is this".

K: Because in that there is pleasure.

B: In what?

K: Seeing and the delight of seeing, then thought coming into operation and saying, "I must have more, I must build a house here, it is mine".

B: But why does thought do that?

K: Why does thought interfere with senses - is that it? Now wait a minute, sir. The moment the senses take pleasure, say, "How delightful", and stop there, thought doesn't enter. Right? Now why does thought enter? If it is painful thought avoids it, it doesn't identify itself with that.

B: It identifies against it, it says, "I don't want it".

K: No, leave it alone, go away from it, either deny it or move away from it. But if it is pleasurable, when the senses begin to enjoy, say, "How nice", then thought begins to identify itself with it.

B: But why, I mean?

K: Why, because of pleasure.

B: But why doesn't it give it up when it sees how futile this is?

K: Oh, that's much later.

B: That's a long way on.

K: When it becomes painful, when it is aware identification breeds both pleasure and fear, then it begins to question.

B: Well, are you saying that thought has made a simple mistake in the beginning, a kind of innocent mistake?

K: That's right. Thought has made a mistake in identifying with something that brings to it pleasure, or there is pleasure in something.

B: And thought tries to take over.

K: To take over.

B: To make it permanent, perhaps.

K: Permanent, that's right, which means memory. A remembrance of the lake with the daffodils and the trees and the water and sunlight, and all the rest of it.

B: I understand thought has make a mistake and later it discovers that mistake, but it seems to be too late because it doesn't know how to stop.

K: It is now conditioned.

B: So can we make it clear why it cannot give it up, you see.

K: Why it cannot give it up. That's our whole problem.

B: Can we try to make it more clear.

K: Why doesn't thought give up something which it knows, or is aware is painful?

B: Yes.

K: It is destructive. Why? Go on, why, sir? Sir, let's take a simple example: psychologically one is hurt.

B: Well that is later.

K: I am taking that as an example, doesn't matter later. One is hurt, why can't one immediately give up that hurt, because knowing that hurt is going to create a great deal of damage? That is, when I am hurt I build a wall round myself not to be hurt more, there is fear, and isolation, neurotic actions, all that follows. Thought has created the image about myself, and that image gets hurt. Why doesn't thought say, "Yes, by Jove, I have seen this", drop it immediately? It is the same question. Because when it drops the image there is nothing left.

B: Then you have another ingredient because thought wants to hold on to the memory of the image.

K: Hold on to the memories which have created the image.

B: And which may create it again, and thought feels they are very precious.

K: Yes, they are very precious, nostalgic and all the rest of it.

B: So somehow it gives very high value to all that. How did it come to do that?

K: Why has it made the image so valuable. Why has the image become so important which thought has created?

B: If I may say that in the beginning it was a simple mistake, and thought made an image of pleasure and it seemed to become very important, precious, and was unable to give it up.

K: Yes, why doesn't it? Sir, if I give up pleasure, if thought gives up pleasure, what is there left?

B: It can't seem to return to the state in the beginning when there was nothing.

K: Ah, that is the pristine state.

B: It is unable to return to that state.

K: It can't because thought - you know, all the rest of it.

B: Well, I think what happens is that when thought thinks of giving up pleasure which has become very precious, then the mere thought of that is painful.

K: Yes, giving up is painful.

B: And therefore thought runs away from that.

K: Yes, so it clings to pleasure.

B: It does not wish to face the pain.

K: Until there is a better reward for pleasure, which will be a better pleasure.

B: That's no change.

K: Of course.

B: But thought seems to have fallen into a trap which it has made because it has innocently remembered pleasure, and then gradually made it important and then it has become too painful to give it up. Because any change from the immediate removal of pleasure is very painful.

K: Because it has nothing else then afterwards, then it is frightened.

B: But you see in the beginning it was not frightened to have nothing else.

K: Yes.

B: Now it is.

K: Yes, In the beginning, that means the beginning being the beginning of man.

B: Yes.

K: In the beginning of man - can we question even that?

B: Perhaps not.

K: Beginning of the ape.

B: If you go far enough back. You want to say it has been going a long time, but thought has built this trap which has gradually got worse.

K: Sir, could we say as the brain is very old - all out brains are very old - merely tracing it back further and further and further, you can never find out. But I can say my brain is now as it is, which is very old, conditioned, in terms of pleasure and pain.

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Thu, 30 May 2019 #692
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

K: The next step is thought comes in - how beautiful that is, I wish I could remain here.

B: So thought identifies it.

K: Yes.

B: It says, "It is this".

K: Because in that there is pleasure.

B: In what?

K: Seeing and the delight of seeing, then thought coming into operation and saying, "I must have more, I must build a house here, it is mine".

I’ve read something very similar to this before, Clive. K stated that the beginning of the me is this action that he’s describing here. I want more and it is mine. In the account I read, if I recall correctly, he was talking about the small child and the pleasure he gets from his toy.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 30 May 2019.

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Thu, 30 May 2019 #693
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Condensing to a key point, IMO, about the image/s of pleasure:

K: Why has it made the image so valuable. Why has the image become so important which thought has created?

B: If I may say that in the beginning it was a simple mistake, and thought made an image of pleasure and it seemed to become very important, precious, and was unable to give it up.

K: Yes, why doesn't it? Sir, if I give up pleasure, if thought gives up pleasure, what is there left?

B: It can't seem to return to the state in the beginning when there was nothing.

K: Ah, that is the pristine state.

Let it Be

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Thu, 30 May 2019 #694
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

In the QOTD K puts forth another explanation of how the self arises:

“The mind has created, through its desire for self-protection and comfort, many hindrances and barriers, thus bringing about its own incompleteness, its own sorrow. To free itself from this sorrow, the mind begins to battle against these self-created resistances and limitations. In this conflict there is born and developed will, with which the mind identifies itself, thus giving birth to the "I" consciousness. ”

It is certainly easy to see that the self arises as resistance, opposition, trying to overcome, trying to achieve. Is this necessary at all? Yes, we have to achieve certain things physically, but psychologically? There the movement of resistance which is the self seems to have become deeply ingrained.

Can this struggle, which is the self, end? I, as an act of will, cannot end it, obviously, I am sure we are all agreed on that. That would be the continuation of the struggle and so the continuation of the self. This has to be actually gone into, experimented with, not turned into ideas and speculated about. It is so easy to slip into that ideational mode.

And I see that the investigation – I’m talking about ACTUAL investigation - requires energy. And something ……. can we call it intention? But somehow we fill up our lives with pettiness - pettiness in which pleasure plays a major part. Pleasure and the avoidance of pain. So we don't seem to devote ourselves to this matter, this dissolution of the self. Yet isn’t that the only thing that really matters?

I won't be able to post for a couple of days.

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Sat, 01 Jun 2019 #695
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 734 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote at 688:
There’s certainly no joy when our child is abused or ridiculed or bullied at school. There’s no joy when we live with war or a throughly corrupt exploitive society.

Of course when your child - any child - is bullied or hurt, it hurts. It MUST hurt the human heart. By “must”, I mean, how can it NOT hurt? There's nothing to do about that, nothing thought can do about it, no effort thought can make to remedy it. Isn’t a heart that does NOT feel the pain of it a wounded heart, a frightened heart? That pain is an inescapable part of being human, isn't it? That’s what compassion is, isn’t it - to feel the hurt of another being.

That pain does not inevitably have to become self-pity, mindless optimism or hate. That pain is life. It MUST be faced as all of life is faced, in the sense that we talk about “facing” life's challenges. It must be faced fully, head on, and not distorted by thought. There is no KNOWN formula for facing it.

If all that we question, look into and talk about here does not apply to this point that you raise, then does any of it make sense, is any of it real or true?

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Sat, 01 Jun 2019 #696
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 734 posts in this forum Offline

Photo of compassion, which is love.

https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/tomoko-her-b...

link text

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Sat, 01 Jun 2019 #697
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
If all that we question, look into and talk about here does not apply to this point that you raise, then does any of it make sense, is any of it real or true?

I think I understand your point, Huguette. We come to K. in order to understand reality...not to seek some greater escape from the world...some Nirvana. BTW on one of my jobs when younger I used to take care of some young men like the one in the photo. One of them was ...on top of all his other handicaps...blind and physically disfigures. His family put him in a group home where I worked. I was pretty shocked the first time I saw him. But when my co-worker used to hold him in her arms, the smile on his face lit up the whole world.

Let it Be

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Sat, 01 Jun 2019 #698
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 734 posts in this forum Offline

Well put, Tom. You found the good words that were eluding me.

:o)

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Sun, 02 Jun 2019 #699
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 734 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
...to understand reality...not to seek some greater escape from the world...some Nirvana

These words of yours strike me as the essence of what maturity is, Tom.

...When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, darkly... (1 Corinthians)

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sun, 02 Jun 2019.

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Mon, 03 Jun 2019 #700
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Our parents tell us, “You shouldn’t be so angry (afraid, lazy, selfish, etc)”, and we begin to feel we are separate from our qualities.

Regarding this separation, it comes to me that whenever we try to act on ourselves, or even try to observe ourselves, whatever we try to do “from the self”, what we actually do is to solidify an illusion. That is, we, by necessity in any movement of will, of becoming psychologically, are treating an illusion (the self) as real. And perhaps thus strengthening the self.

Isn’t this the wrong step contained in any psychological movement, and the fundamental falseness of all such movements. And is this really all that needs to be seen? Does anything else matter?

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Tue, 04 Jun 2019 #701
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
we, by necessity in any movement of will, of becoming psychologically, are treating an illusion (the self) as real. And perhaps thus strengthening the self.

Isn’t this the wrong step contained in any psychological movement, and the fundamental falseness of all such movements. And is this really all that needs to be seen? Does anything else matter?

Yes "will" has no place except to strengthen the illusion that there is a 'self'.

Also 'want' creates conflict and disappointment when it isn't satisfied, doesn't it? 'I want this or that to happen and when it doesn't, I suffer...the self is diminished but when things do go 'my way', the self image is strengthened.

This may be all wrong of course

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Tue, 04 Jun 2019.

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Tue, 04 Jun 2019 #702
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Clive I'm exporting this post from the other forum in hopes of perhaps getting a comment. I never saw the brain in this light before and wanted to explore its role if any:

In the state of sleep without dreams, 'I' don't exist. What is going on in the brain which as an organ of the body, does exist? The brain has 'disconnected' with the 'machinery' (energy) of 'waking consciousness' in order to refresh itself, has it not? And it renews that connection upon waking or partially with dreaming. It in effect "dies to the known" for the space of time it needs to refresh itself as best it can. The point here for me was that it can do that!

Another question is about the brain's relation to the consciousness/contents...it doesn't seem to 'matter' to the brain whether the contents ('I') add up to sinner or saint as long as there is an equilibrium? (Or some necessary 'balance'?) Does the brain require that it feel a certain level of 'security' in the 'I' even if the 'I' in the eyes of societies standards is a 'monster'? The brain can cut off 'power' to the contents/consciousness in sleep but it seems, doesn't 'preside' over the 'quality' of the contents?

This may be all wrong of course

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Tue, 04 Jun 2019 #703
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I suffer...the self is diminished

I understand what you mean, Dan, but isn't the self also strengthened when it is diminished? Because to be diminished, by disappointment, frustration, etc, also implies the self exists, that it is a real thing?

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Tue, 04 Jun 2019 #704
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The point here for me was that it can do that!

Yes, that is interesting, and I have never looked at the phenomena of sleep in that light.

But at the same time the brain is disconnecting itself from some areas of control over the body, is disconnecting itself from its senses (perhaps not entirely, we seem to awaken if there is a sudden sound, or a smell, for example, of fire). So it is not just a matter of dying to thought, but dying to other functions of the brain.

Dan McDermott wrote:
it doesn't seem to 'matter' to the brain whether the contents ('I') add up to sinner or saint as long as there is an equilibrium?

Indeed. And I would take this further, it doesn't matter to the brain whether it is finding security and/or pleasure in what is actual or what is purely illusory. it just wants to "feel good". But in the long term this doesn't work. I have just read an explanation by David Bohm why this is so, why it cannot work, physiologically.

Dan McDermott wrote:
The brain can cut off 'power' to the contents/consciousness in sleep but it seems, doesn't 'preside' over the 'quality' of the contents?

The brain cuts off power not from any moral considerations, if I can bring in that word, but from biological necessity

The brain has been dominated by thought, has it not? And as such, doesn't it share the incoherence of thought? But there are still biological/neurological imperatives.

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Tue, 04 Jun 2019 #705
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The brain has been dominated by thought, has it not? And as such, doesn't it share the incoherence of thought? But there are still biological/neurological imperatives.

Yes absolutely. Thought has indeed dominated to the point where if it doesn't like what is going on it can order the innocent body to kill itself...amazing!

This may be all wrong of course

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Wed, 05 Jun 2019 #706
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Thought has indeed dominated to the point where if it doesn't like what is going on it can order the innocent body to kill itself...amazing!

Yes, I have often pondered on how strange that is - as with 'suicide bombers'. Such action implies that a belief is stronger than the natural life-impulse itself. Which perhaps reflects the fact that the self considers itself to be a living organism, rather than mechanical thought. I was going to write "dead thought", but I suppose that can be questioned.

It is as if knowledge is stronger than understanding. How can the mind become so dominated by belief, by conclusion? And it certainly is, I meet hardly anyone who does not adhere to some belief, who does not live their life based on a set of assumptions. And if they have children, they try to condition them similarly.

Perhaps I also have assumptions, although I am not aware of them? If so, how can I come to know them? It seems only through choiceless awareness.

It is deadly and stupid to go through life acting from belief/assumption. Look at nationalism and the like! Acting from ideology there is no space to be rational, or compassionate. But ideology and belief have always held mankind in thrall, and one does not see much evidence that that is changing.

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Wed, 05 Jun 2019 #707
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Belief gives thought/brain a sense of continuity, doesn't it?

K. has also put 'non-belief' in the same category as belief...as belief's opposite I guess.

But that also affords a sense of continuity doesn't it: that something is or isn't, same dynamic...same certainty?

This may be all wrong of course

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Wed, 05 Jun 2019 #708
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Perhaps I also have assumptions, although I am not aware of them? If so, how can I come to know them? It seems only through choiceless awareness.

It is deadly and stupid to go through life acting from belief/assumption. Look at nationalism and the like!

Something I've found related to your post, Clive. A lot of our beliefs and assumptions are buried very deep in the unconscious. They're much harder to become aware of than the obvious ones like religion and nationality...being good or strong or brave. Now how do they become conscious...how can I come to know them, as you put it? That's a tough question!! Will come back to this later, time permitting.

Let it Be

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Wed, 05 Jun 2019 #709
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
K. has also put 'non-belief' in the same category as belief...as beliefs opposite I guess.

Saying 'I don't believe in God' is just another belief. In other words, it's the belief that 'God doesn't exist'. So a non belief is the same as a belief? Is that what he's getting at?

Let it Be

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Wed, 05 Jun 2019 #710
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
So a non belief is the same as a belief?

Thats how I took it. That a belief has an 'object' and non-belief doesn't. but behind it is the self/thought coming to a conclusion, a conclusion that it has no basis for coming to, like "there is karma", "there is no such thing as karma"...Facing the moment nakedly with no preconception of anything seems to be something we have been thoroughly conditioned to avoid? Why?

This may be all wrong of course

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 06 Jun 2019.

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #711
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
A lot of our beliefs and assumptions are buried very deep in the unconscious. They're much harder to become aware of than the obvious ones like religion and nationality..

Yes they are the obvious and it occurred to me Tom as I went into this that, to put it simply, I 'believe' that I am the most important thing of all! It was uncomfortable to even think that but isn't it true?
(not that I am but that it is there unconsciously). Apart from how unselfish or loving I may feel,or act, it is always 'me' at the center. That is a 'belief' is it not? That my life has more importance than other 'things'. Is it that sense of self-importance that accumulates the qualities you mention of being "good, strong, brave", successful etc.? Importance is a human concept; that one thing has more 'worth' than another. In nature there is no such thing: there, all in their diversity are 'equal', the bee and the bear etc....We invented the idea of importance and unconsciously have placed ourself at the pinnacle? Is this the 'belief' that is the foundation on which all the others are laid?

(not expressed very well but wanted to 'get it down')

This may be all wrong of course

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #712
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Is this the 'belief' that is the foundation on which all the others are laid?

This is interesting Dan. And the belief that all of this me is going to continue....and the belief that I am all that....the memories and longings and goals and conclusions, assumptions....all I identify with. We should explore this further. I had a similar insight this AM. The self...the ‘me’ is ALL belief and assumption based upon memory and experience...conditioning...the past. There’s nothing BUT that in ‘me’.

Let it Be

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #713
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
The self...the ‘me’ is ALL belief and assumption based upon memory and experience...conditioning...the past. There’s nothing BUT that in ‘me’.

This 'insight' is a freeing from the known which is 'me' isn't it? It is not in 'time'. But the remembrance of the insight is the 'known', the past, the self wanting to accumulate what has been seen and add it to itself...as if it had something to do with the insight, as if it had had the insight. But the 'game' is seen through and it is that seeing that will act perhaps, This is what has been called the "awakening of intelligence isn't it?.... the self/ me/ thought, can do nothing else but attempt, in whatever "cunning" way possible to keep alive the illusion of the 'I' being something more than beliefs, memories, longings, goals, conclusions, and assumptions.

This may be all wrong of course

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #714
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Dan: This 'insight' is a freeing from the known which is 'me' isn't it?

From Malibu 1975:

The next day he wrote again in the morning, “the skill of intelligence is to put knowledge in its right place” and “intelligence comes out of the understanding of the whole consciousness of man—yourself,” and “freedom from the known, every minute, is the essence of intelligence.”

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 06 Jun 2019.

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #715
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1393 posts in this forum Offline

Thanks for posting this Tom.

This may be all wrong of course

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #716
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Thanks for posting this Tom.

I opened Mrs Z’s diary on my Kindle last night and the quotes were right there on the page. A synchronicity with what we’ve been discussing. I notice that a lot with the QOTD’s that Dev posts. Often they’re very relevant to what we’ve been discussing. Well, maybe Dev does that intentionally.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 06 Jun 2019.

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #717
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Belief gives thought/brain a sense of continuity, doesn't it?

That seems to be so. And yet we can easily observe that belief is a very destructive force in human affairs. It implies the absence of questioning, of inquiry into the question can things be different, can we live in a non-destructive way? Belief carries a blindness which can, and often does, turn absolutely crazy, and brings about much cruelty.

So is this "sense of continuity" an absolute necessity for us? And what is it that continues, or wants to continue? There is physical continuity, which seems reasonable up to a degree, and there is the idea of psychological continuity. Which seems to me to be the continuity of the imaginary, the illusory.

Perhaps the self IS the very desire for psychological continuity.

Isn't to desire psychological continuity is in contradiction to the fact of death - both the death which lies at the end of our lives, and the dying to the past which seems to me to be an essential, necessary part of daily living?

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #718
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
..Facing the moment nakedly with no preconception of anything seems to be something we have been thoroughly conditioned to avoid? Why?

We certainly have been conditioned to avoid it. And perhaps we condition ourselves that way, because it feels so uncomfortable, so painful, to face life without the comfort of knowledge. I can see this in myself.

As you yourself wrote above:

Belief gives thought/brain a sense of continuity, doesn't it?

We strongly desire certainty. Knowledge, thought, can give the semblance of certainty - but this does not hold up to scrutiny. And I think at some level or other, there is always fear that the falseness of knowledge/belief will be exposed.

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #719
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Yes they are the obvious and it occurred to me Tom as I went into this that, to put it simply, I 'believe' that I am the most important thing of all! It was uncomfortable to even think that but isn't it true?
(not that I am but that it is there unconsciously). Apart from how unselfish or loving I may feel,or act, it is always 'me' at the center. That is a 'belief' is it not?

Actually I myself would not use the word "belief" in this context. I don't want to argue about words, but the distinctions seems worth preserving. Isn't belief ideas that are held consciously? Whereas you are describing "a tacit assumption", something that is working at some level of consciousness, but is not, or rarely, acknowledged? Don't these unconscious assumptions still drive us, don't they form a hidden basis for our actions and thoughts?

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Fri, 07 Jun 2019 #720
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Perhaps another term for belief, assumption, conclusion, would be "implicit thought". Or "implicit thought/feeling", since they are all tied up.

In some ways assumptions are ok. We may make assumptions, conclusions, as long as we know that they are assumptions and in many cases this may be necessary. But of course usually it isn't the case. Usually people present their opinions (opinions being based on conclusion/assumption) as fact, as the truth.

So why don't we see them for what they are?

I think the answer to this lies in the problem that lies at the very root of thought. Thought is generally based on what brings pleasure, or comfort, on so-called security, on 'feeling good' These seems to be what the brain is based on, or has been conditioned into. Through the endorphins, etc. And when thought is biased in this way, there is very little space for rationality. This can be observed all around us.

So what is the answer to this fundamental problem? Is there an answer? Does it lie in digging all this stuff up, exposing it to the light of air? In inquiry such as this? Or in silence?

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