Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
A Quiet Space | moderated by Clive Elwell

What does it mean, "to understand"?


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Fri, 18 Jan 2019 #61
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2566 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
What is this mechanism? Is it, fundamentally, the creation in the mind of an imaginary opposite to ‘what is’, an ideal, and the pursuit of this ideal? How is an imaginary thing to be pursued? It seems to me now that in reality in CANNOT be pursued, and this is why effort always fails. I emphasise I am talking psychologically, of course.

Well we’re told since birth that the ideal IS real. That I must be good if I want to go to Heaven when I die. And we believe in these imaginary ideals and make an effort to conform ....ideals of goodness, godliness, enlightenment, kindness (even when we’re feeling the opposite!), generosity, even when we’re totally selfish. All this brings in time, as you point out. I am not good now, but I deny ‘what is’ because I will become good in the future. And the ideal is pursued because it DOES sometimes achieve the desired result. If I can fool people into thinking I’m good...godly....they start treating me as if I AM (this is what priests and nuns do, right?). I achieve my goal of becoming a great pianist by making a supreme effort to practice 5 or 6 or more hours every say. I’m told since childhood that laziness is wrong. That I MUST do well in my classes at school. So I constantly make an effort to overcome ‘what is’, my tiredness or laziness or my wandering mind, and stick with my studies. I eventually graduate college one day and get a well paying job because I constantly made an effort to achieve. I know folks who hate their job, but rather than face the conflict of continuing to work at said job, they make an effort every day to get up in the AM, have their two cups of coffee, and go to work. We’re taught that this is the norm in life....making an effort to achieve ...to conform to the ideal....to be strong ....to work hard. I’ve been told throughout childhood to be strong, to be brave, to NOT be afraid...to overcome my fear through will power like the millennia old ideal of the brave warrior. And now K tells me I can observe my fear ...my weakness....without condemnation....without trying to overcome it. How is this to be? I simply wind up creating another ideal ...the ideal of not resisting. I can’t NOT condemn if, in the present moment, I AM condemning. So K points out that I can simply observe how I condemn....try to overcome....what is. Just inquiring into how my mind often works...

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 18 Jan 2019.

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Fri, 18 Jan 2019 #62
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5014 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Well we’re told since birth that the ideal IS real.

I am not sure that we are. I am not sure that this question of the reality of the image is ever questioned, anymore than it is questioned if thought is true. We are told that we must MAKE the image become real, without any consideration of whether this is possible or not - or rather in what circumstances it may be possible, and in what circumstances it may not.

Here is a talk that goes into the issue of the ideal in great detail:

http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/1958/1958-09-10-jiddu-krishnamurti-2nd-public-talk

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Sat, 19 Jan 2019 #63
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2566 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

Well we’re told since birth that the ideal IS real.

I am not sure that we are. I am not sure that this question of the reality of the image is ever questioned, anymore than it is questioned if thought is true. We are told that we must MAKE the image become real, without any consideration of whether this is possible or not

I don't know, Clive, bUT aren't the Catholics brainwashed from birth with the ideal of the saint....to be close to God...and the opposite which must be resisted is sin and the sinner. Most Catholics are convinced of the reality of sin and salvation. They’re told as children that Jesus was pure and without sin, and that they should strive to be like him....worship him. Sorry if I’m wrong about this, but it’s my understanding....I myself wasn’t raised a Catholic. Also, we give the Purple heart medal to soldiers here for bravery and valor in time of war. We think the ideal of bravery is something to live up to, no? I think most of us are convinced that the ideals of valor, of goodness, holiness, of non-violence, of courage and the like are real. Don't the Buddhists and Hindus have their own similar ideals...of enlightenment...of peacefulness and tranquility....of silent meditation? Didn't the ancient Greeks have their ideals? Our whole consiousness and our actions are based upon ideals and shoulds and should nots as is our self-image, whether positive or negative. Going to check out the link later since I think understanding the issue of ideals in consciousness (and in the unconscious) is crucial.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 19 Jan 2019.

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Sat, 19 Jan 2019 #64
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

Peter Kesting wrote:
Qualia the... redness of red...the experiencing of it... but also any other experiencing of anything, is not a product of thought. Even the experiencing of thought is not a product of thought. All of experiencing is beyond the material, all of it could be called qualia.

Yes and no, as I see it. Experiencing is not a product of thought, I do see that. But can there BE experiencing and/or sensory perception (including thought itself) without “the material structure of the brain and in the movement in that structure”? Can there BE experiencing without the brain?

Love, awareness, insight, beauty, understanding, intelligence, are not actions or movements of thought, but they ARE experienced by brain/body, aren’t they? So there is a relationship between them and the material structure, isn’t there? They are felt/experienced by the material structure. I feel love. I feel beauty. Not the “I” of time/thought/knowledge - the material structure feels it.

The science of it is complex and beyond my comprehension.

Ultimately, the brain registers/records all experiencing, doesn’t it? There’s a range or spectrum in experiencing, including in experiencing thought and emotion. Subjective perception varies not only from person to person, but also within the same person at different times. What is a pleasant sound, sight, smell, taste, touch to you may be unpleasant to me. Pain too is perceived or experienced differently by different people, and by the same person at different times. SOME of these differences in perception are due to memory - past experience - aren’t they? Some may be due to genetics. And some of it is due to the state or condition of body/brain at a particular moment in time. For example, perception or experiencing is affected by being too hot, too cold, sick, in love, anxious, afraid, angry, and so on. No?

Peter Kesting wrote:
There is no color in the brain just as there is no color in the robot. Its all just circuitry. The program that beat the champion chess player was aware of nothing. To be aware is beyond anything that is only matter.

We have no idea how awareness, how seeing, how pleasure, how pain, how attention, how anything experienced, as an experiencing , the experiencing of it, in the presentness of that experiencing, How any of that arrises.

A simpler way to put it. There is no red in the brain. Just nerves and junctions... material structure, and chemistry.

When you talk and I listen, is it only the circuitry saying it and is it only circuitry listening to it? What is engendering the saying and the listening? Is there effort and desire involved? What is the relationship of effort and desire to action? Is the action of speaking, questioning, explaining, looking into, is all that determined wholly by the circuitry which has been shaped by the past?

Much, if not all, of our questioning is engendered by discontent, isn’t it? As long as this "flame" of discontent is not disregarded or smothered by thought, we may stumble or go down dead ends, but discontent guides the mind to understanding. Maybe.

As I said, I think you make an important point when you say,

“Can thought, which is matter, which is memory, which is in the material structure of the brain and in the movement in that structure, can that have an insight?”

It’s important to distinguish between thought and insight, love, beauty, intelligence, awareness. That is, it's important to understand the distinction between thought and not-thought. But is questioning this distinction and all our questions:

the same kind of question as the question, "what is the redness of red"... the actual experiencing of redness?

Does this and other questions emerge only out of desire or motive? Does thought “make” the distinction? That is, does the question itself emerge solely from the past or the known? Or is the very asking of these questions an indication of awareness, understanding, insight --- of the awakening of intelligence --- which is then verbalized? I’m just asking, not saying it is or isn't.

I don’t know if any of what I’m saying means anything. I don’t know if we are understanding each other.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 19 Jan 2019.

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Sun, 20 Jan 2019 #65
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5014 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Going to check out the link later since I think understanding the issue of ideals in consciousness (and in the unconscious) is crucial.

Yes indeed. I have been seeing most of the phenomena of the mind through this single lens of the ideal of late. It seems to be the starting point of so many of the issues that we discuss here on the forum. the division between the thinker and the thought, conflict, becoming, making effort, desire ..... the very origin of the self itself. Is it an exaggeration to say these things are really all one movement?

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Mon, 21 Jan 2019.

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Sun, 20 Jan 2019 #66
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2566 posts in this forum Offline

I have been seeing most of the phenomena of the mind through this single lens of the ideal of late. It seems to be the starting point of so many of the issues that we discuss here on the forum.

So much of our behavior in daily life is based upon the conditioning of shoulds and should nots, isn’t it? A good deal of it is unconscious...we accepted these ideals and ideas without questioning when we were children and they become part of our make up....our consciousness, even if they now remain mostly unconscious. I agree with what you wrote above, Clive. They are a major component of the self along with desire and fear. Actually fear is based upon the ideal too....fear of punishment for not conforming to the should or should not. I need to look more deeply into this before saying anything further.

Let it Be

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Mon, 21 Jan 2019 #67
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 633 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
It’s important to distinguish between thought and insight, love, beauty, intelligence, awareness. That is, it's important to understand the distinction between thought and not-thought. But is questioning this distinction and all our questions:

the same kind of question as the question, "what is the redness of red"... the actual experiencing of redness?

Does this and other questions emerge only out of desire or motive? Does thought “make” the distinction? That is, does the question itself emerge solely from the past or the known? Or is the very asking of these questions an indication of awareness, understanding, insight --- of the awakening of intelligence --- which is then verbalized? I’m just asking, not saying it is or isn't.

I don’t know if any of what I’m saying means anything. I don’t know if we are understanding each other.

These things: insight, love, beauty, intelligence, awareness, are they really one thing and thought has made the division?

I want to tell you something....or is it I want to share something? What is my motive? I think I have seen something. I think it would clear up something you are asking about.

Isn't that what we are doing here?

K asks: "can we think together?" can we explore together?

I think we understand each other remarkably well.

Can we talk together without a you and an I?

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Thu, 24 Jan 2019 #68
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

Peter Kesting wrote:
I think we understand each other remarkably well.

Good.

Peter Kesting wrote:
These things: insight, love, beauty, intelligence, awareness, are they really one thing and thought has made the division?

I didn't mean that insight, love, beauty, intelligence, awareness are one and the same thing. I don’t see them as one thing, and I don't see them as separate things. They’re interconnected, inseparable, but distinguishable, as I see it.

What I mean is that they are “not thought”, they are not something that THOUGHT does. As long as the mind doesn’t understand that self is nothing but thought, it can’t distinguish between thought and “not thought”. As long as the mind doesn’t understand the nature of self, the mind thinks that SELF has insight; that SELF is intelligent, or stupid; that it is SELF who loves or doesn’t love; that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, i.e. of self. So, to me, it’s important to distinguish between what is thought and what is “not thought”.

Peter Kesting wrote:
I want to tell you something....or is it I want to share something? What is my motive? I think I have seen something. I think it would clear up something you are asking about.

Isn't that what we are doing here?

K asks: "can we think together?" can we explore together?
(...)
Can we talk together without a you and an I?

There’s a state of total discontent with what is - with all the goals, social, political, religious, educational, legal structures, social measures, platitudes, ambitions, desires, histories, superstitions, traditions, customs and norms, etc., which have been inculcated, with all the values which drive action and relationship. Discontent is not an idea or a philosophy. It is not the result of effort. There’s the perception that all those structures and actions are false and meaningless. And so questioning arises, which has its own energy. It is not the energy of thought, greed, desire, fear, ambition. To question, to understand whether existence has meaning, to question the whole of life, conflict, suffering, right action, beauty, love, cruelty, and so on - isn’t that what we are doing here? Isn’t it discontent which brings us here?

It is true that one cannot “share” insight in that one cannot “give” perception to another brain. We cannot share insight but we have a common interest - we share an interest, a passion or hunger for understanding. If we have insights, or think we do, why NOT talk them over together, listen to each other, with care and hesitation? Perhaps with affection. Where there is the energy or intensity of listening and questioning together, perhaps understanding can flower. I’m interested in what K has to say. But there is doubt and questioning there too. I'm also interested in what you and others have to say.

Where there is such intensity in talking and listening, is there psychological time? Where there’s attention and intensity in questioning, listening and talking, it is not “me” doing it, is it? Where there’s inattention, then it IS “me”. Where there’s “me”, I am isolated and we can NOT question together. Am I talking nonsense?

As long as you and I don’t mistake our small insights for complete understanding, as long as you and I don’t accumulate and hold onto our insights as knowledge, as long as we don’t “forget” the discontent, as long as we are alert, hesitant, uncertain, aware, attentive - it seems to me that we CAN talk together “without a you and an I”. I think we DO .... in spite of periods of inattention where “you” and “I” sneak in. Inattention comes and inattention goes.

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Tue, 05 Feb 2019 #69
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 633 posts in this forum Offline

Hello Huguette.

I've sent you a personal message (and correction) :-)

Peter

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