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

The gift that lies in the heart of all suffering


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Sun, 03 Mar 2019 #1
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 262 posts in this forum Offline

Whatever psychological reaction, which is the appearance of a self-image, might occur in any of us, together with it there appears an opportunity to understand oneself totally through the observation of oneself without judgement/thought.

That is the Gift that lies in the heart of all mental disturbance, of all suffering.

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Mon, 04 Mar 2019 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Yes Mina, and interesting to put it as you did “psychological reaction, which is the appearance of a self-image”. For suffering to exist, there must be the appearance of self-image. Yes, for suffering to be experienced, there must be the appearance of the one who suffers.
Carrying this a little further, if it is a fact that the self (self-image) is not real, only an illusion, then it is implied all suffering (psychological) is an illusion, no?

To return to your post, can we put it this way: all suffering contains its own antidote? I attended a dialogue meeting yesterday, which after a promising start, scattered all over the place. As dialogue, the meeting might be regarded as a “failure”. But what emerged for me was that thought can never, under any circumstances, solve our human problems. This is clarity in the chaos, and if that is faced, how can one talk of failure?

So there is always much to be learnt from so-called “failure” - and when there is learning there IS no such thing as failure.

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Fri, 08 Mar 2019 #3
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
if it is a fact that the self (self-image) is not real, only an illusion, then it is implied all suffering (psychological) is an illusion, no?

That may be logically, but when we suffer, we hurt, we cringe, we cry etc., "illusion" or not...I think Mina has put all that psychological suffering and pain, anguish, worry, fear, as well as 'pleasure', into that one word "disturbance". Why do we 'accept' any of it, when we see that it can only occur when there is an image of self? And when we have understood that any action to quiet the 'disturbance' is only more disturbance?... The "Gift" lies there, doesn't it, in the state of 'not-knowing'?

This may be all wrong of course

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Fri, 08 Mar 2019 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:

That may be logically, but when we suffer, we hurt, we cringe, we cry etc.,

Is there not such a thing as conscious suffering? Suffering "deliberately taken on" (there may be objections to that phrase)? Suffering not escaped from, because it seen as part of life, as is joy, pleasure, etc?

Dan McDermott wrote:
The "Gift" lies there, doesn't it, in the state of 'not-knowing'?

Psychologically, would you say that 'knowledge', and 'illusion', are the same thing, Dan? Feeling at the moment that it is so. And then yes, not-knowing, which is freedom from knowing, from self-image, is the gift that is always 'available' ...... not, better use the word 'possible', perhaps.

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Fri, 08 Mar 2019 #5
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Psychologically, would you say that 'knowledge', and 'illusion', are the same thing?

Yes in the sense that what is 'built' by the psychological 'known' is an illusory structure. The accumulation, attachments, beliefs construct a 'wall' of false security which then leads to defense when it feels it is being threatened...it is a recipe for conflict and suffering and the "Gift" is the "possible" seeing through the ignorance of it.

This may be all wrong of course

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Sat, 09 Mar 2019 #6
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 262 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
That may be logically, but when we suffer, we hurt, we cringe, we cry etc., "illusion" or not...I think Mina has put all that psychological suffering and pain, anguish, worry, fear, as well as 'pleasure', into that one word "disturbance". Why do we 'accept' any of it, when we see that it can only occur when there is an image of self? And when we have understood that any action to quiet the 'disturbance' is only more disturbance?... The "Gift" lies there, doesn't it, in the state of 'not-knowing'?

Mina: dear Dan, right, have used the word 'disturbance' describing any possible expression/reaction coming from self-image/mind.

Yes, the Gift that is talked of, lies in the 'not-knowing', 'not-reacting', 'not-minding', in the silence of the dualistic mind...

You described the quality of listening in this silence, and AS this silence, in another thread recently. It was a beautiful post. :-)

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Sat, 09 Mar 2019 #7
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 262 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Psychologically, would you say that 'knowledge', and 'illusion', are the same thing, Dan? Feeling at the moment that it is so. And then yes, not-knowing, which is freedom from knowing, from self-image, is the gift that is always 'available' .....

Mina: Yes, psychological knowledge (all that is accumulated around an experience of a separate self) is based on a delusion, illusion, so the same. (sorry I replied to a question posed to Dan, but in Oneness, this is no big deal at all :-)

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Sat, 09 Mar 2019 #8
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 262 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Yes in the sense that what is 'built' by the psychological 'known' is an illusory structure. The accumulation, attachments, beliefs construct a 'wall' of false security which then leads to defense when it feels it is being threatened...it is a recipe for conflict and suffering and the "Gift" is the "possible" seeing through the ignorance of it.

Mina: How wonderfully put and true! Thank you!

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Sat, 09 Mar 2019 #9
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 262 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The accumulation, attachments, beliefs construct a 'wall' of false security which then leads to defense when it feels it is being threatened...it is a recipe for conflict and suffering and the "Gift" is the "possible" seeing through the ignorance of it.

Mina: And in the 'seeing through' (and NOT in seeing 'something else', which means that thought/duality is not in action, but seeing with the eyes of innocence, of not knowing, of no separation from what is looked) lies the 'antidote' (the word Clive used in his first reply) to all suffering.

(-I would not personally use the word 'antidote', because the seeing through is not anti-anything, not duality/thought. But as the word is not the thing, it does not matter.)

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #10
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

Apart from what has been said so far i think the gift of suffering goes even deeper.

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Mon, 24 Jun 2019.

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote:
Apart from what has been said so far i think the gift of suffering goes even deeper.

So will you say more about this? What do you see as this greater depth to suffering?

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Wed, 26 Jun 2019 #12
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

Sorrow or suffering is antecedent to thought. Its presence is as ancient as life itself. For those that believe in the science of evolution it is an established fact that sorrow has been and still is the primary catalyst for evolution to take place.

"Man is born off sorrow"-K

Many of unquestionable integrity have pointed out that sorrow hides in itself a most precious pearl...what is it? Let's find out.

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Thu, 27 Jun 2019.

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Thu, 27 Jun 2019 #13
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

I have no problems using the word pain instead of the the word sorrow.

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Thu, 27 Jun 2019.

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Thu, 27 Jun 2019 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote:
For those that believe in the science of evolution it is an established fact that sorrow has been and still is the primary catalyst for evolution to take place.

I was under the impression that natural selection was the scientific theory for the driving force of evolution. No? I have difficulty in reconciling this concept with "sorrow" or "pain". Those with genes producing some survival advantage statistically tended to reproduce those genes, over those who lacked them, or had some genes that did not favour survival. Do you feel it is otherwise?

Who am..... I? wrote:
Many of unquestionable integrity have pointed out ....

Is there any appearance of integrity that is unquestionable?

Who am..... I? wrote:
Sorrow or suffering is antecedent to thought. Its presence is as ancient as life itself.

I am not questioning the importance, the essential nature of suffering. And it is an issue that is all too often glossed over, or people try to escape from it, or at least alleviate it. Even K, I read, took some morphine when he was dying with cancer. But it seems to me that thought both intensifies and draws out suffering. I doubt if other animals have the capacity to imagine suffering, and much of human suffering is just that, future imagining, would you not say?

Are we discussing physical suffering, or psychological suffering here? Or can a firm line be drawn between them?

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Thu, 27 Jun 2019 #15
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

"This isn't a game sir, if you look into it then go to the end of it or don't even start"--K

Clive Elwell wrote:
I was under the impression that natural selection was the scientific theory for the driving force of evolution. No? I have difficulty in reconciling this concept with "sorrow" or "pain". Those with genes producing some survival advantage statistically tended to reproduce those genes, over those who lacked them, or had some genes that did not favour survival. Do you feel it is otherwise?

Impressions can be problematic if not fact checked and verified.

Feel free to verify what i am saying with a good Biologist.

I am going to use the example of single celled or unicellular bacteria which emerged around 4 billion years ago. In comparison, the vertebrates emerged around 525 million years ago. Thus my example is literally from the beginning of life.

The single celled bacteria had two things, it was alive (had life) and it could move. How did these single celled bacteria interact or negotiate with the environment? When it gained something such as food there is a + and that movement is encouraged. When the bacteria did something and got negative consequences such as getting hurt, there is a – and that movement is discouraged. So if there is a + for an action that it is encouraged and if there is a –, that action is avoided.

Bacteria have memory. :-)

So the bacteria seeks pleasure and avoids pain using its memory. :-)

Now using this formula (pun intended, all of us are guilty of it, even with K teachings), I will let you piece in the puzzle of what I was saying earlier about evolution. I am sure you will realize the tremendous implications and the consequences of this formula when you apply it to humans and their evolution, in relation to K’s teachings.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is there any appearance of integrity that is unquestionable?

You mean is there an appearance of integrity that is questionable? Yes, and you just said it. "appearances" are always questionable.By appearances we mean discrepancies in thought, word and conduct.In simple words these are people whose words or claims don't match their conduct.They don't walk the walk so to say.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Even K, I read, took some morphine when he was dying with cancer.

I don't put much stock in hearsay, so there isn't much to discuss about hearsay. If you or anyone else is under doctor supervision you would take what take what the doctors or the caregivers give you. What is the point here? I hope we are not expecting to become Titans.....although there are many that do believe that "self knowledge" or "enlightenment" does guarantee that, or its many other variations....sadly.

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Thu, 27 Jun 2019.

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Thu, 27 Jun 2019 #16
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote:
So the bacteria seeks pleasure and avoids pain using its memory.

And we have done and do that as it seems every other living thing to the degree that it can, does. The message that K. (and others?) has brought is asking us to question this, is he not? "Don't avoid, stay with" (psychologically) . But we have to be very clear about why he is suggesting something so radically and historically 'un-natural'. Otherwise the 'staying with' is just another cunning way to 'avoid' i.e., we 'stay with' in order to 'get rid of'. (He used the example of 'anger' at one point...rather than 'avoiding it' and throwing it away,(which doesn't mean indulging in it ) he examined it and (shockingly?) referred to it as a "jewel")

So if what has been said is accurate, and this "seek pleasure and avoid pain" has gone on since the beginning of life which seems undeniable, and now in us has moved from the physical body into the psyche, what is really the point of this "choiceless observation" that deviates from this 'direction', that doesn't 'avoid' what is there, as seems so 'natural', but freely examines?

This may be all wrong of course

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Thu, 27 Jun 2019 #17
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am not questioning the importance, the essential nature of suffering. And it is an issue that is all too often glossed over, or people try to escape from it, or at least alleviate it.

It wouldn't be far-fetched to say that in most cases all our pursuits whether material, spiritual or philosophical is a pursuit to find a palliative for suffering.

Dan McDermott wrote:
And we have done and do that as it seems every other living thing to the degree that it can, does. The message that K. (and others?) has brought is asking us to question this, is he not? "Don't avoid, stay with" (psychologically) . But we have to be very clear about why he is suggesting something so radically and historically 'un-natural'. Otherwise the 'staying with' is just another cunning way to 'avoid' i.e., we 'stay with' in order to 'get rid of'. (He used the example of 'anger' at one point...rather than 'avoiding it' and throwing it away,(which doesn't mean indulging in it ) he examined it and (shockingly?) referred to it as a "jewel")

Ok.

Dan McDermott wrote:
So if what has been said is accurate, and this "seek pleasure and avoid pain" has gone on since the beginning of life which seems undeniable, and now in us has moved from the physical body into the psyche, what is really the point of this "choiceless observation" that deviates from this 'direction', that doesn't 'avoid' what is there, as seems so 'natural', but freely examines?

Not sure if its a question or an utterance, like the previous quoted paragraph. Maybe a second read might reveal the inconsistencies in the comment.

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Thu, 27 Jun 2019 #18
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote:
Not sure if its a question or an utterance, like the previous quoted paragraph. Maybe a second read might reveal the inconsistencies in the comment.

You are to me coming across a bit 'smug' but maybe it's just the words that you are using...why not just address the question (with the question mark) if you like or just ignore my post. There are no 'prima-donnas' here Mr.or Ms. Who am .....I?,...only singers. :)

This may be all wrong of course

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote #15:
So the bacteria seeks pleasure and avoids pain using its memory. :-)

Yes, I was pondering this this morning, before reading your post. I don't know how memory works in a bacteria (do you?), but memory certainly seems intrinsic to life (but not perhaps to living). Of course in the new brain it can and does go hideously wrong. But I don't know if this conditioning is usefully described as "suffering", and even less as "sorrow". But it is extremely interesting to reflect on, especially seeing how the same basic movement is going on in human beings. As far as the old brain is concerned, that seems reasonable, even essential, but in the new brain it seems both a handicap to inquiry and a barrier to freedom.

So yes, pain and pleasure certainly plays a major part in how a particular species develops.It's still not clear to me (it may be so) how this plays a part in the diversification of species. But I am not setting myself up a "defender of the theory of evolution", just inquiring.

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #20
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
You are to me coming across a bit 'smug' but maybe it's just the words that you are using...why not just address the question (with the question mark) if you like or just ignore my post. There are no 'prima-donnas' here Mr.or Ms. Who am .....I?,...only singers. :)

It was a suggestion to look a bit deeper into a problem in the question itself. Ask that question again, if you wish to, when you have identified the problem, until then please continue "singing" with my good wishes.

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
what is really the point of this "choiceless observation" that deviates from this 'direction', that doesn't 'avoid' what is there, as seems so 'natural', but freely examines?

Is the point that in choiceless observation understanding is possible? But there is no understanding in choosing (one image over another), no understanding in criticising, condemning, judging, and such reactions

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #22
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But I don't know if this conditioning is usefully described as "suffering", and even less as "sorrow".

What conditioning are you talking about?

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #23
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is the point that in choiceless observation understanding is possible? But there is no understanding in choosing (one image over another), no understanding in criticising, condemning, judging, and such reactions

Yes that is only where understanding is possible, everything else brings in its baggage with it, doesn't it?.

This may be all wrong of course

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 28 Jun 2019.

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #24
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote:

What conditioning are you talking about?

The conditioning of the bacteria that we are talking about, its action according to gain or loss, pleasure or pain, security or lack of security.

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #25
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The conditioning of the bacteria that we are talking about, its action according to gain or loss, pleasure or pain, security or lack of security.

Pain for the bacteria isn't a conditioning, it is an integral part of life itself.....a fact which holds true even today for everything that lives. Pain is inbuilt into life, as we know it. One of the serious errors of a superficial understanding of K (which i had mentioned in the "self blog") is to think that everything is a conditioning. Pain has biological roots, even the psychological ones. To term everything as a conditioning is a pipe dream that dreams of overturning that conditioning 'one day'. That dream has its roots in hope.

Clive Elwell wrote:
But I don't know if this conditioning is usefully described as "suffering", and even less as "sorrow".

"Man is born of sorrow"--K

If we reflect on the bacteria example, as you say you have, you will pay attention to the fact that there is 3.5 billion years from the bacteria to the first simple vertebrates (525 million years ago) which gave nature more than enough time to strengthen the blueprint. To deepen the grooves. To strengthen the relay channels. From the single vertebrates, nature had 522.5 million years of strengthening before the genus Homo even appeared. Nature, or life, then worked on Homo habilis for 2.2 million years before the emergence of Homo Sapiens. It has been working on Homo sapiens for over 300,000 years.

If one looks at the scale provided above it should be fairly easy to see the strengthening and solidifying of pain to sorrow. Sorrow is pain at a deeper and more intense level. Pain and sorrow are NOT conditionings. They are life itself.

Sorrow is the primary instrument of life in evolution. (for those that believe in the science of evolution).

It isn't a coincidence that the predominant issues that take up most of K's teachings are that of sorrow, fear and pain.

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Fri, 28 Jun 2019.

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #26
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

I think i have now adequately satisfied my burden in regards to "evolution" and "sorrow".

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Fri, 28 Jun 2019.

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #27
Thumb_avatar Peter Kesting United States 657 posts in this forum Offline

Are you saying that there is an experiencer experiencing in a single-celled organism? That bacteria are sentient beings? How can anyone know that?

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #28
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is the point that in choiceless observation understanding is possible? But there is no understanding in choosing (one image over another), no understanding in criticising, condemning, judging, and such reactions

I'm seeing this differently now but not confident I can describe it: that the word 'understanding' means 'being one with'. It is a 'mirror' to whatever is taking place. There is no effort in it. There is no goal in it. There is 'no-one'doing it. It does not involve 'time' because in the 'state of understanding' there is no separation in the 'understanding' and what is being 'understood'; they are one. 'Effort', even the slightest, implies a duality, doesn't it, there is not one here. It is not that there 'should not' be the reactions above that you mention; there are, and there will be but the point as I see it is that those reactions are all 'partial', 'ignorant', a re-arrangement of the 'furniture' of the self...and a subsequent strengthening of the self-image unless they too are included in the understanding. It is only choiceless understanding that can include the whole picture and 'understand' the entirety of the self in any moment. (?)

This may be all wrong of course

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #29
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

"I do not know if you have ever tried listening completely to your wife or husband, to your children, to the car that goes by, to the movements of your own thought and feeling. In such listening there is no action at all, no intention, no interpretation; and that very act of listening brings about a tremendous revolution at the very root of the mind.
But most of us are so unaccustomed to listening. If we hear anything contrary to our habitual thought, or if one of our pet ideals gets kicked around, we become terribly agitated. We have a vested interest in certain ideas and ideals, just as we have in properties, and in our own experience and knowledge; and when any of that is questioned, we lose our balance, we resist anything that is being said."

JK, Fifth Talk in Saanen, 1964

Peter Kesting wrote:
Are you saying that there is an experiencer experiencing in a single-celled organism? That bacteria are sentient beings? How can anyone know that?

No i am not saying that, just as i never said anything about "conditioning", yet Clive was listening from his filters. Whatever i have said is in print, nothing more nothing less.

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Fri, 28 Jun 2019.

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 #30
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

I must have missed something but how did the bacterium get into the discussion? Sorrow is related to thought, no? Do bacteria think? Do they have a self image? Isn’t this a meaningless diversion from the topic?

Let it Be

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