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

Theory of Life (2014)


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Thu, 04 Jul 2019 #61
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
I think that the problem is that usually understanding excludes the understander.

Yes. In fact usually thought pretends that he does not exist - at the same time as creating him.

Thanks for this mail, Manfred. I find it touches something in me, although there is not the usual response of “trying to understand it”. As I am knowledge, all I can understand would still be knowledge, would it not? Knowledge meaning images, ideas, concepts – all of which is actually already known, so there is no space for anything new. And surely understanding is new, always new?

I think K has always emphasised that understanding comes into being when there is silence of the brain, when thought, the self, is not. This could be seen as being contradiction with “understanding is being one with the whole”, but only when old concepts are applied as measure. Your analogy of the finger and the hand is very clarifying here.

In any case,surely the self is incapable of seeing what is when it itself is absent? Thought can only imagine, and its imaginings are not real.

Would you say – sorry if this is pure speculation – that when the self, as the ego, the centre, the imaginary thinker/controller, is absent selfhood is then contained in the whole?

I have been reading and listening to David Bohm a lot of late, the seminars that he gave in Ojai 1988 – 1992 (except 1991 it seems). The 1990 series is published as the book “Thought as a System”. I find all that he has to say very illuminating. Unlike K, he uses concrete examples of the activity of thought, which seems to me helpful. I never get the impression he is merely parroting K, rather he took up the baton that he was passed. I have been on the verge of starting a thread to explore his perceptions of Thought – held back, perhaps, by the fact the texts of the seminars do not seem to be available on line. Are others here familiar with the seminars?

I have often tried Bohm's book “Wholeness and the implicate order”, but find it hard to grasp. Perhaps I will try again.

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Thu, 04 Jul 2019 #62
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
I think that the problem is that usually understanding excludes the understander.

Yes. In fact usually thought pretends that he does not exist - at the same time as creating him.

Thanks for this mail, Manfred. I find it touches something deeply in me, although there is not the usual response of “trying to understand it”. As I am knowledge, all I can understand would still be knowledge, would it not? Knowledge meaning images, ideas, concepts – all of which is actually already known, so there is no space for anything new. And surely understanding is new, always new?

I think K has always emphasised that understanding comes into being when there is silence of the brain, when thought, the self, is not. This could be seen as being contradiction with “understanding is being one with the whole”, but only when old concepts are applied as measure. Your analogy of the finger and the hand is very clarifying here.

In any case,surely the self is incapable of seeing what is when it itself is absent? Thought can only imagine, and its imaginings are not real.

Would you say – sorry if this is pure speculation – that when the self, as the ego, the centre, the imaginary thinker/controller, is absent selfhood is then contained in the whole?

I have been reading and listening to David Bohm a lot of late, the seminars that he gave in Ojai 1988 – 1992 (except 1991 it seems). The 1990 series is published as the book “Thought as a System”. I find all that he has to say very illuminating. Unlike K, he uses concrete examples of the activity of thought, which seems to me helpful. I never get the impression he is merely parroting K, rather he took up the baton that he was passed. I have been on the verge of starting a thread to explore his perceptions of Thought – held back, perhaps, by the fact the texts of the seminars do not seem to be available on line. Are others here familiar with the seminars?

I have often tried Bohm's book “Wholeness and the implicate order”, but find it hard to grasp. Perhaps I will try again.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Thu, 04 Jul 2019.

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Thu, 04 Jul 2019 #63
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 817 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I have often tried Bohm's book “Wholeness and the implicate order”, but find it hard to grasp. Perhaps I will try again.

Hi Clive,

There is a lot of David Bohm to be found on "David Bohm society".

This is a start from an article:
"Science, Spirituality, and the Present World Crisis"

David Bohm: Many thousands of years ago our culture was not broken into fragments as it is now. At that time science and spirituality were not separated. Since then they have grown far apart. In my view it is important to bring them together.

I will begin by discussing science. Science is basically an abstract sort of knowledge – systematically and rationally organized – aimed at grasping what is general and what is necessary. Newton’s laws provide one of the ideal forms of such knowledge.

Science is also a collective activity and through it people work together to build up a common body of experimentally tested knowledge over time. Science would not mean much without this activity. However, science has in it certain features such as wonder and curiosity which go beyond knowledge. And it has an additional feature which is crucial. Science when done properly acknowledges the fact whether we like it or not. That is, whether it agrees with our deeply held beliefs or not. This openness to acknowledging facts is seldom the case more generally. For example, one would not get very far that way in politics or in most religious organizations.

Such an insistence on a certain kind of honesty is the key point of what I call the scientific spirit. This is a principle that infuses scientific activity. Thus, the very way science has developed has implicitly considerable spiritual significance. It would indeed be extraordinary if this spirit could prevail in the whole of life. I think it would remove a considerable part of our problems.

This brings us to question of spirituality. What is spirit? The word is derived from the Latin word meaning breath or wind like respiration or inspiration. It is suggested by the trees moving with the invisible force of the wind. We may thus think of spirit as an invisible force, the life giving essence that moves us deeply or as the source that moves everything from within. Spirit is therefore not manifest. The word manifest means literally in Latin what can be held in the hand. You cannot hold spirit in the hand. It is subtle. Which is really the opposite of manifest. According to the dictionary the world subtle means highly refined, delicate, elusive, indefinable. The Latin root of the word is in fact subtilis meaning finely woven. We can picture finer and finer nets to grasp reality. But ultimately spirit is so subtle that it passes through all of them. Although unseen and ungraspable it is of key importance.

Truth will unfold itself to those who enquire their own actions.

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Thu, 04 Jul 2019 #64
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 25 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Clive, coming back to David Bohm later, here is the credo of Albert Einstein:

My Credo, by Albert Einstein
“The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious.
It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind.
To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious.
To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.”

He is also saying that beyond our knowable world is something non graspable. It is the same with Heisenberg, Nils Bohr, Pauli and some other quantum physicists.

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Thu, 04 Jul 2019 #65
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 25 posts in this forum Offline

David Bohm was and is for me the unique person who was able to express the whole or unity in a way as close as possible to science. I’ve read „thought as a system“ over the years I think ten to fifteen times. And I always found something new. I have the habit to write notes in books. The first exemplar of “thought as a system” was so fully written with notes that I had to buy a new one.

Thought as a system is available in an e-book version. I have it down loaded to kindle.

I think I also have read some years ago nearly all books from David Bohm, except the technical ones. I also have attended some workshop in the „Pari center for new learning“ ( www.paricenter.com ) and will be there again at the end of August. There is a new movie about David Bohm on the way ( https://thebohmdocumentary.org/the-movie/#promo ).

Nevertheless Bohm, Krishnamurti or any other “teacher” are for me no one to follow. They are rather a starting point for experiencing in my usual life. I think it is more important to experience life as a whole (or sometimes separately) than staying with theories or abstractions of any kind.

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Fri, 05 Jul 2019 #66
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
There is a lot of David Bohm to be found on "David Bohm society".

I have started a new thread on this, Wim. Thanks

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Fri, 05 Jul 2019 #67
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
“The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious.

Yes, I have heard Bohm quoting Einstein on this.

It might be said that through his scientific work, by attempting to "explain" the deep mysteries of space, time, matter and energy, Einstein was in some way detracting from the mystery :-). it might be said, but I am not saying it. Perhaps the hallmark of true mystery is that no matter how deeply one penetrates into it, it remains a mystery? (Note my question mark there!).

Manfred Kritzler wrote, quoting Einstein,:
To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.”

So he realised that all the mind could hold of mystery was images.

However, from my own little knowledge, I gather Einstein, in his personal life, was "an ordinary man"? Question mark again.

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Fri, 05 Jul 2019 #68
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
I’ve read „thought as a system“ over the years I think ten to fifteen times. And I always found something new

Can we pass over to the new thread, Manfred, for Bohm-related discussion?

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Fri, 05 Jul 2019 #69
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Probing takes place when there is a 'desire' to know what is going on. That is the motive behind any probing... With 'choiceless observation' or 'understanding' (as in being 'under', 'being with') there is no desire, it is not a movement of the self...probing is a 'search', it takes 'time' to uncover what is being probed.

I don’t know if anyone else is interested in exploring the issue of ‘probing’ that was being discussed a few days ago. I found that K used the word ‘investigate’ quite a lot in his talks and discussions. To me that word is synonymous with ‘probe’. Here’s a brief excerpt from a discussion at one of the schools. Do others feel an desire to investigate this topic of probing/investigation/questioning any further? ‘Questioning’ implies thinking, doesn’t it? Here’s an excerpt. I found countless others on the jkrishnamurti.org site where he’s stressing the need to investigate....to question.

“While you are young, you are easily conditioned, shaped, forced into a pattern. It is said that if a child - a good, intelligent, alert child - is trained by a priest for only seven years, the child will be so conditioned that for the rest of his life he will continue essentially in the same way. That can happen in a school of this kind, where the teachers themselves are not free of conditioning. They are just like everybody else. They do their rituals, they have their fears, their desire for a guru; and as you are taught by them - and also because you may like a particular teacher, or because you see a beautiful ritual and want to do it too - unconsciously you get caught in imitation.

Why do older people perform rituals? Because their fathers did it before them, and also because it gives them certain feelings, sensations, it makes them inwardly quiet. They chant some prayers, thinking that if they do not do so they might be lost. And the young people copy them, so your imitation begins.

If the teacher himself would question all this ritualism, if he would really think about it - which very few people ever do - , if he would use his intelligence to examine it without prejudice, he would soon find out that it has no meaning. But to investigate and discover the truth of the matter requires a great deal of freedom. If you are already prejudiced in favour of something and then proceed to investigate it, there can obviously be no investigation. You will only strengthen your bias, your prejudice.

So, it is very important for the teachers to set about unconditioning themselves, and also to help the children to be free of conditioning. Knowing the conditioning influence of parents, of tradition, of society, the teacher must encourage the children not thoughtlessly to accept, but to investigate, to question.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 05 Jul 2019.

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Fri, 05 Jul 2019 #70
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Do others feel an desire to investigate this topic of probing/investigation/questioning any further? ‘Questioning’ implies thinking, doesn’t it?

Yes, of course we can continue to go into this issue, Tom.

The first thing that comes to mind for me is the following quote from K:

“As long as you ask questions you are breaking through, but the moment you begin to accept, you are psychologically dead. So right through life don't accept a thing, but inquire, investigate. Then you will find that your mind is something really extraordinary, it has no end, and to such a mind there is no death”

Yes, I think that we can accept probing and investigating as synonymous. And I would say that questioning implies thinking. Perhaps there are two meanings in the word, one as an abstract noun, a tendency not to accept but to doubt, to question, to have that general intention or inclination. And there is a more specific meaning, to put a specific question, which surely must involve thought, if only in the formulation of the question. And because of thought's natural limitations, any such question can itself be questioned, no?

Do you have a specific question, Tom? Are you still concerned with the difference between questioning and awareness that we have touched upon above?

This comes now: Real questioning is always accompanied by awareness. Awareness of the inner processes that are arising in the process of asking questions. Without that awareness, our questioning is just intellectual argument, is it not?

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Fri, 05 Jul 2019 #71
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Here is something that i was reading last night that may be relevant:

After all, if you want to understand something, you have to be in a passive mood, do you not? You cannot keep on thinking about it, speculating about it, or questioning it. You have to be sensitive enough to receive the content of it. It is like being a sensitive photographic plate. If I want to understand you, I have to be passively aware; then you begin to tell me all of your story. Surely, that is not a question of capacity or specialization. In that process, we begin to understand ourselves - not only the superficial layers of our consciousness, but the deeper, which is much more important; because there are all of our motives or intentions, our hidden, confused demands, anxieties, fears, appetites. Outwardly we may have them all under control, but inwardly they are boiling. Until those have been completely understood through awareness, obviously there cannot be freedom, there cannot be happiness, there is no intelligence.

This is from talk 4 Ojai 1948

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #72
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
here again the link to Augusto Shantena Sabbadini. I met him several times in the “pari center for new learning” in Pari/Italy.For me his explanation as unspectacular it is as clear it seems to me. Hopefully this time it will work:

https://youtu.be/-dKaok_CV7s

Yes, I watched this video yesterday.

It is interesting, is it not, when one discovers another person has come upon the same perception (s) as onself has done? Especially when those perceptions are really outside of what our culture has told us. And I don't think it is a question of drawing similar conclusions. Perhaps "another person" and "oneself" are incorrect terms in fact. Perhaps there is really one one inquiry going one in the human mind, manifesting in different brains. (of course there are other movements, destructive ones, going on also).

One always has to be alert - people can share the same illusion also.

I let the youtube succession of videos run, and so watched Augusto talking about consciousness and Quantum Theory, something that has always interested me. And then I started to watch him in discussion with Rupert Spira, whom I had not come across before. That will need some study.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ_CgTzQwXI

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #73
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Do you have a specific question, Tom? Are you still concerned with the difference between questioning and awareness that we have touched upon above?

It was Dan’s post that got me interested in exploring this further. Here’s Dan again:

“With 'choiceless observation' or 'understanding' (as in being 'under', 'being with') there is no desire, it is not a movement of the self...probing is a 'search', it takes 'time' to uncover what is being probed.”

When we have a problem there obviously is not understanding. We’re confused...lost. So we begin to probe or investigate or question as K often spoke of. Just doing a brief search of jkrishnamurti.org yielded a slew of excerpts where K spoke of investigating and questioning. There’s not instant understanding of the problem, or there would be no such thing as a problem. So faced with a problem how do we approach it?

Let it Be

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #74
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
So faced with a problem how do we approach it?

If it's a psychological problem, the motive is to end it...we do not want to suffer. But why do we avoid suffering? If 'investigating', 'probing' is a means to do that then it's just another way of avoidance, isn't it? That is our 'conditioning' isn't it, to avoid pain and seek reward? The 'reward' of being free from suffering...But can there ever be freedom from 'suffering' if it's avoided?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 06 Jul 2019.

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #75
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

So faced with a problem how do we approach it?
If it's a psychological problem, the motive is to end it...we do not want to suffer. But why do we avoid suffering? If 'investigating', 'probing' is a means to do that then it's just another way of avoidance, isn't it?

Let’s say we were an average patriotic American in the 1960’s. We proudly sent our son to West Point military academy and he gets sent to Vietnam. A year later we get a letter that our son was killed in battle. He was our pride and joy. We invested all our hopes and dreams in him and his career success. We suffer terribly and want to understand, not just our own suffering but the suffering of millions of parents who have lost sons or daughters in war. We want to know what was it all for? Don’t we have to begin to question all our cherished beliefs and ideals...beliefs in God and country....right (us) vs wrong (them)...faith in the politicians and priests...the economic and social beliefs etc? Can we understand all this deep and totally pervasive conditioning without embarking on the journey of self knowledge? Without questioning...investigating...inquiring?

Let it Be

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #76
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Let’s say we were an average patriotic American in the 1960’s. We proudly sent our son to West Point military academy and he gets sent to Vietnam. A year later we get a letter that our son was killed in battle. He was our pride and joy. We invested all our hopes and dreams in him and his career success. We suffer terribly and want to understand, not just our own suffering but the suffering of millions of parents who have lost sons or daughters in war. We want to know what was it all for? Don’t we have to begin to question all our cherished beliefs and ideals...beliefs in God and country....right (us) vs wrong (them)...faith in the politicians and priests...the economic and social beliefs etc? Can we understand all this deep and totally pervasive conditioning without embarking on the journey of self knowledge? Without questioning...investigating...inquiring?

Or do we, as most do I think, just want to 'end' the terrible suffering? Given the attachment, given the belief, it's inevitable that there will be grief when the loved one is gone...but what is being asked here is do we have to peel off all the conditionings one by one to discover their falsity? Or is it possible, not in a time of tremendous grief, but now, can we simply understand, that we are totally conditioned (hypnotized?) in our acceptance of the familiar world that we see and partake of, to whatever degree. It is not real, though it seems achingly so. We are so immersed in our own personal construction of reality , we cannot see it... and 'suffering' is our only possible 'wake-up call'. Whatever we do or think maintains it, even our thoughts of 'liberation'? So as I see it, we must discover the elements that you have laid out, the 'causes' of suffering but we have to also come to the 'thing' itself and not move away from it. Because there will always be reasons to suffer and those can be dealt with, inquired into, probed etcetera but isn't it the 'jewel' itself that has to be seen, actually, for what it is?

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #77
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Because there will always be reasons to suffer and those can be dealt with, inquired into, probed etcetera but isn't it the 'jewel' itself that has to be seen, actually, for what it is?

Lets start with the fact that there's suffering and that we don't 'see it for what it is'. If we did, it would be over I would think. So what can 'I' do to face it and not run away...not condemn or justify...not try to change or modify and all the thinking that normally accompanies suffering? I may want to look at it because I have discovered that turning on the TV or music doesn't resolve it....well, it may offer tempory relief, but that doesn't end my pain...the pain always comes back. So I decide to look at it. Then there are countless thoughts that rush in trying to do something about it, right...ideas and ideals and beliefs about it and about myself who suffers? Isn't that what happens to most of us when we suffer? What next? Can I simply put all that aside because you tell me the suffering is a 'jewel'?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 06 Jul 2019.

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #78
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
So I decide to look at it. Then there are countless thoughts that rush in trying to do something about it, right...ideas and ideals and beliefs about it and about myself who suffers? Isn't that what happens to most of us when we suffer? What next? Can I simply put all that aside because you tell me the suffering is a 'jewel'?

So who is the 'I' that has decided to look at this thing called 'sorrow'? Is it separate from 'you'? Are you going to grit your teeth and bravely stand in front of it like some 'superhero'? Or is that whole image something that you create in order to do to push it off into the 'future'? When 'I' can figure out all this other stuff keeping me from facing it directly, 'I'll attempt it i.e....Is it that we are sorrow and all our actions and activities are an avoidance of it? That we've created an imaginary dream world that we live in which is really just a fearful reaction to our emergence from the the relative innocence of childhood when we first glimpse the cruelty, brutality, insanity of human existence around us. All dressed up in pretty words and ideals and foisted upon us by parents and teachers....But by ourselves we learn that everything living must die including ourselves and those around us. Is that the 'Sorrow'? The terror of that? That we rationalize in all the ways we have done? The religions with their 'afterlife'? Or is it the intense pain and physical suffering that we may have to go through at any point?...What the hell is this all about? What are we here for? To suffer? For what...?

Now none of this is addressed in any rational way as we grow up. Believe in this or believe in that and don't dwell on it, be happy, etc. It occurred to me reading the QOTD that what we are taught to be is smart, clever, crafty even...certainly competitive, acquisitive, etc... and that outward characteristics were of prime importance...but wouldn't things be different if what was truly prized in a human being is how 'loving' one could be? How humble? How kind? How compassionate?...How fearless?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 06 Jul 2019.

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #79
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Well you ask a lot of questions in your post Dan. Is that what K means by ‘probing’? On a bumpy bus ride at the moment...will come back to this later.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 06 Jul 2019.

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #80
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Well you ask a lot of questions in your post Dan. Is that what K means by ‘probing’?

I don't know...I think it's probing, investigating, questioning, inquiring...

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Sat, 06 Jul 2019 #81
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

The reason I brought up the topic of ‘probing ‘ again is that Huguette, and I think Dan too, were pointing to a wordless probing...or what we normally call ‘observing’. K’s probing doesn’t negate thinking but includes questioning. Here’s another excerpt:

K: Yes sir, may I suggest something? Can we ask the right question? What do you mean by 'right', and what do you mean by 'question'? The right question will inevitably bring about the right answer. But if we ask a wrong question, that wrong question evaporates into nothingness. So can we ask the right question which will awaken our own intelligence, our own native perception? I don't know how to put all this into words.

All right, let's begin with something. Are we sceptical?

Q: Generally only when things are bad.

K: Have we a quality of doubt which is not cynical, which is not born out of bitterness, or negligence, but the capacity to question. Not fanciful questions, not romantic questions, but questions about the way we live, the way we think, our actions, question the whole of our existence, as we live. Have we got the capacity to do that? Can we begin with that at least? The way we live, our actions which have become mechanical, our feelings, our reactions, our fears, out pleasures, the whole of our existence, can we question the way we live. Can we begin with that? What would you like to begin with, for god's sake? (Laughs)

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 06 Jul 2019.

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Sun, 07 Jul 2019 #82
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
If it's a psychological problem, the motive is to end it...we do not want to suffer. But why do we avoid suffering? If 'investigating', 'probing' is a means to do that then it's just another way of avoidance, isn't it? That is our 'conditioning' isn't it, to avoid pain and seek reward? The 'reward' of being free from suffering...But can there ever be freedom from 'suffering' if it's avoided?

Yes indeed Dan. In fact I think usually we are not acting to end a problem, any problem, but to try to end the disturbance that the problem brings. It is the disturbance that is the pain that you speak of, isn't it?

If we truly want to end a problem, we have to go far deeper into ourselves than we usually do, no? Not just act to try to change the circumstances that we associate with the problem.

Dan McDermott wrote:
..But can there ever be freedom from 'suffering' if it's avoided?

It becomes clearer and clearer that the answer to this is simply "no". Avoidance, resistance, to what we are gets nowhere. This approach has been tried for thousands of years, and where has it got us? Amazing that the mind keeps trying, though.

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Sun, 07 Jul 2019 #83
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Avoidance, resistance, to what we are gets nowhere.

That's the 'stream' isn't it? That's what we are. We keep trying to keep things on an even 'keel' but something inevitably always pushes us off course and the struggle takes place to get back to where we're comfortable, where there's 'safety'..So what does it really mean to "step out" of all that? To not always be forced back into the pattern of avoidance of psychological pain, discomfort, the unknown i.e. ? What does freedom from the 'stream' mean? K. said his secret was that he doesn't mind what happens...that does sound like freedom, doesn't it? That no amount of adjustment, rationalization, in the stream (of sorrow?) can ever result in freedom from it. As long as there is any 'identification' with the stream, there can't be freedom , there can only be sorrow, with moments here and there of joy...So 'how' does 'dis-identification' with the stream take place? If we agree that that is what must happen.

Looking at the QOTD, is it the "significance" that is given to our ideas as well as our material things that keeps the identification 'flowing'? That there is a 'value' placed on this thinking, when it actually has no 'value' at all?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 07 Jul 2019.

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Sun, 07 Jul 2019 #84
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Dan McDermott wrote:

..But can there ever be freedom from 'suffering' if it's avoided?
It becomes clearer and clearer that the answer to this is simply "no". Avoidance, resistance, to what we are gets nowhere. This approach has been tried for thousands of years, and where has it got us? Amazing that the mind keeps trying, though.

Amazing? It’s our modus operandi since almost day one, isnt it? And almost no one ever questions it. It’s the nature of thought to divide from ‘what is’ as observer separate from observed. We’ve been operating this way for many thousands of years. We do this when observing the tree or flower and we do it when we relate to our neighbors and spouse or child. And we naturally take the same approach to viewing ourselves. There’s ‘me’ and there’s the suffering....the problem....and ‘I’ will do something about ‘IT’ as if it is not me. It works well with physical pain. If I have a toothache I act upon it....do something to ameliorate the situation. Same if I cut my finger. Obviously we view ourselves as something separate from ourselves. But this doesn’t make sense even logically. But it’s the common way of dividing within....as well as without.

Let it Be

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Sun, 07 Jul 2019 #85
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
So faced with a problem how do we approach it?

I think K sheds a lot of light on this question in the following reply to a questioner:

Question: Experience shows that understanding arises only when argumentation and conflict cease, and a kind of tranquillity or intellectual sympathy is realized. This is true even in the understanding of mathematical and technical problems. However, this tranquillity has been experienced only after every effort of analysis, examination, or experimentation has been made. Does this mean that this effort is a necessary, though not sufficient preliminary, to the tranquillity?

Krishnamurti: I hope you have understood the question. The questioner, to put it briefly, asks: Is not effort, digging, analyzing, examining, necessary before there is tranquillity of the mind? Before the mind can understand, is not effort necessary? That is, is not technique necessary before creativeness? If I have a problem, must I not go into it, think it out fully, search it out, analyze it, dissect it, worry over it, and be free of it? Then, when the mind is quiet, the answer is found. This is the process we go through. We have a problem, we think about it, we question it, we talk it over; and then the mind, becoming weary of it, is quiet. Then, the answer is found, unknowingly. With that process we are familiar. And the questioner asks: Is that not necessary, first?

Why do I go through that process? Don't let us put this question wrongly, whether it is necessary or not, but why do I go through that process? I go through that process, obviously, in order to find an answer. My anxiety is to find an answer, isn't it? That fear of not finding an answer, makes me do all these things; and then, after going through this process, I am exhausted, and say, `I can't answer it'. Then the mind becomes quiet, and then there is an answer, sometimes or always.

So, the question is not, is the preliminary process necessary, but why do I go through that process? Obviously, because I am seeking an answer. I am not interested in the problem, but in how to get away from the problem. I am not seeking the understanding of the problem, but the answer to the problem. Surely, there is a difference, isn't there? Because, the answer is in the problem, not away from the problem. I go through the searching, analyzing, dissecting process, in order to escape from the problem. But, if I do not escape from the problem and try to look at the problem without any fear or anxiety, if I merely look at the problem, mathematical, political, religious, or any other, and not look to an answer, then the problem will begin to tell me. Surely, this is what happens. We go through this process, and eventually throw it aside because there is no way out of it. So, why can't we start right from the beginning, that is, not seek an answer to a problem? - which is extremely arduous, isn't it? Because, the more I understand the problem, the more significance there is in it. To understand it, I must approach it quietly, not impose on the problem my ideas, my feelings of like and dislike. Then the problem will reveal its significance.

Why is it not possible to have tranquillity of the mind right from the beginning? And there will be tranquillity, only when I am not seeking an answer, when I am not afraid of the problem. Our difficulty is the fear involved in the problem. So, if one puts the question whether it is necessary or not to make an effort, one receives a false answer.

Let us look at it differently. A problem demands attention, not distraction through fear; and there is no attention when we are seeking an answer away from the problem, an answer that will suit us, that will be preferable, that will give us satisfaction or avoidance. In other words, if we can approach the problem without any of these, then it is possible to understand the problem.

So, the question is not whether we should go through this process of analyzing, examining, dissecting, whether it is necessary in order to have tranquillity. Tranquillity comes into being when we are not afraid; and because we are afraid of the problem, of the issue of the problem, we are caught in the desires of our own pursuits, the pursuits of our own desires.

Ojai 1948 talk 8

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Sun, 07 Jul 2019 #86
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It occurred to me reading the QOTD that what we are taught to be is smart, clever, crafty even...certainly competitive, acquisitive, etc... and that outward characteristics were of prime importance...but wouldn't things be different if what was truly prized in a human being is how 'loving' one could be? How humble? How kind? How compassionate?...How fearless?

You make a good point, Dan. Society, in all its manifestations, presents us (sometimes) with the IDEAL of love, caring, compassion, humbleness - but it does nothing about trying to actually bring this state about. It remains forever an ideal, an idea.

What society, culture, cultivates is actually the opposite of those qualities.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Sun, 07 Jul 2019.

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Sun, 07 Jul 2019 #87
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Obviously we view ourselves as something separate from ourselves. But this doesn’t make sense even logically. But it’s the common way of dividing within....as well as without.

Yes, this may be the root of the human problem. I read something recently .... But I am posting this just to remind myself to come back to it, now is not the time.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 #88
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Here’s a bit more from K in a discussion on questioning....probing if you will. I don’t know if it will be of interest to anyone, but I find it so...from Brockwood Park 1978:

K: Before you awaken to fear do you question the way of your life? Do I question my way of life? I talk everywhere, do I question it, or do I say 'Well, part of my routine, I have done it for fifty, sixty years, and I'll carry on.' Or do I say 'My god, what am I doing? Why am I doing?'

Q: Sir, I think people generally don't question.

K: At all. Partly, when it suits them.

Q: I think their minds are mainly concerned with physical survival.

K: Yes, so can we here, the first day, learn the art of questioning.

Q: Wouldn't it be better to say, or question what is stopping you from getting out of that rut.

K: No, no. I want to learn the art of questioning myself. There is art in it, isn't there? I must do it the right way, or the wrong way. There must be a way of questioning that awakens the whole nature and structure of myself. The way I look at it, the way I understand it, the way I see the whole operation in movement, I must question it.

JK: Why must there be a way?

K: Why must I question.

JK: No, why must there be a way? Why must there be an art of questioning? You said there must be an way of questioning, why must there?

K: I can't hear properly.

Q: Why must there be an art or a way of questioning.

K: Of course, if I put a wrong question to myself I won't find out - you know, I'll have a wrong response. No?

Q: You mean, yes, only respond to pain.

K: No, sir, not only to pain. Isn't there an art in the way you walk? Isn't there an art in the way you talk, you know? So don't you want to find, mustn't one learn the art of questioning, or not questioning, but the art of observing - if you like to put it that way.

Q: Is there an art of seeing that you ask bad questions?

K: Oh, yes, it can become a lovely art too.

Q: No, to see that you are asking bad questions.

Q: You are saying that there is an art in questioning, to ask the right question.

K: Sir, does it appeal to you to find out? To find out together the right way of questioning so that out of that questioning intelligence can arise? Intelligence. Can we do that? I don't know how to push this heavy weight.

Q: What is it to question without motivation?

K: I can't hear.

Q: Without motivation.

K: Well, let's find out. If I have a motivation in questioning I have already directed my questioning. Right? I've already set a line according to which I will question. Therefore I shall never put the right question if I have a motive. So I have to go into it and say, have I a motive in questioning, or in observing, or in listening to myself, listening to what is going on around me and the world and everything.

Q: Isn't wanting to find out, a motive?

K: No, no, that's not a motive. I see in my enquiry into, in observing, if I have a motive I have set a direction. Right? And so I can never be free to discover the right observation if I have set a course. So if I see that then I am already intelligent, am I not? Somewhat intelligent. So it's dropped. Isn't this clear?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Mon, 08 Jul 2019.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 #89
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
. So I have to go into it and say, have I a motive in questioning, or in observing, or in listening to myself, listening to what is going on around me and the world and everything.

Here K seems to blur over the very distincition that we have been discussing, the distinction between questioning (presumably involving thought) and in observing (without thought)

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Tue, 09 Jul 2019 #90
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

. So I have to go into it and say, have I a motive in questioning, or in observing, or in listening to myself, listening to what is going on around me and the world and everything. (K)

Here K seems to blur over the very distincition that we have been discussing, the distinction between questioning (presumably involving thought) and in observing (without thought)

He’s still questioning though....thinking. Which leads to observing what exactly is going on in consciousness....in ‘me’.

Let it Be

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