Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Negative thinking


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Sun, 28 Jul 2019 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
May be this item, this approach, this focus is in need of a new topic,
what do you think ?

Well, anyone is free to start a new thread, at any time, Wim. Anyway, as you see i have done it now.

Wim Opdam wrote:
NEGATIVE approach and negative thinking are for us the only keys to the revolution in the mind. But what exactly does Krishnaji mean by it ?

' I was saying negative thing is the highest form of thinking. We never think negatively; we only think positively: That is we think from conclusion to conclusion, from pattern to a pattern , from a system to a system - that I must be this; I must acquire some virtue, follow this or that path, do certain disciplines. '

Without considering for the moment K's words, this morning, sitting quietly in bed, I found myself pondering exactly this topic of "negative thinking". But no, it was not pondering, the best way I can find to put it is experiencing this negative thinking, living it through.

But it is very hard to talk about it, as any description tends to turn into assertion, which is very much positive thinking.

But before inquiring further, I think we have to clear up what we mean by "positive thinking". I think the phrase has been given a new meaning, perhaps since K spoke. It is now used for being hopeful, being optimistic - and as I tend to see it, as a denial of what is true, of what is actually happening in the world and in oneself. And there is an inference that if we "think positively", those positive thoughts will actually come about. And when someone is described as "negative", it generally means they are seen as "looking on the dark side of things", expecting the worst to happen. And this is considered a bad thing.

I don't think we are concerned with such meanings here, are we? i don't think we need to discuss this unrealistic approach to life. What do you say, Wim?

So putting these meanings aside, in my own reflections this morning, I saw "positive thinking" as mere assertion. In positive thinking, there is an assumption - mostly unconscious perhaps - that thought can be used to find solutions to our psychological problems. But it goes deeper than this, but I can't find the words. It was clear this morning, but that clarity has faded.

Thought is actually "carrying us along". it is continuing the past into the future. And it carries the assumption that thought is true, real, valid. And every attempt thought makes to free itself of its contamination can only continue that contamination. These are some of the problems with so-called positive thinking.

Perhaps someone else can expand on this.

As for "negative thinking", in K's terms, can there be such a thing? Or is all thought "positive"? After all, thought is a series of conclusions, is it not?

Over to others.

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Mon, 29 Jul 2019 #2
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 850 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Clive,

According to K.'s description it is not the opposite of 'positive thinking', which he describes as within the realm of thought.

So it can't be based on knowledge but at the same time he suggests that it is the only thing man can do !

Is it then the negation of the 'positive thinking' ?

Only those words positive and negative have such strong connotation with two sides of a coin and already put one on the wrong track, that's my feeling when I look into it.

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

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Mon, 29 Jul 2019 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

It came to me that K only talked of "negative thinking" - not "negative thought". Can thought ever be "negative" (in the sense we are using the word)? I don't think so.

As to what K meant by "thinking", I am not perfectly clear. It seems to be a process that perhaps involves thought, but is more than thought.

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Mon, 29 Jul 2019 #4
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1424 posts in this forum Offline

Could you put it this way? The "positive" approach, positive thinking is of the 'material' realm. Organic Life. Where all is seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. The mechanicality that is all around us. The "negative" approach has nothing to do with this material realm ...the negative is awareness of 'what is'. That is Man's (undiscovered?)'possibility', as I see it. All other life forms as far as we can tell can only conform to this 'positive' approach to life: seek pleasure, avoid pain. And this is also our heritage as animals but the 'negative' approach or 'awareness' is something that is only available to us and it is the only factor that can bring about 'freedom from the known'. It is not available to all the other life forms. It is the 'possibility' brought about by our'new brain', a material brain which can resonate or respond to to the 'finer (higher?) vibrations',i.e. awareness, intelligence, love, compassion, etc.? While the 'old brain' is active for the most part in humans, it doesn't 'work' properly as in the case of the animals, having lost the 'checks' that govern the animal's (instincts?)..the 'old' brain in us has sort of run amuck with greed, cruelty, violence, pleasure etc. It seeks pleasure and avoids pain but in a perverted, fantastic, destructive way. But it is this 'new brain' that holds the keys to our survival with its new possibilities i.e. of functioning in a 'negative' manner, but there needs to be a 'harmonizing' with the 'old'. The old brain is frightened of not having the false 'security' of the positive 'way' and doesn't trust the promptings of the 'new', which is saying, "let go!"

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 29 Jul 2019.

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Tue, 30 Jul 2019 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
All other life forms as far as we can tell can only conform to this 'positive' approach to life: seek pleasure, avoid pain. And this is also our heritage as animals but the 'negative' approach or 'awareness' is something that is only available to us and it is the only factor that can bring about 'freedom from the known'.

I came across a quote from K this morning on this issue of positive and negative thinking, which is in harmony with much that you have written above, Dan. K states that this negative thinking is freedom from the known. But I hesitate to post it, suspecting that such quoting may inhibit our own inquiry. But let us see:

Question: Would you kindly explain what you mean by negative thinking?

Krishnamurti: Before we inquire into the problem of positive and negative thinking, let us ask ourselves, what is thinking? When I put you a question with which you are familiar, the response is immediate, you do not have to think. For example, if I ask you where you live, you reply without having to think about it. But if a more complicated question is asked, there is hesitation, which indicates that you are looking for an answer; the mind is then seeking an answer in the cupboard of memory. That is what we call thinking. I do not know, but I am trying to find an answer in all the memories, the knowledge that I have accumulated; and finding it, I verbally respond. This response, which is a reaction of memory, is what we call positive thinking, is it not? We are always thinking from our background of knowledge and experience, so our thinking is very limited; and such thinking can never be free. in that process there is no freedom of thought, in the fundamental sense of the word. You may change your opinions, your conclusions; but so long as you draw upon knowledge, which is what we are accustomed to doing, you are not really thinking at all. In that there is no freedom of thought, because memory and knowledge have already conditioned your thinking. Negative thinking may be, and probably is, freedom from knowledge as conclusions. After all, everything we know is of the past. The moment we say "I know", knowledge has already moved away from the present and established itself in memory, in the past.

So, can the mind be in a state of not-knowing? Because only then can the mind inquire, not when it says "I know". Only the mind which is capable of being in a state of not-knowing - not merely as a verbal assertion, but as an actual fact - is free to discover reality. But to be in that state is difficult, for we are ashamed of not knowing. Knowledge gives us strength, importance, a centre around which the ego can be active. The mind which is not calling upon knowledge, which is not living in memory, which is totally emptying itself of the past, dying to every form of accumulation from moment to moment - it is only such a mind that can be in a state of not-knowing, which is the highest form of thinking; and then thinking has a different meaning altogether. It may not be thinking at all, as we know it, but a state of being which is not merely the opposite of not-being.

Stockholm 1956 talk 4

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Tue, 30 Jul 2019 #6
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 850 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Dan and Clive

this question kept me busy for some days now and came up with this:

'Thinking' takes place in an active present and 'positive' is something we like, a conclusion, a solution and gives satisfaction.
'Negative' on the other hand, if it's seen at a broader dimension is something one can see through, likewise by a dia. So if one is able to let the colouring of the object (memory/thought) behind, one can see what's behind.

Both your replies are as it were based on positive thinking, but if you look through it, then the true meaning becomes clear automatically.

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

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Tue, 30 Jul 2019 #7
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1424 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
'Negative' on the other hand, if it's seen at a broader dimension is something one can see through, likewise by a dia. So if one is able to let the colouring of the object (memory/thought) behind, one can see what's behind.

I can't follow this Wim...what is a "dia"? And the "coloring" seems to be about transparency? Can you put it in different words?

Wim: "Both your replies are as it were based on positive thinking, but if you look through it, then the true meaning becomes clear automatically."

I don't know if this is close to your point but something I read Bohm said here in a recent discussion with K. and Shainberg was I think questioning the seemingly real "structure" that thought has created...I was pondering this while watching a magnificent Golden Eagle that had taken a perch in a tree here beside the river. And then it just sat there quietly for a very long time. Doing nothing, occasionally a bit of preening...Did it think? As I would be if I sat there? Was it 'just' sitting...being? Is that possible for a human, me; to just 'be'?...We are so used to this 'structure' that thought has created around us that we are barely conscious of it...except when we are challenged and don't know an 'answer'...that is uncomfortable to 'not know', to not 'understand'. As K. said, we are "ashamed" to not know.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Tue, 30 Jul 2019.

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Tue, 30 Jul 2019 #8
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 850 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I can't follow this Wim...what is a "dia"?

in the old days, before digital camera's, you put a film in your camera and in de shop they developed it into foto's, but one could buy a different film wich they put in frames and then you could at home with a slide projector project them on a screen.
Now i see the translation of the slide projector, i suppose you called them slides :) but in our language it's called dia and here it is one word !

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

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Tue, 30 Jul 2019 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I was pondering this while watching a magnificent Golden Eagle that had taken a perch in a tree here beside the river. And then it just sat there quietly for a very long time. Doing nothing, occasionally a bit of preening...Did it think? As I would be if I sat there? Was it 'just' sitting...being? Is that possible for a human, me; to just 'be'?

I have had similar ponderings about animals. And what is the state of consciousness of a tree, that may be growing, in its one place, for hundreds or even thousands of years?

Is there a wrong assumption (not implying that there is such a thing as a right assumption) behind such pondering? Is the question based on the notion that the eagle, the tree, is in some way separate from the rest of the Universe, that every creature has a separate consciousness? And we see it this way because that is the way that WE ourselves see things, WE experience things?

How are we to answer this question? How are we are to discover the true nature of things generally? Only, I suggest, by this "negative thinking". Which is really not to do anything, not to make any effort, in any direction, is it not? Whereas our normal thinking, positive thinking, is always based on the past, on what we know, and carries that past, that knowledge, forward into the future.

Which means, does it not, that we never discover anything new though so-called positive thinking?

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Tue, 30 Jul 2019 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

I just noticed that the QOTD is saying the same thing in essence, I think:

We experience through the screen of the past and therefore there is no experience at all but only a modification of experience.

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Wed, 31 Jul 2019 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I was pondering this while watching a magnificent Golden Eagle that had taken a perch in a tree here beside the river. And then it just sat there quietly for a very long time. Doing nothing, occasionally a bit of preening...

K once said:

It is within each one of us that the whole of existence is gathered.

If that is true, then I presume that the whole of existence is gathered in that eagle, in the tree it is perched in, in the rabbit that is its prey.

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Wed, 31 Jul 2019 #12
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 54 posts in this forum Offline

K once said:
It is within each one of us that the whole of existence is gathered.
—————
Clive: If that is true, then I presume that the whole of existence is gathered in that eagle, in the tree it is perched in, in the rabbit that is its prey.
————

Manfred: When we ask what is absolutely necessary for the life the eagle lives, what could be put aside?

The tree, the wood, the prey of the eagle, the surrounding of the prey, the planet earth, our sun system, the milky way, the universe, the whole of existence?

When the answer is one or more of this above mentioned things or something else, we could say there is only a part of the world in the eagle.

When the answer is nothing can be put away, the logical answer is that the whole of existence must be in the eagle? Do you agree?

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Wed, 31 Jul 2019 #13
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 737 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
When we ask what is absolutely necessary for the life the eagle lives, what could be put aside?

The tree, the wood, the prey of the eagle, the surrounding of the prey, the planet earth, our sun system, the milky way, the universe, the whole of existence?

That's wonderful, Manfred.

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Thu, 01 Aug 2019 #14
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 850 posts in this forum Offline

What is the chance that within one week one is in several occasions directed to the same text from Krishnaji.

Came upon a text " The importance of Negative thinking " which appeared to be the full text from the talk I first referred to.
I found the text so clear that I offer it here:

'I think almost all serious people must have thought a great deal about the necessity of bringing about a radical change in the quality of the mind. We see, as things are in the world, that there is no fundamental alteration or change in the human mind. Of course, through pressure, economic and social, through various forms of religious fear, through new inventions and so on, there is change, but this change is always peripheral, on the outside, and obviously such change does not bring about a deep, radical change in the quality of the mind. You must have noticed that society always follows a pattern, certain formulas, in the same way as every individual follows certain concepts, ideals, always moving within the pattern. You must have noticed it not only in yourself and in society but in all our relationships, and you must have wondered how to bring about a deep, lasting, integrated change, so that the interaction between the outer and the inner does not bring about corruption. I do not mean anything mysterious by the « inner ». It is the inner quality of the mind that I am talking about, not inward things which the mind imagines and speculates about. All society, all human existence is a matter of this interrelationship between the outer and the inner which is constantly fluctuating and always modifying. And if I may, I would like to talk about the possibility of a radical change because I think it is very important. After all, we are social entities and we must live by action. Life is action. One cannot just sit and speculate, neither can one merely carry on with the corruption because, as we know, it only breeds contradiction within ourselves and everlasting torture and struggle. So how is the mind to change? How is there to be a radical change in the total consciousness, not only on the upper levels of the mind but also at the deeper levels, and not along a set pattern? Following a pattern is not a change at all; it is merely a modified continuity of what has been. How is one to really change the quality, the substance of one's consciousness, totally? I do not know if you have thought about it, or are you merely concerned with outward changes which are brought about by every form of social and economic revolution, every new invention? If we are concerned with a total change of consciousness, of the quality of the mind, then I think we must think negatively because negative thinking is the highest form of thinking, not the so-called positive thinking. The positive is merely the pursuit of a formula, a conclusion and all such thinking is limited, conditioned.

I hope you are listening rather than just hearing because I want to go into something rather difficult, if I can, and I hope we shall be able to proceed with it together. But if you are merely hearing and not listening, then you will be caught at the verbal level and words then become over-significant. Words are only the means of communicating something. So I hope you are going to listen without any desire to understand mere ideas. I have no ideas because I think they are the most stupid things; they have no substance, no reality, they are just words. So I hope you are listening in the sense of trying to see the problem, just to see it, not to struggle to understand it or resolve it, but to see this extraordinary complex problem which we have – the problem of bringing about a total change in consciousness, in the mind. As I was saying, negative thinking is the highest form of thinking. We never think negatively; we think only positively. That is, we think from a conclusion to a conclusion, from a pattern to a pattern, from a system to a system. That I must be this, I must acquire some virtue, follow this or that path, do certain disciplines. The positive thinking is always in the grooves of our own conditioned thinking – I hope you are watching your own mind, your own thought – , and that way only leads to further limitation of the mind, to narrowness of the mind, to pettiness of action; it always strengthens the self-centred activity. Negative thinking is something entirely different, but it is not the opposite of positive thinking. If I can understand the limitations of positive thinking, which invariably leads to self-centred activity, if I can understand not only verbally, intellectually but as the whole process of human thinking, then there is a new awakening in negative thinking.

Most of us are attached to something – to property, to a person, an idea, a belief, an experience – are we not? You are attached to your family, your good name, your profession, your guru, to this and that. Now, this attachment invariably breeds suffering and conflict because the thing to which you are attached is constantly changing, obviously. But you do not want the change; you want to hold on to it permanently. So, being aware that attachment breeds sorrow, grief, pain, you try to cultivate detachment. Obviously both attachment and the cultivation of detachment are positive ways of thinking. Detachment is not the negation of attachment, it is merely attachment continued under a different verbal garb. The mental process is entirely the same, if you have ever noticed it. For instance, I am attached to my wife. In that there is pain, struggle, jealousy, frustration, and to escape from all that, I say I must be detached, I must love in an impersonal manner – whatever that may mean – I must love without limitation, and I try to cultivate detachment. But the centre of my activity in attachment or detachment is exactly the same thing. So, our thinking which we call positive is a conflict of the opposites or an endeavour to escape into a synthesis which again creates an opposite. Take Communism, it is the antithesis of Capitalism, and eventually through struggle the Communists hope to create a synthesis, but because it is born of the conflict of opposites that synthesis is going to create another antithesis. And this process is what we call positive thinking, not only outwardly, socially, but inwardly also.

Now if one understands the total process of all this, not only intellectually but actually, then we will see that a new way of thinking comes into being. It is a negative process unrelated to the positive. The positive way of thinking leads to immaturity, to a mind that is conditioned, shaped, and that is exactly what is happening with all of us. When you say you want to be happy, you want Truth, God, to create a different world, it is always in terms of the positive, which is to follow a system that will produce the desired result, and the result is always the known and it becomes again the cause. Cause and effect are not two different things. The effect of today will be the cause of tomorrow. There is no cause, isolated, which produces an effect; they are interrelated. There is no such thing as a law of cause and effect, which means that there is really no such thing as what we call karma. To us, karma means a result with a previous cause, but in the interval between the effect and the cause there has been time. In that time there has been a tremendous lot of change and therefore the effect is never the same. And the effect is going to produce another cause which will never be merely the result of the effect. Do not say, « I do not believe in karma », that is not the point at all. Karma means, very simply, action and the result, with its further cause. Sow a mango seed and it is bound to produce a mango tree – but the human mind is not like that. The human mind is capable of transformation within itself, immediate comprehension, which is a breaking away from the cause, always.

So negative thinking is not thinking in terms of patterns because patterns imply a cause which will produce a result which the mind can manipulate, control and change. With that process we are all very familiar. What I am trying to convey is a negative thinking which has no causation. This may all sound too absurd, but we will go into it and you will see. We will approach it differently.

Most of us are discontented, are we not? We are discontented with our job, with our wife, husband, children, neighbours, society or whatever it is. I want position, I want money, I want love. We know all this. Now discontent with something is positive; but discontent, in itself, is negative. I will explain. When we are discontented, what is actually taking place? If I am discontented with my job, with myself, what is happening? I want to find contentment, through this or through that. So the discontent is canalized until it finds something which will be satisfactory, and then it fades away. That is what we call positive action, – to find something which will make us happy. But without the flame of real discontent – not discontent with something – life has no meaning. You may have a marvellous job, an extraordinary brain, get degrees and be able to discuss, quote, but your discontent has merely taken the shape of cleverness, and there you are completely sterile. You started with discontent, and at school perhaps you were very good, but as you grew, that discontent became stratified into cleverness or into some form of technique, and there you are satisfied because you feel you have capacity and can function. That again is positive thinking. Whereas negative thinking is just to be in a state of discontent, and such a mind is a very disturbed mind. It is not satisfied and it is not seeking satisfaction because it sees that satisfaction leads only to that positive action which we all seek. To find a way to be satisfied everlastingly means to be dead. And that is what you want; you call it peace of mind and say, « for God's sake give me some corner in this universe where I can die peacefully ». So the positive action leads always to death. If you can see that, then you will see that a negative way of thinking is taking place. Therefore the negative way of thinking never starts with a conclusion, because one sees where conclusions lead.

So the negative way of thinking is the maintenance, the sustenance of the quality that is discontent – discontent in itself, not with something. Please do not get caught at the verbal level but see the significance of this. But we must understand that positive thinking is conditioned thinking and that there is no change in that; there is modification but no radical transformation. Radical transformation is only in the negative thinking, as we saw in relation to attachment and to discontent. This positive thinking leads only to a dull mind, an insensitive mind, a mind that is not capable of reception, a mind that thinks only in terms of its own security – either the security of the individual or of the family, group or race, which you can observe very clearly in world politics.

After all, this earth is ours, yours and mine. This earth which is so marvellous, so beautiful, so rich, is ours to live on happily, without all this fragmentation, without being broken up into different fields called England, Germany, Russia, India. Yet we are battling to keep up the separation. Nobody thinks of this whole world as ours, nobody says, « let us do something together about it ». Instead, we have this fragmentary way of thinking which we call positive, or we pursue some idea of internationalism, which is equally silly. If I can see that, then there is a different approach, a different feeling of the mind, whether it be the Russian or the German or whatever mind it is. Then there is no such thing as the nonsense of patriotism; there is the love of the earth – not your earth and my earth, you cultivating your little field and I cultivating mine, and quarrelling over it, but it is our earth.

Now when we see that this positive way of thinking is destructive, then the negative way comes into being. To think negatively there must be sensitivity, sensitivity both to the beautiful and to the ugly. The man who is pursuing what he calls the beautiful and avoiding the ugly, is not sensitive. The man who pursues virtue without understanding that which is not virtuous, merely avoiding it, is invariably insensitive. Please think this out with me, feel it out and you will see. So appreciation of the beauty of a tree, a leaf, the reflection on still waters, is not sensitivity if you are not also aware of the squalor, the dirt, the way you eat, the way you talk, the way you think, the way of your behaviour.

Under this tree it is very beautiful, very quiet, there is lovely shade and light, and just outside there is that filthy village with all the squalor and dirt and the unfortunate human beings who live there but you are not aware of it. So we are always wanting beauty, truth and God and avoiding the other, and that pursuit is the positive and leads to insensitivity, if we are not aware of the other. And the positive way of erecting buildings for dances, having special schools for dancing, all that business becomes a personal racket, satisfying to the mind that is only thinking positively. Creation is not positive, ever. Creation is the state of mind in which there is no positive action as we know it.

So, radical transformation takes place in the mind only when there is this negative thinking. As I said the other day, the thinking that we know of is always in words or symbols. I do not know if you have noticed that there is thinking without words but that thinking is still the result of the positive word. I will explain. You always think in words, symbols, do you not? Please look. The word, the symbol becomes very important to thought. It is the basis of all our thinking; there is association through memory and the memory is a picture, a word, and from that we proceed to think, again in symbols, words. That is all we know, and also if you are very alert, aware, you can see that there is thinking without the word, without the symbol. I am not going to give an example because then you will get lost, so please capture the significance, for negative thinking is not related to thought-with-the-word. Unless you see this you will not see what follows. I am thinking aloud; I have not worked it out at home and then come here to speak it out. So please see this, not merely verbally or speculatively but actually experience that thought functions in words, in symbols and also that thought functions without the word and the symbol. Both these are positive ways of thinking because they are still in the realm of the opposites. Let me put it differently.

You must have watched your mind how vagrant it is, how it wanders all over the place, one thought pursuing another. When you try to examine one thought, another comes in. So the mind is full of this movement, the agitation of thought. The mind is always occupied with thought. Thought is the instrument of the mind; so the mind is never still. Do not at once say, « How am I to make the mind still? » That is all too immature, stupid, because it means again a positive following of some pattern. So, realizing the incessant activity of the thought-producing mechanism, through memory, through association, being aware of that, cannot the mind empty itself of this mechanism? Do not ask how, just listen, because understanding is instantaneous, it is not a process which will ultimately get you a mind emptied of thought. If you see the positive, destructive way, – of the mind's activity of producing thought and being controlled by it and then trying to empty the mind – if you can see the falseness or the truth of it, then you will also see that the mind can empty itself of itself, of its limitations, of its ego-centricity, of its self-centred activities. Please go with me a little. The mind is perpetually active, producing and controlling thought. It realizes that, and says, « I must be quiet », but that generally means quiet through control, which is again positive, destructive and limiting. But you can see if you go a little further that the mind can be emptied of thought, can free itself from the past, not be burdened by the past. It does not mean that memories are not there but they do not shape or control the mind. Now all that is still positive thinking. If you see the falseness of it, the mind will invariably go further, which is, the mind then is not the slave of thought but it can think what it wants. I do not know how to put this. As I said, I am thinking aloud with you and you will have to excuse me if I try different ways of putting it.

I do not know if you have ever tried to think without being a slave to thought. With most of us the mind is a slave to thought, it pursues thought, contradictory thought and all the rest of it. If you perceive that and empty the mind, it can then think, freed from thoughts associated with memory; and if you go further into it, you will see that the mind which is free – not in the sense of the opposite of slavery, but free in itself – then that mind, emptied of memory, can think in a negative way. Then you will see that the mind, being completely empty of systems, formulas, speculations, thoughts associated with memory, experiences and so on, can perceive that there is a state in which there is action in this world, not from fullness but from emptiness.

You see we are acting now with full minds, overcrowded minds, minds that are incessantly active, in contradiction, struggling, adjusting, ambitious, envious, jealous, brutal or gentle and so on. You follow? We are acting on that level. The mind, being full, acts. That action can never produce a new mind, a new quality of mind, a fresh mind, an innocent mind – and it is only such an innocent, fresh mind that can create, that is in a state of creation. The mind sees that, and if the mind can empty itself, then the action that is born out of emptiness is the true positive action, not the other. That is the only true, positive, creative action, because it is born out of emptiness. If you have done any painting, written a poem, a song, you will find the deep feeling comes out of nothingness. But a mind that is crowded can never feel that nothingness and can therefore never be sensitive.

One sees that there can be a radical change in the quality of the mind, which is absolutely necessary now because the present society is a dead society, reforming itself through various forms of anaesthesia and pumping activity into itself. If you as an individual are to change fundamentally, radically, deeply – and therefore change society – then this whole thing that I have described must take place. Then beauty has quite a different significance, as has ugliness, because beauty is not the opposite of the ugly. An ugly face can be beautiful. But such beauty is not conceived by the mind that has avoided ugliness.

So if you have really listened and do not try to do anything about it – because whatever you do will be so-called positive and therefore destructive – then it is enough. It is to see something lovely and leave it alone, not try to capture it, not take it home and smother it by thought.

If you have seen for yourself, not through my persuasiveness, not through my words, my influence, if you have felt the beauty, the extraordinary quality of the mind that is empty, then from that emptiness there is a new birth.

It is this new birth which is needed, not the going back to Mahabharata, Ramayana, Marx or Engels, or revivalism. The mind that is really creative is the empty mind, not the blank mind or the mind that merely wishes to be creative. It is only the empty mind that can understand this whole thing – the extraordinary process of thought and thought emptying itself of its own impetus. Then you will see that there is a radical, deep change which is not brought about by influence, circumstances, culture or society. It is that mind which will create a new society. And the moment it creates a new society, that society is already in corruption. All societies are in corruption because that which is created is ever dying. Therefore, recognizing that no society, no tradition, no knowledge is permanent, we can see that the mind which is empty is creative, is in a state of creation.

The Seventh Public talk in Madras on November 12, 1958

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

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Thu, 01 Aug 2019 #15
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
As for "negative thinking", in K's terms, can there be such a thing? Or is all thought "positive"? After all, thought is a series of conclusions, is it not?

Over to others.

From the above excerpt from K. that Wim shared:

“The positive thinking is always in the grooves of our own conditioned thinking – I hope you are watching your own mind, your own thought – , and that way only leads to further limitation of the mind, to narrowness of the mind, to pettiness of action; it always strengthens the self-centred activity. Negative thinking is something entirely different, but it is not the opposite of positive thinking. If I can understand the limitations of positive thinking, which invariably leads to self-centred activity, if I can understand not only verbally, intellectually but as the whole process of human thinking, then there is a new awakening in negative thinking.”

So positive thinking is always related to a goal...directed towards achieving...becoming...or changing...but always directed by me....FOR me and my own “self-centered” aims. What K means by ‘negative thinking’ is harder to get at. Originally I had come to the same conclusion as Clive expressed in the OP quoted above. Does anyone want to share more on what K means by this term? In their own words, not by quoting K? Is negative thinking the same as exploring....being aware of our conclusions and discarding them....as we may be doing here?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 01 Aug 2019.

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Thu, 01 Aug 2019 #16
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

Is it even possible to have a thought that’s not aimed at achieving, becoming, arriving, eliminating, or overcoming? Does anyone else question this idea of ‘negative thinking’?

Let it Be

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Thu, 01 Aug 2019 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
When the answer is nothing can be put away, the logical answer is that the whole of existence must be in the eagle? Do you agree?

Yes, well put Manfred.

One wonders if mankind used to have this sense? The sense of everything being inevitably connected, of even "being one", if I can use that term? it is clear that he does not have it now, otherwise he would not destroy the world as he is doing now, he would not exploit the world and others. Come to that, would he destroy himself, as he is doing in so many ways?

I think K once said to kill another is to kill oneself.

But the real question is, how can I have this sense of oneness? I see that I cannot start with an assumption of oneness, wholeness. And I see that any intellectual explanation of oneness, no matter where it comes from, is not going to "give me" this sense, this realisation of inter-disconnectedness, to use another word.

Yes, I just looked up those words, and find K said

When he destroys nature, he is destroying himself. When he kills another, he is killing himself.

I won't cut and paste a whole talk, but if anyone is interested, here is [the link][1]

Of course the phrase "how can I have this sense?" is entirely the wrong starting point, The self claims for itself the remarkable property of being separate from everything, doesn't it?

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Thu, 01 Aug 2019 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Does anyone want to share more on what K means by this term? In their own words, not by quoting K?

I won't talk about what K meant (let us remember K's injunction that there was to be no interpretation of the teachings), but from my own observations I would suggest that negative thinking occurs when the false is seen as the false, and that seeing brings - no, not "brings", but actually IS - the dropping away of that falseness.

Tom Paine wrote:
Is it even possible to have a thought that’s not aimed at achieving, becoming, arriving, eliminating, or overcoming? Does anyone else question this idea of ‘negative thinking’?

Yes, this is the essence of positive thinking. I suggest it is an utterly false movement, based on self-projection. I begin to think this movement is what is actually preventing fundamental change coming about.

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Fri, 02 Aug 2019 #19
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I would suggest that negative thinking occurs when the false is seen as the false, and that seeing brings - no, not "brings", but actually IS - the dropping away of that falseness.

That’s insight, or am I mistaken? But where’s the thinking involved in insight? There’s none, as far as I can tell. Is it the thinking that leads up to insight that you are calling negative thinking? No, that doesn’t seem right. This negative thinking still seems hard to pin down.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 02 Aug 2019.

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Fri, 02 Aug 2019 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, this is the essence of positive thinking. I suggest it is an utterly false movement, based on self-projection. I begin to think this movement is what is actually preventing fundamental change coming about.

This IS the self....and yes, the self is unable to bring change, since change can’t come from the known.

Let it Be

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Fri, 02 Aug 2019 #21
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

Just found this from the QOTD...don’t know if it will shed light on the issue or not:

“The mind is cunning and subtle in its self-defence, and it must discern for itself the illusory nature of self-protection. This means that you must think and act completely anew. You must liberate yourself from the net of false values which environment has imposed upon you. There must be utter nakedness. Then there is immortality, reality.”

Is this discernment negative thinking?

Let it Be

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Fri, 02 Aug 2019 #22
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1424 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Is this discernment negative thinking?

I had this same question after reading this and posted something in the general discussion forum. It is a bit confusing his use of "discernment" which defines as a kind of judging...but I see it that "thinking and acting completely anew" takes place when it is 'discerned' (or judged?) that what is taking place in the mind is "positive thinking". The mind itself sees that it is continuing its "self-defense"...Wim was pointing at this I think when he said in #6 referring to Clive and my posts: "Both your replies are as it were based on positive thinking, but if you look through it, then the true meaning becomes clear automatically." The "looking through it" is the discernment K. is talking about?

I don't know if the 'discernment' is 'negative thinking' or if it refers to the state of mind that through discerning, allows itself to go 'deeper' by not getting 'tangled' and caught up in the superficial net of positive thoughts? Maybe they are one and the same?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 02 Aug 2019.

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Fri, 02 Aug 2019 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The "looking through it" is the discernment K. is talking about?

I don't know if the 'discernment' is 'negative thinking' or if it refers to the state of mind that through discerning, allows itself to go 'deeper' by not getting 'tangled' and caught up in the superficial net of positive thoughts? Maybe they are one and the same?

Makes sense...thanks. And questioning the nature of the ‘positive’....our usual manner of functioning. This questioning is thinking, but it’s not trying to achieve something as you can’t achieve a negative state...negative thinking...only understand the so called ‘positive’. I don’t know if I’m making sense....I’m just exploring.

Let it Be

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Fri, 02 Aug 2019 #24
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1424 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
This questioning is thinking, but it’s not trying to achieve something as you can’t achieve a negative state...negative thinking...only understand the so called ‘positive’.

As I see it, the "discernment" or judging by the mind is essential because not all thoughts are maintaining this "self-protection" or strengthening the illusory 'I', which is to say, building the protective wall between me and life. Not all my thinking is about 'becoming' or self-centered, so the discernment, is the mind becoming aware of the difference. And so not be 'taken in' (ensnared?) by 'every' thought...which is, I think, the kind of 'slavery' K. suggests, our mind is in now...?

From the QOTD:

K."The mind is cunning and subtle in its self-defence, and it must discern for itself the illusory nature of self-protection. This means that you must think and act completely anew. You must liberate yourself from the net of false values which environment has imposed upon you. There must be utter nakedness. Then there is immortality, reality."

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 02 Aug 2019.

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Fri, 02 Aug 2019 #25
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

It is a bit confusing his use of "discernment" which defines as a kind of judging...but I see it that "thinking and acting completely anew" takes place when it is 'discerned' (or judged?) that what is taking place in the mind is "positive thinking". The mind itself sees that it is continuing its "self-defense"...

One can discern the difference between x and y without judging. Or one can see that y is poisonous ....again without judging.

Let it Be

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Sat, 03 Aug 2019 #26
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1424 posts in this forum Offline

Do you agree that it is 'hard' to include oneself in that description of 'myself' as being a bunch of layered memories? You know, I mean your day to day you. But it occurred to me that it very well might just be the truth...and seeing that, the statement: "the house is on fire" really meant that I (not just 'I') was going to go down in flames with the physical body when it died unless there was some kind of 'freedom'...we all may be holding out that there is something that will happen when the body dies but we don't know what. The whole religion thing is based on that isn't it, something happening?

So here K. is mentioning "immortality", that will get your attention right? And it happens with an "utter nakedness" psychologically...nakedness, nothingness, negative thinking...

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Sat, 03 Aug 2019 #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5260 posts in this forum Offline

I saw this morning on waking, among all the confusion, what is important is to be quiet, to be still, is it not? To be free of all the projections of the mind. To not be pulled this way and that way by conflicting desires, not to be in the grip of endless patterns of the past. What is important is to be free of fear and ambition. For the mind to be free of itself, as I say to be still, not projecting.

I suggest positive thinking, no matter how earnestly applied, can never bring about stillness of the mind. Positive thinking is just various varieties of noise, is it not? Positive thinking is trying to become, trying to achieve psychologically, but can one BECOME still, silent? There are those who try, through applied meditation, but it seems to me not possible. At the centre of all effort, all positive thinking, is the me, and the me is all that stillness is not. The me is noise and resistance.

So if this is seen as a fact, “where are we”, if that is a correct question? When the mind sees that all its activities are just just endless escaping, what does this do? What affect does seeing through the illusion of positive thinking have on the mind? Is it not then drawn irrevocably into this negative thinking? Which I suggest is a process of discarding what is false, what is distraction. Is not the mind then in a state of quietly looking at itself? I was going to write “silently looking at itself”, but I cannot verify that.

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Sat, 03 Aug 2019 #28
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1424 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
. Is not the mind then in a state of quietly looking at itself?

There is a joy Clive when for the moment all resistance ends, isn't there? When what is taking place psychologically is seen for what it is; the mind having become 'tangled' in this or that thought or image. And then it can be seen clearly that 'resistance' to that is fear'...'resistance' to that is suffering'. I awoke this morning and somehow found myself in the grip of fear: the fear of being alone. The strength of it was shocking. But staying with the feeling and seeing its connection to all 'dependancy', I could see that it wasn't the 'aloneness' that was frightening; because I am often alone each day and there is no fear in that...but that it was only the image or thought of being alone that was the fear not the 'fact' itself of being alone.

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Sat, 03 Aug 2019 #29
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: One wonders if mankind used to have this sense? The sense of everything being inevitably connected, of even "being one", if I can use that term? it is clear that he does not have it now, otherwise he would not destroy the world as he is doing now, he would not exploit the world and others. Come to that, would he destroy himself, as he is doing in so many ways?
———
Manfred: I hope you do not think I am trying to do hairsplitting, but I see a difference between everything being inevitably connected and “being one”.

When we talk about connection there are at least two parts necessary. With no parts there is no connection. So this means there are parts as basic level and we try to put them together. Even when we say the parts are inevitably connected they have kind of a primacy or priority. This could easily understood in a way that they are in existence, no matter if we as human beings are existing or not. I think that is according with
our usual view at the world outside of us. It is positive thinking, because we can use parts as something graspable. The law of physics, language, causality is working very well until a certain level. And maybe we could have an imagination how the result would look like.

When we talk about „being one“ or oneness it is clear that there could no separate parts be involved. The parts are a construction of the human mind. Without humans they do not exist. They are a variation of oneness, but can not have an independent existence. Oneness is therefore in our awareness when we not try to put things together, but when we are and stay aware with that what we see. This is for me negative thinking. The problem with negative thinking is that we cannot grasp it. Therefore it can not be a goal or an intention or something to be reached. And more worse it cannot be explained. For instance oneness, unity, wholeness, nothingness, not knowing, God are all words we cannot explain in a “negative” way.

What does that mean for our daily behavior. Can we live either positive or negative thinking. I suppose to use both. In a short form: Being aware of positive thinking is negative thinking. “Being one” encloses its variation.

Do you agree?

This post was last updated by Manfred Kritzler Sat, 03 Aug 2019.

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Sat, 03 Aug 2019 #30
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2721 posts in this forum Offline

Dan: Do you agree that it is 'hard' to include oneself in that description of 'myself' as being a bunch of layered memories? You know, I mean your day to day you.

Yes. I understand. We think we are more than that.

But it occurred to me that it very well might just be the truth...and seeing that, the statement: "the house is on fire" really meant that I (not just 'I') was going to go down in flames with the physical body when it died unless there was some kind of 'freedom'...we all may be holding out that there is something that will happen when the body dies but we don't know what. The whole religion thing is based on that isn't it, something happening?

Yes, and all of the above is thinking only.

So here K. is mentioning "immortality", that will get your attention right? And it happens with an "utter nakedness" psychologically...nakedness, nothingness, negative thinking...

Possibly. We don’t really know unless we are there. Any attempt to approach that is more positive thinking. And the denial of the positive is negative thinking. That’s how I’m seeing it anyway.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 03 Aug 2019.

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