Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Negative thinking


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Fri, 23 Aug 2019 #91
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Where it went wrong and this according to Bohm in one of his talks with K. and they agreed, was that thought moved from being this useful part of the whole organism,to believing that it was the essence of the organism.

Interesting...never read that discussion. Will look in to the rest tomorrow...bedtime here. The meaning of the quote in #89 is still not totally clear to me.

Let it Be

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Fri, 23 Aug 2019 #92
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

This Matter of Culture | Chapter 17

We cling to our children, to our traditions, to our society, to our names and our little virtues, because we want permanency; and that is why we are afraid to die. We are afraid to lose the things we know. But life is not what we would like it to be; life is not permanent at all. Birds die, snow melts away, trees are cut down or destroyed by storms, and so on. But we want everything that gives us satisfaction to be permanent; we want our position, the authority we have over people, to endure. We refuse to accept life as it is in fact.

The fact is that life is like the river: endlessly moving on, ever seeking, exploring, pushing, overflowing its banks, penetrating every crevice with its water. But, you see, the mind won't allow that to happen to itself. The mind sees that it is dangerous, risky to live in a state of impermanency, insecurity, so it builds a wall around itself: the wall of tradition, of organized religion, of political and social theories. Family, name, property, the little virtues that we have cultivated - these are all within the walls, away from life. Life is moving, impermanent, and it ceaselessly tries to penetrate, to break down these walls, behind which there is confusion and misery. The gods within the walls are all false gods, and their writings and philosophies have no meaning because life is beyond them.

Now, a mind that has no walls, that is not burdened with its own acquisitions, accumulations, with its own knowledge, a mind that lives timelessly, insecurely - to such a mind, life is an extraordinary thing. Such a mind is life itself, because life has no resting place. But most of us want a resting place; we want a little house, a name, a position, and we say these things are very important. We demand permanency and create a culture based on this demand, inventing gods which are not gods at all but merely a projection of our own desires.

A mind which is seeking permanency soon stagnates; like that pool along the river, it is soon full of corruption, decay. Only the mind which has no walls, no foothold, no barrier, no resting place, which is moving completely with life, timelessly pushing on, exploring, exploding - only such a mind can be happy, eternally new, because it is creative in itself.

This may be all wrong of course

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Sat, 24 Aug 2019 #93
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
When there is a certain awareness of the process of thought, in a certain quietness (I will not call it stillness) the question has often arisen for me: “can there be awareness of a thought at the moment of its very birth?”.

I still cannot say if it is possible that there can be an awareness of a thought at the moment of its birth, and so “nip it in the bud”, so to speak. But what I can observe is that there can be awareness of each individual thought at some point of its existence. And I see that such awareness is absolutely crucial. Crucial if all the vast mischief of thought is to come to an end.

With awareness, thought withers. I am talking about each individual thought. It ends before it gets the chance to become established, to become a reality.

I would say this is real negation. Furthermore, I say it CAN be done. It can be an actuality. Of course when I say it can be done, this does not imply that it is any kind of effort that brings this awareness about.

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Sat, 24 Aug 2019 #94
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But what I can observe is that there can be awareness of each individual thought at some point of its existence. And I see that such awareness is absolutely crucial. Crucial if all the vast mischief of thought is to come to an end.

Thought can be observed.There is a type of repetitive 'thought' that happens after I sing or play some song. The brain will keep playing it over and over and it can be annoying and then disappears over time...easily 'observed' or felt, like an itch. People have come up with different 'tricks' to diffuse it...The type of thought that we're speaking of, as I see it, is the usual stream of thinking, that 'I' am usually identified with; (I am it)...but this same type of thinking can be observed and then there is not the feeling that I am it: there is the thinking and for a period of time, there is an awareness that it is taking place but there is not the 'identification', with it, (the being 'lost' in it) that there usually is...the question that arises here and K. has made a lot of this, is the observation of the thought being done by the 'thinker' or is the observation, thought being aware of itself? Have you or anyone been able to answer this through your experimentation?...In any case as you say, there can be awareness of thought as it takes place and that is a 'big' thing...We could discuss why that is so important.

This may be all wrong of course

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 24 Aug 2019.

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Sun, 25 Aug 2019 #95
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
the question that arises here and K. has made a lot of this, is the observation of the thought being done by the 'thinker' or is the observation, thought being aware of itself?

Rather than describe various conclusions that I might have come to in the past over this question, I will go out for a quiet walk and hopefully look it. Of course if I come back and report on my observations, that will still be describing conclusions, only more recent conclusions! But one needs to keep observing how the mind works, it needs to be one's very life.

Dan McDermott wrote:
In any case as you say, there can be awareness of thought as it takes place and that is a 'big' thing...We could discuss why that is so important.

I presented my perceptions of this issue in #93

Clive wrote: With awareness, thought withers. I am talking about each individual thought. It ends before it gets the chance to become established, to become a reality.

Those realities include identifications with factions, with conclusions, they include all sorts of images, prejudices, convictions, explanations, attitudes, and so much more. They are all aspects of conditioning, and so determine how we see the new present, new perceptions. So in fact as long as they are operating, there IS no new present, new understanding.

Do you see other reasons why this awareness with its associated withering of thought is so important?

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Sun, 25 Aug 2019 #96
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Do you see other reasons why this awareness with its associated withering of thought is so important?

Life is movement. To be with that movement is to be it. Thought, as becoming, brings in 'time' and tries to create its own movement and superimpose it on the other.. Psychologically there is only 'now', the 'instant', the action of the senses. There is no permanence. Nothing 'lasts', only this unmovable movement of the universe. Thought as the 'self', the 'thinker' is its attempt to create something lasting...but it all just gets swept away with the death of the body. It is 'arrogance'. And sorrow.

This may be all wrong of course

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Sun, 25 Aug 2019 #97
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 70 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
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:

Wim, thank you very much for posting this text. One of the more impressive I have ever seen. Definitely, it is impossible to discuss the negative thinking. K even refused to give an example. We cannot even be sure it exists. But certainly, we can discuss the positive thinking and its effects.

However, if I understood correctly, he says that negative thinking requires a very disturbed mind, in the quote below. Most people would think that a disturbed mind is a mind which needs treatment.

"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".

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Sun, 25 Aug 2019 #98
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
.In any case as you say, there can be awareness of thought as it takes place and that is a 'big' thing...We could discuss why that is so important.

Apart from what I said above, does the importance of the awareness of thought lie in the unraveling of the self?

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Sun, 25 Aug 2019 #99
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:

"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".

Most people would think that a disturbed mind is a mind which needs treatment.

May be so. I am sure that at various times of my life I might have been committed to a mental asylum (maybe now also) but I was really just exploring intensely the mind and the world, discovering, learning, without fear. Relating to others frankly, without inhibition, passionately.

But imo I think what K is referring to here is being disturbed from the patterns and habits that we so easily fall into. Being woken up from a life that is almost sleeping. Loosing the props of knowledge, belief, that usually are acting to prevent us questioning ourselves,; seeing ourselves as we actually are.

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Sun, 25 Aug 2019 #100
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
does the importance of the awareness of thought lie in the unraveling of the self?

Well ultimately, it just may not be the 'way' to go...this "unravelling" could go on forever. The problem or mistake might be bringing 'time' into this at all. Not to say that there is a 'way' to not bring in 'time'... (which would just be another method/time). But just to consider that the dissolution/death of the self can only be in the instant. Negative thinking?

This may be all wrong of course

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Sun, 25 Aug 2019 #101
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The problem or mistake might be bringing 'time' into this at all

I don't see how choiceless awareness, and the death of thought that it brings about, brings in time. In fact I would say it is the ending of the time process.

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Mon, 26 Aug 2019 #102
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I don't see how choiceless awareness, and the death of thought that it brings about, brings in time. In fact I would say it is the ending of the time process.

But it's not is it? Is it that it's 'comforting' to think that one is 'on to something' (positive thinking?). But the truth is that one really knows nothing about it? Negative thinking is the letting go of any shred of past 'understanding'?
Holding on to nothing of the past?
Letting the waves wash away the sand castles we build every moment?

This may be all wrong of course

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 26 Aug 2019.

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Mon, 26 Aug 2019 #103
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Negative thinking is the letting go of any shred of past 'understanding'?
Holding on to nothing of the past?
Letting the waves wash away the sand castles we build every moment?

Yes indeed. And that is a beautiful analogy!

But aren't the sandcastles the elements of time? And as these are washed away, is not times carried out to sea also?

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Mon, 26 Aug 2019 #104
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
.In any case as you say, there can be awareness of thought as it takes place and that is a 'big' thing...We could discuss why that is so important.

In addition to what I have said previously in reply to this, this occurs to me:

We know that thought is actually essential to our daily living. In no way could we live without it. Even if it were possible, we could not just wipe away thought, we would be utterly lost. But also we see that thought is very very destructive. It has bought the human race to the precipice of self-destruction.

So how do we reconcile these two facts? Can we distinguish between right thought and wrong thought? Who would be the distinguish-er, the judge of rightness, of the appropriateness of thought? More thought?

Is it choiceless awareness of thought that is able to do this, to make this differentiation? Without any choice. The seeing of when thought is appropriate and when it is not just is there in the light of awareness?

Is that so?

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Mon, 26 Aug 2019 #105
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 70 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is it choiceless awareness of thought that is able to do this, to make this differentiation? Without any choice. The seeing of when thought is appropriate and when it is not just is there in the light of awareness?

My experience is that there is no differentiation. In those rare moments, any thought is welcome.

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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 #106
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan wrote:

the question that arises here and K. has made a lot of this, is the observation of the thought being done by the 'thinker' or is the observation, thought being aware of itself?

Clive: Rather than describe various conclusions that I might have come to in the past over this question, I will go out for a quiet walk and hopefully look it.his was from

I went for the walk, but something odd happened. I seemed to loose all energy. And the mind filled with "negative thoughts". i am not talking about negative thinking here, of course, just plain conflict, condemnation, image forming.

Of course this issue of observer/observed is with one throughout the day, it does not depend on taking some walk. Here is a very bold, simple statement that K made:

the observer can never observe*

This was from Brockwood 1974 talk 1, and here is the wider context. Most of the talk is on this issue in fact.

And can the mind observe without the observer? This is not a conundrum, this is not a trick, this is not something to speculate about. You can see it for yourself, you can have an insight into the reality. That is, the observer can never observe. He can observe what he wants to observe, he observes according to his desires, to his fears, to his inclinations, romantic demands and so on and so on. And is not the observer the observed? The observed becomes totally different when the observer is himself totally different. If I have been brought up as a Catholic or a Buddhist, or a HIndu, or god knows what else, and I observe life, this extraordinary movement of life with my conditioned mind, with my beliefs, with my fears, with my saviours, I am observing not 'what is', but I am observing my own conditioning and therefore I never observe

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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 #107
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
My experience is that there is no differentiation. In those rare moments, any thought is welcome.

I am not sure that I am understanding you, Jose. Can you say more?

What I was saying, I think, was concerned with not whether thought is welcome or not, but whether action follows from the thought. And it seems to me that from much of thought only wrong action can stem. This is unnecessary. But some thought is necessary, as a basis for necessary, practical action, no? So I was concerned with how can the two sorts be somehow distinguished? i am not suggesting the existence of some sort of independent "distinguish-er".

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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 #108
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

The discerning or distinguishing between thoughts that strengthen and maintain the false and divisive self-image and those thoughts that are practical can only be done by thought itself. No?

This may be all wrong of course

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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 #109
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The discerning or distinguishing between thoughts that strengthen and maintain the false and divisive self-image and those thoughts that are practical can only be done by thought itself. No?

My gut feeling is no, but I cannot explain or give evidence for that. Perhaps something will come.

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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 #110
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
My experience is that there is no differentiation. In those rare moments, any thought is welcome

Are you talking about the state when there is no separation between the observer and the observed, Jose?

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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 #111
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 70 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Are you talking about the state when there is no separation between the observer and the observed, Jose?

I think so, Clive. The observer determines what is appropriate or not. In a very rare state when my mind was really clear, "I" observed a show stopper thought which was: "this state is going to vanish". There was no reaction. I did not name that thought as innapropriate even though it was useless.

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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 #112
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
The observer determines what is appropriate or not.

But it will always do this according to its prejudices, its pleasures, its fears, its likes and dislikes, its ambitions, desires, and so on, will it not? And so this sort of distinction is not actually "appropriate", in the wider picture, is it?

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Thu, 29 Aug 2019 #113
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 837 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:

Clive Elwell wrote:

Are you talking about the state when there is no separation between the observer and the observed, Jose?

I think so, Clive. The observer determines what is appropriate or not. In a very rare state when my mind was really clear, "I" observed a show stopper thought which was: "this state is going to vanish". There was no reaction. I did not name that thought as innapropriate even though it was useless.

Or is it something else?

within awareness, thoughts can be a tool !
There is a saying: "fire is a good servant, but a bad master" and I think that is the big difference.

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

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Thu, 29 Aug 2019 #114
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 36 posts in this forum Offline

Dan:The discerning or distinguishing between thoughts that strengthen and maintain the false and divisive self-image and those thoughts that are practical can only be done by thought itself. No?
—————-
Manfred:I always had problems with the differentiation between practical (right) and psychological (false) thought. For me it is one movement which is coming together. To make a distinction between the two by thought means for me a split up in two separate parts, which doesn’t really exist.

For instance, when we see a red car and dislike the color red the practical and psychological thought are an indivisible whole.

My proposal for separation is to observe thought in general. Thought will be dissolved, no matter what kind of it. The psychological part is only inside and has no equivalent outside of us. The practical thought is coming to our consciousness from outside. For instance, even when we dissolved the image of a car we will recognize it again, because the image is deep engraved in our unconscious mind.

I do not have any idea if this is the best way to proceed and therefore I am very interested in any other opinion.

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Fri, 30 Aug 2019 #115
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 837 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
I always had problems with the differentiation between practical (right) and psychological (false) thought. For me it is one movement which is coming together. To make a distinction between the two by thought means for me a split up in two separate parts, which doesn’t really exist.

Hi Manfred

I have a similar problem with this duality, but actually based on another argument, namely there is no border between these two. there is nothing wrong with wanting to be able to do something well and spend a lot of time on it, and dormant then comes to be the best!

By the way, are you aware of a biography of David Bohm:
'The essential David Bohm'?

Therein is a chapter with letters from David to his brother-in-law about this matter, really beautiful. Quoting a quote would do the whole thing unjustice, it is available as an e-book, really a must!

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

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Fri, 30 Aug 2019 #116
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
My proposal for separation is to observe thought in general. Thought will be dissolved, no matter what kind of it. The psychological part is only inside and has no equivalent outside of us. The practical thought is coming to our consciousness from outside. For instance, even when we dissolved the image of a car we will recognize it again, because the image is deep engraved in our unconscious mind.

This is all very interesting.

When, for example, I need to solve an issue with my computer, obviously I need thought. And modern technical thought isn't engraved deeply in our unconscious mind, is it? So it seems to me that such practical, necessary thoughts must NOT dissolve, at least until they have acted.

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
I do not have any idea if this is the best way to proceed and therefore I am very interested in any other opinion.

I could well be wrong, but the idea of "proceeding" suggests the action of thought, and I am still dubious about thought being the decider of which thoughts are necessary and which are not.

I know that Dan wrote above:

Dan McDermott wrote:
The discerning or distinguishing between thoughts that strengthen and maintain the false and divisive self-image and those thoughts that are practical can only be done by thought itself. No?

but I am still questioning.

I remember K describing his mind as "an empty drum". He said because the 'skin' was stretched taut, and precisely because of its emptiness, when the drum of his mind was 'tapped' (which I take to mean when there was a challenge which needed a response) it always gave the appropriate response ie FROM EMPTINESS.

In emptiness, in silence, is there then not intelligence acting? And does not intelligence do the necessary discernment that we are considering?

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Sat, 31 Aug 2019 #117
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2712 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I know that Dan wrote above:

Dan McDermott wrote:

The discerning or distinguishing between thoughts that strengthen and maintain the false and divisive self-image and those thoughts that are practical can only be done by thought itself. No?
but I am still questioning.

Interesting discussion! I don’t know why exactly, but it seems pretty clear to me what thoughts come from the ‘me’ and which don’t. I mean driving my car and remembering the route home from work is simply practical thinking. When my thoughts turn towards achieving some success for me and action comes from that, there’s the self in action. I struggle to improve my golf game, for example. Nothing wrong with playing sports for fun, but ambition and achievements is the self. Or the struggle for self improvement....even ‘spiritually’ or psychologically. Self expansion....desire for more fulfillment. Can anyone give some instances where this distinction between the two types of thought is not clear?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 31 Aug 2019.

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Thu, 05 Sep 2019 #118
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 70 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But it will always do this according to its prejudices, its pleasures, its fears, its likes and dislikes, its ambitions, desires, and so on, will it not? And so this sort of distinction is not actually "appropriate", in the wider picture, is it?

Yes, what we consider appropriate is based on prejudices, pleasures, etc.

But is everything that we consider appropriate based on that? For instance, we do not consider keeping birds in cages appropriate. Is that based on prejudices, etc?

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Thu, 05 Sep 2019 #119
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 70 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
Or is it something else?

within awareness, thoughts can be a tool !
There is a saying: "fire is a good servant, but a bad master" and I think that is the big difference.

Wim, yes, thoughts should be a servant, not a master! This is a great saying! For instance, when one is driving and something happens that requires all our attention, then thought is used to perform the right action. My impression, based on personal experience, is that something other than thought takes control of the car and make the decision and thought is just the instrument. Of course, an experienced driver will likely have a faster and better response because his brain is more skilled than the one of a learner.

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Thu, 05 Sep 2019 #120
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:

Is it because they are more concerned with the so-called security of the mind? Which perhaps includes the whole movement of pleasure.

I think it is clear that the origin, the purposeof thought is to bring security. (At least to try to bring security, obviously it is not succeeding in that purpose). The question then arises- security for what? If it is security for the body, thought can to a limited extent do that - it can research the right food, drive in a careful manner, not take silly risks, not take drugs, etc, look after the body generally. Of course such care has its limits. And looking around, one sees many people are not doing this, and are destroying their body. Why?

Is it because they are more concerned with "psychological security? Which perhaps includes the whole movement of pleasure. The so-called security of the mind, as you say Tom? But I don't know if such a clear distinction between the two can be drawn. Because the self can identify with anything, it seems. And when it is protecting the things it has identified with, it is also protecting itself, no? These things can include the health of the body, for example - see the look of determination on the faces of joggers! Are they not primarily concerned with "feeling good" psychologically?

I agree that the organism can focus on particular things, like driving home, and that can appear to be a purely technical matter. But is it? May such activities not contain "hidden aggendas", which have their roots in self interest?

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