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

A new book by K


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Sat, 17 Aug 2019 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

I received an email from The Krishnamurti Foundation of America - possibly all of you did also - informing of a new book of K's words called:

"Can the Mind be Quiet"

The email says:

Krishnamurti seems to suggest that there is a part of the brain which he calls old that has been shaped by a history of struggles; survival, environmental and so on. This old brain works mechanically, and he asks if it can ever be quiet for the new to be discovered.

This topic and others are part of a new book recently released by the foundations titled Can the Mind Be Quiet? It contains sixty, previously unpublished, conversations, recalled and written down by Krishnamurti in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They contain probing inquiries into topics such as the self, consciousness, the essential qualities of a good education, and the meditative mind. These pieces also include Krishnamurti’s much-loved descriptions of nature.

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Sat, 17 Aug 2019 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Here is the quote from K referred to above:

"We do not seem to be aware of the psychological structure of the brain. Most of us carry on mechanically in the condition in which we are born and educated, living a repetitive life, with certain modifications. We are trained from childhood until we die to function within a very small part of our brain’s capacity, whether we are scientists, engineers or anything else. A scholar, a priest, a theologian or a politician functions within a very small fragment of the brain. We all use that part of the brain which is always of yesterday. All specialisation is exclusive and fragmentary, limited and narrow. All this is the old brain which is the result of millions of years of struggle for survival, struggle to get the best out of the environment, and so on. This is all we know and with this brain we try to explore and discover something new. Therefore there is always deep-rooted frustration and despair.
...

Is the whole operation of the brain old? Is there any action of the brain which is not this response of the computer? And can this brain ever be quiet? Can it be active when it is demanded and silent when it is necessary? The answer to this lies in meditation. The understanding of this mechanical habitual brain opens the door to the new quality of the mind. When we say the new we mean something entirely different, a different dimension which cannot possibly be formulated by the old. Anything that can be formulated by the old brain is not new, for this very formulation is the action of memory which is image and thought. When the new is very close to the old, the old can reach it, touch it and contaminate it. But if the new is very far from the old then the old cannot reach it. Thought can be quiet and produce a certain silence which is the cessation of its own chattering. But this silence with its space around a centre is not the new. The new is not just the cessation of the old.

The new can be only when the old has completely understood its place and function. So our concern is not with the new, but having seen the whole nature and structure of the old then action is different. All our action is relationship. This different action of relationship is love, which is not the known. And meditation is freeing the mind from the known.

The separation between the old brain and the new can be perceived very definitely when the old brain loses its observer. The new cannot be perceived as the observer if the old brain sees the observed separate from itself. When the whole mechanism of the old with its observer becomes entirely quiet, keeps its acuity and therefore loses its observer, then the new is.

In a certain manner of speaking it is wrong even to make a division between the old and the new: they live in the same house, there is harmony between the two. This harmony cannot possibly exist without love. And meditation is of this love."

J. Krishnamurti
From the new book Can the Mind Be Quiet?

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Sun, 18 Aug 2019 #3
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1386 posts in this forum Offline

It's interesting Clive that we've come to this point on the forum of the mis-placement of thought as 'becoming' as being futile and antithetical to freedom. And now this.

This may be all wrong of course

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Sun, 18 Aug 2019 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It's interesting Clive that we've come to this point on the forum of the mis-placement of thought as 'becoming' as being futile and antithetical to freedom. And now this.

Also interesting is that here there is a certain feeling of newness. however, I can pin this feeling, this state, down to a particular cause. So I don't know what to think about it, and in fact I see anyway of thinking about it is from the old, and so continues the old.

When the new is very close to the old, the old can reach it, touch it and contaminate it. But if the new is very far from the old then the old cannot reach it. Thought can be quiet and produce a certain silence which is the cessation of its own chattering. But this silence with its space around a centre is not the new. The new is not just the cessation of the old.

This is fascinating. I really have no response to it - but why should I have a response at all? That response will inevitably be from the old. An interpretation from what I already "know". So let these words of K be, perhaps they will have their own action.

Which is, I feel, giving the space for the unknown to be.

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