Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Confusion and Contradiction


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Thu, 03 Oct 2019 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

The world is in a great deal of confusion. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that the world IS confusion. I don’t think any of us would doubt this. Globally there is great confusion in all political and social actions, no one really knows what is best to do – although most people pretend to know, or they have convinced themselves that they know, which is very dangerous when those people are in positions of great power. No one know how to solve the economic problems that keep popping up, although there are untold theories about the right course of action. But meanwhile the confusion goes on, with all its misery, people suffering, killing each other while thinking they are “in the right”.

And in people’s personal lives I see huge amounts of confusion, and its attendant contradiction. So much so that it produces neurotic states. And it seems that people will do almost anything, any crazy action, to try to relieve themselves of the pain of contradiction.

Of course I see confusion and contradiction in “myself”, naturally so since myself is part of that common human consciousness. And I was looking at it this morning – I was going to say “looking at the whole things”, but I am not at all sure that I see the whole picture. Would there be confusion if I did?

Anyway, I thought I would share my questioning on the forum. It seems such a huge issue. Is there a ‘way out’ of confusion and contradiction? I see two ways out that are commonly attempted:

Confusion stems from contradictory desires does it not? Contradictory pulls. I want this but I also want the other, and I can’t have both. Or I want something, but the mind, fragmented as it is, also DOESN’T want it at other levels. And one ‘way out’ that is attempted is to focus one one desire, to exaggerate just one desire, and try to bring that about, trying to ignore all the other pulls. This of course implies cultivating insensitivity. Besides, why should one pursue ANY desire? Such pursuit generally puts one in contradiction to the the pursuits of other people, who are trying to get what THEY have decided they want. So again there is still confusion.

And there is another factor in such pursuit. I observe when people get what they want, very quickly, or instantly even, no longer want it, no longer value it. It is so much ashes in their hands. “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence”, as is said. Or we feel lost without any desire to pursue. And instead of reflecting on the whole process of contradiction, people take up another desire to pursue, and so confusion continues. And eventually we come to the end of our days, still in confusion.

I said that I see two ways in which people attempt to supersede contradiction, to become un-confused, but at the moment I forget the other :-). But can we look at this – is there a ‘way out’ of confusion? But I am not happy with that expression, a “way out”. Can confusion end? I feel strongly this cannot happen by trying to resolve particular confusions/contradictions in one’s life, we have to go to the root of the problem – which surely lies in thought itself?

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Fri, 04 Oct 2019 #2
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
Can confusion end?

Though not feeling "confused" this morning, I'll look at the phenomena with you and others who are interested. I'm having a morning cup of tea and the sun hasn't quite risen. There is a large golden eagle perched on a branch across the river from me. It is a favorite branch and it is often there. Though I have no way of knowing, it does not seem at all 'confused' about anything. It will preen its feathers and sit quietly until perhaps hunger moves it to fly down to the water and pluck a fish from just below the surface. When time comes for it to mate, it will find somehow a partner, raise the young, and move on...so from what I can see here along the river and the woods, is that 'confusion' is more or less a 'human thing'... Is it that thought gives us 'choices' which the animals and birds don't have? If one is truly in the moment, is there any choice at all? Or does 'choice' arise when one is not in the moment and the past with memory offers various options and with the choices offered, 'confusion' may result? Doesn't the word 'confusion' means two or more things coming into conflict with each other... the only true 'way out' of confusion maybe, is for there to be none? As was said, the "secret" may be, not to "mind what happens"?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 04 Oct 2019.

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Fri, 04 Oct 2019 #3
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 55 posts in this forum Offline

Dan: If one is truly in the moment, is there any choice at all? Or does 'choice' arise when one is not in the moment and the past with memory offers various options and with the choices offered, 'confusion' may result?
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Manfred: Choice means there are two or more possibilities. That means it is a process of acting out of the limited experience of ourselves. When the assumption that on the basis of our live is undivided wholeness choice must lead to confusion, provided we think that with choice we can reach an ultimate reality.

When we are aware that oneness is something we can experience but not reach by will we would be forced to admit that any choice is not leading to an ultimate result.

On the other hand we can and should not avoid choice. What remains for me is to see the character of any choice as a preliminary act which is open for change in any moment.

With this is attitude we are open and acting in wholeness although we have made a choice. Or in other words, when we are aware of our choices they are always ready for correction. Perhaps choice and wholeness are one????
I am not sure if this makes sense.

This post was last updated by Manfred Kritzler Fri, 04 Oct 2019.

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Fri, 04 Oct 2019 #4
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
When the assumption that on the basis of our live is undivided wholeness choice must lead to confusion, provided we think that with choice we can reach an ultimate reality.

If you bring into the present moment this "assumption" of an "undivided wholeness", is there any difference between that 'belief' and say an organized religious belief that 'jesus cares for me', etc? Doesn't a concept or image of an 'undivided wholeness' which may or may not be true, doesn't that put itself between you and the moment and act as a sort of 'buffer? Is it necessary to carry such a belief (in undivided wholeness) or does it become a sort of psychological 'protection'. I think you have said that "it works" for you Manfred...what does that mean?

Maybe I am inquiring about the difference between a philosophy and actual awareness of 'undivided wholeness'?

If the present moment is approached with any sort of 'filter', can there be a direct perception?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 04 Oct 2019.

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Fri, 04 Oct 2019 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
Is it that thought gives us 'choices' which the animals and birds don't have?
Dan McDermott wrote:
Is it that thought gives us 'choices' which the animals and birds don't have?

Clearly one cannot investigate the issue of confusion without considering the role of 'choice'. It was being faced with choices, or perhaps watching another being in that state, which started this enquiry for me. The person was facing a situation, a quandary, and trying to decide what choice to make. It had been quite an agonizing thing for him for some time. And it suddenly struck me that you cannot resolve confusion by making a choose, because confusion is in the mind, perhaps inherent in the mind, and external action will never solve this problem.

So what will, if anything?

Dan McDermott wrote:
If one is truly in the moment, is there any choice at all?

Probably not. Choice, like fear, is always in the future, isn’t it? Choice between various ‘what might be’s’. of course all those what-might-be’s are imaginary, projections of the mind. And we really don’t know the results of mentally choosing one thing rather than another. I suspect that the act of choosing can only bring about more choice.

But the mind automatically responds to your question, Dan, by asking “how does one get into the moment?” Which implies more choice, this method or another method. Seeing this, the question is negated. Is total negation the only ‘way’ into the moment?

I received the following from a friend yesterday, which seems to express the same basic question of “how to get from where you are to somewhere else?” He is talking about getting from noise to silence, but it could be just as well from confusion to non-confusion (can we call non-confusion clarity?).

I was considering that last video where K discussed that in the silence is the eternal. No doubt the talk was inspiring and uplifting but I'm not sure how helpful such videos are. It's a bit like saying that if one goes to the moon they will find the eternal. My first question would be, how do I get to the moon? The fact is that my mind is full of thoughts, K says that eternity is in the silence. The problem here is that it may set up a subtle movement to quieten the mind. I know that's not K's intention or that we would be careful of that trap, but for the average newbie watching it could create a sticky point. It is the most natural thing to try and quieten this neurotic mind and K is very careful to make us aware of the controller (his words). Personally if my mind is going blah, blah I just let it go to it's hearts content. The only work is not to identify with that crazy movement. So saying that in the silence is the eternal is like putting the eternal on the moon. In actuality all I have to work with is this crazy movement. 

Dan McDermott wrote:
doesn't the word 'confusion' means two or more things coming into conflict with each other

I checked the root meaning of the word 'confusion'. Although complex, it is basically as you say.

Dan McDermott wrote:
the only true 'way out' of confusion maybe, is for there to be none?

Are you saying the only true way out of confusion is for there to be no confusion?

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #6
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is total negation the only ‘way’ into the moment?

Maybe. Anything we carry with us from the past will get between us and the 'moment', won't it? Self-knowledge is seeing what that 'carrying with us' is. It's our 'self'. And as you say it has to be negated. Freedom, is at the beginning, as has been said.

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
Freedom, is at the beginning, as has been said.

It may have been said, but I would like you to say more on that statement, if you will.

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
When we are aware that oneness is something we can experience but not reach by will we would be forced to admit that any choice is not leading to an ultimate result.

Yes, I think it is clear that choice cannot lead to 'ultimate reality' The choices that face us - at least psychologically - are self created, self projections only. They are always in the realm of the known, and surely ultimate reality does not abide there.

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
On the other hand we can and should not avoid choice. What remains for me is to see the character of any choice as a preliminary act which is open for change in any moment.

Yes, good point Manfred. Brings to mind a favorite line from T S Eliot:

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
I am not sure if this makes sense.

I would appreciate it if you would expand on what is meant by "acting in wholeness"

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #9
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
Dan McDermott wrote:
Freedom, is at the beginning, as has been said.

Clive: It may have been said, but I would like you to say more on that statement, if you will.

Dan: What that means to me Clive is that we don't 'get to' psychological freedom. It is not something up ahead that we 'arrive' at after going through,'solving', our 'confusions', but rather a process of 'negation', an 'emptying'... It is not a 'state' waiting to be attained in 'time'. Freedom is 'timeless', isn't it? Time is the 'bonder', the bondage. So we don't 'become' free psychologically, as I see it, through time/knowledge. The idea of becoming free using time to 'get there', is a mental trap..."Freedom is at the beginning". It is always at the beginning. Freedom is not meeting the present moment with pre-conceived ideas and images (the 'self'?) that obstructs and distorts.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 05 Oct 2019.

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #10
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 55 posts in this forum Offline

Dan: If you bring into the present moment this "assumption" of an "undivided wholeness", is there any difference between that 'belief' and say an organized religious belief that 'jesus cares for me', etc? Doesn't a concept or image of an 'undivided wholeness' which may or may not be true, doesn't that put itself between you and the moment and act as a sort of 'buffer? Is it necessary to carry such a belief (in undivided wholeness) or does it become a sort of psychological 'protection'. I think you have said that "it works" for you Manfred...what does that mean?

——————————
Manfred:It is very interesting how differently we understand sometimes a statement. I used the term undivided wholeness from David Bohms statement: “Undivided wholeness in flowing movement”. It is his description of an implicate and an explicate order.

I also could have used the term emptiness, nothingness, not knowing or Krishnamurti’s term the other. The problem I see is that using words could always be understood as a concept, because without a concept we cannot express anything.

For me there is something we can grasp, think and talk about. But any idea about the area beyond is problematic. In other words, we can only talk about the visible world. Anything expressed about the area beyond could only be a pointer to it, but never describe this reality.

So, for me there is the known, but always embedded in the unknown. To be aware of the known without adding anything else is for me a way to include the known in the unknown. It is for my understanding choiceless awareness or the observer is the observed.

In the words of Einstein:
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.”

Dan, thank you very much for challenging what I said. It is a big help for me to widen my understanding of the difference of the meaning I gave my words and the meaning of the recipient. I thinks this goes on all the time. And it was also one reason for David Bohm to introduce his special kind of dialogue.

This post was last updated by Manfred Kritzler Sat, 05 Oct 2019.

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #11
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
Dan, thank you very much for challenging what I said. It is a big help for me to widen my understanding of the difference of the meaning I gave my words and the meaning of the recipient.

You are welcome Manfred...It is a strange situation indeed that 'behind' the manifest world that we currently exist in, there is the 'un-manifest'. In the manifest, it seems, we humans are all about our differences from one another to the point of destroying each other over those differences. Yet in the unmanifest, the "mystery", the ungraspable, etc., 'we' are actually all 'one'!

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
What that means to me Clive is that we don't 'get to' psychological freedom.

That is very clear, Dan. And it seems clear that as one rejects the paths of becoming, all there is left is the process of negation. But this negation seems to include the negation of all 'steps', so I am still unsure what K means when he says "The first step is the last step". I presume this means the same as "freedom is at the beginning"?

In fact I find it hard to say what freedom is. K often insisted that it is not freedom from anything - except sometimes he talked of freedom from conditioning. The most meaningful description to me is this one, which I came across recently: "Freedom is when there is no prison".

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Sat, 05 Oct 2019 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
There is a large golden eagle perched on a branch across the river from me. It is a favorite branch and it is often there. Though I have no way of knowing, it does not seem at all 'confused' about anything

I have been pondering this Eagle that you describe. Yes, it seems likely he does not know confusion, and perhaps never has to take a decision. Which is probably true for all of nature. So when he suddenly dives from his branch to seize a fish, what governs his action? Obviously there is no verbalisation going on in his brain. But a certain process in the brain cells may be happening - which would be a sort of conditioning. Or is that so? Is it more some sort of universal intelligence that responds? Is it a response from wholeness, as Manfred talked of?

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Sun, 06 Oct 2019 #14
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 55 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: "Freedom is when there is no prison".
——-
Yes. So we also could say freedom is freedom or freedom is itself? I think there is no description of freedom, because anything we describe is a kind of jail again.

Maybe we are able to express what prison is. In a certain way it is everything we can think of as existent, provided we do not see its boundaries. In this view prison is a construction of ourselves. Recognizing it as something created of ourselves makes us free. It is like a bird who lived for years in a cage but does not fly in freedom although the door is opend on a certain day.

This post was last updated by Manfred Kritzler Sun, 06 Oct 2019.

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Sun, 06 Oct 2019 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
I think there is no description of freedom, because anything we describe is a kind of jail again.

That sounds quite right, Manfred. All descriptions are limited, and so limit us.

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
In a certain way it is everything we can think of as existent, provided we do not see its boundaries.

This seeing of boundaries is very important, isn't it? I was saying to a friend yesterday, we have to see, and to admit, what the limits are in all our activities. The limits of pleasure, the limits of sharing,the limits of emotion and feeling. Because everything connected with thought necessarily has limits. The attempts to push beyond those limits is still limited, and leads to all sorts of distortion.

At the same time, it seems important to inquire if there exists the limitless. I say 'inquire', not 'project'.

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
In this view prison is a construction of ourselves. Recognizing it as something created of ourselves makes us free.

Yes. There is a very strong tendency for people to attribute their lack of freedom to the actions of others. To some extent, in terms of politics, society, this is true, but such emphasis gets us no where in the end.Our own self-created prison is always there, whatever the external conditions.

As you say, seeing this is crucial, because that which is self-created, self-projected, can dissolve. No?

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Mon, 07 Oct 2019 #16
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
Our own self-created prison is always there, whatever the external conditions.

I'd say, Clive and Manfred that the only "prison", is the one that is formed in us, by the illusion, that the 'thinker' is separate from thought.

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Mon, 07 Oct 2019 #17
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 55 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: As you say, seeing this is crucial, because that which self-created, self-projected, can dissolve. No?
————-
Manfred: It can dissolve because it has permanency only in our mind.

What is still strange to me is that this dissolving happens by choiceless awareness and not by destroying it. Out of my own experience it is possible. But I have no real understandable explanation for it. Maybe there is non. Then it would be interesting to find a pointer for this phenomenon.
I would be very grateful if someone has an idea or hint for this.

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Mon, 07 Oct 2019 #18
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 55 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: As you say, seeing this is crucial, because that which self-created, self-projected, can dissolve. No?
————-
Manfred: It can dissolve because it has permanency only in our mind.

What is still strange to me is that this dissolving happens by choiceless awareness and not by destroying it. Out of my own experience it is possible. But I have no real understandable explanation for it. Maybe there is non. Then it would be interesting to find a pointer for this phenomenon.
I would be very grateful if someone has an idea or hint for this.

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Mon, 07 Oct 2019 #19
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 855 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
But I have no real understandable explanation for it. Maybe there is non.

Manfred,
what i have understood is that seeing the inaccuracy, the falsehood of something is at the same time its destruction.

There is no word or image involved and is actually it is one event.

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

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Mon, 07 Oct 2019 #20
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 55 posts in this forum Offline

Ok. Then the question remains how does someone see the falsehood of thinking? On one hand it is false because it is not based on something graspable, on the other hand it is correct when we use it in a certain domain?

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Mon, 07 Oct 2019 #21
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
Then the question remains how does someone see the falsehood of thinking?

My understanding Manfred is that thought itself has to see the destructive suffering caused by its projection of a 'thinker' or 'me'. So as 'I'/'me'/'thinker' begins to see the trick that thought has played on itself, it is actually thought itself that is realizing what it has done! The thinker/me is not real! And as you say only choiceless awareness of 'myself' can reveal the falseness of the 'I'. That revelation is the 'transformation'.

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Tue, 08 Oct 2019 #22
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 855 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
Ok. Then the question remains how does someone see the falsehood of thinking?

You don't see the falsehood of thinking but the falsehood, the improperarity of the source of it in the given situation.

May be a real lifesituation will give some light on the matter.

When i in spring heard I had cancer, fear came into being and seeing that that was grounded on an old 56 years ago experience by my first eyeoperation, fear dissolved and an enormous quietness came over me and is still there.

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

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Tue, 08 Oct 2019 #23
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Manfred Kritzler wrote #18:
It can dissolve because it has permanency only in our mind.

Which is no permanency at all, because thought is ending, all the time.

Nothing based on thought can have permanency, can it? Certainly not its images, its projections, its desires, even its fears. The civilisations it has built have all crumbled, and it seems very much the present one is fast crumbling (you probably know the Ozymandias poem). All its constructions, its buildings, its engineering marvels, even all the pollution and destruction thought has weaved will eventually fade. While nature somehow survives, regenerates.

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
What is still strange to me is that this dissolving happens by choiceless awareness and not by destroying it. Out of my own experience it is possible. But I have no real understandable explanation for it. Maybe there is non. Then it would be interesting to find a pointer for this phenomenon.
I would be very grateful if someone has an idea or hint for this.

What you say appears to be true, and it is indeed an interesting question, "Why?". it seems to me this choiceless awareness is like a great searchlight, illuminating every corner of the mind, and so driving away the darkness - the darkness of ignorance.

Can falseness endure, when it is exposed to the light of attention? Or can it only flourish in inattention?

Does anyone do evil in the full knowledge of what they are doing? Or does thought always rationalise the evil in some way, invent cunning arguments to justify it?

And the "choiceless" aspect of awareness plays an essential part of the process, doesn't it? So there is no space for such rationalisations, explanations, defenses,and so forth. So one is forced to look 'what is' straight in the eye. Isn't it this direct seeing that brings transformation? MUST bring transformation.

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