Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What is the true function of the brain?


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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

A line of enquiry started up for me last night, that seemed quite fundamental, and I would like to share it with others.

A great deal of intricate evolution has bought human beings to this point in time. And even before the start of life on earth, a vaster evolution was going on, apparently. An evolution in the complexity of matter, and on such a vast scale that I know I cannot really grasp the hugeness of it .... the galaxies, such vast collections of stars, their variety, their birth and death, so many of them, so far away, perhaps only appearing as a faint twinkle in a telescope.

The result of this ...... i cannot find adequate adjectives ..... of this stupendous evolution is ..... the human being. And really that means the human brain, doesn’t it? That is what distinguishes man. Of course I don’t dismiss the possibility there may well be other focuses of the Universal evolution elsewhere. But let us look at man, and this brain of his. And I note that K insisted that the brain was the HUMAN brain, not a series of individual brains.

In one way it is an amazing brain, an incredible thing. As staggering as the Universe itself in its complexity and capacity. The very fact we know about, we have discovered so much about, the Universe, is a powerful witness to the stupendous power of the human brain. That capacity has manifested through man’s science and technology (and perhaps one might include his art). Over a few hundred years he has developed the power to leave the planet, and indeed to destroy the whole surface of the planet. And he might do just that.

Because another thing that distinguishes man is his stupidity and the sadness of his existence.

It seems that the animal instincts are still dominant in the human brain. He is still capable of tremendous barbarism, cruelty. I do not have to describe the almost infinite disorder, chaos in which he lives. The great suffering he imposes upon himself and other life on earth. His future continuation is very much in doubt – and that doubt is of his own making.

All this is encapsulated in me. In fact he whole evolution of the Universe is encapsulated in me.

Surely ... and this is my basic point ..... this is not what the brain was “meant to” be about?

I realise that is a lot of assumption in the phrase “meant to”. We could go into it.

One way of taking this line of thought is through what we have often mentioned as the old “wrong turn”. I recognise that I could slip into that groove of thinking, but I am seeking a new perception at the moment.

Apart from the brain’s destructive activities, why has it reduced itself to such trivial pursuits? I am writing this from a café, and listening to some of the conversations around me. Entertainment, amusement, sport, personal fulfillment, pleasures .. . Such a variety of fancy foods and drinks. Why is the brain doing what it is doing? Why has it narrowed itself down like this? Is its only function to look after the body, including its own physical security? And is this narrowing down the very cause of its destructive activities?

Why is the brain so full of problems that it has created? Why is it not enquiring into itself, into its own existence, its own significance? Why is it not trying to solve the problem of itself. Why is its immense capacity not utilised, or utilised so little, or utilised in such narrow channels? If the brain is the pinnacle of evolution, why is it immersed in such ...... basic ignorance? And why, for the most part, is it not concerned with these fundamental issues? Why is there so little interest in such enquiry?

Of course one could simply answer to all these questions: “the self”, the separation of the “I” from everything else. Self concern. But still one can ask: how can it be that the brain, with all its capacity, is so trapped in such limitations? As K said to companions, close to death:

“If you only knew what you have missed – that vast emptiness”

One might say that one is merely speculating in talking about the brain’s ‘true purpose’. But surely it is clear that the present occupations of the brain, overwhelmingly, are trivial, a terrible waste without any real meaning?

So what, in all this, is a relevant question? Perhaps one is: “how can we enquire into the true potential of the brain?”.

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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #2
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
“how can we enquire into the true potential of the brain?”.

As the brain becomes aware through its inquiry into itself of the limited way in which it operates. Through the constant stream of thought/time, it sees that it deprives itself of 'Silence', of the "vast emptiness". Why? Hasn't the answer always been 'fear'? K. has said thought/time must have a stop. I think that we are inquiring into this when we consider the question of 'identification', what it is and how it operates in us. The french psychiatrist and author Hubert Benoit, in looking at 'thought', described it as "our thoughts come to us as if through a trap door"...that has stayed with me. Seeing thought in that way would mean not being identified with it. Just seeing them emerge. But that is not the way I experience thought. I experience it as Tom said, as being me. I am one with the thoughts, there is no separation. Is that what 'identification' means? I'll leave it there but it ties in for me with a provocative thing K. said in relation to this, something like: we can be 'in' the world but not 'of' the world.

"If you only knew what you have missed – that vast emptiness”

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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #3
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2812 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: Because another thing that distinguishes man is his stupidity and the sadness of his existence.

It seems that the animal instincts are still dominant in the human brain. He is still capable of tremendous barbarism, cruelty.
Surely ... and this is my basic point ..... this is not what the brain was “meant to” be about?

T: From QOTD...Madras 1947:
"As long as the mind is moving from the known to the known, it is 'dead', and a 'dead' thing cannot understand anything"(K.)

And without understanding ourselves...the mind....well, you described our sad state of existence, which we all know all about unless we're totally brain dead.

Here's the whole excerpt from the QOTD:

"Because thought is the result of the past, it can only think in terms of time, today, yesterday and tomorrow, in terms of the known; and the known it wants to continue. If that continuance is denied, it will commit suicide. It is only concerned with moving from the known to the known. When it proceeds to God, it is only projecting itself into the unknown and seeking security there in God; therefore, that projection, God, is still the known through the mind has invested in God as the ultimate guarantee of its continuance. As long as the mind is moving from the known to the known, it is 'dead', and a 'dead' thing cannot understand anything. When the mind realises that it is 'dead', there will be life. We can discover something amazing when we realise that we are 'dead' and are alive only verbally."

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 24 Oct 2019.

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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #4
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Apart from the brain’s destructive activities, why has it reduced itself to such trivial pursuits?...How can we enquire into the true potential of the brain?

-

The First and Last Freedom, On Triviality:

Question: With what should the mind be occupied?

Krishnamurti: Here is a very good example of how conflict is brought into being: the conflict between what should be and what is. First we establish what should be, the ideal, and then try to live according to that pattern. We say that the mind should be occupied with noble things, with unselfishness, with generosity, with kindliness, with love; that is the pattern, the belief, the should be, the must, and we try to live accordingly. So there is a conflict set going, between the projection of what should be and the actuality, the what is, and through that conflict we hope to be transformed. So long as we are struggling with the should be, we feel virtuous, we feel good, but which is important: the should be or what is? With what are our minds occupied - actually, not ideologically? With trivialities, are they not? With how one looks, with ambition, with greed, with envy, with gossip, with cruelty. The mind lives in a world of trivialities and a trivial mind creating a noble pattern is still trivial, is it not? The question is not with what should the mind be occupied but can the mind free itself from trivialities? If we are at all aware, if we are at all inquiring, we know our own particular trivialities: incessant talk, the everlasting chattering of the mind, worry over this and that, curiosity as to what people are doing or not doing, trying to achieve a result, groping after one’s own aggrandizement and so on. With that we are occupied and we know it very well. Can that be transformed? That is the problem, is it not? To ask with what the mind should be occupied is mere immaturity.

Now, being aware that my mind is trivial and occupied with trivialities, can it free itself from this condition? Is not the mind, by its very nature, trivial? What is the mind but the result of memory? Memory of what? Of how to survive, not only physically but also psychologically through the development of certain qualities, virtues, the storing up of experiences, the establishing of itself in its own activities. Is that not trivial? The mind, being the result of memory, of time, is trivial in itself; what can it do to free itself from its own triviality? Can it do anything? Please see the importance of this. Can the mind, which is self-centred activity, free itself from that activity? Obviously, it cannot; whatever it does, it is still trivial. It can speculate about God, it can devise political systems, it can invent beliefs; but it is still within the field of time, its change is still from memory to memory, it is still bound by its own limitation. Can the mind break down that limitation? Or does that limitation break down when the mind is quiet, when it is not active, when it recognizes its own trivialities, however great it may have imagined them to be? When the mind, having seen its trivialities, is fully aware of them and so becomes really quiet - only then is there a possibility of these trivialities dropping away. So long as you are inquiring with what the mind should be occupied, it will be occupied with trivialities, whether it builds a church, whether it prays or whether it goes to a shrine. The mind itself is petty, small, and by merely saying it is petty you haven’t dissolved its pettiness. You have to understand it, the mind has to recognize its own activities, and in the process of that recognition, in the awareness of the trivialities which it has consciously and unconsciously built, the mind becomes quiet. In that quietness there is a creative state and this is the factor which brings about a transformation.

This post was last updated by idiot ? Thu, 24 Oct 2019.

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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
Through the constant stream of thought/time, it sees that it deprives itself of 'Silence', of the "vast emptiness"

But does it? Does it actually see that it is depriving itself of silence? The brain/mind (we need to go into the distinction between these things) is full of chatter. It IS chatter, noise, is it not? What does it know about silence?

Dan McDermott wrote:
? I'll leave it there but it ties in for me with a provocative thing K. said in relation to this, something like: we can be 'in' the world but not 'of' the world.

A perhaps similar statement that has always stayed with me, or rather a question, is:

"Can one stept out of the world?"

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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
T: From QOTD...Madras 1947:
"As long as the mind is moving from the known to the known, it is 'dead', and a 'dead' thing cannot understand anything"(K.)

Yes Tom, I read this QOTD last night, before going to bed, and it had quite an impact on me also. He is referring to "the mind", as I asked Dan, does he mean something different from "the brain"? This is an eternal question.

Tom Paine wrote:
And without understanding ourselves...the mind....well, you described our sad state of existence, which we all know all about unless we're totally brain dead.

Even though the brain is electrically active, does its job of organising the bodily functions, etc, there is quite a strong case to say we ARE totally brain dead, as suggested in this quote. We can hardly respond to the threat to our very existence that climate change is posing. We just carry on arguing about rather trivial so-called "issues", about which politicion said what, about who is sleeping with who. We carry on with our deadly nationalism, our slogans.

Tom Paine wrote quoting K :
it can only think in terms of time, today, yesterday and tomorrow, in terms of the known; and the known it wants to continue. If that continuance is denied, it will commit suicide.

What does K mean here about "comitting suicide"? Is he meaning "freedom from the known", dying to all that is non-essential?

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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

idiot ? wrote:
Is that not trivial?

Thank you for finding and posting this excerpt, Id, it is obviously very relevant.

The brain/mind (still slurring over this distinction) needs to be concerned with certain things - which could described loosely as "care for the body", perhaps. There are many other mental occupations which most people would certainly not call "trivial", but I don't think we need to go into these.

Is K suggesting that the mind concerning itself with 'greater things', apparently non-trivial things, is still a trivial occupation? This seems to be the case, what do you (others) say? The very term "occupation" suggests in itself triviality, does it not?

I am thinking of all the discussions, dialogues, that K had throughout his life. Perhaps they were all ultimately concerned with the mind freeing itself from itself.

idiot ? wrote (quoting K):
and in the process of that recognition, in the awareness of the trivialities which it has consciously and unconsciously built, the mind becomes quiet. In that quietness there is a creative state and this is the factor which brings about a transformation.

Quietness, or stillness, is an issue I have been on the verge of bringing up for some time, but the moment perhaps I will continue with the present discussion. Not that it is separate, obviously.

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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 #8
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2812 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote quoting K :

it can only think in terms of time, today, yesterday and tomorrow, in terms of the known; and the known it wants to continue. If that continuance is denied, it will commit suicide.

What does K mean here about "comitting suicide"? Is he meaning "freedom from the known", dying to all that is non-essential?

I think K is referring to actual suicide. If all we cling to is taken away....our pleasures ,attachments, goals for the future...we might very well give up in despair. because that feels like a kind of death to the 'me'....to lose all 'I' cling to. My mother had befriended an elderly violinist. Well he had lived for his music, and when arthritis set in and became so severe he could no longer play this was a tremendous loss for him...it caused great sadness. I think that's the kind of thing K is talking about...the continuance of his music....the known. The loss of that was a kind of death. However, it's possible I'm misunderstanding K's point.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 24 Oct 2019.

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Sat, 26 Oct 2019 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
The loss of that was a kind of death.

And yet it is a fact that everything WILL come to an end, sooner or later. No matter how much we cling on to things (perhaps especially when we cling on to things). We have to live with this awareness, no? Face this fact. And apart from all the uncertainty in life, there is always death at the end.

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Sat, 26 Oct 2019 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
As long as the mind is moving from the known to the known, it is 'dead', and a 'dead' thing cannot understand anything. When the mind realises that it is 'dead', there will be life. We can discover something amazing when we realise that we are 'dead' and are alive only verbally."

So in this excerpt K says the mind is fundamentally a dead thing (leaving the last sentence aside at the moment). At other times he has said the brain has “infinite potential”, or almost infinite potential. And similar comments. Is there a contradiction in this? Do we first need to clear up the ambiguity between the terms “brain” and “mind”? K was asked this a number of times, and sometimes at least he said he used the terms interchangeably.

But apart from this issue, one is lead to the perception that the brain can only fulfil its great potential, realise its “true function”, when IT IS EMPTY, when it is not occupied. Can we say when the brain is silent?

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Sat, 26 Oct 2019 #11
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
one is lead to the perception that the brain can only fulfil its great potential, realise its “true function”, when IT IS EMPTY, when it is not occupied. Can we say when the brain is silent?

I think that this is possible. The brain/mind seems to have 'tied itself down' or compartmentalized itself resulting in its only using a fraction of its potential. It has become "trivial". Society is a spectrum of triviality. Giving 'significance' to things and pursuits that have none. Greed, competition, craving success and recognition, fame, 'spiritual' achievement, etc, all have become the 'normal'. And it all, no matter what, ends up in more violence, more inequity, more misery and endless wars...so what does it mean to not be occupied? To be 'empty'? Does this explain the phenomenon that is K.? He is reported to have said as much:"If you only knew what you have missed – that vast emptiness”

If this so, is there any other question then: can the brain/mind free itself totally from its 'trivial pursuits' and come upon this "vast emptiness"?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 26 Oct 2019.

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Sat, 26 Oct 2019 #12
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
If this so, is there any other question then: how does the brain/mind free itself totally from its 'trivial pursuits' and come upon this "vast emptiness"?

"How" is precisely what K says is impossible. Why? Because any "how" is an idea. Any use of a crutch idea is a distraction away from freedom from ideas, that is the still, silent mind. Any "how" is a method.

This is the K catch 22. The silent mind is of the utmost importance. And there is no way to achieve it.

This is why I say that sitting meditation is so important. Quietly watching the activity of the mind and seeing if it naturally stills. Also, moving this from sitting to all activity. K says this, too, sometimes. (For example, chapter 5 of Think On These Things.) Other times he says that if meditation is done deliberately in any way then it is not true meditation, that it is a method. But I say, if we are a choosing self anyway, we can choose to sit down and explore quiet sitting, as well as attention in motion.

Did lightning strike with K and the silent mind arrived and for us nothing can be done to bring that about? If so, he talked for decades to no avail. But if the things he said can set you free, if understanding, investigating, and watching the mind can quiet it naturally, then still openness is, then love is. And moment to moment there is freedom from the known, transformation.

This post was last updated by idiot ? Sat, 26 Oct 2019.

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Sat, 26 Oct 2019 #13
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

idiot ? wrote:
This is why I say that sitting meditation is so important. Quietly watching the activity of the mind and seeing if it naturally stills. Also, moving this from sitting to all activity. K says this, too, sometimes. Other times he says that if meditation is done deliberately in any way then it is not true meditation, that it is a method. But I say, if we are a choosing self anyway, we can choose to sit down and explore quiet sitting, as well as attention in motion.

Nothing wrong with sitting quietly. People have been doing it for centuries. Nothing has changed. Things have gotten worse. We are asking a more fundamental question here I think. We understand about 'how' and methods. The brain/mind it seems has trapped itself in mediocrity, in compartments, etc. 'sitting quietly' is just another one of those compartments, it brings calm, peace, but the brain goes on as before, occupied. 'You' cannot 'spread' this calm and silence to other areas, you can hope that happens as they do in TM, but that 'mantra' rattling around in their heads has only a numbing effect. (personal experience). And as you say, is just a 'method'. So the question is 'how' can the brain let go of what it has held onto this whole lifetime? It will surely let it all go at death but can it 'happen' while the brain is still functioning? What could be the 'approach' to this?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 26 Oct 2019.

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Sun, 27 Oct 2019 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

idiot ? wrote:
If so, he talked for decades to no avail. But if the things he said can set you free, if understanding, investigating, and watching the mind can quiet it naturally, then still openness is, then love is.

Can you authenticate this, Id? Is it your personal, actual experience, have you verified it as an absolute fact? Or is it what you think, what appears to be reasonable, sane, but remeains to be truly verified?

I hope you are not offended by the question, it is what I would ask anyone. And it is the sort of question that I myself need to be challenged with. Let us go into the whole issue, carefully, and none of us saying what we don't actually know, as K requested his audiences. I am not saying that you are doing that.

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Sun, 27 Oct 2019 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
It will surely let it all go at death

well, K questions this.

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Sun, 27 Oct 2019 #16
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
If this so, is there any other question then: can the brain/mind free itself totally from its 'trivial pursuits' and come upon this "vast emptiness"?

Yes, let us go into this question slowly, carefully.

I am aware of the trivial pursuits, there is no doubt about them. It would be easy to come up with a definition of "trivial" with regards the mind, but I doubt that would get us anywhere. We surely all have a sense of it. But I think K might ask: "How are you aware of them?". As an idea? Or as an actual fact, as we might be aware of hunger.

ANother point that needs to be taken into account, it seems to me. Although they happen in this brain/body, they are not MY trivial activities. They are the trivial pursuits of the world, of human consciousness. In saying this, I do not think that I am denying responsibility.

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Sun, 27 Oct 2019 #17
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
They are the trivial pursuits of the world, of human consciousness.

They are the "stream" of human thought, as it came to me. And we are caught in it , moving with it...awakening to the fact that that is our situation is the "stepping out' of it. That can only take place in any 'instant' that there is an awareness that I 'am' in the 'stream'. 'Escaping' is different than stepping out. To continue the analogy, 'escaping' is moving to a different part of the stream, not the 'stepping out'. Becoming aware of the thought/time is not making it into an idea, that is just another escape. The stepping out is instantaneous, with no 'time' for a judgement about what is being stepped out of. The 'slipping out' takes place in the midst of the thought and if not, one is 'caught' (identified?) again in the 'flow'(meaning?) and 'time' of the thought.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 27 Oct 2019.

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Sun, 27 Oct 2019 #18
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 54 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Can you authenticate this, Id? Is it your personal, actual experience, have you verified it as an absolute fact?

This is a trick question because if the mind really is silent and open and love is, then there's no self to stake a claim about it.

I know you did't intend the question to be a trap, but rather to encourage us to speak from direct understanding and not just K theory. But logically it's impossible to answer yes.

I'm just a person, as are you, yes? I don't know if there is much meaning in thinking someone has or hasn't some insight or realization.

But clearly, K talked for decades about the clear, silent mind, about real love. If no one gets it, even slightly, then what a waste.

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Sun, 27 Oct 2019 #19
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am aware of the trivial pursuits, there is no doubt about them. It would be easy to come up with a definition of "trivial" with regards the mind, but I doubt that would get us anywhere.

Why not take it all as "trivial": science , medicine, art, philosophy, etc., all products of the "trivial mind"? This brings things into focus for me. By being caught up in the hierarchy among the 'trivial',(the 'stream'). that "vast emptiness" that K mentioned,is denied us. It is a new and refreshing way to look at Mankind and its pursuits: as being simply products of a trivial mind. The point being perhaps that what we deem and have been 'conditioned to regard as 'significant' and 'of value' is actually not, and is what we will become 'attached' to and 'identified' with? That which is negated (what we die to) cannot be attached to.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 28 Oct 2019.

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
They are the "stream" of human thought . ..........

I read your mail – or rather there was reading of your mail, Dan, in a way that seemed totally new. I don’t know why. There was just reading, no attempt to analyse, to conceptualize, no attempt even to understand. Yet at some level understanding was appearing.

Perhaps it was, as K suggests, there was no attempt to turn what I was reading into ideas. And perhaps if I had done so, all such ideas would have necessarily been trivial. Trivial because they would only be what I already knew. And what I know, except perhaps what is necessary for day-to-day survival, IS trivial. It serves no meaningful purpose.

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

idiot ? wrote:
This is a trick question because if the mind really is silent and open and love is, then there's no self to stake a claim about it.

Well, it was not a trick, but I am willing to look at the question from the perspective that it might be misleading, or illusory.

“I'm just a person, as are you, yes? I don't know if there is much meaning in thinking someone has or hasn't some insight or realization.”

Not sure if I am seeing it as you are, but yes, there is not much meaning in thinking “I” have or haven’t anything. Not much meaning in thinking I am this or I am that, because in reality there is no such thing as “I”. Or put it as “I am the world”, ie not an individual at all. What there is, is constant flux, such movement not allowing for a static, an enduring “I”.

But clearly, K talked for decades about the clear, silent mind, about real love. If no one gets it, even slightly, then what a waste.

This is off topic, but I gather K said a number of things towards the end of his life that suggested that no one HAD got it. On the other hand, at the very end he put a lot of attention in the right continuation of the Foundations and the Schools, which I take to mean he felt there was a possibility in the future of someone getting it.

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #22
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
Why not take it all as "trivial": science , medicine, art, philosophy, etc., all products of the "trivial mind"?

I suggest that we cannot regard those functions of the brain that are concerned with the survival of the body, and hence the brain, as trivial. After all, if there is a “true function” of the brain, a “higher function” if I can use that term, there has to be a brain! That brain has to survive. The complexity of the brain – that that complexity may well be necessary for this higher function to develop – has taken millions of years to develop, and all that time the brain has needed protection and nourishment.

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2812 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Dan McDermott wrote:

Why not take it all as "trivial": science , medicine, art, philosophy, etc., all products of the "trivial mind"?
I suggest that we cannot regard those functions of the brain that are concerned with the survival of the body, and hence the brain, as trivial. After all, if there is a “true function” of the brain, a “higher function” if I can use that term, there has to be a brain!

I tend to agree. K, I don’t think, felt science and technology to be without merit. In fact he took great pleasure in driving his Mercedes and respected the scientific advances in medicine....and dentistry. He need a LOT of dental work as well as medical care on his late years. But....and a BIG but....I’m quite certain he would never say that science and technology should be the major focus of one’s life. Without solving the problem of relationship we might not survive as a species. Our cellphones and computers won’t help us there.

Let it Be

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #24
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
I suggest that we cannot regard those functions of the brain that are concerned with the survival of the body, and hence the brain, as trivial.

No they are adequate as they are in all animal life. That is not what is being called "trivial'. The 'triviality' is perhaps involved in the mind's perversion of 'priorities'? The drive to be a 'success', to be someone, to be recognized in some way, to gain 'enlightenment', etc...The trivial mind wants more than it needs. The trivial mind clings to beliefs that separate it from other minds. The trivial mind believes that with time it can become greater than it is. The trivial mind is not aware that it is being swept along in a river and headed for the falls. It is obsessed with pleasure and entertainment. It becomes anxious if it is not occupied. It relies on a constant stream of 'trivia' whether from outside sources or from its own thinking process.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 28 Oct 2019.

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #25
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2812 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
That is not what is being called "trivial'.

But you said just that didn’t you? “Why not take it all as "trivial": science , medicine, art, philosophy, etc., all products of the "trivial mind"?” I think probably some significant scientific discoveries came from beyond the trivial intellectual mind....from insight. Art perhaps comes from some deep inspiration ....some of it....much is trivial.

Let it Be

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #26
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2812 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The 'triviality' is perhaps involved in the mind's perversion of 'priorities'? The drive to be a 'success', to be someone, to be recognized in some way, to gain 'enlightenment', etc...The trivial mind wants more than it needs. The trivial mind clings to beliefs that separate it from other minds. The trivial mind believes that with time it can become greater than it is.

Isn’t triviality then, based upon fear? And time? Both aspects of thought. It’s thought that creates the trivial mind....that IS trivial? Questioning...

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #27
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
Isn’t triviality then, based upon fear? And time? Both aspects of thought. It’s thought that creates the trivial mind....that IS trivial?

Could you say that the trivial mind is a mind/brain that is occupied by psychological thought/time, which K. has said "must have a stop"? When (and if) thought/time no longer occupies the mind, is that when the "higher function" of the brain, as Clive put it, is freed to operate? Is it then that the mind is no longer 'caught in trivia' and can resonate with another (infinitely finer?) dimension, the one that K. so forcefully describes here?:

“If you only knew what you have missed – that vast emptiness

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 28 Oct 2019.

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #28
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2812 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
When (and if) thought/time no longer occupies the mind, is that when the "higher function" of the brain, as Clive put it, is freed to operate?

Yes, that seem correct. Thought is limited and fixed. Fixed in the sense that my image of the tree is fixed....my image of my child or wife is limited(by experience) and somewhat fixed. But the tree itself is not limited or fixed. Certainly my image of the tree isn’t the tree and same goes for my image of my wife. So when thought sees it’s limited and fixed....mechanical...limited matter...then perhaps it subsides and the higher function is allowed to come into play. Don’t know if I’m totally clear about this last part. The first part seems quite simple and clear to me, however

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Mon, 28 Oct 2019.

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #29
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1489 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
Don’t know if I’m totally clear about this last part.

I don't think we can be...unless it 'happens'. Analogies come to mind and I don't know how useful they are in all this. But if the brain/mind say, is like a 'receiver' that has the potential to receive or resonate to a certain frequency (the vast emptiness?) but because of 'static' (thought/time?) it can't 'come through'. Obviously it is the 'static' that must cease. Drugs are out for various reasons. So can the 'static' (triviality?) come to an end itself and this "vast emptiness" be a reality? Is it as you say, "fear" (of the unknown?) that is behind keeping the 'static' of thought/time flowing?

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 #30
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5344 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
The 'triviality' is perhaps involved in the mind's perversion of 'priorities'? The drive to be a 'success', to be someone, to be recognized in some way, to gain 'enlightenment', etc...The trivial mind wants more than it needs. The trivial mind clings to beliefs that separate it from other minds. The trivial mind believes that with time it can become greater than it is. The trivial mind is not aware that it is being swept along in a river and headed for the falls. It is obsessed with pleasure and entertainment. It becomes anxious if it is not occupied. It relies on a constant stream of 'trivia' whether from outside sources or from its own thinking process.

I think this is an accurate description, Dan. I have recently had some contact, direct and indirect, with young people from the nearby University here, and one sees that their life is trivial in the extreme. Any time lift over from studies is is devoted, as you say, to the pursuit of pleasure, amusement, sensation.

But one has to ask, what influences have their been in their lives NOT to be trivial. To develop a serious perspective on life? Not in their education, not in their upbringing, not in their peers who are overwhelmingly the result of conformity. And they are surrounded by, immersed in, a vast industry which is actively engaged in conditioning them deeper into a trivial life.

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