Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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This educational project in Meditation


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Sun, 10 Nov 2019 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Can we reserve this thread to discuss the project that I brought up in the last thread, if anyone wishes to do so?

Actually I am starting to shy away from the word "meditation". If I do use the term, I am favouring at the moment "Awareness Meditation" as being the most meaningful. But I am seeing the essence of the project as being encouraging self understanding in young people, through experimentation. Self understanding through DIRECT OBSERVATION of their own minds, and nothing else. So that whatever is said, either by me or a student, can only be tested out direct observation of our own minds. Is this possible? Obviously I don't know if it is or not, I must find out.

But one question has arisen for me, and it is slightly worrying. Is there a danger in encouraging young people to look at their own minds directly, just to observe without any sense of control? Where might it take them? Might it awaken 'demmons' in them, bring to the surface trauma that they had buried. if so, I doubt if a classroom situation is the right place to meet such a thing?

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Sun, 10 Nov 2019 #2
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1578 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Might it awaken 'demmons' in them, bring to the surface trauma that they had buried. if so, I doubt if a classroom situation is the right place to meet such a thing?

I've experienced this very thing Clive and it's probably why the brain plays it safe with what it has garnered, limited as it may be, than to move into an unknown place. The mental 'stability' that has formed in us is pretty tenuous since it is basically built on sand. I wonder though if this 'Thinker/Thought' duality could be presented creatively. Also 'comparison', all the pain that that can entail when the child through comparison finds him/herself 'wanting', inferior...maybe 'self-esteem' in the child is extremely important because in developing, a low self-esteem has a psychologically crippling effect?

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Mon, 11 Nov 2019 #3
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But one question has arisen for me, and it is slightly worrying. Is there a danger in encouraging young people to look at their own minds directly, just to observe without any sense of control? Where might it take them? Might it awaken 'demmons' in them, bring to the surface trauma that they had buried. if so, I doubt if a classroom situation is the right place to meet such a thing?

Not sure what you’re referring to as ‘demons’, Clive. What kind of trauma? If it’s something very severe like abuse, I’m sure the self protective mechanisms will keep it safely buried. However, in my own experience....starting way back in the 1970s...I’ve found that uncovering the unconscious cause of a particular conflict brings a release....a relief...the past incident loses its hold on you. I guess you and Dan in his post above have had different experiences here. It’s kind of puzzling what you both wrote. Maybe Dan will share more of what he was pointing to in the above post.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Mon, 11 Nov 2019.

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Mon, 11 Nov 2019 #4
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1578 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Maybe Dan will share more of what he was pointing to in the above post.

One example that comes to mind is repressing any homosexual tendencies one might have. The fear that somehow they will be known by others and you will be ridiculed, ostracized, humiliated, etc. and rather than face the images that thought is concocting, you kill yourself (or in your example, marry and force a heterosexual lifestyle on yourself) . Admitting to oneself that what one has tried to repress is actually how you feel can be traumatic, especially in the situation where the child is not loved. Children 'hide' a lot about themselves and their feelings in order to be accepted and not 'stand out'. I'm thinking that what may be the most valuable thing in the education of children is to somehow (I don't know how) offset some or all of this repressive activity which I think happens as a result of false 'comparison' with peers and societal as well as parental pressures.

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Mon, 11 Nov 2019 #5
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The fear that somehow they will be known by others and you will be ridiculed, ostracized, humiliated, etc. and rather than face the images that thought is concocting, you kill yourself (or in your example, marry and force a heterosexual lifestyle on yourself) .

My friend was almost beaten to death by his father when he finally told his dad he was gay. So, yeah, there was a damn good reason he repressed his gay feelings for over 20 years.

Admitting to oneself that what one has tried to repress is actually how you feel can be traumatic, especially in the situation where the child is not loved.

I’m trying to envision my childhood friend in a classroom in Clive’s school doing a ‘meditation’ exercise. I suspect the gay feelings would stay hidden, but hard to know. This was the 1960s and no one admitted they were gay in public. None of us in the neighborhood or in school knew he was hiding something, and he himself didn’t know. At my advanced retirement age, I’m only now finding stuff come to the surface that I buried in childhood....fears and judgments from parents and other adults. Judgments that society considered totally normal....and still does to this day. Very harmful to the young child. It’s quite liberating though, not traumatic, to have this surface.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Mon, 11 Nov 2019.

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Mon, 11 Nov 2019 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
. I wonder though if this 'Thinker/Thought' duality could be presented creatively.

Yes, This is something that needs to be done with all the areas of the mind, fear, conflict, suffering, becoming, etc. To find a new and simple way of awakening youg people. First one has to engage with them, no? And that is probably far more difficult than when K was talking to young people - and that was in the field of the K schools. For one thing, I feel that mobile phones are having a profound effect on their consciousness - and on ALL users of course.

i am studying all the talks that K gave to young people in the K schools, for inspiration. but I know what he did cannot be slavishly copied.

Dan McDermott wrote:
.maybe 'self-esteem' in the child is extremely important because in developing, a low self-esteem has a psychologically crippling effect?

Yes, "high self esteem" is quite a buzz word, the be all and end all of councilling and therapy, it seems. But how tenous is it! As you say, built on sand. The other side of the coin is low self esteem, I do not see how they can be separated. Yes, both terms are based in comparison.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Mon, 11 Nov 2019.

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Mon, 11 Nov 2019 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
However, in my own experience....starting way back in the 1970s...I’ve found that uncovering the unconscious cause of a particular conflict brings a release....a relief...the past incident loses its hold on you.

I am pretty sure this is so, Tom. Isn't this what most forms of therapy and councilling are based on? But that requires a certain safe space, psychologiclly. Certainly not in a classroom of one's peers. I stated in the inital introductory document that the exercise was not any form of therapy, and I feel clear about that.

Gosh, it is a difficult business! As I said above, there can seem such a gulf between one's "own" perceptions and those of society. Even though one is the world, and sees that. But it is precisely that that the mainstream does NOT see, they ("they") insist we are all individuals. That is certainly something to try to bring out in this program.

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Mon, 11 Nov 2019 #8
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1578 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
To find a new and simple way of awakening youg people.

After thousands of years Clive, why do you think that there is some simple "way"? You must be "awakened" mustn't you? That is the the pre-requisite, isn't it? We must be awakened, mustn't we? How will you 'know' that this awakening has taken place? Otherwise it's just more of the well-meaning "blind leading the blind" isn't it?

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #9
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

However, in my own experience....starting way back in the 1970s...I’ve found that uncovering the unconscious cause of a particular conflict brings a release....a relief...the past incident loses its hold on you.
I am pretty sure this is so, Tom. Isn't this what most forms of therapy and councilling are based on?

I’d say no to that. They mostly don’t even question the deep conditioning...the shoulds and shouldn’ts and ideals that have been with us for thousands of years. Their goal is to help you to fit into the mold....not question it. At least not the very basic deepest assumptions that our societies and cultures have been based upon for thousands of years. My God, Clive, do you think they even scratch the surface?! Question the religious beliefs and assumptions, the class divisions, the nationalism, the political parties, the economic beliefs and assumptions? I had a favorite uncle who was a psychiatrist and I was a psych major in college. They don’t even scratch the surface. Their own lives are based upon the very social and religious and economic conditioning.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 12 Nov 2019.

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
After thousands of years Clive, why do you think that there is some simple "way"

I don't know. But in those thousands of years, how much actual, serious work has gone on into this 'awakening'? Very very little, I venture to say.

I used the term "awakening", so I guess it is up to me to say what I meant by the word. I don't think that I meant enlightenment. Not even sure about insight. just ...glimpsing the real nature of thought, with some perception of the significance of conditioning and identification, no matter how small. Just to open one's eyes a little, and see things as they are.

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #11
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1578 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Just to open one's eyes a little, and see things as they are.

Children have to be psychologically strong. That means offsetting as much as possible, the childhood 'perversions'. They have to grow up in a perverse, brutal, cruel, environment. 'Flowering', if it comes, I'd say, comes later, at maturity. That's when the protective 'self-esteem' can be discarded and the possibility of seeing oneself as 'nothing' (not-a-thing) can be approached.

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Children have to be psychologically strong.

What do you mean by "psychologically strong", Dan?

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #13
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Just to open one's eyes a little, and see things as they are.

Makes sense, Clive. I might have found this very helpful when I was young if I was fortunate enough to attend a school that was open to such an exercise. It might have saved me from a lot of pain during my youth....from a lot of 'poor self esteem'. I was not so fortunate however....my school teachers and administrators seemed thoroughly brainwashed by the culture...religious, political, economic. No one seemed to question any of it.

Let it Be

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #14
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
That's when the protective 'self-esteem' can be discarded and the possibility of seeing oneself as 'nothing' (not-a-thing) can be approached.

Seeing oneself as nothing? If you're actually nothing there's nothing to see! Therefore no seeing of oneself. Only the ending of the self. I don't know....does this make any sense?

Let it Be

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #15
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1578 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
What do you mean by "psychologically strong"

Not psychologically damaged and hurt through comparison with others, through neglect, exploitation and cruelty by others, not being indoctrinated into 'beliefs' or 'becoming' rather than 'being', valuing 'anonymity' over the pressure to 'be' somebody. Music, art and lots of play!

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #16
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Clive Elwell wrote:

What do you mean by "psychologically strong"

Not psychologically damaged and hurt through comparison with others, through neglect, exploitation and cruelty by others, not being indoctrinated into 'beliefs' or 'becoming' rather than 'being', valuing 'anonymity' over the pressure to 'be' somebody. Music, art and lots of play!

Seems then that it's the teachers and administrators who need to do the meditation exercises...and the parents...not to mention priests and rabbis and ministers. That's the benefit of a K school...the teachers and staff are all inquiring...hopefully. But without that, it's pretty hopeless, it seems. I mean, the teachers and staff will still be giving the child the traditional societal conditioning. Like trying to clean up a polluted stream while a factory is still dumping chemicals into the water upstream.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 12 Nov 2019.

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Music, art and lots of play!

But this is the actuality:

BBC News - Inside the primary school class with 63 pupils
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-50117519

This is the school of the future, or rather the model of the school of the future. I have seem similar set-ups elsewhere, where a child might go through the whole day with any interaction whatsoever with an adult. And that is seen as a good thing.

Would any teacher, administrator, have any idea at all of what is meant by "self-understanding"?

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Below is some comment from Manfred. He is somewhat incapacitated at the moment, and has been for some time. Writing, using a keyboard, causes him considerable discomfort because of a shoulder injury. But he is following the forum.

One proposal for naming your planned activities with children is intentionless awareness or awareness without intention. In German „absichtslos“
(intentionless ) makes more sense than „wahllos“ (choiceless).

I also think that whatever we do to bring Krishnamurti’s or any other view different to the mainstream to others, we have to talk in a way which is understood by them. That means for me, we have to try to express us in their language not in ours. For me that does not mean we are not ourselves any more, as long as we are aware of this kind of activity.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Tue, 12 Nov 2019.

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5417 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
But without that, it's pretty hopeless, it seems. I mean, the teachers and staff will still be giving the child the traditional societal conditioning. Like trying to clean up a polluted stream while a factory is still dumping chemicals into the water upstream.

Not to mention parents and friends, the whole peer group. Yes, this is the problem, isn't it? This is the meaning of "tradition", the endless (apparently) passing on. passing down, of human conditioning and ignorance. It can indeed seem hopeless, looking around it does seem that way. Yet we are here, questioning, doubting, probing, and doubtless around the world there are other groups doing the same. And of course other 'individuals', who are actually questioning if they are individuals.

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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Not to mention parents and friends, the whole peer group. Yes, this is the problem, isn't it? This is the meaning of "tradition", the endless (apparently) passing on. passing down, of human conditioning and ignorance.

I think it’s even more fundamental than tradition. It’s the mind of man. It’s also the “wrong turn” that K spoke about....possibly from the beginning...the first humans. Hard to say but all our recorded history is a manifestation of the functioning of this human brain....the conditioned brain.

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Wed, 13 Nov 2019 #21
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Dan: we have to deal with it now.

True enough. That’s part of our problem, isn’t it? we can’t see it anew...as it is manifesting in the present. We see it through the eyes of the tradition itself.

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Wed, 13 Nov 2019 #22
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
K said a lot that our situation was like being in a room with a
"cobra" or standing on a "precipice". What does that mean to anyone?

There's something truly terrifying about our situation that we don't see?

The ever present threat of war...ecological destruction...the horrors of everyday life with its violence. Our loved one...our child could be a victim, right? We are contributing to this crisis since our mind is no different than our neighbors mind...in essence. Every time I turn on the baseball game to escape I’m avoiding facing the fact of the cobra in the room. It’s a wonderful escape when my team is in the World Series....until the cobra decides to strike. IdK if this makes sense. What do you say, Dan?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 13 Nov 2019.

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Wed, 13 Nov 2019 #23
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1578 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
We are contributing to this crisis since our mind is no different than our neighbors mind...in essence.

Because of the immediacy of the violence of the venom of the cobra and the fall from the precipice (he could have used a 'disease', say) I think it may be pointing at our psychological 'situation'. We are 'trapped' and don't know it. We are going about our businesses and entertainments 'as if' we are not on the edge of a precipice or a snake is waiting to attack us...we are 'asleep' to the danger. And all the things you mention and more are coming to pass. There has to be a 'jump'. he has used the word, I forget where. There has to be a jump to get 'clear'...it can't be done little by little in time. The 'observer/observed illusion has to be 'jumped' out of. That is the precipice/snake that has to be 'jumped' away from in this instant. Thought's "trick" of separating a 'thinker' from itself. Creating a 'me', a self that actually has no real existence but yet can do all this harm, create all this hate and brutality. We get an intimation of the power of this thought illusion and we fall right back asleep into it embracing our familiar soothing dreams. We don't see the danger of what we're in clearly enough because we're made so "dull" by the repetition of it all. If this were a slaughterhouse. the keeper could leave all the cage doors open because we wouldn't do more than occasionally peek outside and then again always find the reasons to put off our escape.

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Wed, 13 Nov 2019 #24
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2900 posts in this forum Offline

We don't see the danger of what we're in clearly enough because we're made so "dull" by the repetition of it all.

I think many of us DO see danger but there seems no path out (no way to end the self because any attempt is an action if that very self). In fact K said just that right, with his truth is a pathless land statement.

Let it Be

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Thu, 14 Nov 2019 #25
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1578 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
We’ve gone a bit off topic, Dan and I.

True.
I'm going to delete my stuff. With apologies.

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