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

How to look


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Sat, 11 Jan 2020 #91
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5664 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
I'd say unnoticed. A guru once said to me: "try and catch a thought as it appears. try and see the Birth of thought"

"unnoticed" does fit the bill, Douglas. And yet they cannot be entirely unnoticed, can they?, as we are talking about them now. Is it that the more we watch thought, the more sensitive we become, and the more the 'unconscious' appears in the conscious mind?

So first I sit calmly and see if this is possible. I've never succeeded.

Neither have I succeeded. I am not quite sure what "success" might mean. Are you?

Someone on the forum recently said, asked (it may have been you):

Why can't we just look and see for ourselves?

and that is a question which comes to me at times. Instead of all this verbalisation. Why? There does seem a block against doing so. Is this block just 'thought', or is there something more subtle at play?

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
Our conditioning appears unbidden and unseen

It is indeed clear that thought arises unbidden to the mind. But does it have to be "unseen"? This is very much connected to the topic I raised recently, "How to look". It seems to me there is space in the mind, at least the conscious mind, for one thing at a time only. Would people agree with that? Which implies as a thought is "born", there is no room, no space, for an observer of thought at the same time, is there?

As I said above, let us pursue this.

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Sun, 12 Jan 2020 #92
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 194 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
So first I sit calmly and see if this is possible. I've never succeeded.

Neither have I succeeded. I am not quite sure what "success" might mean. Are
you?

In this case, the challenge as I understood it was : to be aware of the thought as it arises; when it is forming. Unfortunately, either I have trouble finding a bit of silence; or ending of the preceeding thought. Or when a new thought does arise, I'm only aware once it has left its mark. Its just a game.

Clive Elwell wrote:
"Why can't we just look and see for ourselves?"

and that is a question which comes to me at times. Instead of all this verbalisation. Why? There does seem a block against doing so

We are subtle and clever and full of fear of loss of control.
In formal meditation, the beginner has to deal with : either their own intellectual disgust of the procedure or the contrary positive beliefs about it, falling asleep, itching, pain, dizziness, long uninterrupted chains of thinking.
It is a living paradox : how not to react to myself? Its impossible. Thats the challenge. And it must be arrived at without préconceptions or effort. just like Love

Look, see, let go

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Sun, 12 Jan 2020 #93
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3230 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
It is a living paradox : how not to react to myself? Its impossible. Thats the challenge. And it must be arrived at without préconceptions or effort. just like Love

Rather than sit and challenge oneself (which is likely just more violence...one fragment of me trying to control another) why not simply look at how we react to others? How we react to our boss, our wife, child, neighbor, friend, enemy (those we dislike), etc.? I found that kind of looking to be very revealing in the past....observing oneself 'in the mirror of relationship', to use K's phrase

Let it Be

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Sun, 12 Jan 2020 #94
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 194 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
.observing oneself 'in the mirror of relationship', to use K's phrase

Yes, excellent training - My wife is my best Guru. She who must be obeyed, works wonders on the ego.

This forum is great for that too - unfortunately we seem to be better at seeing into the souls of the idiots at the other end of the internet than at our own.

What about the Relationship with yourself? What Relationship do we have with our thoughts? Thinking about this question will only lead to conclusions and more thought. Thinking is not the way to understand thought.
Meditation, though impossible, is essential.

Look, see, let go

This post was last updated by Douglas MacRae-Smith Sun, 12 Jan 2020.

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Tue, 14 Jan 2020 #95
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5664 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote #88:
K: The mind must pursue each thought that arises in it, right through till it is complete.

I followed this up, but there has been no response as yet, and I am posting my question again, hoping for one:

"his "pursuing of each thought" has been with me for many years - at least as an idea. But also I have experimented with it. It has a certain amount of meaning for me. But there is a problem, both with the concept and the 'practice'. That is, "Pursuing" suggests two separate things, doesn't it? The thing pursued and and the thing doing the pursuing - which might be called "the pursuer".
I doubt that this is what K is suggesting, when he says "The mind must pursue each thought..." But he does not say "thought must pursue itself" (this suggests itself to me through the question he asks "can thought be aware of itself?").
This is obviously a very important question/issue. Can we pursue it? (no pun intended)"

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Tue, 14 Jan 2020 #96
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 194 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
K: The mind must pursue each thought that arises in it, right through till it is complete.

I think this is a most unfortunate phrase by K.
Not only is it impossible or possibly misleading, he finishes his sentence with : "just like following up a stream along its course right up to its source".
The source of a sentence is not apparent at its end. The same goes for a thought.

This is even more impossible (if thats possible) than formal meditation.

Come to think of it, so is the idea of "Observing my anger".

It all sounds a bit schizophrenic, like philosophers observing themselves "objectively" from afar.
If I am angry, who is observing this anger?

Sorry, the more I think about this, the more I get tied up in knots- Its like a mental illness. The self observing the self is a disease.

Motivation is crucial (what is my goal? - as none is acceptable). As is focus (What am I reifying? - there should be no one focusing and Nothing upon which to focus)

Look, see, let go

This post was last updated by Douglas MacRae-Smith Tue, 14 Jan 2020.

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #97
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1703 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
"The mind must pursue each thought..." But he does not say "thought must pursue itself" (this suggests itself to me through the question he asks "can thought be aware of itself?").
This is obviously a very important question/issue. Can we pursue it? (no pun intended)"

If the 'mind' is unaware of the thinking process as it has been, there can be no change. Through awareness of the role that thought has played and is playing, there is the chance that it can come to an end, see the light.... If it continues as it has been, the greed, violence, suffering, brutality will continue. That die is cast. The mind being aware of thought as it arises can see that it is stumbling in the dark. It is simply where it should not be. It is out of its depth.

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #98
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 832 posts in this forum Offline


K: The mind must pursue each thought that arises in it, right through till it is complete.

Clive Elwell wrote at 95:
But there is a problem, both with the concept and the 'practice'. That is, "Pursuing" suggests two separate things, doesn't it? The thing pursued and and the thing doing the pursuing - which might be called "the pursuer".

Pursuing a thought through to its very end is not the same action as pursuing an idea or ideal - such as happiness, Truth, enlightenment, happiness, success, power, money, and so on. In the pursuit of an ideal, I squander my energy, I strive to overcome opposition and obstacles, I turn to drink to give me solace, I harden my heart, I pretend to know the unknowable, I pretend that I do care or don’t care, I reject certain conclusions and conform to the dictates of others, I am cruel, I am self-indulgent, I discipline myself, I force myself, I punish myself, I blind myself to what is, and so on. I torture myself. This approach to pursuing thought is itself based on thought, conclusion and knowledge, isn't it?

But to pursue a thought to its very end is not to do any of those things (to think about it, to squander, to strive, to overcome, to escape, and so on). To pursue a thought to its end is not to conform to its authority. It is to follow it as one might follow the meanderings of a stream or the comings and goings of birds.

But to pursue thought in the sense of awareness, of following/observing its meanderings, is to deny psychological effort or the pursuit of an idea or ideal. To pursue the movements of thought without conforming to thought is to deny the approach of thought itself, of effort and conformity.

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote at 96:
I think this is a most unfortunate phrase by K.
Not only is it impossible or possibly misleading, he finishes his sentence with : "just like following up a stream along its course right up to its source".
The source of a sentence is not apparent at its end. The same goes for a thought.

So, as I see it, pursuing a thought through to its very end, in the sense of observing its every movement, IS pursuing it to its source. What is at the very end of any thought? The stillness of no-thought? The silence of awareness?

"What I say is, you cannot deny truth, but you have to deny everything else .... In that state, see what the brain is. It is no longer in a state of experimentation or investigation .... It is not blind denial.”
https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.56...
KRISHNAMURTI A BIOGRAPHY - Pupul Jayakar
CHAPTER 34 - Negation and the Ancient Mind

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #99
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 194 posts in this forum Offline

It seems clear that firstly, one must consider what thought is - so that it finds its proper place - as one of the senses like Dan says, or as a tool not the master.
Then secondly, forget it, stop worrying and let thought flow freely. Definately do not think you can observe thought, Don't interfere with the flow. And Don't confuse the conclusions with what is - they are just points of view.

Look, see, let go

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #100
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 832 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
It seems clear that firstly, one must consider what thought is - so that it finds its proper place...

What does it mean to “consider” what thought is and what its proper place is? Without observing and understanding the whole of thought and its proper place in action and relationship, isn’t “thought’s proper place” just another idea or conclusion?

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
Then secondly, forget it, stop worrying and let thought flow freely. Definately do not think you can observe thought...

If, as you say, you CAN’T observe thought, then there's no need to “forget it, stop worrying and let thought flow freely”, is there? Forget what? Stop worrying about what? Letting what flow freely?

Anyway, "how” do you DO that (i.e. stop worrying etc.)? Can you just “ignore” worry, pretend it’s not there? Or just CHOOSE to forget it and somehow forget it? Or repress it? Do you observe all these thoughts “before” thinking or uttering them? Or do you observe them "as" you are thinking or uttering them? Or do you observe them “after” they have been thought or uttered? If you can’t observe any of it, how do you know it has been or is being thought or uttered?

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #101
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1703 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
So, as I see it, pursuing a thought through to its very end, in the sense of observing its every movement, IS pursuing it to its source. What is at the very end of any thought? The stillness of no-thought? The silence of awareness?

I was experimenting with being present at the 'birth' of a thought. That each thought has a beginning middle and end, seemed a 'fact'. After reading your post the question arose: "is it possible to be aware, be present as the thought arises". Arises from where ,the brain, no? D. Bohm in a dialogue yesterday on John R.'s forum said the brain doesn't 'sense' that it is thinking (or something like that) it can sense hand movement, sight, taste, smell, etc but not thinking? So I realized that awareness of a thought as it arose would have to be at the origen of its coming into being where ever in the brain that is,..like an obstetrician, at the birth of a child. Could there be a 'seeing' or awareness of a thought 'coming into the world'. The answer strangely, is yes and the relationship to that thought is radically different as it 'emerges' than one that is already 'fully formed".

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 15 Jan 2020.

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #102
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 832 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
D. Bohm in a dialogue yesterday on John R.'s forum said the brain doesn't 'sense' that it is thinking (or something like that) it can sense hand movement, sight, taste, smell, etc but not thinking?

Dan, I assume that this is the extract from John Raica that you’re referring to:

“DB: If you move your hand there is a sense organ that tells you that it is moving. If you move your head, the image (of what you're seeing) also moves but it is corrected ( by the brain) so that the world doesn’t spin unless something is wrong with your balance. On the other hand there are no such 'sense' organs in the brain. You see, if you do an operation on the brain, once you pass through the skull, there is no ( further brain) sensation- people may be conscious while they are operated, but it does not disturb them. Now, let's say thought is recorded, it's held in memory, in the cells of the brain, and the cells of the brain react to produce some image, a (simulated mental) imitation. And while they (the brain cells) first react, there is no sensation that they are reacting, but a little later you may sense the result of the reaction.”

The brain feels no pain but the movement of thought IS some sort of a sensation in the brain. You might be interested in viewing this “Heritage Minute” about neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield which addresses this very question:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUOG2g4hj8s

Dan McDermott wrote:
So I realized that awareness of a thought as it arose would have to be at the origen of its coming into being where ever in the brain that is,..like an obstetrician, at the birth of a child. Could there be a 'seeing' or awareness of a thought 'coming into the world'. The answer strangely, is yes and the relationship to that thought is radically different as it 'emerges' than one that is already 'fully formed".

What do you mean by “awareness of a thought as it arose would have to be at the origen of its coming into being where ever in the brain”? Are you saying that awareness is the originator or source of thought, that thought needs awareness in order to arise?


“LET US NOW go into the question of what is thinking, the significance of that thought which must be exercised with care, logic and sanity (for our daily work) and that which has no significance at all. Unless we know the two kinds, we cannot possibly understand something much deeper which thought cannot touch. So let us try to understand this whole complex structure of what is thinking, what is memory, how thought originates, how thought conditions all our actions; and in understanding all this we shall perhaps come across something which thought has never discovered, which thought cannot open the door to.
...
Ideas have become far more important to us than action - ideas so cleverly expressed in books by the intellectuals in every field. The more cunning, the more subtle, those ideas are the more we worship them and the books that contain them.

It is really extraordinarily interesting to watch the operation of one's own thinking, just to observe how one thinks, where that reaction we call thinking, springs from. Obviously from memory. Is there a beginning to thought at all? If there is, can we find out its beginning - that is, the beginning of memory, because if we had no memory we would have no thought?

And it is only in silence that you can observe the beginning of thought - not when you are searching, asking questions, waiting for a reply. So it is only when you are completely quiet, right through your being, having put that question, ‘What is the beginning of thought?’', that you will begin to see, out of that silence, how thought takes shape.
If there is an awareness of how thought begins then there is no need to control thought … There is a battle going on all the time between one thought and another, one desire and another, one pleasure dominating all other pleasures. But if there is an awareness of the beginning of thought, then there is no contradiction in thought.
http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/freedom-from-t...

It may at first glance seem like a contradiction: how can the beginning of thought “take shape … out of that silence”? How can the mind see it, observe it, be aware of it without breaking that silence? I don’t see it as a contradiction. As long as the intellect does not separate from thought and become “the thinker”, there is no contradiction between awareness and thought. Again:

“...if there is an awareness of the beginning of thought, then there is no contradiction in thought.”

This post was last updated by Huguette . Wed, 15 Jan 2020.

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Thu, 16 Jan 2020 #103
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1703 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Are you saying that awareness is the originator or source of thought, that thought needs awareness in order to arise?

No, I'm sorry, I don't know how you got that from what I wrote. I tried to be aware of the moment when a thought arose, as in life, being in the delivery room when a child is born. To be present at the first 'word' of a thought. It is possible. You do not 'contradict' a child (word) coming into the world.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 16 Jan 2020.

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Thu, 16 Jan 2020 #104
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 194 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
To be present at the first 'word' of a thought. It is possible.

Waoh! Are you a long time practitioner of some sort of formal meditation? Or maybe this kind of question is taboo on K forums?

Look, see, let go

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Thu, 16 Jan 2020 #105
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 194 posts in this forum Offline

How to Look.

When it comes to looking, attitude is key. What is important is not so much what I am saying, but the quality of our Relationship. How is that quality right now? Between us. Between you and the words on the screen. Between you and your biological and cultural conditioning?

When it comes to looking, motive is key. Are we appreciating the unique quality of what is, or are we aiming for a target? Are we comparing, compartmentalizing, or are we receptive, sensitive, fearless?

Understanding is a disposition, not Something we acquire.
Freedom of understanding is about how we relate to what is, not what we can grasp. When we listen is there conflict?

Look, see, let go

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Fri, 17 Jan 2020 #106
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5664 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
Or maybe this kind of question is taboo on K forums?

I cannot at the moment think of any question that is "taboo" on this forum. Maybe some will arise and will need to be looked at. The only thing that is not allowed is rudeness to another, personal attacks, as such things are seen as not being conducive to dialogue 0r basic consideration for another.

You may care to look at the forum description, Douglas.

Clive, as moderator

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