Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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how is "what is" sacred?


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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

Is “what is” sacred?

Various things have come together in me to create this thread – like Tom and Huguette’s discussion of depression, and an event in the life of a close friend. And the recent quote I posted, and Id’s response, about K reference to “what is” being most sacred.

About my friend. On December 26 he was at the beach (this is NZ remember) with his family. One of his 4 daughters, age 41, Jane, was body surfing. Some other woman dived into the wave, and there was a collision. Jane broke her neck, and was instantly paralysed in all limbs. She almost drowned, but was noticed, saved, and is now in Auckland Spinal unit receiving what help is possible, and preparing for life as an incomplete quadriplegic. There has been a slight amount of recover of some muscle control; the future is uncertain, but not greatly “hopeful”. Of course she is often depressed about her situation. She was a successful classical guitar player, about to embark on a world tour.

So suddenly, instantly, her life utterly changed, and the life of her family, her parents and sisters.

My question is: in this situation (and many similar situations in the world, the immense suffering of so many (all?) people), how is it that “what is is most sacred?

It is not clear to me at the moment exactly what “what is” is, but I will post this for now.

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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

There is a chapter in “The Urgency of Change” called simply “what is”

http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/the-urgency-of-change/1970-00-00-jiddu-krishnamurti-the-urgency-of-change-what-is

Here is a short extract:

Krishnamurti: So though you deny the ideal, the belief, the directive, you are very subtly and deviously asking the same thing which everybody asks: this is the conflict between the "what is" and the "what should be".

Questioner: Even without the "what should be", I see that the "what is" is hideous. To deceive myself into not seeing it would be much worse still.

Krishnamurti: If you see "what is" then you see the universe, and denying "what is" is the origin of conflict. The beauty of the universe is in the "what is; and to live with "what is" without effort is virtue.

Questioner: The "what is" also includes confusion, violence, every form of human aberration. To live with that is what you call virtue. But isn't it callousness and insanity? Perfection doesn't consist simply in dropping all ideals! Life itself demands that I live it beautifully, like the eagle in the sky: to live the miracle of life with anything less than total beauty is unacceptable.

Krishnamurti: Then live it!

Questioner: I can't, and I don't.

Krishnamurti: If you can't, then live in confusion; don't battle with it. Knowing the whole misery of it, live with it: that is "what is". And to live with it without conflict frees us from it.

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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #3
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

What a tragic story Clive! My wife is a partial quadriplegic but she was that way since birth so it’s ‘normal’ for her....like someone who is born blind compared to a famous artist who suddenly loses his sight through accident. My wife is often happy....so much so that people ask us, “Why is she so happy?”. But it’s the comparison I would think that causes the suffering in an accident like your friend’s daughter had....comparing what is now to what was...in thought. Or like a guy I knew who was an active Telephone company lineman who came down with multiple sclerosis and wound up wheelchair bound and unable to care for himself.

Let it Be

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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #4
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Here is a short extract:

But this excerpt doesn’t touch on the horror of mass slaughter in war, nor the genocide of the Holocaust...nor the unthinkable madness and horror of child abuse. That is what is too.

Let it Be

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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
But it’s the comparison I would think that causes the suffering in an accident like your friend’s daughter had....comparing what is now to what was...in thought

I think this is quite right, Tom, it is always comparison that causes suffering. But perhaps that "always" needs questioning.

But i cannot imagine somehow being at the bedside of Jane and telling her "You are suffering because you are comparing yourself".

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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #6
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But i cannot imagine somehow being at the bedside of Jane and telling her "You are suffering because you are comparing yourself".

No, of course not. That would be cruel since the pain is quite real to her.

Let it Be

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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Due to some kind of illness K was paralyzed for a couple of days. I can’t verify this, but recall reading it. The salient point is, that he told someone when he came out of it that there was no fear. Really lived the teaching it seems....if true that is.

Let it Be

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Thu, 30 Jan 2020 #8
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 93 posts in this forum Offline

The other day we had a power outage for hours. I could not log into kinfonet or any other time waster on the internet. I could not watch tv. I could not do a lot of things. It was very quiet. And later I realized that it was a gift.

Of course, paralysis is a far, far cry from a power outage. It is an enormous subtraction in someone's life. You cannot act as you could. You are restricted. Almost all you can do is just be present and aware.

It's a forced radical change that no one wants and no one would voluntarily choose. But it is what it is. What is now is: ambitions cannot be realized, nothing can be done except literally full stop. I can fight it, rage against it, bemoan it, and it doesn't matter. Of course, I recover to the extent that I can. I will to walk if I can. I will to move. But if I can do nothing, then I must do nothing. Full stop. Just aware. Just watching, feeling, not separate from what is.

Sooner or later all of us must face a degree of limitation, yes? How will we do it? With escape and distraction, or with eyes wide open?

My heart goes out to Jane and I wish her well. She has, like all of us have, access to the sacred.


I don't know.

Perhaps someone can just be with her, listen to her, not give her any advice. Just be there.

This post was last updated by idiot ? Thu, 30 Jan 2020.

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #9
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
Almost all you can do is just be present and aware.

Well there’s all kinds of adaptive equipment these days. One of our neighbors uses a computer with a head pointer. Hopefully there are close family members to bring her out to the park to observe the natural world. And there’s always videos and audio books, and more

Let it Be

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #10
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Clive Elwell wrote:

Here is a short extract:

But this excerpt doesn’t touch on the horror of mass slaughter of innocent children in war, nor the genocide of the Holocaust...nor hundreds of years of slavery, nor the unthinkable madness and horror of child abuse. That is ‘what is’ too. And we have discussed the direct perception of evil previously...seeing the fact of evil when confronted with it. So one can’t rightly say that evil is sacred...that the ‘wrong turn’ is sacred. K. called it ‘wrong’, right?

K. again:
“If you see "what is" then you see the universe, and denying "what is" is the origin of conflict. The beauty of the universe is in the "what is; and to live with "what is" without effor is virtue.”

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 31 Jan 2020.

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #11
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 212 posts in this forum Offline

"What is" is all there is.

Either you live as if it were sacred, or you cannot.

There is no choice.

PS. The strength of our emotion is tied to that sacredness

Look, see, let go

This post was last updated by Douglas MacRae-Smith Fri, 31 Jan 2020.

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
Either you live as if it were sacred, or you cannot.

K spent his whole life speaking about ending violence and hate...and about the ‘wrong turn’ mankind took. He himself didn’t see violence and hatred and war as sacred....not in the least. Evil is sacred? War is sacred? No one can argue with your point that it is ‘what is’.

Let it Be

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #13
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 212 posts in this forum Offline

We make war because we are not animated by a feeling of sanctity.

We are animated by selfishness.

If we are at war; if there is sorrow; we must act from the sanctity of what is; not from the selfishness of what should be.

Look, see, let go

This post was last updated by Douglas MacRae-Smith Fri, 31 Jan 2020.

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #14
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
If we are at war; if there is sorrow; we must act from the sanctity of what is

So you’re saying that war or child abuse is sacred? That we can’t see it as evil....as the ‘wrong turn’?

Let it Be

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #15
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

So when we perceive child abuse as pure evil (not think that it should not be, but perceive it for what it is), we take appropriate action if possible, to remove the child from the family and place them in a foster home. If we see the ‘sanctity’ of child abuse we don’t act to help the child, right? No action is necessary if it’s sacred. The same could have been said about the slave trade...about Hitler.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 31 Jan 2020.

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #16
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 212 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
So you’re saying that war or child abuse is sacred?

Ouch!

Look, see, let go

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
I could not log into kinfonet or any other time waster on the internet.

You seem to be saying that you regard participation in the forums as a "time waster". Is that so, Id?

idiot ? wrote:
Of course, paralysis is a far, far cry from a power outage. It is an enormous subtraction in someone's life. You cannot act as you could. You are restricted. Almost all you can do is just be present and aware.

It's a forced radical change that no one wants and no one would voluntarily choose. But it is what it is. What is now is: ambitions cannot be realized, nothing can be done except literally full stop. I can fight it, rage against it, bemoan it, and it doesn't matter. Of course, I recover to the extent that I can. I will to walk if I can. I will to move. But if I can do nothing, then I must do nothing. Full stop. Just aware. Just watching, feeling, not separate from what is.

Yes, I go along with what you say, Id. Trouble is, I would find it very hard, I think, to express such things to Jane, or similar people.

I ask myself why this is so. Is it sensitivity, or merely my fear? Unless they somehow raised such issues themselves. I have a strong aversion to telling people how they 'should' live their lives.

idiot ? wrote:

Sooner or later all of us must face a degree of limitation, yes? How will we do it? With escape and distraction, or with eyes wide open?

Yes, this is a real test of our 'philosophy'.

idiot ? wrote:
She has, like all of us have, access to the sacred.

Yes. Perhaps this is the one thing that cannot be taken away from us, in any circumstances.

Thanks for your post.

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
. If we see the ‘sanctity’ of child abuse we don’t act to help the child, right? No action is necessary if it’s sacred. The same could have been said about the slave trade...about Hitler.

I think we can be sure that this is not what k was saying, when he said "What is is sacred". But I certainly admit that it is a puzzle to understand.

I can begin to better understand, I think, if I restrict "what is" to the things that are happening inside me, rather than "out there" (although I see it is artificial to separate the two). I can see that to try to escape from my inner 'what is', to try to replace what is with the pursuit of 'what should be', does not solve anything, and in fact only continues the problems. So one needs to stay with 'what is' ( I say "stay", but i see that 'what is' is constantly changing). I see that if there is to be an end to say, sorrow, then one must "stay" with sorrow, be one with sorrow. So the ending of sorrow lies IN sorrow. In this sense it seems reasonable to say "sorrow is sacred'.

But I suspect I am missing the essence. Do others have anything to add on this?

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

i wonder what K meant by the term "sacred"? Apart from from the rigmorole of religious belief, here is one interesting definition:

Something that is sacred is dedicated, purifed or set apart from filthiness or defilement

I don't know if this usage is significant:

considered too important to be changed:

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Sat, 01 Feb 2020 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

. If we see the ‘sanctity’ of child abuse we don’t act to help the child, right? No action is necessary if it’s sacred. The same could have been said about the slave trade...about Hitler.

I think we can be sure that this is not what k was saying, when he said "What is is sacred". But I certainly admit that it is a puzzle to understand.

My post was in response to Douglas’ post about sanctity. He seemed to be implying all I mentioned was sacred. Maybe I misunderstood.

I can begin to better understand, I think, if I restrict "what is" to the things that are happening inside me, rather than "out there" (although I see it is artificial to separate the two).

I think I’d include the natural world and my everyday living...washing dishes, doing laundry, cutting the grass, brushing my teeth, repairing the roof, etc.

I can see that to try to escape from my inner 'what is', to try to replace what is with the pursuit of 'what should be', does not solve anything, and in fact only continues the problems. So one needs to stay with 'what is' ( I say "stay", but i see that 'what is' is constantly changing). I see that if there is to be an end to say, sorrow, then one must "stay" with sorrow, be one with sorrow. So the ending of sorrow lies IN sorrow. In this sense it seems reasonable to say "sorrow is sacred'.

And fear or anger or greed? I honestly don’t know.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 01 Feb 2020.

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Sat, 01 Feb 2020 #21
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

I’d like to add this brief excerpt from “What Are You Seeking?”

“Truth must be something that is living, it must be totally new each second, and how can a mind that has accumulated knowledge, information, ever find out what is the unknown? Call it God, Truth by whatever name you like, it is not to be sought after, because if you seek it you already know it, and knowing it is the denial of it.” K.

Let it Be

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Sat, 01 Feb 2020 #22
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

On the sacred: “All is God ...all but the self.” Bernadette Roberts (The Experience of No Self).

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 01 Feb 2020.

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Sat, 01 Feb 2020 #23
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
And later I realized that it was a gift.

This happens from time to time, doesn't it?

It seems that life has visited some great sorrow upon us, suddenly we loose what we thought we had, what we highly valued. There is some accident, some illness, some incapacity affects the body. At the time it seems dreadful, and we wonder why we have been afflicted.

Then, perhaps years later, when the incident has long faded, when we do not usually remember it, we suddenly look back at what happened to us and realise that, to use a common phrase, "it was a blessing in disguise".

We realise that we needed to go through the experience, we urgently needed the learning that was contained in the "misfortune". That life had somehow sent us what we needed.

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Sun, 02 Feb 2020 #24
Thumb_open-uri20200202-16653-rg2qz5-0 Mina Martini Finland 418 posts in this forum Offline

Dear all,

When reading some of the comments in this thread, insights to the core of the issue 'how is 'what is' sacred' started occurring.There are no words in the core of any issue, where direct seeing or insight is, but will see what words will come...their ultimate and only purpose, not intentional in any limited way, is to make the reader resonate at the same level of insight, of seeing the same.

::::

There is already something fundamentally distorted and wrong in the approach when there is discussion about 'whether a tragic accident or child abuse' (to use some things discussed in the thread) is sacred or not. (or whether K meant that things like that are sacred or not).

The distortion comes from the division between subject and object, from thought,
in which the issues the sacredness of which is questioned, are seen as objects of discussion.

So, the 'what is' that is discussed, and the 'what is' that discusses, is already carrying this distortion and is not in direct contact with what really is, with the sacred, but only with the world of 'what is thought to be' which is constantly re-creating the reality in which the talk about sacred is more speculation. While doing so it actually keeps creating the ground from which all atrocities of the world fundamentally come from.

It is this ground that needs to be shaken and burnt up completely in any of us, for any change to happen.

Douglas put it well when he said:

'We make war because we are not animated by a feeling of sanctity.'

Mina continues: ..and we are not animated by a feeling of sanctity because of lack of self-understanding, because of not having gone to the root of it and uprooted (no doer)everything from where distortion and inability to sense and live the sacredness of life, could start sprouting..

This post was last updated by Mina Martini Sun, 02 Feb 2020.

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Sun, 02 Feb 2020 #25
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

We make war because we are not animated by a feeling of sanctity.'

Mina continues: ..and we are not animated by a feeling of sanctity because of lack of self-understanding, because of not having gone to the root of it and uprooted (no doer)everything from where distortion and inability to sense and live the sacredness of life, could start sprouting..

What you say makes sense Mina, yet fear and sorrow is ‘what is’ for most of us. We can’t pretend it’s not there when it is. For whatever reason we are unable to uproot it. When fear or sorrow is present it becomes impossible to feel the sacredness of life

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 02 Feb 2020.

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Sun, 02 Feb 2020 #26
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5683 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
When fear or sorrow is present it becomes impossible to feel the sacredness of life

I am not at all sure of the neat division.

As I wrote in #18 above:

So one needs to stay with 'what is' ( I say "stay", but i see that 'what is' is constantly changing). I see that if there is to be an end to say, sorrow, then one must "stay" with sorrow, be one with sorrow. So the ending of sorrow lies IN sorrow. In this sense it seems reasonable to say "sorrow is sacred'.

You are probably familiar, Tom, with K's description of fear as "this precious jewel"

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Sun, 02 Feb 2020 #27
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:

When fear or sorrow is present it becomes impossible to feel the sacredness of life

Clive: I am not at all sure of the neat division.

At the moment of fear or anger one is only aware of that . So is blind to any sacredness

Let it Be

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Tue, 04 Feb 2020 #28
Thumb_open-uri20200202-16653-rg2qz5-0 Mina Martini Finland 418 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas:>We make war because we are not animated by a feeling of sanctity.'

Mina continues: ..and we are not animated by a feeling of sanctity because of lack of self-understanding, because of not having gone to the root of it and uprooted (no doer)everything from where distortion and inability to sense and live the sacredness of life, could start sprouting..

Tom to this:>What you say makes sense Mina, yet fear and sorrow is ‘what is’ for most of us. We can’t pretend it’s not there when it is. For whatever reason we are unable to uproot it. When fear or sorrow is present it becomes impossible to feel the sacredness of life

Mina again: Yes, that is true. It would be very foolish to pretend any other reality than that which is, or appears true, to oneself.

Likewise, it would be even a greater wrong, one feels, to pretend contradiction and misery when it is not one's day to day reality as a result of having profoundly discovered the illusory nature of the self.

Yes, we could say that the reality of contradiction cannot but appear real and true for a thinker, the 'me'. Of course it does because the thinker-thought -reality IS the reality of contradiction. There is no way this very phenomenon could uproot itself exactly because of its illusory nature to begin with. Witnessing any such effort could only bring about compassion.

It is very important that we keep bringing the discussion to our own daily life instead of talking about 'we who live in sorrow' for example. Who are they? These 'others' are here, you and me, and moving away from the truth of this creates a strange feeling of there being a separation between oneself and the world.

...

Anyone living in contradiction and sorrow can start inquiring and questioning the very nature of those states, of oneself in other words, but few have the profound unconditional passion beyond any limited self-interest to do so...The fact of this, when observed in awareness, is not done anything to, is simply understood, not desired to change. Also, those who do have the passion, will be doing the work for all of us, since the very nature of such work is whole, universal, undivided, one.

This post was last updated by Mina Martini Tue, 04 Feb 2020.

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Tue, 04 Feb 2020 #29
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 212 posts in this forum Offline

Mina Martini wrote:
There is no way this very phenomenon could uproot itself exactly because of its illusory nature to begin with. Witnessing any such effort could only bring about compassion.

The best that thought can do is to come to some kind of negative conclusion about its limits.

After that, when there is enough appreciation of its doubts or sorrows, it may realise that none of its efforts or goals are appropriate.

Words and conclusions can only bring us to the Walls of our cage.
Liberation is in surrender.

Look, see, let go

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Tue, 04 Feb 2020 #30
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3259 posts in this forum Offline

Mina Martini wrote:
Likewise, it would be even a greater wrong, one feels, to pretend contradiction and misery when it is not one's day to day reality as a result of having profoundly discovered the illusory nature of the self.

It’s not at all clear what you’re saying. If one is angry there’s no pretending. It’s obvious.

Yes, we could say that the reality of contradiction cannot but appear real and true for a thinker, the 'me'. Of course it does because the thinker-thought -reality IS the reality of contradiction. There is no way this very phenomenon could uproot itself exactly because of its illusory nature to begin with. Witnessing any such effort could only bring about compassion.

‘Me’ trying to act upon ‘me’ only tightens the noose around one’s neck. Yet K spoke about observing oneself in the mirror of relationship. That removes one from the vicious circle of trying to lift oneself by one’s bootstraps

It is very important that we keep bringing the discussion to our own daily life instead of talking about 'we who live in sorrow' for example. Who are they? These 'others' are here, you and me, and moving away from the truth of this creates a strange feeling of there being a separation between oneself and the world.

We can only observe sorrow or fear in ourselves...where else? Yet we can talk about the problem of fear in the human mind, no? We often do that here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are ignoring the problem when it manifests in our own life. Most of us I’m certain, are aware of inner conflict and are not continually running away from it. I don’t understand why discussing fear or conflict as it exists in all of us...in the mind of man...would give any kind of “strange feeling”.
What you’re calling a strange feeling is the normal state of the human mind. It’s anything but strange...it’s how our brains have evolved to function, though K calls it a ‘wrong turn’.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 04 Feb 2020.

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