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

Can The Mind Be Quiet?


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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #1
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

“This centre is the past. This centre is the ‘me’ with its self-centred activities, which only knows action in terms of reward and punishment, of achievement and failure, with motives, causes and effects. It is caught in this chain. This chain is the centre and the prison. There is the other action that comes when there is space in which there is no centre, a dimension in which there is no cause and effect. From this, living is action. Having no centre, whatever is done is free, joyous, without the pain of pleasure. This space and freedom is not a result of effort and achievement: when the centre ends the other is. ‘But how can the centre end? What am I to do to end it? What disciplines, what sacrifices, what great efforts have I to make?’
None. Only see without any choice the activities of the centre; not as an observer, not as an outsider looking within, but just observe without the censor. ‘I can’t do it, I am always looking with the eyes of the past.’ Then be aware that you’re looking with the eyes of the past and be with it. Remain with it; don’t try to do anything about it. Be simple and know that whatever you try to do is the response of your own desire to escape from it and will only strengthen the centre. So there is no escape, no effort and no despair. Then you can see the full meaning of the centre and the immense danger of it.”

Krishnamurti, Jiddu. Can The Mind Be Quiet? (pp. 8-9). Watkins Media. Kindle Edition.

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

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #2
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

Do we see that the mind is of another order than memory, than thought ?

it's like quanta and atoms and cells etc... all of different orders !

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

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #3
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3484 posts in this forum Offline

"Be simple and know that whatever you try to do is the response of your own desire to escape from it and will only strengthen the centre. So there is no escape, no effort and no despair. Then you can see the full meaning of the centre and the immense danger of it.” K.

Is K speaking of the desire to escape from suffering...from conflict...fear...anger? What does K mean by the 'immense danger of it"?

Let it Be

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #4
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 292 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
What does K mean by the 'immense danger of it"?

Could be referring to the implicit violence and conflict of self-centred action. And the inescapable trap of the center wanting to escape from itself.

Look, see, let go

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #5
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 292 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
Do we see that the mind is of another order than memory, than thought ?

I can - but how does this classification help me?

Also the thought : are Time and Consciousness different or the same? just came to mind. (with all that this might mean to the understanding of space/time)

Look, see, let go

This post was last updated by Douglas MacRae-Smith Tue, 10 Mar 2020.

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #6
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:

Wim Opdam wrote:

Do we see that the mind is of another order than memory, than thought ?

I can - but how does this classification help me?

It doesn't, but what is observed on the forum is that for example mind and thought are handled as if they are from the same order !

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
Also the thought : are Time and Consciousness different or the same? just came to mind. (with all that this might mean to the understanding of space/time)

to me it seems that they are different aspects from or in the same order, but i say it's not very clear to me, yet.......

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

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #7
Thumb_stringio Rich Nolet Canada 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Here is what K. say about the mind. It is not only thought, but it include the globality of thought. It is a total process.It include awareness or consciousness. We can't put it into piece.

K. : So, what is the mind? Obviously, the mind is our total awareness or consciousness; it is the total way of our existence, the whole process of our thinking. The mind is the result of the brain. The brain produces the mind. Without the brain there is no mind, but the mind is separate from the brain. It is the child of the brain. If the brain is limited,damaged, the mind is also damaged. The brain, which records every sensation, every feeling of pleasure or pain, the brain with all its tissues, with all its responses, creates what we call the mind, although the mind is independent of the brain. You don’t have to accept this. You can experiment with it and see for yourself.

The Book of Life, September 23
The anchored mind

This post was last updated by Rich Nolet (account deleted) Tue, 10 Mar 2020.

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #8
Thumb_stringio Rich Nolet Canada 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

There is this beautiful piece about awareness and the birth of what we shall call the me . And then the question whether this mind can free itself of the past. Here is a little citation, but I encourage you to go read this piece. It's on this site in Krishnamurti tab. Urgency of change.
K.: ... Awareness has shown us the nature of the trap, and therefore there is the negation of all traps; so the mind is now empty. It is empty of the ''me'' and of the trap. This mind has a different quality, a different dimension of awareness.

http://kinfonet.org/krishnamurti/excerpts/12/pa...

This post was last updated by Rich Nolet (account deleted) Tue, 10 Mar 2020.

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Tue, 10 Mar 2020 #9
Thumb_stringio Rich Nolet Canada 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Sorry the link was page 2. Here is page 1.

http://kinfonet.org/krishnamurti/excerpts/12/pa...

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Wed, 11 Mar 2020 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5961 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote:
? What does K mean by the 'immense danger of it"?

Isn't the human self the most dangerous 'creature' on this Earth? Isn't it responsible for all the violence, the conflict, the wars, the destruction of nature, all human suffering? So surely it can be described as "immensely dangerous"?

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Wed, 11 Mar 2020 #11
Thumb_stringio Rich Nolet Canada 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Wim Opdam wrote:
There is the other action that comes when there is space in which there is no centre, a dimension in which there is no cause and effect. From this, living is action. Having no centre, whatever is done is free, joyous, without the pain of pleasure. This space and freedom is not a result of effort and achievement: when the centre ends the other is.

Wim, we are onto the same channel here :) . Sorry that I put another quote, but anyway, both have the same meaning. Thanks

This post was last updated by Rich Nolet (account deleted) Wed, 11 Mar 2020.

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Wed, 11 Mar 2020 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3484 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

? What does K mean by the 'immense danger of it"?

C: Isn't the human self the most dangerous 'creature' on this Earth?

I didn’t interpret Ks meaning that way, but yes, it’s obvious the danger of the self. So where does it begin? In my day to day living? When I awake in the morning does the self immediately take hold? Is it desire first and foremost...desire to achieve some goal...that first take hold of the brain when I wake in the AM? Or is it fear and insecurity about my job or financial worries? Thoughts about finding a more secure future for myself and my family? What is the essence of this center that is an ‘immense danger’? I’m aware of many aspects of the ‘me’...beliefs, ideals, attachments, ideologies, compulsions, conclusions, etc. which divide, but what is the essence of it? Of the self? It’s thought, isn’t it? Not practical thinking about fixing a leaking faucet, but psychological thought. Psychological thought is related to fear and desire, as I understand it. And another point comes to mind, and that’s that the self is present in the conditioning of the brain even before I awake each AM. My beliefs and ideals are part of even the sleeping brain....or the brain that is unconscious due to anesthesia during surgery....or unconscious and in a coma. When I awake I’m still going to be a Christian or Jew or Hindu or communist, or whatever. So, simply put, the self is the conditioning of the brain...of consciousness.

From the OP:
Wim Opdam quoting K.:

“This centre is the past. This centre is the ‘me’ with its self-centred activities, which only knows action in terms of reward and punishment, of achievement and failure, with motives, causes and effects. It is caught in this chain.”

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 11 Mar 2020.

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Wed, 11 Mar 2020 #13
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1859 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
When I awake I’m still going to be a Christian or Jew or Hindu or communist, or whatever. So, simply put, the self is the conditioning of the brain...of consciousness.

It's ironic isn't it, not to say tragic that we came down from the trees with this immense capability to manipulate our environment for survival, to take our place in nature, to live in and enjoy this world...and it somehow turned inward, 'selfish'. We became self-centered beings. We shut ourselves out of the 'garden'. And now we ask "why". How can I get out of this 'trap'?

K."Nobody can push you out of your trap - no guru, no drug, no mantra, nobody, including myself - nobody, especially myself. All that you have to do is to be aware from the beginning to the end, not become inattentive in the middle of it. This new quality of awareness is attention, and in this attention there is no frontier made by the 'me'. This attention is the highest form of virtue, therefore it is love. It is supreme intelligence, and there cannot be attention if you are not sensitive to the structure and the nature of these man-made traps."

Here also is a link to a talk in Sannen titled The Structure of Self-Centered Concern:

https://jkrishnamurti.org/content/structure-sel...

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 11 Mar 2020.

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Wed, 11 Mar 2020 #14
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3484 posts in this forum Offline

”This attention is the highest form of virtue, therefore it is love. It is supreme intelligence, and there cannot be attention if you are not sensitive to the structure and the nature of these man-made traps." K.

Being sensitive to the structure and nature of the man made traps....in other words, self knowledge. K claimed that no one can help us, yet he talked for over 50 years about the structure of those traps. There’s no way in hell that I would have had a clue about the structure of the me if I had not come across K. So I think he was not totally honest in saying that no one can help us.

Let it Be

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Wed, 11 Mar 2020 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5961 posts in this forum Online

Tom Paine wrote #12:
What is the essence of this center that is an ‘immense danger’?

Isn't the essence of the center the assumption, the feeling, of separation? That the self, the "I", is separate from everyone else - and indeed separate from all things?

Tom Paine wrote:
It’s thought, isn’t it?

Yes, it is created by thought, and thought is the response of memory. So the self is memory, which stems from experience, does it not?

As I saw it recently, the center is the 'sum total' of all experiences. And it is composed of fear, of greed, of pleasure-seeking, hurt, etc, so that when the self acts, it is acting from these things.

Yet it is foolishly commonly assumed that the self can overcome fear, suffering, etc.

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Thu, 12 Mar 2020 #16
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

standing on the beach hearing the waves rolling and then there is that moment again and again, you don't know when and how but the sound of the next wave will break that moment of immense silence,
it belongs together and at the same time they exclude each other, the noise and the silence; the movement of life.

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

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Thu, 12 Mar 2020 #17
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 892 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote at 14:
K claimed that no one can help us, yet he talked for over 50 years about the structure of those traps. There’s no way in hell that I would have had a clue about the structure of the me if I had not come across K. So I think he was not totally honest in saying that no one can help us.

He can help in one sense and, in another sense, he cannot help.

It’s a bit like someone explaining to you the way to the library. The information might be right or wrong. The person might not know the way but, for whatever reason, still give you an “answer”.

If they really do know the way, their answer helps - if it’s well explained and if I pay attention. Once, someone asked me for directions but he kept walking. It really happened! (No, I didn’t run after him to answer.)

Like any analogy, this one only goes so far.

The state of mind of the questioner who questions his life - suffering, fear, relationship, action, and so on, cannot be the same state of mind which questions the way to the library, can it. There is a state of mind which asks how to get to the library, and there IS an answer or a map for that.

But there is no intellectual answer to existential problems. There is no answer in the form of thought that will tell me what to do, how to get out of the traps. It is not helpful to “see” the structure of the traps intellectually. The actual "thing” must be fully seen, understood, and no one can “make me” see the trap. They can point out but they can't make me see.

In this sense, no one CAN help us. This too must be SEEN - the different sorts of questions that are asked, and the state of the mind which questions. We were taught that exercising the intellect is the way to arrive at all answers. We never realized that there are different kinds of questions, and different kinds of "answers", of seeing and understanding, and so on - until someone pointed it out and we looked into it.

Whatever “clue” - i.e. insight - we have now is not something K “gave” us. He said, look here, and we looked, but not “looked” through the lens of knowledge. He pointed out the difference between “looking” at something with the intellect, through past knowledge (which includes experience), and looking at the thing without knowledge. In pointing out this fact, he helped us - if we looked.

But isn’t this clue or insight something you see for yourself, that you can ONLY see for yourself, but not in a personal way, not from the self-centre, not as an idea? Whereas an opinion or conclusion is arrived at when the self-centre follows a path and arrives at its conclusion.

It’s like seeing that my neighbour’s house is on fire. The burning house is not an opinion or conclusion I have arrived at intellectually. There it is, right now, and I see it - not “me” the self-centre, but the whole human being. And seeing it engenders action.

From Wim’s K quote at #1:

‘I am always looking with the eyes of the past.’ Then be aware that you’re looking with the eyes of the past and be with it. Remain with it; don’t try to do anything about it. Be simple and know that whatever you try to do is the response of your own desire to escape from it and will only strengthen the centre. So there is no escape, no effort and no despair. Then you can see the full meaning of the centre and the immense danger of it.

Trying to solve existential problems with the intellect is somewhat like trying to put out a fire with oil (sorry, another analogy). If the oil didn’t work the first time, the intellect might say, the only thing to do is to add MORE oil. Of course, everyone knows that oil feeds fire. But the intellect which still believes in its own ability to solve problems, does not understand that it is CAUSING the problems like oil fuels the fire. So it is stuck in repetition.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Thu, 12 Mar 2020.

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Thu, 12 Mar 2020 #18
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1859 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
It seems the human race would rather live with illusions than with the facts. And it is only the facts which can transform.

I've just observed something about the structure of psychological thought or the 'self', for the first time. I think that it fits in here so I'll try to describe what was seen: 'Thought" implicitly or sub consciously 'thinks' it has a 'right' to live...it does not think that it should die. It knows that the body will and it becomes fear itself when the body presents symptoms that could mean death is near...It always imagines that there will be a 'future' apart from this present moment, 'something' up ahead, and as a result of this conditioned (?) belief, it can discard the actual present for experiences in some imagined future, or dwell in images of the past. (I don't know if I am expressing this well.)... But there is no 'future' actually, only 'Now'...the heart or some other organ can fail in this moment and it's over but there is an implicit "denial" about that fact on the part of psychological thought or the 'self'. It 'wants' experience/pleasure to continue in the future and it has created, with the concept of 'time', an illusory 'future' that will 'go on' after this actual present moment... Perhaps this is what K. was pointing at with his mentions of "becoming"?

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Thu, 12 Mar 2020 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5961 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
'Thought" implicitly or sub consciously 'thinks' it has a 'right' to live...it does not think that it should die

Which explains this never-ending movement of the mind to be active, to be occupied. Without occupation it is dead, or imagines that it will be so.

Dan McDermott wrote:
It 'wants' experience/pleasure to continue in the future and it has created, with the concept of 'time', an illusory 'future' that will 'go on' after this actual present moment... Perhaps this is what K. was pointing at with his mentions of "becoming"?

To actually see that mind is creating time, and that time is not something natural, independent, that it lives in, seems a tremendous thing. This indeed is one of those illusions that the mind prefers to live in.

And yet one sees that in some areas, essential areas, the mind NEEDS to create time, for the survival of the body.

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Thu, 12 Mar 2020 #20
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
To actually see that mind is creating time, and that time is not something natural, independent, that it lives in, seems a tremendous thing. This indeed is one of those illusions that the mind prefers to live in.

are we going to see mind and thought as the same thing?

That seems illogical to me!

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

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Fri, 13 Mar 2020 #21
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1859 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
To actually see that mind is creating time, and that time is not something natural, independent, that it lives in, seems a tremendous thing.

Yes it is. It robs us of the only reality there actually is, the reality of the senses, the Now, the unknown.

Clive Elwell wrote:
And yet one sees that in some areas, essential areas, the mind NEEDS to create time, for the survival of the body.

Yes this is absolutely so. It is the 'gift' we have received. The ability to forecast and bring about, a future where such and such will happen,etc...

But it has no place in the mind which should be empty always to receive the actual present. As Wim has said, "thought is a tool"...but in the psyche, as I see it, it is an abomination, a perversion.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 13 Mar 2020.

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Fri, 13 Mar 2020 #22
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3484 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
But there is no intellectual answer to existential problems. There is no answer in the form of thought that will tell me what to do, how to get out of the traps. It is not helpful to “see” the structure of the traps intellectually. The actual "thing” must be fully seen, understood, and no one can “make me” see the trap. They can point out but they can't make me see.

K can surely point out that thought divides....that division creates conflict (me vs you...us vs them)... that beliefs and ideals condition the mind...and create contradiction and inner and outer division...and so forth. He’s not helping us to see but suggesting we look into what he’s saying for ourselves ...observe our own thought processes ....our behavior

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 13 Mar 2020.

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Sat, 14 Mar 2020 #23
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5961 posts in this forum Online

Wim Opdam wrote:
are we going to see mind and thought as the same thing? That seems illogical to me!

Wim, I personally recognise two meanings to the word "mind". There is the universal mind (which be written "Mind", and is not easy to describe. Then there is the "local mind", the mind of man, human consciousness.

So yes, I see the second "mind" as being composed of thought (and feeling). In that mind is fear, conflict, pleasure, greed, striving, suffering, and so on.

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Sat, 14 Mar 2020 #24
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5961 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
But it has no place in the mind which should be empty always to receive the actual present.

Dan, by "empty", do you mean "in silence"?

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Sat, 14 Mar 2020 #25
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Wim, I personally recognise two meanings to the word "mind". There is the universal mind (which be written "Mind", and is not easy to describe. Then there is the "local mind", the mind of man, human consciousness

Clive, As a result of your reply I wondered if I had misunderstood this, I read the first two chapters of the ending of time again. It does indeed distinguish two minds, but what they call the local mind is not equated with thought but occupied with it.
a subtle but in my view essential difference.

in order to avoid misunderstandings and to keep the concepts in the dialogue clear, we should therefore distinguish them as 'local mind', 'universal mind' and 'thought'.

after all, the local mind is more than just thought.

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

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Sat, 14 Mar 2020 #26
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 892 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
K can surely point out that thought divides....that division creates conflict (me vs you...us vs them)... that beliefs and ideals condition the mind...and create contradiction and inner and outer division...and so forth. He’s not helping us to see but suggesting we look into what he’s saying for ourselves ...observe our own thought processes ....our behavior

Yes.

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Sat, 14 Mar 2020 #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5961 posts in this forum Online

Wim Opdam wrote:
after all, the local mind is more than just thought.

Perhaps you would explain what the local mind is then, Wim?

Wim Opdam wrote:
It does indeed distinguish two minds, but what they call the local mind is not equated with thought but occupied with it.
a subtle but in my view essential difference.

How do you feel, Wim, about equating the word "consciousness" with the word "mind"? (talking about the local variety, human consciousness). If this is acceptable, may I bring in K's often-used comment "Consciousness is its content. There is no consciousness except for its content".

How does this fit in with what you are saying?

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 #28
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:

Wim Opdam wrote:

after all, the local mind is more than just thought.

Perhaps you would explain what the local mind is then, Wim?

is it my view or is it a fact, that is the question, isn't it?

the question is whether the mind is formed by or in time, whether the mind is or is completely determined by evolution?

of course it can be hindered and / or determined by the past but there is the possibility for a new insight, which logically cannot come from the past and therefore cannot be equated with thought, which is a complete construction of the past, isn't it?

the mind is in the present and thought is from the past the present can or is overuled by the past and that's our psychological problem.

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

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 #29
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 292 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
"Consciousness is its content. There is no consciousness except for its content".

Where is the frontier between mind and matter, between me and you?

Look, see, let go

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 #30
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 913 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
How do you feel, Wim, about equating the word "consciousness" with the word "mind"? (talking about the local variety, human consciousness). If this is acceptable, may I bring in K's often-used comment "Consciousness is its content. There is no consciousness except for its content".

is not the mentioning of the content at the same time a reference to an accumulation and as such from the past and thus a reference to the same confusion between mind and thought?

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

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