Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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QOTD - discontent


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Sun, 29 Mar 2020 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

In the QOTD K says:

Either we seek through fear or being free from it, we seek without any motive. This search does not spring from discontent; not being satisfied with every form of thought and feeling, seeing their significance, is not discontent.

Full quote below. But to me this seems in contradiction with what K has said elsewhere about discontent. In Commentaries on Living he describes it as "A flame that must be nourished"

In fact I would say that discontent can be discontented with discontent.

Either we seek through fear or being free from it, we seek without any motive. This search does not spring from discontent; not being satisfied with every form of thought and feeling, seeing their significance, is not discontent. Discontent is so easily satisfied when thought and feeling have found some form of shelter, success, a gratifying position, a belief and so on, only to be roused again when that shelter is attacked, shaken or broken down. With this cycle most of us are familiar, hope and despair. Search, whose motive is discontent, can only lead to some form of illusion, a collective or a private illusion, a prison of many attractions. But there is a seeking without any motive whatsoever; then is it a seeking? Seeking implies, does it not, an objective, an end already known or felt or formulated. If it's formulated it's the calculation of thought, putting together all the things it has known or experienced; to find what is sought after methods and systems are devised. This is not seeking at all; it is merely a desire to gain a gratifying end or merely to escape into some fancy or promise of a theory or belief. This is not seeking. When fear, satisfaction, escape have lost their significance, then is there seeking at all?

If the motive of all search has withered away, discontent and the urge to succeed are dead; is there seeking? If there is no seeking, will consciousness decay, become stagnant? On the contrary, it is this seeking, going from one commitment to another, from one church to another, that weakens that essential energy to understand what is. And I see that I have generally put value on being discontented. By that word I mean seeing the limitation of every thought and feeling, every action. Not thinking that I have an answer, or an answer. Yes, I have equated "not being satisfied" with discontent. And this sort of discontent cannot be "easily satisfied".

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Mon, 30 Mar 2020 #2
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 292 posts in this forum Offline

Curiosity and openness cannot really be called seeking.

Seeking has a goal, it is an attempt to find something that is lacking.

Look, see, let go

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Mon, 30 Mar 2020 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
Seeking has a goal, it is an attempt to find something that is lacking.

Yes. I would say that the word "discontent" covers two fields. One can be discontented because one feels one is lacking something, one is unable to attain some (imagined) state. And there is a another form which is harder to describe. One increasingly sees that the things that used to have significance, or seemed to, no longer have any value. Or, put another way, one can no longer succeed in giving them value.

I would say the latter meaning is a result of seeing things as they are.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Mon, 30 Mar 2020.

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Tue, 31 Mar 2020 #4
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
One can be discontented because one feels one is lacking something, one is unable to attain some (imagined) state.

I feel that you've jumped here. Can't we feel that something is lacking without knowing or imagining what that lack is, and what should 'fill' it? That when we look around and see the simplicity that is in nature, we can feel that 'something', some understanding,is missing in us that has caused this suffering and brutality that has been our history? That in spite of all our abilities and talents, the sublime music, poetry, art, dance, literature, etc., a 'wrong' psychological road was somehow taken? Can't there be a 'discontent' from seeing that disparity, that irony?

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Tue, 31 Mar 2020 #5
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 182 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But to me this seems in contradiction with what K has said elsewhere about discontent.

In the chapter Creative Discontent in Think On These Things, K talks about being discontented with everything, but with joy!

It really is a remarkable chapter. Nothing is satisfactory. Question everything. At the same time, tremendous joy, undivided, insightful, free.

To the brain this is contradiction. To lived experience it is just what is, yes?

This post was last updated by idiot ? Tue, 31 Mar 2020.

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Tue, 31 Mar 2020 #6
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 892 posts in this forum Offline

Clive,

I find the following extract relevant to your question. I don't know if you will agree.

link text

London, 6th Public Talk 26th June 1955

"I think it is important to find out for oneself what it is that we are seeking, and why we are seeking it. If we can go into this rather deeply I think we will discover a great many things involved in it. Most of us are seeking some kind of fulfillment. Being discontented, we want to find contentment - either in some relationship, or by fulfilling certain capacities, or by searching for some kind of action that will be completely satisfying. Or, if we are not of that disposition, then we generally seek what we think is the truth, God, and so on. Most of us are seeking, searching; and if we could each find out for ourselves what it is that we are seeking, and why we seek, I think it would reveal a great deal.

Being discontented with ourselves, with our environment, with our activities, our particular job, most of us want a better job, a better position, a better understanding, wider activities, a more satisfying philosophy, a capacity that will be entirely gratifying. Outwardly, that is what we want; and when that does not satisfy us we go a little deeper, we pursue philosophy, go in for reform, gather together in various groups to discuss, and so on; and still there is discontent.

It seems to me that it is important to find out whether the motive for our search is to understand discontent, or to find satisfaction. Because if it is satisfaction that we are seeking, at any level, then obviously our minds become very petty. Whereas there may perhaps be a discontent without an object, discontent in itself, which is not the urge to achieve a result, to get somewhere. I think that most of us, being dissatisfied in our relationships, in our ways of life, in our attitudes, in the values that we have, are trying to shake them all off and find a different set of values, different relationships, different ideas, different beliefs; but behind it all there is this urge to be satisfied. I think it would be important if we could find out for ourselves whether there is such a thing as a discontent which has no motive, which is not the outcome of some frustration; because that very discontent without motive may be the quality that is necessary.

At present when we seek, our search is the outcome of dissatisfaction, discontent, and our motive is to find gratification in some form or another. Especially when we talk about, truth or God, we are, are we not?, seeking some state of mind which will be completely satisfying. Whether the mind is extensive, clever, has much capacity or little, if it is seeking satisfaction - however subtle - then its gods, its virtues, its philosophies, its values, are bound to be petty, small, shallow. So, is it possible for the mind to be free of all search? Which means, really, to be free of that discontent which has the motive of finding satisfaction. Because however clever the mind is, however intelligent, and whatever virtues it has cultivated, surely if it is merely seeking gratification in any form it is incapable of grasping what is true. Surely all the thinking process is petty, is very limited. After all, thinking is the result of accumulated memory, of association, of experience, according to our conditioning; thinking is the reaction of that memory, thinking is the response of a conditioned mind. When that conditioning creates dissatisfaction, then any outcome of that dissatisfaction is surely still conditioned. Our search remains so utterly futile while it is based on a discontent which is merely the reaction to a particular conditioning.

If one sees that, then the question arises as to whether there is any other form of discontent, - whether there is a discontent which is not canalized, which has no motive, which is not seeking a fulfilment. It may be that discontent without any motive, the discontent which is not the response to a conditioning, is the one essential. At present our thinking, our search, has a motive, and that motive is based on our demand to find some permanent state of complete satisfaction where there will be no disturbance of any kind, - which we call peace, which we call God or truth; and all our purpose in seeking is to gain that state.

So, search for most of us is based on the demand for satisfaction, the demand for a state of permanency in which we shall never be disturbed. And can such a mind, thinking from a motive of finding satisfaction, ever discover what is true? It seems to me that one must understand for oneself the whole process of why one seeks, and not be satisfied by any chosen word, by any chosen end or target, however ennobling, inspiring, or ideal it may seem. Because surely, the very way of the self, the 'me', is this constant process of discontent directed towards a fulfilment; that is all we know. When there is no fulfilment, there is frustration; and then come the many problems of how to overcome that frustration. So, the mind seeks a state in which there will be no frustration, no sorrow. Therefore our very search for so-called 'truth' may be merely the fulfilment, the expansion, of the self, of the 'me'. And so we are caught in this vicious circle.

If one is aware of all this, completely, totally, then there is no sense of fulfilment in any belief, in any dogma, in any activity, or in any particular state. The search for fulfilment implies sorrow, frustration; and seeing the truth of that, the mind then is no longer seeking.

I think there is a difference between the attention which is given to an object, and attention without object. We can concentrate on a particular idea, belief, object, - which is an exclusive process; and there is also an attention, an awareness, which is not exclusive. Similarly, there is a discontent which has no motive, which is not the outcome of some frustration, which cannot be canalized, which cannot accept any fulfilment. Perhaps I may not be using the right word for it, but I think that that extraordinary discontent is the essential. Without that, every other form of discontent merely becomes a way to satisfaction.

So can the mind, being aware of itself, knowing its own ways of thinking, put an end to this demand for self-fulfilment? And, when that comes to an end, can one remain without seeking and be completely in a state of void, with neither hope nor fear? Must not one arrive at that state when there is complete cessation of all seeking? - for then only is it possible for something to take place which is not the product of the mind.

After all, our thinking is the result of time, of many yesterdays; and through time, which is thinking, we are trying to find something which is beyond time. We are using the mind, the instrument of time, to find something which cannot be measured. So can the mind totally cease, for something else to take place? Which does not mean, surely, a state of amnesia, a state of blankness, a state of thoughtlessness. On the contrary, it requires a great deal of alertness, an awareness in which there is no object nor an entity who is aware.

I think this is important to understand. At present when we are aware, simply, daily, there is in that awareness condemnation, judgment, evaluation; that is our normal awareness. When we look at a picture, immediately the whole process of condemnation, comparison, evaluation, is taking place; and we never see the picture, because the screen of the evaluating process has come between. Can one look at that picture without any evaluation, without any comparison? Similarly, can I look at myself whatever I am, all the mistakes, miseries, failures, sorrows, joys, and see it all without evaluation, just be aware of it, without introducing the screen of condemnation or comparison? If the mind is capable of doing this, then we will find that that very awareness burns away the root of any particular problem.

When the mind is so aware, so totally aware, then there is no search; the mind is no longer comparing seeking satisfaction, thinking in terms of achievement. Then, is not the mind itself timeless? So long as the mind is comparing, condemning, judging, is conditioned, then it is in time; but when all that has totally ceased then is not the mind itself that state which may be called the eternal? In that there is no observer, no experiencer who has associations, who has memories, who is seeking, - which is all the product of time. So long as the experiencer is seeking, trying to fulfil, trying to gather experience, more knowledge, trying to find vaster fields in which to live, he is creating time, and whatever his actions are they will always be in the field of time.

That which is measureless can never be found by the experiencer, by the seeker."

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Tue, 31 Mar 2020 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Because surely, the very way of the self, the 'me', is this constant process of discontent directed towards a fulfilment; that is all we know. When there is no fulfilment, there is frustration; and then come the many problems of how to overcome that frustration. So, the mind seeks a state in which there will be no frustration, no sorrow. Therefore our very search for so-called 'truth' may be merely the fulfilment, the expansion, of the self, of the 'me'. And so we are caught in this vicious circle.

Indeed...thanks for sharing the excerpt, Huguette.

Let it Be

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Tue, 31 Mar 2020 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Can't we feel that something is lacking without knowing or imagining what that lack is, and what should 'fill' it? That when we look around and see the simplicity that is in nature, we can feel that 'something', some understanding,is missing in us that has caused this suffering and brutality that has been our history? That in spite of all our abilities and talents, the sublime music, poetry, art, dance, literature, etc., a 'wrong' psychological road was somehow taken? Can't there be a 'discontent' from seeing that disparity, that irony?

So there is the discontent that seeks a way forward, which is actually seeking to overcome discontent, in fact. And there is the discontent that is so total that there can be no way forward, as one is discontented with ALL ways forward. One is discontented with EVERYTHING that the mind comes up with, in fact.
What are the implications of this sort of total discontent? What is enfolded in it? Is this the “flame that must be nourished” that K spoke of?

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Tue, 31 Mar 2020 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
To the brain this is contradiction. To lived experience it is just what is, yes?

Now you bring it up, I remember K saying this. And I remember my response as being bafflement. Now it makes more sense. Perhaps not to the intellect, as you say, but in the living of it.

If one is discontented with everything, that includes unhappiness, depression. That includes all the contradiction of trying to become what one is not. It includes all beliefs, all the palliatives of the mind. It includes all the many varieties of escape, of self deception. One is discontented, as I said above, with everything that the human mind has to offer. With all the ways it has previously thought it had to explore itself.

And in this discontent, which is basically a rejection, there is freedom, no? Is this freedom the origin of the joy which K speaks of?

One can only watch, watch without accumulation, with negation.

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Wed, 01 Apr 2020 #10
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
One is discontented with EVERYTHING that the mind comes up with, in fact.

That is when only the "emptying" of the mind makes sense, right?...to be as 'nothing'.

John R’s post today addresses this.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 01 Apr 2020.

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Thu, 02 Apr 2020 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote #6:

I find the following extract relevant to your question. I don't know if you will agree.

Yes, the passage you posted is very clear.

K has said “There is no such thing as fulfillment”. This is a terribly hard thing for the mind to accept as true, yet life shows us that it is so. And what would be the entity that is fulfilled? As K says in the last paragraph, the experiencer is always in the field of measure, always limited, never complete. And so always – let us use the word 'dissatisfied', rather than discontented, which is rather a lovely word I find, with great depth.

The last sentence is of the essence, is it not?

That which is measureless can never be found by the experiencer, by the seeker.

This is a fact beyond any form of discontent, is it not?

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Fri, 03 Apr 2020 #12
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 892 posts in this forum Offline

K: That which is measureless can never be found by the experiencer, by the seeker.

Clive Elwell wrote:
This is a fact beyond any form of discontent, is it not?

Yes indeed, it is an immovable fact, beyond words, beyond thought.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Fri, 03 Apr 2020.

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Fri, 03 Apr 2020 #13
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
K has said “There is no such thing as fulfillment”.

I think 'fulfillment' would imply the entity who says 'I am fulfilled'. And memory and time. Just questioning this notion of fulfillment.

Let it Be

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Fri, 03 Apr 2020 #14
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
K: That which is measureless can never be found by the experiencer, by the seeker.

Clive Elwell wrote:

This is a fact beyond any form of discontent, is it not?

H: Yes indeed, it is an immovable fact, beyond words, beyond thought.

Right...the seeker is totally limited and conditioned...how can he reach out to the unlimited and unconditioned?

Let it Be

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