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

Being free of fear


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Tue, 05 May 2020 #31
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote #23:
Our thoughts about fear separate us from the fear...from the problem. The ‘entity’ is thought, no? There is no actual entity apart from thought,

There is only thought, thinking. Thought does a lot of things, it "makes a lot of trips", it imagines enormously, it creates religions, ideologies, it starts wars, it thinks it has all the answers. And in particular it creates the idea of a center, and proceeds to act as if there was one.

But it is all only thought.

Tom Paine wrote:
But are the thoughts about the fear separate from the fear? Is that what you’re getting at?

It is the me that has these thoughts that tries to separate itself from the fear.

Of course the me that thinks it "has" thoughts IS thought.

Tom Paine wrote:
Or are they the cause of fear?

The cause of fear is the mind creating images of what might happen, and treating those images as real. No?

Tom Paine wrote:
rying to solve it perpetuates it it seems to me.

This is what I have been getting at in all my recent posts. Trying to solve a psychological problem perpetuates problems. "Trying to solve" means the coming into existence of an entity that that can try, that thinks it can solve the problem. This entity is the 'me'. So the me, the cause of all problems, has been perpetuated.

Another way of looking at it is that separation, division, has been created between "me" and thought. This division only perpetuates conflict, which is the essence of problems.

Sorry if I sound dogmatic, I welcome anyone challenging me on this.

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #32
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Things that happened but don't 'conform' to the image of ourselves that we would like to project?

You are talking about attachment, aren't you?

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Tue, 05 May 2020 #33
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
What is stopping me doing it again is very simple: I want to get rid of fear. It is impossible to look at anything with curiosity if I want to get rid of it.

But if you really see that, what is stopping that perception from acting?

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #34
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
Be a light to yourself means for me to observe what is and not what should be.

Which immediately brings in the issue of the observer and the observed, does it not?

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #35
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:

Be a light to yourself means for me to observe what is and not what should be.

Clive: Which immediately brings in the issue of the observer and the observed, does it not?

Dan: Does it? To "be a light to yourself', is that the same as an "observer and the observed"?...Or is there a 'state of observation' that is the 'light'... Wanting to 'get rid of fear', is the observer against the observed, isn't it, the duality in consciousness...but the 'light' of 'choice-less awareness' doesn't say, "this I'll keep and this I'll get rid of..." does it? It just 'sees'. All that 'choosing', that desire, is the 'self', no?

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #36
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Or is there a 'state of observation' that is the 'light'... Wanting to 'get rid of fear', is the observer against the observed, isn't it, the duality in consciousness...but the 'light' of 'choice-less awareness' doesn't say, "this I'll keep and this I'll get rid of..." does it? It just 'sees'.

This may be true as an ideal or a goal, but I think Clive was referring to the challenge of what the fact actually is in the present moment....which may be the division of observer and observed. And this we perhaps we can be aware of...observe it closely. Observe the actual fact of division...see how it operates.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 06 May 2020.

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #37
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 119 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But if you really see that, what is stopping that perception from acting?

I do not know. Probably it is because I only see intelectually.

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #38
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 111 posts in this forum Offline

Tom: Observe the actual fact of division...see how it operates.
————
Manfred: When we observe the actual, no matter what it is, the observation is not different from the observed, provided there is no movement or intention to change the observed.

Does that mean the activity of observation is timeless, has no content or meaning and therefore can not be described?

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #39
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Does it? To "be a light to yourself', is that the same as an "observer and the observed"?..

No, I merely meant that as soon as the issue of observation arises, one is faced with the question, who or what is the observer? Is it different from what is observed? In fact it seems to me that all enquiry, no matter what the starting point, seems to arrive at that issue, that question.

Dan McDermott wrote:
.but the 'light' of 'choice-less awareness' doesn't say, "this I'll keep and this I'll get rid of..." does it? It just 'sees'.

Just what is this "awareness"? I have been asking myself this question sometime now; I am tempted to start a new thread on it.

Is awareness where we arrive when we have given up on "trying to do something about it", as we have talked about above?

Outside at the moment there is a truck, idling. Suddenly I am aware of - better say "there is awareness of" - the sound of the engine. Then that awareness disappears. It reappears. And I realise the awareness is inversely correlated to thought. When thought appears, it extinguishes or suppresses the awareness of the sound. But the sound was there all the time (I know there are abstract philosophical arguments about that, but they do not seem relevant here).

So is awareness "that which is there when thought is not"?

Jose, i don't think this issue is very divorced from the issue of fear. You yourself have brought up the importance of the choiceless awareness of fear.

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #40
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
I do not know. Probably it is because I only see intellectually

I am tempted to ask the same question. If you see that, what is stopping that perception from acting?

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Wed, 06 May 2020 #41
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred Kritzler wrote:
the observation is not different from the observed,

Can you explain what that means, Manfred, in the context of the sound of the truck I talk of above in #39?

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Thu, 07 May 2020 #42
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: Outside at the moment there is a truck, idling. Suddenly I am aware of - better say "there is awareness of" - the sound of the engine. Then that awareness disappears. It reappears. And I realise the awareness is inversely correlated to thought. When thought appears, it extinguishes or suppresses the awareness of the sound. But the sound was there all the time (I know there are abstract philosophical arguments about that, but they do not seem relevant here).

So is awareness "that which is there when thought is not"?

“The observer is put together by thought as the past. Thought IS the past. Thought is never free. Thought is never new.” “We are asking, can the mind be free from the known?” This video, Clive, goes into your question in detail. Truly amazing series...the discussions with Alan Anderson!
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1n30s-L...

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 07 May 2020.

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Thu, 07 May 2020 #43
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Returning purely to the topic of fear, this question came: Why does the mind continually imagine imaginary threats happening to itself (I observe that it does this) and then react to them as if they were real? That reaction is fear.

At first sight that seems an odd thing to do.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Thu, 07 May 2020.

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Thu, 07 May 2020 #44
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Returning purely to the topic of fear, this question came: Why does the mind continually imagine imaginary threats happening to itself (I observe that it does this) and then react to them as if they were real?

Once they are imagined, the reaction is inevitable, no? Imagination like in a dream seems totally real. So why does the mind produce these images? I will be a failure in business or my girlfriend will leave me or I wont be accepted by my peers at school...I won't reach enlightenment or some other goal. Our whole life is this image making...fear and pleasure. Just exploring...I don't really know the answer to 'why?'.Is it inattention? Caught up in habits of pursuing pleasure and goals...and when they are thwarted there's fear?

That reaction is fear.

Let it Be

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Thu, 07 May 2020 #45
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
At first sight that seems an odd thing to do.

Odd, bizarre and ultimately pitiful for a species given the gift of consciousness, tearing itself and each other apart, fretting away its few days on this beautiful green garden of earth. No?

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Fri, 08 May 2020 #46
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Odd, bizarre and ultimately pitiful for a species given the gift of consciousness, tearing itself and each other apart, fretting away its few days on this beautiful green garden of earth. No?

It is a tragedy. Not just all the personal tragedies going on, but a tragedy of unknown, unguessed perhaps, proportions.

I was out watching people yesterday. The world collapsing all around us, so much suffering and violence, and the trivial things people find to fritter away their time.

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Fri, 08 May 2020 #47
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Once they are imagined, the reaction is inevitable, no? Imagination like in a dream seems totally real.

According to a discussion between Bohm and scientists, a discussion I have referred to in the past, it is the new brain, the frontal cortex, that does all the imagination. But it is the old brain, the reptillian brain, that manifests fear. This old brain has been enveloped by the cortex, and now cannot tell difference between real and imagined threats.

If one accepts this, it might seem a pretty hopeless situation - but neither Bohm nor K accepted the human condition as hopeless, irredeemable.

Tom Paine wrote:
So why does the mind produce these images?

Yes, this is the question, why? And many of the images are so trivial, so childish, so lacking in meaning.

Is it "the usual' explanation? That at one level, the material, practical level, the formation of images is useful, beneficial to survival. But the process has "leaked", to use the term we used before, into the domain of psyche, where it is destructive.

But one can still ask, why isn't this seen, and rejected by the mind?

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Fri, 08 May 2020 #48
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 119 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Once they are imagined, the reaction is inevitable, no?

Tom this is a very important question!

I had panick attacks 10 years ago. And never really fully recovered from that.

In this situation, the brain enters in a fear mode. Only those who experienced that can understand it. Before that, I thought panick attack was only for the weak persons.

So the brain will search for every possible situation in the future. Some situations would cause a reaction whereas others would not. So I think the reaction is NOT inevitable. But Images maybe inevitable. What do you think?

Maybe the brain does that search unconsciously and we do not even notice it. But we can forget about that by doing things such as reading books, working, etc.

In a panick attack, however, one cannot forget fear, there is no other alternative, no entertainement good enough to forget it.

In a fear mode, the brain will always find an unbearable fear, which will cause a strong reaction. A vicious circle then begins.

The only way to completely stop fear, I think, is K's secret: it does not matter what happens. So whatever image comes to our mind there will be no reaction. Does it make sense?

Later I will write about what I think about "it does not matter what happens."

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Fri, 08 May 2020 #49
Thumb_avatar Manfred Kritzler Germany 111 posts in this forum Offline

Manfred:
the observation is not different from the observed,

Clive:
Can you explain what that means, Manfred, in the context of the sound of the truck I talk of above in #39?


Manfred:
You said that you heard the sound of a truck and then its gone although the truck is still making the sound.

This is our usual way of listening or seeing.There is sound and we identify it as the sound of something . That means the sound does not mean danger to us. So we can direct our attention to something else. Seeing and hearing is selective. Thereis a split in attention or observation. The observed is different from the observer. Maybe to use the word observation instead of observed is misleading. Sorry for that.

When we observe the process of this split, division or selective hearing we are not only aware of the meaning the split produces, but also of the split itself.

The identifying of a sound as a sound of a truck is the process of creating a split. Being aware of this process the observer is not different from the observed.

I am not sure that I made something clearer with this try of explaining. Maybe it is only possible to explain what it means that the observer is not the observed. The oneness of observer and observed can only be experienced but not put into words.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #50
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
In a fear mode, the brain will always find an unbearable fear, which will cause a strong reaction. A vicious circle then begins.

Jose, you describe the fear as "unbearable", but what does that mean? Above you have said that it is impossible to find any escape from the fear. So did you not have to "bear" it? And if so, what was the process/how did it feel to "bear it", to experience it? And are we talking about experiencing the fear, or experiencing what you were frightened of?

Sorry, I don't know if you want to go into these personal details?

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
The only way to completely stop fear, I think, is K's secret: it does not matter what happens. So whatever image comes to our mind there will be no reaction. Does it make sense?

Not quite, not to me at least. You talk of the only "way" to stop fear. But "way" suggests a method to apply, making some sort of effort to bring it about. But actually, how do you stop "things mattering" (actually I think K said that he didn't mind what happened). How do you stop reacting to images? Is this something that one can choose to do?

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #51
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3477 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
How do you stop reacting to images? Is this something that one can choose to do?

That's a good question! Once the image is present of course we're going to react. Or not? I mean the image...even though it's only an image, not real...SEEMS to the brain to be real. Hmmmmm...not sure that makes sense. The brain creates a frightening image. The image seems real to who? Who is reacting and attempting to act upon the image or run away from it?

Let it Be

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #52
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 119 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
How do you stop reacting to images? Is this something that one can choose to do?

Clive I do not mind going into personal details. Actually I think it is important sharing personal experiences. I think this helps avoiding getting an intelectual discussion.

During the period I had panic attack, one thought, or an image of a situation that might happen in the future could seem unbearable in the sense that I would loose everything if that happened. This unbearable feeling is what makes people to commit suicide.

However, sometimes I would enter in a state of mind in which the very same thought or image would not cause any reaction.

I have experienced, in my life, extremely peaceful states of mind. Thoughts or images that otherwise might cause fear did arise, but there was no reaction. The reaction is fear. The reaction is resistance.

So, in my experience, thoughts and images are inevitable, but I may react to them or not, depending on the state of my mind. In a peaceful state of mind there are less thoughts for sure, but they are there.

Reaction is resistance. If I do not mind what happens (I think you right, K said that) then there is no resistance to whatever thought or image.

I think this is absolutely necessary for getting rid of all fears. If there is a single situation that I mind happenning then thought will find it, consciously or unconsciously, and fear will be there.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #53
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 119 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is this something that one can choose to do?

No I cannot choose to do that.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #54
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
I think this is absolutely necessary for getting rid of all fears. If there is a single situation that I mind happenning then thought will find it, consciously or unconsciously, and fear will be there.

As long as we are not clear that there is no such thing as gain or loss in the universe, we will suffer.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #55
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
Reaction is resistance. If I do not mind what happens (I think you right, K said that) then there is no resistance to whatever thought or image.

I sense in me Jose and Clive a very deep resentment...it is about 'dying'. That I will die but life will go on without me. These eyes will never more see the beauty but other eyes will. There is a jealousy in that, a greed to continue, a resentment against 'ending. Sadness' that 'I' will be gone when this body falls apart. And 'fear' as to what 'happens' after that...

It was the 'discovery' of that, that prompted me to write the above post: As long as we are not clear that there is no such thing as gain or loss in the universe, we will suffer.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #56
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
The image seems real to who? Who is reacting and attempting to act upon the image or run away from it?

Well, I suggested above, in #47, , following Bohm, that it is the old brain, the reptilian brain, the brain that is concerned with physical survival, the fight/flight/freeze reactions, that is doing the reacting. Reacting to the images created by the new brain, because the old brain thinks the images are real.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #57
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote #52:
could seem unbearable in the sense that I would loose everything if that happened. But this was still imagination, was it not? An image? An image associated with very strong emotions, emotional turmoil. Nothing would actually happen to the body.

So such thoughts/feelings could be borne. They would naturally come to an end, if left alone, no?

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
However, sometimes I would enter in a state of mind in which the very same thought or image would not cause any reaction.

interesting.

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
I think this is absolutely necessary for getting rid of all fears. If there is a single situation that I mind happenning then thought will find it, consciously or unconsciously, and fear will be there.

But Jose, if you don't mind me saying so, you are still focused on getting rid of fears. Not on the broader question of being free of fear.

To me the key to this issue is not resisting fears, not trying to overcome it (see the K quote about effort that Tom has just posted), but living it fully. Letting it pass through one, but not 'doing' that, not with a motive of going beyond it. Or to use K's beautiful phrase, "letting fear flower" in one.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #58
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
As long as we are not clear that there is no such thing as gain or loss in the universe, we will suffer.

Yes, beautiful Dan. Both gain and loss rely on the same 'entity', the one who gains or looses - the self.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 #59
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5949 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I sense in me Jose and Clive a very deep resentment...it is about 'dying'.

Well this is interesting, Dan, and perhaps we can go into it. I myself have felt for some years that I am not bothered by the prospect of death. I could be deceiving myself, of course, or perhaps covering up deep feelings about death with contextualization. But as I observe myself, I do do not detect any fear of death.

Perhaps because I see that I am dying all the time, psychologically.

DO I have any beliefs about what happens after death that overcomes this "resentment", that is overcoming an inherent fear of death? not that I can see, except it certainly seems logical what K says about us "continuing in the stream of human consciousness". But that prospect itself might seem a reasonable source of fear! And sometimes I do wonder about letting go of all attachments, at least on the point of death. But why not let go of them now!

Can one approach death - if indeed it needs approaching - entirely without knowledge about it? That seems a relevant question.

Perhaps you can point to some of my words, Dan, that supports what you say about this very deep resentment in me?

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Sun, 10 May 2020 #60
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1856 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Can one approach death - if indeed it needs approaching - entirely without knowledge about it? That seems a relevant question.

We learn about this thing called 'death' as a child...It 'blindsides' us; 'death!' wait a minute, why 'that'? Then we learn that everyone is 'sucking it up', rationalizing it as if it were the most natural thing in the world..." everything that lives must die blah, blah, blah..." But me too? I don't want to 'die"...!

It starts there and then that 'fear' of it's inevitability of happening gets buried. It's our 'gift' of being human that we can for-tell our own end. But it drives us crazy and we start to believe in other possibilities for ourselves. We can't just 'die', can we? And then, that's that...?

But here is what needs to be realized, (as I see it) that this is all just the workings of the human mind. We invent the idea of death and then are repelled by it. We invent the idea of permanence, continuation' and then are repelled, horrified that we will not continue, the brain invents the 'I'...All these are 'human affairs'. There are no such similar 'squirrel affairs', 'bird affairs', 'deer affairs' (as far as we know)...We need to lighten (ourselves) up and ultimately,hopefully, (one day) not " mind what happens'.

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