Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What are actually the K-Teachings ?


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Mon, 10 Jul 2017 #661
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

CONDITIONING AND THE URGE TO BE FREE

Q: Is it ever really possible, for the human mind to free itself from its ( ages old) conditioning? If so, what is the state of a mind that has unconditioned itself? I have heard your talks over a period of several years, and have given a great deal of thought to the matter, yet my mind doesn’t seem able to break away from the traditions and ideas that were implanted during childhood. I know that I am as conditioned as any other person. From childhood we are taught to conform - either taught brutally, or with affection and gentle suggestions - until conforming becomes instinctive, and the mind is afraid of the insecurity of not conforming. I see the absurdity of conforming, but I can’t shake it off; and even if I could, I should probably be doing the same thing in another way - merely comforting to a new pattern. As a matter of fact, most of us have never thought seriously about how our mind is almost entirely conditioned by the ( standardised mentality of the) culture in which we have grown up. We are unaware of our conditioning and just carry on struggling, achieving, or being frustrated within the pattern of a given society. Unfortunately for me, perhaps, after having heard or read most of the things you have said, I realized that one must be free from this (cultural) conditioning, but what is actually taking place is that the conditioning I received in my youth continues, and at the same time there is a strong desire to uncondition myself. So my mind is caught in this (painful) conflict between the conditioning of which I am ( becoming) aware, and the urge to be free from it. How shall I proceed from there?

K: Does not the urge of the ( conscious) mind to free itself from its ( unconscious) conditioning set going another pattern of resistance ? Will not your (newly awakened ?) desire 'to be free' condition the mind again to a new pattern which maintains that you must not conform; so you have two conflicting patterns. As long as there is this inner contradiction, further conditioning takes place.

Q: I know that the old pattern is quite absurd and dead, and that there must be freedom from it, otherwise my mind will go on forever in the same stupid way.

K: Let’s go into it more (analytically ?) . The old cultural pattern has told you ( that it is safer & more profitable) to conform, and for fear of insecurity you have conformed. Now, for reasons of a different kind, but in which there is still ( the same subliminal ) fear and desire for security, you feel that you must not conform. That’s so, isn’t it?

Q: Yes, more or less. But the old (pattern of cultural conditioning) is obviously stupid, and I must be free from this stupidity.

K: May I point out, sir, that you are not listening (right now) . You go on insisting that the old is bad, and you must have the 'new'. But having the 'new' is not the problem at all.

Q: That’s exactly my problem, sir.

K: You may think so, but (for the time being) please don’t carry on with your own (conflicting) thoughts about the problem, but just 'listen', will you?

Q: I will try.

K: One conforms instinctively for various reasons: out of ( the psychological comforts of ) attachments, the desire for (material) rewards, fear (of what might happen if you do not conform) and so on. That is one’s first (instinctual) response. Then somebody (like K) comes along and says that one must be free from conditioning, and (from comparing the two existential options ) arises the urge not to conform. Now, is there any essential difference between the desire to conform, and the desire to be free of conformity?

Q: It seems as if there should be (a big difference) . But (experientially) how am I to find out?

K: By (wisely ) not condemning the one and nor eagerly pursuing the other. Unless you really experience and understand that state (of choiceless awareness ?) , your 'efforts to be free' (of one and get the other) will only bring about the formation of other (time-binding) patterns.

Q: I don’t quite understand.

K: Surely, not to put an end completely to the (thought & desire ?) mechanism that produces (time-binding) patterns is to continue along a modified pattern of conditioning.

Q: I can understand this intellectually , but I don’t really get the feeling of it.

K: To a (spiritually ) hungry man, the mere description of food is valueless; he wants to eat. So here we have the (ages old) urge (herd instinct?) that makes for your present conformity, and the (newly awakened) urge to be free. Are they not fundamentally similar (and time binding ?)? And if they are, then your pursuit of freedom is vain for you will only trade one pattern for another, endlessly.

(To make a long story short:) There is no 'noble' or better ('superior' ?) conditioning; all ( forms of time-binding ?) conditioning are (creating their own conflicts &) pain. The (basic ) desire to be (or to become something ?) , or not to be (or not become something else ?) , breeds (its own time-binding) conditioning, and it is this (thought sustained movement of) desire that has to be (holistically dealt with and ? ) understood.

This post was last updated by John Raica Mon, 10 Jul 2017.

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Tue, 11 Jul 2017 #662
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

( FOR THE MEDITATING MIND ) THERE IS NO 'THINKER', ONLY CONDITIONED THINKING

Q: I have been listening with close attention to all that you have been saying, and I am aware of what you think of guides and of authority, but I do not entirely agree with you, for we human beings need (spiritual) help from those who can offer it, and the fact that one eagerly accepts such help does not make one a follower.

K: Surely, the (ancestral) desire for guidance makes for conformity, and a mind that conforms is incapable of finding (for itself) what is true. To look for (spiritual) light from another, without (having some basic) self-knowledge, is to follow blindly.

Q: I do not think I am capable of penetrating the deeper layers of the self, and so I seek help. My coming to you for help does not make me your follower.

K: If it may be pointed out, sir, following another is merely an effect of a deeper cause, and without understanding that cause, whether one outwardly follows or not has very little meaning. The desire to "reach the other shore", is the beginning of (spiritual) search. We all crave for permanency, comfort, love or an enduring state of inner peace, and unless the mind is free of this (ages old) desire, there must be some 'following' in direct or devious ways. Following is merely a symptom of a deeply (embedded) longing for security.

Q:In fact, I do want to 'reach the other shore', as you put it (metaphorically) , and I will take any (available) 'boat' that will carry me across the River. To me the boat is not important, but (reaching ) the other shore is.

K: ( In starting your spiritual journey ) it is not the 'other shore' that is (experientially) important, but the (understanding of this) 'River', and of the bank you are on. The 'River' is the everyday living with its extraordinary beauty, its joy and delight, its ugliness, pain and sorrow. Life is a vast (interacting) complex of all these things and you must understand it, and not have your eyes on the other shore. You 'are' (inwardly not separated from ) this life of envy, violence, passing love, ambition, frustration, fear; and you are also the longing to escape from it all to what you call the 'other shore', the ( eternal) Soul, the Atman, God, and so on. But without understanding (the deeper causation of ) this life, without being free of ( greed &) envy, with its pleasures and pains, the 'other shore' is only a myth, an ideal invented by a frightened mind in its search for security. A right foundation (of self-knowing) must be laid, otherwise the 'house', however noble, will not stand.

Q: I quite agree that one must lay the right foundation; but to perceive for oneself what is true and what is false is another matter.

K: Not at all, sir. When there is freedom from this conflict of envy (greed) with its pleasures, pains and confusion the mind can discover what is true.

Q: Then how am I to be free from this (state of inner) confusion?

K: If you were wholly concerned with (ending the movement of greed & ) envy, and its resultant (inner darkness &) misery, you would never ask (from someone else) how to get rid of it. The (insightful) understanding of (the inner process of self-interest, greed &) envy is a total action, whereas the ‘how’ implies a gradual achievement of freedom, which is only the action of confusion.

Q: What do you mean by 'total action'?

K: To understand the nature of the 'total action', we must explore the (illusory ?) division between the 'thinker' and his 'thought'.

Q: Is there not a 'watcher' who is above both the thinker and his thought? I feel there is. For one blissful moment, I have experienced that state.

K: The criterion of truth is not (one's personal) experience, but that ( integrated) state (of consciousness) in which neither the experiencer nor the experience any longer exists.

Q: But is there not a 'watcher' beyond and above the thinker and his thought? I have felt the truth of it.

K: What you 'know' or 'feel' to be true is ( coloured by) what you have been taught; another person , who happens has been taught otherwise by his culture, will assert with equal confidence that his knowledge and experience show him that there is no such 'ultimate watcher'.

Q: When you put it that way, it does seem to put me in the wrong, but I am still not convinced.

K: I am only pointing out certain things for you to examine.

Q: It seems to me that as the eye sees the flower, and the mind watches through the eye, behind the mind itself , there must be a (spiritual) 'entity' who is aware of the whole process, that is of the mind, the eye, and the flower.”

K: Let us (experientially) inquire into it without assertiveness, without haste or dogmatism. How does thinking arise? There is (the sensory ) perception, (the eye ) contact, sensation, and then (the verbal recognition of) thought, based on memory, says, ”That is a rose.” And it is this same thinking process that brings the 'thinker' into being. Thought comes first, and later the thinker; it is not the other way round. If we do not see this to be a fact, we shall be led into all kinds of confusion.

Q: But there is a division, a gap, narrow or wide, between the thinker and his thought; and does this not indicate that the thinker came into being first?

K: Let’s see: perceiving itself to be impermanent, insecure, and desiring (a higher level of) permanency, security, the thinking process brings into being the (its own identitary platform as an independent ) thinker, and then pushes the thinker on to higher and higher levels of permanency. So ( in our everyday perception) there is seemingly an unbridgeable gap between the 'thinker' and his 'thoughts', but this whole process is still within the (known) area of thought, is it not?

Q: Do you mean to say, sir, that the 'thinker' is as impermanent as his thoughts? I can hardly believe this.

K: As long as the 'thinker' is (keeping itself busy in ?) controlling & shaping his thoughts, he is still (a virtual entity ?) within the field of the known, within the process of thought & time.

Q: How my mind objects to this! Yet, I am beginning to see it to be a fact; and if it is a fact then there’s only a process of (self-centred) thinking, and no thinker.

K: That is so, isn’t it? Thought has bred the thinker, the (self-) conscious censor who is everlastingly (evaluating ) judging, condemning, comparing, ever in conflict (at war ?) with his (lower & badder ?) thoughts (and feelings ), ever making an effort to guide (and improve ?) them.

Q: You are indicating - aren’t you? - that every form of (mental) effort, noble or ignoble, is the result of this artificial, illusory division between the thinker and his thoughts. But are you trying to eliminate effort? Isn’t effort necessary to all change?

K: We shall go into that presently. Between the 'thinker' and its 'thoughts ( & feelings') there is the conflict of effort made by the one to overcome or at least to change the other. This (kind of psychological ?) effort can never produce a fundamental change in our thinking, because the thinker, the censor, is himself part of that which he wishes to change. One desire may, and often does, overcome another desire. But the action of the dominant desire breeds other (collateral ) desires, and so an (inner fragmentation and the ) conflict of duality is set going.
There’s no end to this (time-binding) process.

Q: It seems to me you are saying that only through the elimination of conflict is there a possibility of fundamental change. I don’t quite follow this. Would you kindly go into it a little further?

K: The 'thinker' and his 'thought' are a unitary process, neither has an independent continuance; the watcher and the watched are inseparable. All the qualities of the watcher are contained in his thinking; if there’s no thinking, there’s no watcher, no thinker. This is a fact, is it not?

Q: Yes, so far I have understood.

K: If (yor) understanding is merely verbal, intellectual, it is of little significance. There must be an actual experiencing of the thinker and his thought as one, an integration of the two. Then there’s only the process of thinking.

Q: What do you mean by the 'process of thinking'?

K: The way or direction in which thought has been set going: personal or impersonal, individualistic or collective, religious or worldly, Hindu or Christian, Buddhist or Moslem, and so on. There is no thinker who is a Moslem, but only thinking which has been given a Moslem conditioning. Thinking is the outcome of its own conditioning. The process or way of thinking must inevitably create conflict, and when effort is made to overcome this conflict through various means, it only builds up other forms of resistance and conflict.

Q: That’s clear, at least I think so.

K: ( In the context of an authentic Meditation ?) this (dualistic) way of thinking must wholly cease, for it (eventually) breeds (a residual) confusion and misery.

Q: You seem to imply that only when (this duality of ) thought ceases is there a radical change. But is this so?

K: Thought ( our thinking within the field of the known ?) is conditioned . The (thinking) mind, being the storehouse of all our experiences & memories, from which thought arises, is itself conditioned; and any movement of the mind, in any direction, produces its own limited (materialistic) results. When this mind makes an effort to transform itself, it merely builds another (temporal plan or ) pattern, different perhaps, but still a pattern. Every effort of this (subliminally self-centred) mind to free itself is the continuance of thought; it may be at a higher level, but it is still within its own circle of 'thought & time'.

Q: I am beginning to understand, please do proceed.

K: Any (directed) movement of any kind on the part of this (highly 'knowledgeable') mind only gives strength to the continuance of (its self-centred process of ) thought, with its (many) greedy, ambitious, acquisitive pursuits. When the mind is (becoming) totally aware of this fact, (eg:) as when becoming totally aware of (the clear & immediate danger of ) a poisonous snake, then you will see that the (inner temporal) movement of thought comes to an end. Then only is there a total (qualitative inner ) revolution, not the continuance of the old in a different form. This (wondrous new ?) state is not to be described; and he who describes it is not aware of it.

Q: I really feel that I have understood the total implication of what you have been saying. But whether I have really understood it or not, will show (or not ?) in my daily life.

This post was last updated by John Raica Wed, 12 Jul 2017.

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Wed, 12 Jul 2017 #663
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

MEDITATION: SELF-KNOWLEDGE OR SELF-HYPNOSIS?

His ( worldly) life was going along pleasantly enough but one morning -twenty-five years ago- he awoke very early, had his bath, and sat down for meditation before his family or the (noisy) neighbours were up. Though he had had a restful sleep, he couldn’t 'meditate' (as usual) ; but suddenly he felt an overwhelming urge to spend the rest of his life in meditation. There was no hesitancy or doubt about it; he would devote his remaining years to finding whatever there was to be found through meditation, and he told his wife, and his two boys, who were at college, that he was going to become a sannyasi. His colleagues were surprised by his decision, but accepted his resignation; and in a few days he had left his home, never to return. He disciplined himself rigorously, although he found it difficult after a life of ease, and it took him a long time to master completely his thoughts and the passions that were in him. Finally, however, he began to have 'visions' whose beauty was enthralling, and for days he would live as if in a trance, ever widening the boundaries of his mind and heart, utterly absorbed in that Love which is the devotion to the Supreme. Everything about him - the villagers, the animals, the trees, the grass - was intensely alive, brilliant in its vitality and loveliness. It had taken him all these years to touch the hem of the Infinite and it was amazing that he had survived it all.

Q: I also have a number of disciples and followers, as is inevitable in this country, and one of them suggested to me that I attend a talk which was to be given by you in this town, where I happened to be for a few days. More to please him than to listen to the 'speaker', I went to the talk, and I was greatly impressed by what was said in reply to a question on meditation. It was stated that without ( a serious background of) self-knowledge, - which in itself is ( integral part of ) meditation - all meditation is a process of self-hypnosis, a projection of one’s own thought and desire. I have been thinking about all this, it’s a great shock to me to perceive that I have been caught in the projections of my own mind. For twenty-five years I have been held in a beautiful garden of my own making; the visions were the outcome of my particular culture and of the things I have desired, studied and absorbed. I now understand the (lack of ) significance of what I have been doing, and I am more than appalled at having wasted so many precious years.

(We remained silent for some time....)

What am I to do now? I can see that what I have come to in my meditations is a dead-end, and I can’t go back to all that self-delusion and self-stimulation. I want to tear through these veils of illusion and come upon That ( Ultimate Reality) which is not put together by the (man-made) mind. It seems to me that I shall have to start all over again, but...from where am I to start?

K: May it not be that it is not (a matter of) restarting at all, but of (a direct) perception of the false as (being actually ) 'false' which is the (right) beginning of (self-) understanding? What blinds us is the ( deeply embedded) desire to achieve an end, a result; but if we perceived that the result we desire is still within the same self-centred field (of the known) , then there would be no thought of (personal) achievement. Seeing the false as 'false', and the true as 'true', is (the very foundation of) wisdom.

Q: But do I really see that what I have been doing for the last twenty-five years is 'false'? Am I aware of all the implications of what I have regarded as meditation?

K: The (subliminal) craving for ( self-rewarding) experience is the beginning of illusion. As you may now realize, your 'visions' were projections of your cultural background, of your 'conditioning', and it is these 'projections' that you have (recognised and) 'experienced'. Surely this is not (the right beginning of) meditation, but the (non-dualistic) understanding of the background, of the 'self' (-centred consciousness) , and without this understanding, your 'meditation' is merely a form of self-hypnosis. You have practised self-control, mastered your thoughts, and concentrated on the furthering of (such inner ?) 'experiences'. But this is a self-centred occupation; and to perceive that it is not meditation is the beginning of (the authentic) meditation. To see the truth (about what is ?) false sets the mind free from the false. This freedom from (what is) false comes when the mind is no longer concerned with the attainment of a (psychologically rewarding) end. There must be the cessation of all (ego-centric) search, and only then is there a possibility of the coming into (one's inner ) being of "That which is Nameless".

Q: But I do not want to deceive myself again...

K: Self-deception exists when there is any form of craving or attachment (such as: the ) attachment to a (cultural) prejudice, to a (personal) experience, or to a (righteous ?) system of thought. Consciously or un-consciously, the (self-identified ?) 'experiencer' is always seeking greater, deeper, wider experiences; and as long as this (duality ) 'experiencer' (-vs the 'experienced' ) exists there must be self-delusion in one form or another.

Q: All this involves (a lot of ) time and patience, doesn’t it?

K: ( Thinking in terms of ?) 'time and patience' may be necessary for the achievement of a goal. A worldly ambitious man needs 'time' to gain his end. ( Such a goal-oriented ?) mind is the product of time, as is all its thinking ; and (the self-centred process of) thought working (endeavouring ?) to 'free itself from time' only strengthens its enslavement to time. (Thinking psychologically in terms of ?) 'time' exists only when there is a (mental division or ?) gap between 'what is' and 'what should be', which is called the ideal, the (desired) end. To become (responsibly) aware of the "falseness" of this whole manner of thinking is to be (ASAP ?) free from it - which does not demand any (mental) effort, or practice. (Such insightful ?) understanding is immediate, it is not (a matter ) of time.

Q: The ('fake' ?) meditation in which I have been indulging can have ( a different) meaning only when it is seen to be false, and I think I see it to be false. But...”

K: Please don’t ask the inevitable question as to "What there will be in its place ?", and so on. When the "false" has dropped away, there is (an inner) freedom for 'that which is not false' to come into (one's) being. You cannot seek the 'true' through the (mental skills of the ?) false; the 'false' must cease wholly, but not through a comparison to the true. There is no (need for a mental?) comparison between the false and the true; ( a mind rooted in self-centred ) violence and (one rooted in) Love cannot be compared. ( The karmic causation of ?) Violence must cease for Love to be. The cessation of violence is not a matter of time. The perception of the false as (being) 'false' is the (ASAP ?) ending of the false.

( For an 'authentic meditation' homework:) Let the (totality of your ) mind (& heart ?) be 'empty', and not filled with the 'things' of the (man-made) mind. Then there is only "meditation", and not a (self-conscious) 'meditator' who is (keeping himself busy ?) 'meditating'.

Q: My mind has been occupied with the "meditator", the "seeker", the "enjoyer", the "experiencer", which is...with "me & myself". I have lived in a pleasant garden of my own creation, and have been a prisoner therein. I can see now the 'falseness' of all that - dimly, but I see it.

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Thu, 13 Jul 2017 #664
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

THE IDEALISTIC SEARCH FOR GOD AND THE ESCAPE FROM 'WHAT IS’

Imagination has no place in meditation; it must be completely set aside, for the mind caught in 'imagination' ( in projecting emotionally charged images ?) can only breed delusions. The (meditating ) mind must be clear, without movement, and in the light of that (newly found inner ?) clarity the 'Timeless' (dimension of Reality ?) is revealed.

He was a very old man, gentle in manners and speech, but his eyes were full of sorrow - the sorrow of vain search. At the age of fifteen he had left his family and renounced the world, and for many years he had wandered all over India visiting ashramas, studying, meditating, endlessly searching. He had lived for a time at the ashrama of the religious-political leader who had worked so strenuously for the freedom of India and had stayed at another in the south, where the chanting was pleasant. In the cave where a 'saint' lived silently, he too, amongst many others, had remained silently searching. There were ashramas on the east coast and on the west coast where he had stayed, probing, questioning discussing. In the far north, among the snows and in the cold caves, he had also been; and he had meditated by the gurgling waters of the sacred river.

Q: I have searched for God in every possible way from the age of fifteen, but I have not found Him, and now I am past seventy. I have come to you as I have gone to others, hoping to find God. I must find Him before I die - unless, indeed, He is just another of the many myths of man.

K: If one may ask, sir, do you think that the Immeasurable can be found by searching for it? By following different (spiritual) paths, through (self-imposed) discipline, renouncement and dedicated service, will the ( earnest) seeker come upon the Eternal? Surely, sir, what is important (fto start with ? ) is to understand 'why' we seek.

Q: I seek because, without ( finding ?) God, human life has very little meaning. I seek Him out of sorrow and pain. I seek Him because I want inner peace. I seek Him because He is the Permanent, the Changeless; because there is death, and He is Deathless. He is Order, Beauty and Goodness, and for all these reasons, I seek Him.

K: That is, being in (a deep existential) agony over the impermanence (of earthly life) we hopefully pursue what we call the Permanent. But we do not seem very willing to understand the fact of (our inner suffering & ) pain, and so we cling to ( searching for ?) the 'ideal'. Thus is born in us a dualistic state of 'fact' and 'ideal' , the endless conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'. The (subliminal ?) motive of our search is to escape from the sorrow (of our inner isolation &) impermanency, into what the mind thinks is the state of 'everlasting bliss'. But that very (attempt of) thought is born of sorrow. Therefore ( the primary motivation of ) our 'search' is merely the urge to escape from ( the painful limitations of ?) 'what is'.

Q: Do you mean to say that we must cease to search?

K: ( The dualistic) search - as we know it now - may not be necessary if we would give an undivided attention to the understanding of 'what is'. When ( if ?) the mind is free from sorrow, what need is there to search for 'happiness'?

Q: But...can the human mind ever be free from sorrow?

K: We must give our complete attention to the understanding of (or existential ?) sorrow and we cannot do this if we are ( constantly ) trying to escape from ( facing this ?) sorrow, or if our minds are (intellectually ) occupied with seeking the (personal) causes of it. There must be a total attention, and not an 'oblique' (or casual ?) concern.
When the (integrated ?) mind is no longer seeking, no longer breeding conflict through its wants and cravings, when it is silent with (insightful ?) understanding, only then can the ( Light of the ?) Immeasurable come into (one's) being.

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Fri, 14 Jul 2017 #665
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

( continuing to 'unzip' K's Commentaries on Living)

I WANT TO FIND THE SOURCE OF JOY

A young professor from one of the (Hindu) universities, rather nervous and with a high-pitched voice and bright eyes, said that he had come a long way to ask a question which was most important to him.

Q: I have known various joys: the joy of conjugal love, the joy of health and of good companionship. Being a professor of literature, I have read widely, and delight in books. But I have found that every joy is fleeting in nature; from the smallest to the greatest, they all pass away in time. I feel there must be (deep within oneself) a permanent source of all joy, but though I
have sought for it intensely, I have not found it.

K: Search is an extraordinarily deceptive phenomenon is it not? We never stop to inquire into the full content of the present, but are always pursuing the dreams of the future; or from among the dead memories of the past we select the richest, and give life to it. We cling to that which has been, or reject it in the light
of tomorrow, and so the present is merely seen as a passage to be gone through as quickly as possible.

Q: Whether it’s in the past or in the future, I want to find the (inner) source of joy. I no longer seek the (outer) objects from which joy is derived - ideas, books, people, nature - but the (inner) Source of Joy (of Creation ?) itself, beyond all transiency. If one doesn’t find that source, one is everlastingly
caught in the sorrow of the impermanent.

Q: Don’t you think, sir, that we must (take an 'analytical' detour and ?) understand the (true ) significance of our search? Why is there ( in the human psyche ?) this urge to seek, this anxiety to find, this compulsion to attain?

Q: My personal motive is simple and direct: I want to find the permanent Source of Joy, for every joy I have known has been a passing thing. The urge that is making me seek is the misery of not having anything enduring. I want to get away from this sorrow of uncertainty, and I don’t think there’s anything
abnormal about it. Anyone who is at all thoughtful must be seeking the ( creative) joy I am seeking. Others may call it by a different name - God, Truth, Bliss, Freedom, Moksha, and so on - but it’s essentially the same thing.

K: Being caught in the pain of impermanency, the mind is driven to seek the permanent, under whatever name; and this very craving creates (ideal of ?) the "permanent", which is the opposite of 'what is'. So really there is not (an authentic spiritual inquiry or ) Search, but only the desire to find the comforting satisfaction of the permanent.
When the (temporal) mind becomes aware of being in a constant state of flux, it proceeds to build the (idealised) 'opposite' of that state, thereby getting caught in the self-created conflict of duality; and then, wanting to escape from this conflict, it pursues still another 'opposite'. So the mind is bound to the wheel (circular tunnel ?) of the opposites.

Q: I am aware of this 'reactionary' process of the mind, as you explain it; but our life would be a pretty sad thing if we were not discovering anything new.

K: ( Inwardly speaking ?) do we discover anything (really ?) new through search? The 'New' is not the opposite of the old, it is not the antithesis of what is. ( All our psychologically motivated ) search arises from the pain of a ( dull & boring ) present (existence) , therefore what is sought is already ( within the field of the ) known. All (self-projected) desire for something - for Joy, for God, or whatever it be - is transient.

Q: Do you mean that since my search is the outcome of desire, and desire is transient, therefore my search is in vain?

K: If you realize the truth of this, then ( seeing the eternal Newness in the ? ) transience itself is joy.

Q: How am I to realize the (timeless) truth of it?

K: There is no ‘how’, no method. ( Following) a method breeds the (illusory) idea of the permanent. As long as the ( self-centred) mind desires to arrive, to gain, to attain it will be in conflict (with itself) and this (self-created ) conflict is ( bringing its own ) insensitivity. It is only the sensitive mind that realizes the true.

( To make a long story short:) Search is born of ( our subliminal state of inner) conflict, and with the cessation of ( this "observer vs observed" ?) conflict there is no need to seek. Then there is ( an opening for ?) Bliss.

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Sat, 15 Jul 2017 #666
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

PLEASURE, HABIT FORMING AND AUSTERITY

There was an astonishing ( Presence of ?) Beauty covering the land; it was all about us, filling every nook and corner of the earth, and the dark recesses of our hearts and minds. There is only Love, not the 'love of God' and the 'love of man'; it is not to be divided. A lorry came rattling along the road, blowing its threatening horn; but it soon passed, leaving the countryside to the loveliness of the evening, and to the immense solitude

*

(He was a healthy looking and thoughtful young man, still in his thirties, and was employed in some government office).

Q: I attended one or two of your talks, and I would like to ask a (personal) question. I have got into certain bad habits which are bothering me, and which I want to be free of. For several months now I have tried to get rid of them, but without success. What am I to do?

K: Let us consider the (issue of) 'habit' itself, and not divide it into good and bad. The (indulging , or ) cultivation of habit, however respectable (socially) , only makes the mind dull. (Experientially-wise ) what do we mean by 'habit'?

Q: An oft-repeated act ?

K: It is a momentum (within a repetitive pattern of) action in a certain direction, whether pleasant or unpleasant, and it may operate consciously or unconsciously, thoughtfully or thoughtlessly. Some feel the need of (a strong) coffee in the morning, and without it they get a headache. The (psychosomatic) body has gradually got used to the pleasurable taste and stimulation of coffee, and now it suffers (feels frustrated) when deprived of it.

Q: But isn't coffee a necessity? Good food is necessary to good health.

K: Surely; but the insistence on a particular kind of food indicates - does it not? - that a habit has been formed, a habit based on the pleasant memory of it.

Q: To break an unpleasant habit is comparatively easy, but my problem is how to break the pleasant ones.

K: As I said, we are trying to understand habit itself. We see that habit is formed when there is the demand for the continuation of the pleasure. Habit is based on pleasure and the memory of it. An initially unpleasant experience may gradually become a pleasant and ‘necessary’ habit. Now, let’s go a little further into the matter. What is your 'personal' problem?

Q: Amongst other habits, sexual indulgence has become a powerful and consuming habit with me. I have tried to bring it under control it, by dieting, practising various (yogic) exercises, and so on, but in spite of all my resistance the habit has continued.

K: Perhaps there is no other release in your life, no other driving interest? Probably you are bored with your work, without being aware of it; if you are inwardly frustrated, then sex becomes your only release. To become inwardly alert (awaken ?), to think anew about your work, about the (well organised) absurdities of (modern) society, to find out for yourself the true significance of religion - it is this that will free the mind from being enslaved by any habit.

Q: I used to be interested in religion and in literature, but I have no leisure for either of them now, because all my time is taken up with my work. I am not really unhappy in it, but I realize that earning a livelihood isn’t everything, and it may be that, as you say, if I can find time for wider and deeper interests, it will help to break down the (vicious circle of the) habit which is bothering me.

K: As we said, habit is (formed by) the repetition of a pleasurable act brought about by the stimulating 'images' which the mind evokes. The glandular secretions are the normal process of the physical organism; but when the ( self-centred) mind indulges in sensation, stimulated by thoughts and 'images', then surely the formation of habit is set going. Food is necessary, but the demand for a particular taste in food is based on (a psycho-somatic) habit. Finding pleasure in certain thoughts and actions, subtle or crude, the (time-bound) mind insists on their continuance thereby breeding habit. Any repetitive act becomes a habit when attention is not given to it. Attention frees the mind from habit. It is a pleasure to see the beauty of a tree, of a cloud, of moonlight on the water, or of a human being; and to deny that pleasure is to deny beauty. On the other hand, you cannot shut out the ugly ( aspects of everyday life) and hold to the beautiful without becoming (sophisticately ?) dull & insensitive. ( A holistic way of) life is ( encompassing ) both death and love. To (have a deep sense affection &) love is (implying) to be vulnerable, sensitive, ( but indulging in the sophisticated network of ) habit breeds insensitivity an destroys love.

Q: I am beginning to feel the (inner &) beauty of what you are saying. It is true that I have made myself dull and stupid. I used to love to go into the woods, to listen to the birds, to observe the faces of people in the streets, and I now see what I have allowed (by accepting a standardised existence based on) habits to do to me. But what is this 'Love' (you mentioned) ?

K: Love is a state of intense vulnerability and beauty, which (unfortunately ?) is denied ( or locked out ?) when the (self-centred) mind builds ( its mental) 'walls' of self-protecting activity. Love is (an integral part of any holistic ) Life, and so it is also Death. To deny ( the psychological significance of ?) Death and cling to (the outer aspects of ?) Life is to deny Love.

Q: I am really beginning to have an insight into all this, and into myself. Without Love, life does become mechanical and habit-ridden. The work I do in the office is largely mechanical, and so indeed is the rest of my life; I am caught in a vast wheel of routine and boredom. I have been asleep, and now I must wake up.

K: The very realization that you have been (inwardly) asleep is already a (first step to an) awakened state; there is no need of ( enforcing it by) volition. Now, let’s go a little further into the matter. There is no (abiding sense of ) beauty without austerity, is there?

Q: That I don’t understand, sir.

K: Austerity is the simplicity of inward all-oneness, the simplicity of a mind that is purged of all conflict, that is not caught in the fire of desire, even the desire for ( achieving) the Highest. Without this austerity, there can be no Love; and Beauty is (an integral part of Death & ) Love

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Sun, 16 Jul 2017 #667
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

(Unzipping the Commentaries on Living)

A FEW ISSUES INVOLVED IN (THE HOLISTIC ) SEARCH’

It was very early in the morning of a sunlit day, limpid and clear, and the restless sea was quiet, gently lapping the white shore. There was hardly any movement of the vast waters which were intensely blue as though some artificial colour had been added. There was a sparkle in the sea, and a gaiety; it was bluer than the blue sky, and it was old and full of joy. The wind had exhausted itself after days of heavy blowing, and there wasn’t even a breeze. The smoke of a steamer far out at sea was going almost straight up in the cloudless sky. It was so quiet that one could hear the sound of a train, still several miles away, as it came along the low cliff overlooking the sea. Soon the train was out of sight, and once again there was quiet by the blue sea. Miles to the north, one could just see rows of carefully-planted palm trees, with green lawns, where the town came down to the edge of the sea; but here it was very peaceful.

(A clerk in some office, he was grave and very earnest, with bright, serious eyes and a ready smile. Although still in his thirties, he was anxious about the future, for he had responsibilities - no children, but a wife and an old mother to provide for...)

Q: What is the purpose of this monotonous, routine existence? I have always been seeking something or other and now I am seeking God. By nature I am not a pessimist, but everything in life has saddened me. We seek and seek, and we never seem to find. I want to talk most seriously with you, for I feel that you may be of some help in my search

K: Can we go slowly and patiently in (analysing ?) this movement called search? Do you know 'why' you are seeking, and 'what' it is you seek? What is the state of the mind that is (engaged in) seeking?

Q: It is a state of effort in which the (self-conscious) mind is trying to get away from a painful or conflicting situation, and to find a pleasurable, comforting one.

K: Is there a true (authentic) search, if your search is the outcome of a (personal) motive? Is there a search which has no motive whatsoever? Without understanding the full (hidden ?) content of the mind that is seeking, our search (for Truth ?) has little significance.

Q: I am afraid, sir, all this is a bit too ('holistic' ?) for me. Could you make it simpler?

K: Let’s begin with the 'search' process we know. Why do you seek, and what are you seeking?

Q: One is seeking so many things: happiness, security, comfort, permanency, God, a society which is not everlastingly at war with itself, and so on.

K: ( But inwardly speaking ?) the state you are actually in, and the 'end (- result') you are seeking, are both creations of the mind, are they not?

Q: I know I suffer, and I want to find a way out of it and move towards a state in which there will be no sorrow.

K: But isn't the 'end' you are seeking still the projection of a (static) mind that doesn’t want to be disturbed ? And there may be no such thing, it may be a myth.

Q: If that is a myth, then there must be something else which is Real, and which I must find.

K: We are trying to understand the total significance of search, not how to find the Real (we may come upon that presently) For the moment we are concerned with what we mean when we say we are seeking, so let’s inquire into the whole implication of that word. Being unhappy, you are seeking ( the opposite state of ) 'happiness', are you not? As the man who is (greedy &) ambitious in the worldly sense, you also are seeking to fulfil your desire, even though it be for the Highest; but when you (assume that you) already know what the 'end' is; when ( the 'object' of your spiritual search is within the field of the 'known' ) is there (an authentic) Search?

Q: Surely sir, God or Bliss cannot be known beforehand; it must be sought out.

K : ( The authentic spiritual) Search ceases when you 'know', because your 'knowing' is a process of recognition (within the field of) the known.

Q: But I am really seeking God, ( Truth, the Nameless or ?) by whatever name He may be called.

K: If you are really earnest, the moment you perceive that within this (traditionally accepted pattern of ) search, there is no actual Search at all, you abandon it. But as long as the core of your mind (& heart ) has not understood the whole problem of seeking (while being stuck within the field of the 'known' ?) , it will move from one pattern to another, from one ideal to another, from one guru to another. It is ever moving witin the (safety - ?) net of the known.

Now, (the meditative challenge involved is:) can the mind remain ( silently with itself) without 'seeking'? This movement is always towards the ‘more': more (hedonistic ?) stimulations, more (good stuff to ?) experience, and/or ( acquiring) wider and deeper knowledge. And ( if & ?) when the mind is not seeking (anymore) , is there still an 'experiencer' to (witness the new ?) experience?

Q: What do you mean by the 'experiencer'?

K: The ( dualistic ?) "core" of the mind’s self-centred movement. From this (self-identified ?) centre, all activities take place, whether noble or ignoble: the desire for wealth and power, the urge to seek God, to bring about ( social) reforms, and so on.

Q: I begin to see in myself the truth of what you are saying. It looks like I have approached the whole thing wrongly...

K: Does this mean you are now going to approach it ‘rightly’? Or are you aware that any (dualistic ) approach to this (very intricate ?) problem, whether ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, is (part of the same) self-centred activity, and will only strengthen, subtly or grossly, the (subliminal identification of the ?) 'experiencer'?

Q: How cunning the mind is, how quick and subtle in its movement to maintain itself! I see that very clearly.

K: When the (meditating ?) mind ceases to seek (for anything ?) because it has understood the total significance of ( dualistic) search, do not its ( self-imposed ?) limitations (begin to crumble & ?) fall away? And is not then this mind (integrated or inwardly open to ?) the Immeasurable, the Unknown?

This post was last updated by John Raica Sun, 16 Jul 2017.

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Mon, 17 Jul 2017 #668
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

HOLISTIC IMPLICATIONS OF A 'PSYCHOLOGICAL' REVOLUTION

Q: I have been in politics for many years, and have really worked for what I genuinely thought was the good of the country. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t seek power and position. I did seek it; I fought others for it, and as you may know, I have achieved it. I first heard you many years ago, and though some of the things you said hit home, your (holistic) approach to life was for me only of momentary interest; it never took deep root. However, recently I have been attending your talks and discussions whenever I could. I now fully realize that what you are saying is the only way out of our confusing difficulties. I now want to examine the whole thing afresh, and I feel I am ready for something new and clear.

K: To examine afresh the whole issue of our modern existence the mind must be stripped clean of any personal motives, sense of frustration, isn’t it, sir?

Q: Of course, that is the only way to examine and to understand anything (thoroughly) , but I don’t know if I am capable of it.

K: The capacity to comprehend is not a matter of time; it is an immediate perception is it not?

Q: ( To use your notorious example) "if I perceive something to be poisonous, to avoid it is no problem, I simply don’t touch it". Similarly if I see that any kind of 'conclusions' prevents the complete examination of the problems of life, then all conclusions, personal and collective, fall away; I don’t have to struggle to be free of them. Is that it?

K: Yes but a verbal statement of fact is not (necessarily the direct perception of ) the actual fact. To be really free from 'conclusions' is quite another mater since out of habit, the mind (thinking) tends to fall back on (the 'safety net' of ?) its deep rooted tradition; (one has ) to be also aware of (the psychological danger of ?) this (subliminal ?) tendency, so that it does not interfere with the process of examination. Now, what is man’s most fundamental need?

Q: Food, clothing and shelter; but to bring about an equitable distribution of these basic necessities becomes a difficult problem, because man is by nature greedy and exclusive.

K: You mean that he is (also) encouraged and educated by society to be what he is? Now,

in order to bring about an equitable distribution of food, clothing, shelter, a totally different kind of social organization is necessary, is it not? Which means that the whole hierarchical, authoritarian attitude towards life must come to an end.

Q: I can see that this is the only real revolution.

K: It is a 'complete' psychological revolution, and such a revolution is essential if man throughout the world is not to be in want of the basic physical necessities. The earth does not belong to any ideological group. We are human beings, not Hindus, Buddhists, Christens or Muslims. All these (psychological) divisions have to go if we are to bring about a totally different economic-social structure. And it must start with you and me.

Q: Can I act politically to help bring about such a revolution? I mean action at the governmental level: legislative, economic administrative, and so on.

K: Surely, if this 'political' action does not take into consideration man's whole being, his psychological as well as his physical state, then it is bringing further confusion and misery; and this is exactly what is taking place in the world at the present time. Cannot man, with all his problems, act as a complete (inwardly integrated ?) human being, and not as a (specialised) political entity, separated from his 'psychological' or ‘spiritual’ state? A tree is the root, the trunk, the branch, the leaf and the flower. Any action which is not comprehensive, total, must inevitably lead to (all kinds of frustration, discontent & ?) sorrow.

Q: This means that political action is impossible, doesn’t it?

K: Not at all. The (holistic) comprehension of the 'total action' surely does not prevent our political, educational or religious activity (providing) these are all part of a (deeper) unitary process which will express itself in different directions. What is important (to start with ?) is this unitary process, and not a separate political action, however apparently beneficial.

Q: I think I see what you mean. If I have this total understanding of man, or of myself, my attention may be turned in different directions, as necessary, but all my actions will be in direct relation to the whole. Action which is separative, departmentalized can only produce chaotic results, as I am beginning to realize. Seeing all this, not as a politician, but as a human being, my outlook on life utterly changes; I am no longer of any country, of any party, of any particular religion. I need to know God, as I need to have food, clothing and shelter; but if I seek the one apart from the other, my search will only lead to various forms of disaster and confusion. Yes, I see that politics, religion and education are all intimately related to each other. All right, sir, I am no longer a politician, with a political bias in action. As a human being, not as a Communist, a Hindu or a Christian, I want to educate my son. Can we consider this problem?

K: The ( inwardly) integrated action comes into being through understanding the many influences that impinge on the mind; through being aware of them without being caught in them. Both the parents and society are conditioning the child by suggestion, by subtle, unexpressed compulsions, and by the constant reiteration of certain dogmas and beliefs. To help the child become aware of all these influences, with their inward, psychological significance, to help him understand the ways of authority and not be caught in the (standardising cultural ) net of society is ( part of a holistic ) education.

Education is not merely a matter of imparting a technique which will equip the boy to get a job, but it is to help him discover what it is he loves to do. This ( intelligence of ?) love cannot exist if he is seeking success, fame or power; and to help the child understand this is also part of such education. ( And going still further inwardly) self-knowledge is education. In this education there is neither the teacher nor the taught, there is only learning; the educator is learning, as the student is. Freedom has no beginning and no ending; to understand this is education.

( For more profit & fun homework:) Each of these points has to be carefully gone into (& meditated upon ?) , since we haven’t ( all the time in the world ?) now to consider too many details.

Q: I think I understand, in a general sense, what you mean by ( such holistic kind of ) education. But where are the ( visionary ?) people who will teach in this new way? Such educators simply don’t exist.

K: For how many years did you say you worked in the political field?

Q: I am afraid it was well over twenty.

K: Then surely, to educate the (future) educators, one must work for it as arduously as you worked in politics - only it is a much more (delicate) task which demands deep psychological insight. Unfortunately, no one seems to (really) care about (such a comprehensive) education, yet it is far more important than any other single factor in bringing about a fundamental social transformation.

Q: Most of us, especially the politicians, are so concerned with immediate results, that we think only in short terms, and have no long-range view of things. Now, may I ask one more ( bonus ?) question? In all that we have been talking about, where does inheritance come in?

K: Are you referring to the inheritance of property, or to psychological inheritance?

Q: I was thinking of the inheritance of property. To tell you the truth, I have never thought about the other.

K: The 'psychological' inheritance is as conditioning as the inheritance of property; both limit and hold the mind in a ( well known) pattern of society, which prevents a fundamental transformation of society. If our concern is to bring about a wholly different culture, a culture not based on ambition and acquisitiveness then your 'psychological' inheritance becomes a hindrance.

Q: What exactly do you mean by psychological inheritance?

K: The imprint of the cultural past on the young mind; the conscious and unconscious conditioning of the student to obey, to conform. Parents and society are (subliminally ?) shaping the minds of the children through tradition, belief, dogma, conclusion, opinion, and this ( burden of) 'psychological' inheritance prevents the coming into being of a new social order.

Q: I can see that; but to put a stop to this form of inheritance is almost an impossibility, isn’t it?

K: If you ( would ?) really see the necessity of putting a stop to this (conditioning) form of inheritance, then will you not give immense attention to bringing about the right kind of education for your son?

Q: Again, most of us are so caught up in our own preoccupations and fears that we don’t ( take the time to ) go into these matters very deeply, if at all. We are a generation of double-talkers and word-slingers. The inheritance of property is another difficult problem. We all want to own something, a piece of earth, however small, or another human being; and if it is not that, then we want to own ideologies or beliefs. We are incorrigible in our pursuit of possessions.

K: But ( if & ?) when you realize very deeply that inheriting property is as destructive as psychological inheritance, then you will set about helping your children to be free from both forms of inheritance. You will educate them to be completely self-sufficient, not to depend on your own or other people’s favour, to love their work, and to have confidence in their capacity to work without ambition, without worshipping success; you will teach them to have the feeling of cooperative responsibility, and therefore to know when (and with whom ?) not to cooperate. Then there is no need for your children to inherit your property. They are free human beings from the very beginning, and not slaves either to the family or to society.

Q: This is an (Utopian) ideal which I am afraid can never be realized.

K: Understanding is ( always in the ?) 'now', not in the future. (And such insightful ?) understanding is (bringing its own) action. Understanding doesn’t come first, and action later; action and realization are inseparable. ( Eg:) In the very moment of seeing a cobra, there is an instant (re-) action. If the truth of all that we have been talking about this morning is seen, then ( the upcoming) action is inherent in that perception. But our 'intellectual' understanding has no significance, as the mere description of food has no point to a hungry man. Either you understand (have a global insight ?) , or you don’t. (Such holistic ?) understanding is a total process, it is not separated from action, nor is it the result of (thinking in terms of ?) time.

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Mon, 17 Jul 2017 #669
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
chattering ?

A benign word to describe this 'mechanical' process of thought. It seems quite a stretch though, doesn't it, for it to see itself as the 'cobra'? That a seeing itself as the danger would bring about its ceasing? But that is the only way. Thought is a constant (habitual) 'leaking' of precious energy. K. describes this 'psychological' thought as the main "deteriorating' factor of the brain, with its ceaseless morning to night wastage of energy. So the big question is, I would say, can thought become aware of itself and see through its unquestioned, perpetual activity? Can it realize that its constant action can never bring about 'silence? That its continuous filling of the mind with its desires, escapes, its images of the 'future' and the conflicts created by the 'thinker' illusion, can never bring about a state of 'emptiness'? It can only realize this in the moment,of course, in the 'now', becoming more and more aware of its own activity. (Without the 'thinker') And there is no other factor than thought itself, that can bring about this 'ending'.

That is all pretty abstract. Here is a more concrete example. My wife is returning from a trip this evening. She will be very late getting in. Certain preparations have to be made for her arrival since she has been flying for many hours and will probably be tired. This is 'technical' thought operating, what Jess says is as natural as our heartbeat. So how does this 'slide over' into the psychological without calling attention to itself that it has done so? In what we're calling 'technical' thought there is no need for a 'thinker', correct? In learning a new piece of music or a language is there a need for a 'thinker', a 'me' or is thought and memory sufficient? So how is the image of a'self' brought into the picture that then needs protection, security, etc...Isn't it the individual 'I process' sustained by thought that is 'out of place'
that has to become totally aware of itself and that has to end?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 17 Jul 2017.

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Tue, 18 Jul 2017 #670
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

LIFE, DEATH AND ( THE ANGUISHING ISSUE OF AFTER-DEATH) SURVIVAL

(He had been a fairly well-known man. He lay dying in the small house behind the wall, and the little garden, once cared for, was now neglected. He spoke with difficulty:)

Q: You know, I have thought a great deal for a number of years about living and even more about dying, for I have had a protracted illness. I have lived a fairly rich life, and have followed what I thought to be my duty; but of course I am only human. Anyway, that life is all over now, and here I am a useless thing; but fortunately my mind has not yet been affected and I am still as eager as ever to know what happens after death. Do I continue, or is there nothing left when the body dies?

K: Why are you so concerned to know what happens after death?

Q: Doesn’t everyone want to know?

K: Probably they do; but if we don’t know what living is, can we ever know what death is? Living and dying may be (part of ) the same thing, and the fact that we have separated them may be the source of great sorrow.

Q: I am aware of what you have said about all this in your talks, but still I want to know. Won’t you please tell me what happens after death? I won’t repeat it to anyone.

K: Why are you struggling so hard to 'know'? Why don’t you (meditatively ?) allow the whole Ocean of Life and Death to be, without 'poking a finger' into it?

Q: I have always been afraid of death; and all my reading about (the mystery of) death has been an effort to escape from this fear (of not being ?), to find a way out of it and it is for the same reason that I am begging you now.

K: Will any 'escape' (from facing the fact ?) free the mind from fear?

Q: But you can tell me, and what you say will be (probably ?) true; and this truth will liberate me...

( We sat silently for a while....)

Q: The ( peace brought by this ) silence was more healing than all my anxious questioning. I wish I could remain in it and quietly pass away, but my (struggling ) mind won’t let me. I have acute physical pain, but it’s nothing compared to what’s going on in my mind. Is there an identified continuity after death? This ( good old ?) 'me' which has enjoyed, suffered, known - will it continue?

K: What is this ‘me’ that your ( self-centred ?) mind clings to, and that you want to be continued? The ‘me’ ( the self-consciousness ?) exists only through ( a subliminal process of ? ) identification with ( the psycho-somatic body ?), with property, with a name, with the family, with (hurts) failures and successes, with all the things you have been and want to be. You 'are' that with which you have identified yourself with ; and without (being attached to this bundle of memories ?) , 'you' are not.

Now, is this ( subliminal) identification with ( the memory of) people, property and ideas that you want continued even beyond death ? But...and is it a living thing? Or is it just a mass of contradictory desires, personal pursuits, fulfilments and frustrations with sorrow outweighing joy?

Q: It may be what you suggest, but it’s better than not knowing anything at all.

K: Better ( stick to ?) the 'known' than ( contemplate ?) the Unknown, is that it? But the ( field of the ?) known is so small, so petty, so confining. The 'known' is ( self-isolation & ?) sorrow, and yet you crave for its continuance?

Q: Think of me, be compassionate, don’t be so unyielding. If only I knew (what will happen to me ?) , I could die happily.

K: Sir, when all your (mental) efforts to 'know' ceases, then there is ( an opening to ?) "something" which the ( self-centred ?) mind has not put together. The Unknown is greater than (watever we ) know; ( living in the psychological safety of ?) the known is but as a barque on the Ocean of the Unknown. ( So this is for your meditation 'homework': ) Let all things go and be.

Q: I know in my heart that what you say is true, but my mind is like a galloping horse without a rider. Will you help me, or am I beyond all help?

K: ( The direct experiencing of ?) Truth is a strange thing; the more you pursue it, the more it will elude you. You cannot capture it (mentally ?) by any means, however subtle and cunning; you cannot hold it in the ( fishing ?) net of your thought. Do realize (the truth of ?) this, and let everything go. On the Journey of Life and Death, you must walk alone; on this ( spiritual ?) journey there can be no taking of comfort in knowledge, in experience, in memories. The mind (& heart ?) must be purged of all the things it has ( greedily & diligently ?) gathered in its urge to be secure; its 'gods', 'values' and 'virtues' must be given back to the society that bred them. There must be a complete, uncontaminated (sense of) aloneness (aka: All-Oneness ?).

Q: My days are numbered and my breath is short, and you are asking a very hard thing: that I die without 'knowing' what death is. But I am well instructed to "let everything be' , and (hopefully ?) there may be a blessing upon it.

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Tue, 18 Jul 2017 #671
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

From the QOTD:

..." when we view cause apart from effect, there is an illusory time interval which leads us to the wrong conclusion and on this wrong conclusion all your philosophies are based. The cause passing through time becomes modified. The moment there is an effect, the cause cannot be in the distance. They are together although you may take time to perceive it. But the effect is where the cause is, that is, the moment you are aware of `what is,' which is the cause, the effect is also there. Therefore there is transformation. Please think over the implications and the real beauty of this."

I am thinking this over but I am failing to grasp the import of it which I sense is there. I'd appreciate hearing anything others think about this, 'cause and effect as one'...

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Wed, 19 Jul 2017 #672
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

DETERIORATING FACTORS OF THE MIND

(There were several of us, two women and four men. One of the women, with a good head and sharp eyes, had been very well educated at home and abroad; the other was more modest with a sorrowful, begging look. One of the men, an ex-Communist who had left the party several years ago, was forceful and demanding; another was an artist, shy and retiring, but bold enough to assert himself when the occasion demanded; the third was an official in the governmental bureaucracy; and the fourth was a teacher, very gentle, with a swift smile, and eager to learn. Everyone was silent for a while, and presently the former Communist spoke:)

Q: Why is there so much deterioration in every department of life? The seed of evil and corruption is inherent in all political and religious organizations, but why does everything have to deteriorate in this way?”

Q(2) : We don’t seem to get away from the corrosion of routine and capacity. To get something started demands energy and initiative, but once started the seed of corruption is inherent in it. Can one ever escape from this corruptive process?

Q(3) I too, am caught in the routine of decay. We plan for five or ten years from now, build dams and encourage new industries, all of which is good and necessary; but our thinking becomes more and more inefficient, stupid and lazy. The plain fact is, a few brains are active, creative and the rest of us live on them, rotting and often rejoicing in our rot.

Q(4) I am only a ( modest) teacher but I am interested to find out a different kind of education - an education which will prevent the setting-in of this dry-rot of the mind. Will a better method or technique put an end to this deterioration? I have read recent books on education, and invariably they deal with some method or other; but since hearing you, I have begun to question the whole thing.

Q(5) I am an artist of sorts, and one or two museums have bought my things. I may paint for a time, then turn to pottery, and then do some sculpturing. It is the same urge expressing itself in different ways. It is this creative power that has to be kept alive potent, under tremendous pressure, like steam in a boiler. There are periods when one feels this power; and having once tasted it, nothing on earth can prevent one from wanting to recapture it. From then on, one is ever dissatisfied, because that ( creative) flame is never constant, never there completely. So what happens is that the flame gradually dies, though the flair and technique carry on, and one may become famous. The gesture remains, but love has gone, the heart is dead; and so deterioration sets in.

K: Deterioration is the central factor - is it not? - whatever may be the way of our life. The artist may feel it in one way, and the teacher in another; but if we are at all aware of others, and of our own mental processes, it is fairly obvious with the old and with the young, that ( a slow but steady ) deterioration of the (quality of our ?) mind ( & heart ?) does take place. As a machine wears itself out through use, so the ( overall quality of the self-centred ?) mind seems to worsen through its own ( everyday) action.

Q: We know this only too well. But my question is : how can that creative 'something' remain without losing its beauty and force?

K: What are the factors of ( inner ) deterioration? If one knew them , perhaps it might be possible to put an end to them. (For instance: our self-centred ?) mind is a product of the culture in which it has been brought up; and as ( the standardised mentality of ?) society is always in a state of corruption, always destroying itself from within: therefore the mind that continues to be influenced by society must also be in a state of corruption or deterioration.

Q: Some of us worked really hard to create a new social pattern according to which we felt ( a truly humane) society should function. Unfortunately a few corrupt individuals seized power, and we all know the result.

K: May it not be, sir, that (an inner ) deterioration is inevitable when a 'pattern' is created (and enforced) for the individual and collective life of man? By what authority, other than the cunning authority of power, has any individual or group the right to create the all-knowing pattern for man? The church has done it by fear, flattery and promises, and has made a (psychological) prisoner of man.

Q: I thought I knew, as the priest thinks he knows, what is the right manner of life for man; but now I see what stupid arrogance that is. The fact remains, however that deterioration is our lot; and can anyone escape from it?

Q (2) Can we not educate the young to be so aware of the factors of corruption and deterioration, that they will instinctively avoid them, as they would avoid the plague?

K: We know that our minds deteriorate in different ways (and at different rates) , according to our individual temperaments. Now, do we know it through comparison with an 'incorruptible' state which our mind has momentarily experienced and is hoping by some means to revive it? Is it the state of a mind that got frustrated in its desire for success, self-fulfilment, and so on? Has the mind tried and failed to become something, and does it therefore feel itself to be deteriorating?

Q: It’s all of that - at least, I seem to be in one, if not all, of the states you have just described.

K: When did that (creative) 'flame' of which you were speaking earlier come into being?

Q: It came unexpectedly, without my seeking it, and when it went away, I was unable to get it back. Why do you ask?

K: It came when 'you' were not seeking it; it came neither through your desire for success, nor through the longing for that intoxicating sense of elation. Now, because it gave momentary meaning to a life that otherwise had no (deeper) meaning; and as you cannot recapture it, you feel that deterioration has set in. Isn’t that so?

Q: I think this is the case with most of us. The clever ones build a philosophy round the memory of that experience, and thereby catch innocent people in their net.

K: Doesn’t all this point to something which may be the central and dominant factor of deterioration?

Q: Do you mean 'personal ambition'?

K: That’s only one facet of the self-centred focus of energy which is the ‘me’ the 'controller' , the 'experiencer'. May it not be the central factor of (our inner) deterioration?

Q: Is it a self-centred, egotistic activity, to realize what one’s life is without that creative intoxication? I can hardly believe it.

K: That creative state came into being without your invitation, it was there without your seeking it. Now that it has faded away and become a memory , you want to revive it through various forms of stimulation. You may occasionally have touched the hem of it, the outer edges of it, but that’s not enough, and you are ever hungering after it, Now, is not all this craving, even for the "highest", an activity of the self? Is it not self-concern?

Q: Do you mean that all desire for self-improvement is egotistic? Is not education also a matter of making progress in the right direction?

K: Society is always in a (steady ?) state of degeneration since it is based on human relationships motivated by greed, envy, acquisitiveness, fleeting (hedonistic ?) joys, the pursuit of personal power, and so on. You can’t 'improve' (the collective stream of greed & ) envy; envy has to cease (in yourself ?). To put a civilized coating on violence through the double talk of (humanistic) ideals, does not bring violence to an end. Climbing the ladder of success, becoming somebody, gaining public recognition - this is the very substance of our degenerating social structure and to be part of (this collective stream ?) is to deteriorate (inwardly as an individual?) .

Q: Are you suggesting that one must renounce the world and become a hermit, or a sannyasi?

K: It’s comparatively easy to renounce the outward worldliness of family, name, property ; but it’s quite another matter to put an end - without the guarantee of a happy future - to the inner (mentality) of personal ambition, power, achievement, and be "as nothing". ( The worldly ?) man begins at the wrong end with 'things', and so ever remains in confusion. Begin at the right end; start near to go far.

Q: Must not a definite attitude be adopted to put an end to this deterioration, to this slackness of the mind?

K: ( All self-enforced ?) discipline implies an incentive, the gaining of an end; and isn’t this (part of ) a self-centred activity? Becoming 'virtuous' is a process of self-interest, leading to (self- created ) respectability. Besides all this, there is another degenerating factor: 'effort', in all its subtle (psychological) forms. This doesn’t mean that one is advocating laziness.

Q: Good heavens, sir, you are certainly taking everything away from us! And when you take everything away, what’s left of us? Nothing!

K: ( The sense of inner) Creativeness is a state of being in which (all egotistic) effort is totally absent. All ('psychological') efforts on the part of this complex thing called the (self-centred) mind must cease, without any motive or inducement.

Q: That means ( the 'psychological) death' doesn’t it?

K: Death to all that’s (psychologically) 'known' - which is the ‘me’. It is only when the totality of the mind is still, that the Creative, the Nameless, comes into (one's ) being.

Q: What do you mean by the 'mind'?

K: The 'conscious' as well as the 'unconscious'; the hidden recesses of the 'heart' as well as the educated bits of the 'mind'.

Q: I have listened, and my 'heart' understands.

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Wed, 19 Jul 2017 #673
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
I'm absolutely sure M Zimbalist did her very best to do what Krishnamurti asked her to do or, rather, what she thought Krishnamurti asked her to do, that's all and I don't think it is very important, other people did the same.

Well, yes & no, Jess. I would have really appreciated- for instance- an insider's view of Buddha's or Jesus's everyday life, etc. There are a few perhaps 'subliminal' missing parts in the K Puzzle which can be perhaps put back into their right place - in terms of how he lived the Teachings himself. For instance, he once told someone in private that there was a 'small K' and a 'large K'- which for most psy's would mean a split personality ( not good on anybody's resumé). So, my reading is that Mrs MZ definitely did the all the 'right things' regarding K's World Teacher mission , but did not find the vital interest to actually try the 'miracle ( 'ending of time') medicine' on herself .

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Wed, 19 Jul 2017 #674
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
As a result there is a new existential dimension of the 'now' in which your sorrows, hurts or desillusions just 'are ', without the time-compensating element.

In thinking about this John, it occurred to me that as a long as there is a 'shred' of identification with body, mind, heart, that there will be ultimately pain (if only the pain of 'separation' at the 'end'). 'Attachment' means 'one' is 'stuck'(tethered) to some thing or someone, or some belief, and unless detachment comes about 'effortlessly' through understanding, there will be resistance and pain and conflict with letting it go.. As in 'cause and effect'. As in 'when it rains the streets get wet'. The 'consequence' is 'lawful'. But I think what K. is saying is that since that connection between the two is not seen as two sides of the same coin, that a 'time interval' is placed psychologically between them that is actually false and leads to "false conclusions"...

It surprised me to see somewhat clearly that any and all (psychological) identification and attachment (the 'self'?) must 'eventually' end if there is to be freedom.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 19 Jul 2017.

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Wed, 19 Jul 2017 #675
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It surprised me to see somewhat clearly that any and all (psychological) identification and attachment (the 'self'?) must 'eventually' end if there is to be freedom.

And this 'freedom', Dan, seems to be a very real spiritual bonus in a modern global culture submerged by the ongoing tidal wave of vulgarity & violence. Very similar to the increase of the sea levels due to global warming. A collective consciousness that has been 'psychologically frozen' or 'severely restricted' during many centuries by fear & material needs is now 'released' and flowing into everybody's consciousness at critical levels

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Wed, 19 Jul 2017 #676
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
A collective consciousness that has been 'psychologically frozen' or 'severely restricted' during many centuries by fear & material needs is now 'released' and flowing into everybody's consciousness at critical levels

How has it been "frozen" or restricted and what is responsible for the "release"?

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Thu, 20 Jul 2017 #677
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

( Unzipping the K commentaries on living)

THE FLAME OF (EXISTENTIAL) DISCONTENT

(There were three of them, all quite young, a brother, a sister and a friend. Well dressed and very well educated they spoke several languages easily, and could talk of the latest books. A sparrow that had its nest just outside suddenly appeared on the sill of the open window but seeing the new faces, it fluttered and flew away again.)

Q: We have come to talk over a rather personal problem ( explained the brother): my sister is going through a beastly time. She has been twice married and twice divorced. The husbands were all right in their way, but I am concerned about my sister. We consulted a well known psychiatrist, but somehow it didn’t work out, my sister doesn’t seem to be satisfied with anything. Literally nothing gives her any sort of satisfaction or contentment. This discontent has become almost a mania with her, and if something isn’t done, she’s going to crack up completely.

K: Isn’t it a 'good thing' ( spiritually wise ?) to be discontented?

Q: To some extent, yes, but there are limits to everything, and this is going too far.

K: What we generally call discontent is the (result of our frustration ?) which arises when a particular desire is not fulfilled. Isn’t that so?

Q: Nothing really satisfies me ( said the sister) . We are well off, but the things that money can buy have lost their meaning. I have read a great deal but as you know it doesn’t lead anywhere. I have dabbled in various religious doctrines, but they all seem so utterly phoney; and what have you left after that? I can’t find a way of directing or channelizing myself , as most people seem to do, into some absorbing activity or interest. Then it would be easy sailing; there would be an occasional squall, which is inevitable in life, but one would always be within reach of calm waters. I feel as though I were in a 'perpetual storm', without any safe port. I want to find some comfort, somewhere; but, as I said what the (organised) religions have to offer seems to me a lot of superstitions. Now you know all about it.

K: May I ask, what do you mean by that word 'discontent'?

Q: It is (a sense of) agonizing (existential) anxiety, and naturally one wants to get out of it. After all, one should be able to live happily, and not be ceaselessly driven by this pain of dissatisfaction.

K: I am not saying that you should enjoy the pain of it, or merely put up with it; but why should you try to escape from ( facing it inwardly) ? What we are trying to do here is to examine (in total immersion ?) the state of the mind that is caught in the pain of discontent.

Q: In other words, what is my mind doing when it is discontented or rather, what is the feeling of the mind that is in the throes of discontent? Is that it?

K: Something like that. Such a (total) feeling is extraordinary in itself - is it not? - apart from its pleasure or pain.

Q: But can there be any feeling at all if it is not identified with pleasure or pain?

K: Can there be no feeling without ( mental recognition & ) identification, without naming? We may come to this (meditation related ?) question presently; but does your discontent exist by itself, as an isolated feeling, or is it related to something?

Q: I don’t know, I haven’t thought that far .

K: If you would find some (worthwhile) interest or activity with which you could completely occupy your mind, would the pain of your discontent go? Is it that you want to be contented?

Q: God, no! That would be terrible, that would be stagnation.

K: But isn’t that what you are (subliminally) seeking? You may have a horror of being (materially) contented, yet you are pursuing a very superior kind of (spiritual) contentment, aren’t you?

Q: I don’t think I want ( a superior form of ) contentment; but I do want to be free from this endless misery of discontent.

K: Are the two (different levels of) desire different? Most people are discontented ( when young ?) , but they generally 'tame' it (later) by finding something ( rewarding) which gives them satisfaction, and then they function ( 'happily' but...?) mechanically or (if the substitution scheme doesn't work ?) they become bitter, cynical, and so on.

Q: (For starters) I want to find a way to soften the ache of this uncertainty.

K: The ache exists only when you resist (facing this) uncertainty, when you want to get rid of it.

Q: Do you mean I must remain forever in this state?

K: Please listen (without reacting ?) . You condemn the state you are in; your (conscious) mind is opposing it. ( But the mind-energy presently entangled in the existential ?) discontent is ( in its essence ?) a flame that must be kept burning brightly, and not be smothered by some (artificial ?) interest or activity that is pursued as a reaction from the pain of it.

( In a nutshell:) Discontent is (felt as) painful only when it is resisted. A (worldly) man who is merely satisfied, without understanding the full significance of discontent, is (inwardly) asleep; he is not sensitive to the whole movement of life. ( The psychosomatic or mental ?) satisfaction is (acting inwarly as a placebo ? ) drug, and it is comparatively easy to find. But to understand the full significance of (our existential) discontent, the search for 'certainty' must cease.

Q: It is difficult not to want to 'be certain' about something.

K: Apart from some ( material) certainties, all ( the self-centred process of our ) thought, with its symbols, (images ?) ideals, projections, is impermanent. Life itself ends in death, in the Unknown, though man builds a thousand cunning structures of belief to overcome it. We separate 'life' from 'death', and so both remain unknown. (Now, back to your problem:) contentment and discontent are like the two sides of one coin. To be free from the ache of discontent, the mind must cease to seek contentment.

Q: Then is there no fulfilment?

K: Self-fulfilment is a vain pursuit, isn’t it? In the very fulfilment of the self, there is fear and disappointment. That which is gained (eventually) becomes ashes; but we again struggle to gain, and again we are caught in sorrow. Once we are (becoming) aware of this total process, then (the desire for) self-fulfilment in any direction, at any level, has no (spiritual ?) significance at all.

Q: Then to struggle against (one's existential) discontent is to smother the flame of life; I think I understand the (holistic) meaning of what you have been saying.

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Fri, 21 Jul 2017 #678
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

Two Easy Pieces from K's Commentaries On Living

OUTWARD MODIFICATION AND INWARD DISINTEGRATION

(...) It was beautiful country, and the dew was still on the fields and on the leaves of the spreading trees. The train ran for some distance beside a full-flowing river and the countryside seemed to open out into endless beauty and life. Here and there were small, smoky villages, with cattle roaming about the fields, or pulling water from a well. A boy clad in dirty rags was driving two or three cows before him along a path; he waved, smiling, as the train roared by. On that morning the sky was intensely blue, the trees were washed and the fields well-watered by the recent rains and the people were going about their work; but it wasn’t for this reason that heaven was very close to the earth. There was in the air a feeling of something sacred, to which one’s whole being responded. The quality of the blessing was strange and healing; the solitary man walking along that road, and the hovel by the wayside, were bathed in it. You would never find it in churches, temples or mosques, for these are man-made and their gods hand-wrought. But there in the open country, and in (meditating here in?) the rattling train, was the inexhaustible (diversity of) life, a blessing that can neither be sought nor given. It was there for the taking, like that small yellow flower springing up so close to the rails. It was there, immense and simple, the ( immanent presence of ?) Love which no ( sacred) book can reveal, and which the ( egocentic ?) mind cannot touch. It was there on that wondrous morning, the very life of life.

(There were eight of us in the room, but only two or three took part in the conversation. Those who had come were very much in earnest. They all worked hard in various ways for the betterment of society, and not for outward, personal gain; but vanity can hide even under the cloak of virtue and respectability)

Q: The institution we represent is (slowly) disintegrating, and we have reached a point where we have to do something drastic; but... what? That is our problem.

K: What needs to be done depends on the symptoms of the 'patient', and upon those who are responsible for the patient.

Q: We know very well the symptoms of disintegration, they are all too obvious. Though outwardly the institution is recognized and flourishing, inwardly it is rotting. Our workers are what they are; we have had our differences, but have managed to pull along together for more years than I care to remember. If we were satisfied with mere outward appearances, we would consider all to be well; but those of us who are 'on the inside', know there is a decline.

K: You and others who have built up this institution, have made it what it is; 'you' are the institution. And disintegration is inherent in every institution, in every society or culture, is it not?

K: That is so, as you rightly say, the world is of our own making; the world 'is' us, and we 'are' the world. Regeneration must therefore begin with ourselves. The trouble is, sir, that life to us is not a total process; this institution is one thing, and we are another. We are managers, presidents, the top officials by whom the institution is run, but we don’t regard it as our own life; it is something apart from us, something to be managed and reformed. We are concerned with operating upon the institution, and not upon ourselves.

K: Do you see that you are in need of a (major psychological) operation?

Q: I see that we are in need of a drastic operation, but who is to be the "surgeon"?

K: The very percepton of the fact that such an operation is necessary sets in motion an (integrated) action which will in itself be the operation. But this (time-free approach) implies going through a considerable inner disturbance, for the 'patient' has to stop living in a routine manner.

Q: But is it possible, being constituted as we are, to operate upon ourselves?

K: Sir, by asking this (academic) question, are you not building a wall of (mental) resistance which prevents the operation from (naturally) taking place? Thus you are 'unconsciously' allowing deterioration to continue.

Q: I want to 'operate upon myself', but I don’t seem able to do it.

K: When 'you' ( the self-identified entity ?) try to operate upon 'yourself', there is no operation at all. Making a (mental) effort to stop deterioration is another (dualistic) way to avoid (facing ?) the facts; it is to allow deterioration to go on. ( For a deeper 'meditation homework':) Why don’t 'you' remove your hands and let there be an Operation? Clean, 'healthy blood' will (hopefully ?) flow in if 'you' don’t hinder it .

’TO CHANGE SOCIETY YOU MUST BREAK AWAY FROM IT (PSYCHOLOGICALLY)

THE SEA WAS very calm that morning, the sands were bleached by the sun and salt water, and there was a strong smell of ozone, mixed with that of seaweed. There wasn’t anyone yet on the beach, and one had the sea to oneself. Hundreds of seagulls stood about, resting and preening themselves. The rim of the sun was just coming out of the sea, and it made a golden path on the still waters.
Under a tree above the sands and the blue water, there was going on a life independent of the crabs, the salt water and the seagulls. Large, black ants darted about, not making up their minds where to go. They would go up the tree, then suddenly scurry down for no apparent reason. Two or three would impatiently stop, move their heads about, and then, with a fierce burst of energy, go all over a piece of wood which they must have examined hundreds of times before; they would investigate it again with eager curiosity, and lose interest in it a second later. It was very quiet under the tree, though everything about one was very much alive. There was not a breath of air stirring among the leaves but every leaf was abundant with the beauty and light of the morning. There was an 'intensity' about that tree - the intensity of being complete, simple, alone and yet part of the earth. The colours of the leaves, of the few flowers, of the dark trunk, were intensified a thousandfold, and the branches seemed to sustain the heavens. Everything was incredibly clear, bright and alive in the shade of that single tree.

Meditation is an 'intensification' of the mind in the fullness of silence. The ( meditating) mind is not still like some tamed animal, but 'still' as the sea waters are many fathoms down. This (living) stillness has a movement of its own which is related to the outer flow of life, but is untouched by it. Its intensity is as simple and natural as love, as lightning, as a full-flowing river.

(He said he had been in politics up to his ears. But now he was tired of this game of 'helping the country' by boosting himself and becoming a very important person. He was tired of it, because, through a natural process of intelligence, he had come to see that man’s deep betterment does not lie in planning, in efficiency, in the scramble for power. So he had thrown it all overboard, and was beginning to consider anew the whole of life.)

Q: I have spent many active years on (the social) 'branch of the River , but I want to spend the remaining years of my life on the River itself. I am not leaving politics regretfully; but I wish to contribute to the betterment of society from my heart and not from the ever-calculating mind. What I take from society must be returned to it at least tenfold.

K: What do you 'owe' to society?

Q: Everything I have: my bank account, my education my name-Oh, so many things!

Q: In actuality, you have not taken anything from society, because you are (inwardly ) part of it. You are part of society, part of the culture which has put you together. You can return the 'borrowed' money; but what can you give back ( spiritually ?) as long as you are part of society?

Q: I certainly must do some 'good work' for society - in the larger sense, and not as a ‘do-gooder’.”

K: What society has yielded through your efforts is comparatively easy to return (in a few 'clicks' ?), but as long as you (inwardly) identify yourself with it, you maintain it; you support its (psychological) structure, do you not?

Q: I am, as you say, an integral part of society; without it, I am not. Now, since I am both the good and the bad of society, I must simply 'remove the bad' and uphold the Good.

K: You want to maintain that which is 'noble' within the structure of society; is that it?

Q: What I want to do is to change the social patterns in which man is caught. I mean this most earnestly.

K: The ongoing (mental) 'pattern' ( of thoughtful and/or thoughtless self-centredness ?) is not independent of man, though it has a life of its own, and man is not independent of it either ; they are interrelated. A change within the ( self-interest based?) pattern is no change at all; it is mere modification, reformation. Only by breaking away from the ( self-centred mentality responsible for the existing ? ) social pattern can you ‘help’ society. As long as you belong to (the standardised mentality of ) society, you are only helping it to deteriorate.

( In a nutshell:) All societies including the most marvellously utopian, have within them the seeds of their own corruption. To change society, you must break away from it. You must cease to be what (the collective mentality of) society is: acquisitive, ambitious, envious, power-seeking, and so on.

Q: Do you mean I must become a sannyasi?

K: Certainly not. The sannyasi has merely renounced the outer show of the world, of society, but inwardly he is still a part of it; he is still burning with the desire to achieve (the highest) , to gain (public recognition) , or to become (enlightened ?).

Q: Yes, can I see that.

K: Surely, your problem is not only to break away from (the standardised mentality of) society, but to come totally to life again, to love and be simple. Without Love, do what you may, you will not know the 'total action' which alone can save man.

Q: That is true, sir: we don’t (have ) love, we are not inwardly 'simple'.

K: Why? Because you are so (self-) concerned with office duties, with respectability, with becoming something or with 'breaking through' to the other side. You think you are the centre of this beautiful earth. You never pause to look at a tree, at a flower, at the flowing river; and if by some chance you do look, your eyes are filled with the things of the (man-made) mind, and not with Beauty and Love.

Q: Again, that is so true; but concretely, what is one to do?

K: 'Look' ( without the 'observer-observing' duality ?) and be "simple".

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Sat, 22 Jul 2017 #679
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

(More unzipped commentaries)

’THE VANITY OF KNOWLEDGE’

( He was a well-known scholar, and had come with some of his friends and a disciple or two. He was as familiar with the major oriental philosophies, including their various branches, as you are with addition and subtraction, and he had studied western philosophers as well, both the ancient and the modem. Rigorous in his self-discipline, he had days of silence and fasting, and had practised, he said, various forms of 'meditation'. His friends and disciples were all of that world of ( Oriental ?) scholars who possess encyclopedic knowledge, have visions and psychic experiences, and are certain of their own understanding. They took no part in the conversation, but listened, or rather heard what was going on. Later they would ardently discuss it among themselves, but now they must maintain a reverential silence in the presence of 'higher authority'.)

Q: I have come as an inquirer, not to flaunt what I know. What do I know beyond what I have read and experienced? I have for many years practised meditation, not only the Hindu and Buddhist forms of it, but western types as well. I am saying this so that you may know to what extent I have sought to find 'That' which transcends the (temporal) mind.

K: Can a mind which practises a (meditation) system ever discover that which is beyond the (temporal) mind? Must there not be freedom to discover?

Q: Surely, to seek (Truth) and to observe (the 'what is' ?) there must be a certain ( quality of inner) discipline.

K: Sir, we all seek a way out of our misery and trials; but only in the ( insightful ?) understanding of sorrow is there an ending of it, and not in the practice of a method.

Q: But how can there be an ending of sorrow if the mind is not well-controlled, one-pointed and purposive? Do you mean to say that ( no self-) discipline is necessary for such understanding?

K: Must not the mind be free ( from its attachments to what it already known ?) for the understanding ( of something new ?) to take place?

Q: Freedom, surely, comes at the end of the journey; at the beginning, one is a slave to desire and the things of desire. To free oneself from attachment to the ( hedonistic ) pleasures of the senses, there must be ( some self-) discipline, otherwise the mind yields to desire and is caught in its net. Unless the groundwork of righteousness is well laid, the house will tumble.

K: Freedom ( from our 'tethering' in the 'known' ?) is ( necessary ) at the very beginning, and not at the end . ( Some global ) understanding of the whole (psychological) content of greed - its nature, its implications, and its effects both pleasurable and painful - must be at the very beginning. Then there is no need for the mind to discipline itself against greed. When there (is a global perception that ?) that (greed &) envy leads to misery and confusion, (the effort to ?) discipline oneself against it has no meaning. If (s)he who now spends much time and energy in the practice of self- discipline, with all its ( related ) conflicts, were to give the same attention to the understanding of the total significance of ( thought, time &) sorrow, there would be a complete ending of sorrow. But if we are getting caught in the tradition of resistance and discipline, there is no (experiential) understanding of the ways of sorrow.

Q: I am listening, but I do not really understand.

K: Surely, one 'listens' (holistically ?) only when the mind is not translating what it hears in terms of what it knows. One may know a great deal; but to listen to something which may be (qualitatively ?) different from what one knows, one must put aside one’s knowledge. Isn’t that so, sir?

Q: Then how can one tell whether what’s being said is true or false?

K: The ( direct perception of the ?) true and the false is not based on (personal) opinions or judgments, however wise and old. To perceive the 'true' in the false, and the 'false' in what is said to be true, and to see the 'truth' as truth, demands a mind that is not held in its own (cultural) conditioning. How can one see whether a statement is 'true' or 'false', if one’s mind caught in the framework of its own or another’s conclusions and experiences? For such a mind, what is ( primarily) important is to become aware of its own limitations.

Q: How is a mind that’s enmeshed in the net of its own making to disentangle itself? And how are envy, ambition, greed, and so on, to be 'put aside'?

K: To grasp fully the significance of the problem, one has to consider the whole question of ( psychological) 'effort'. Any effort 'to be' or 'not to be' something is (only giving ?) continuance of the 'self' (-centred consciousness) . The core of it is still ( part of the consciousness stream of ?) greed, ambition, which is (impersonated by ?) the 'self', with all its conscious and unconscious attributes.

Q: You are maintaining, then, that all effort to achieve an end, worldly or spiritual, is essentially the same, in that ( the collective stream of ?) selfishness is the basis of it. Such effort (of self-interest) only sustains the ego ?

K: That is so, isn’t it?

Q: That is clear and to the point. Now, since you cannot be advocating indolence, what is the nature of true effort?

K: When we are ( becoming ) aware of ( the falseness of self-centred ?) effort, with all its implications, is there then any (sense of psychological ) 'effort' at all of which we are conscious?

Q: You have pointed out that any ( self-) becoming, positive or negative, is the perpetuation of this ‘me’, which is the result of identification with desire and the objects of desire. When once this fact is understood, you are asking, is there then any effort as we know it now? I can perceive the possibility of a state of being in which all ( self-interest based ?) effort has ceased.

K: Merely to perceive the possibility of that state is not to understand the total meaning of effort in your everyday existence. As long as there’s an 'observer' who is trying to put aside (or sweep under the carpet ?) 'that which he observes', there must be (a subliminal form of ?) effort; for after all, effort is the ( direct result of the ?) conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be', the ideal (state to be achieved) . When this fact is ( experientially ) understood, then the mind has entered that (integrated ?) state of being in which all ( personal ) effort, as we know it, is not.

Q: To experience that state is the ardent desire of every seeker, including myself.

K: It cannot be sought; It comes uninvited. The ( subliminal ?) desire for 'it' drives the mind to gather knowledge and practise self-discipline as a means of gaining it - which is again to conform to a pattern in order to be successful. ( The subliminal attachment to our past ?) knowledge is an impediment to the experiencing of that state.

Q: How can knowledge be an impediment?

K: He who asserts that he 'knows' ceases to understand ( the living ?) Reality. After all, sir, what is it that you know?

Q: I know certain scientific ( historical & ) and ethical 'facts'. Without such knowledge, the civilized world would revert to savagery - and you are certainly not advocating that. Apart from these 'facts', what do I know? I know there is the Infinitely Compassionate, the Supreme.

K: That is an assumption on the part of a mind that has been conditioned to believe in the existence of the Supreme. We know only what we have read or experienced, what we have been taught by the ancient teachers and the modern gurus and interpreters.

Q: Again I am forced to agree with you. We are the product of the past in conjunction with the present. The present is shaped by the past.

K: And the future is a modified continuity of the present. When the (truth of this) fact is seen by both of us, (the intellectual) agreement is unnecessary.

Q: You are saying, sir, that we 'know' only what we have been taught; that we are merely the repetition of what has been; that our experiences, visions and aspirations are the responses of our conditioning, and nothing more. But is the Atman ( the Soul ?) of our own making? Can it be a mere projection of our own desires and hopes?

K: The minds of a whole people can be (brainwashed or ?) 'trained' to accept a given belief, or its contrary, and both are the outcome of necessity, of hope, of fear, of the desire for personal comfort or power.

Q: By your ( flawless ?) reasoning, you are forcing me to see certain facts, not the least of which is my own state of confusion. But there still remains the (experiential side of my ?) question, what is there to do for a mind that is caught in its own entangling net?

K: ( For starters ?) Let it just become choicelessly ( 'non-personally' ?) aware of the fact that it is confused; for any action born of that (self-perpetrating ?) confusion can only lead to further confusion. ( Then for the next meditational step ?) must not the mind 'die' (or let go its personal attachments ?) to all its knowledge in order to discover the Reality of the Supreme?

Q: That is a very hard thing you are asking. Can I 'die' (or untangle myself ?) to everything I have learnt, read, experienced? I don’t know (if I really want to do it ?)...

K: But is it not necessary for the (meditating ?) mind - spontaneously, without any motive or compulsion - to 'die' to the ( attachments to its own ?) past? How can a mind that is the result of time and which is in itself a continuance of the past - how can such a mind experience the Timeless, the Ever-New (dimension of Reality ?) ? Surely, ( in the context of Meditation ?) as long as one 'knows', there is no dying (letting go of the past?) , there is only ( a self-conscious ?) continuity; but what has (a temporal) continuity can never be in that ( innermost ?) state of Creation which is the Timeless.

(In a nutshell:) When the (psychological memory of the ?) past ceases to contaminate ( the mind) , Reality 'Is'. There is then no need for you to seek it out. ( However, if ?) one part of the mind knows that there is no permanency, and another part is seeking surreptitiously to establish an abode of certainty, of permanence, there is an endless struggle to 'be' or 'not to be' and we spend our days as ( 'conscience ?) prisoners' (of Time ?) within the walls of our own minds. These ( self-created & ?) 'walls' can be broken down (in Meditation ?) , but knowledge and technique are not the instruments of that Freedom.

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Sun, 23 Jul 2017 #680
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

( Unzipping K's Commentaries on Living )

PSYCHANALYSIS OR INSIGHT-THERAPY ?

A ( professional ) psychiatrist , with a large head and serious eyes, came to talk over several points; he knew the limitations of modern psychology, as well as its therapeutic value. He had also studied the oriental thought and the oriental idea of 'consciousness'.

Q: When the subconscious was first discovered and described here in the West, no ( serious) university had a place for it, and no publisher would undertake to bring out the book; but now after only a few decades, the word is on everybody’s lips. We, the specialists in the field of psychology, do help the (mentally ) 'maladjusted' to return into (the mainstream) society, and that seems to be our main concern. But...is that all we psychologists can do? Can't we more than that?

K: Is ( the mainstream mentality of our modern ?) society so 'healthy', that an individual should return to it? Has not this society itself 'helped' to make the individual unhealthy? Of course, the unhealthy must be made healthy, that goes without saying; but why should the individual mind adjust itself to an unhealthy society? Without first questioning the 'health' of society, what is the good of helping misfits to conform to society?

Q: I don’t think our modern society is healthy; it is run by and for frustrated, power-seeking superstitious people. It is always in a state of convulsion. During the last (2-nd WW)ar I helped in the work of trying to straighten out the misfits in the army who couldn’t adjust themselves to the horrors of the battlefield. They were probably right, but there was a war on, and it had to be won. Some of those who fought and survived do still need psychiatric help, and to bring them back into ( the mainstream) society is going to be quite a job.

K: To help the individual to fit into a (deeply materialistic ?) society which is ever at war with itself - is this what psychologists and analysts are supposed to do?

Q: I admit our society is not what it should be, but what can you do? You can’t get out of society; you have to work in it, make a living in it, suffer and die in it. You can’t become a recluse, or one of those people who withdraw and think only of their own salvation. We must save society in spite of itself.

K: "Society" is ( the overall result of ?) man’s relationship with man; its structure is based on his needs, ambitions, envies, on the whole (inherited) complexity of his urge to dominate and to follow. Unless the ( consciousness of the ?) individual breaks away from this corrupt structure, what fundamental value can there be in physician’s help? He will only be made corrupt again.

Q: It is the duty of a physician to heal. We are not reformers of society; that department belongs to the sociologists.

K: Life is "one", it’s not to be departmentalized. We have to be concerned with the whole of man: with his work, with his love, with his conduct, with his health, his death and his ( aspiration for ?) God - as well as with the atomic bomb. It’s this fragmentation of man's (consciousness ?) that’s making him sick.

Q: Some of us realize this, sir, but what can we do? We ourselves are not 'whole' men with an overall outlook, an integrated drive and purpose. We heal one part while the rest disintegrates, only to see that the deep rot is destroying the whole. What is one to do? As a physician, what is my duty?

K: To heal, obviously; but isn’t it also the responsibility of the physician to heal ( the collective consciousness of ?) society as a whole? ( Psychologically-wise ?) there can be no ( qualitative) 'reformation' of ( a self-interest based ?) society; there can only be a revolution outside this (egocentric) pattern of society.

Q: But I come back to my point: as an individual, what can one do?

K: Break away from (the greedy mentality of such ?) society ; be (inwardly) free from envy, ambition, the worship of success, and so on.

Q: Such freedom would give one more time for study, and there certainly would be greater tranquility; but would it not lead to a rather useless existence?

K: On the contrary, freedom from envy and fear would bring to the individual ( consciousness ?) a state of integration, would it not? It would put a stop to the various forms of self-contradictions, and life would have a deeper, wider significance.

Q: Perhaps you are asking too much (and too soon ?) of the average person, who wants his daily amusements, his self-satisfying religion, and someone to follow or... to hate. What you are hinting at demands a different education, a different social & cultural environment and neither our politicians nor our average ( standardised ?) educators are capable of this wider vision. I suppose mankind has got to go through the long, dark night of misery and pain before will emerge an integrated, intelligent human being.
But...for the moment, that is not my main concern. My concern is with individual human wrecks, for whom I can do a great deal; but it seems so little in this vast sea of human misery... As you say, I shall have to bring about a state of integration in myself, but even that is quite an arduous undertaking.

Now, there is another thing, more personal in nature, which I would like to talk over with you, if I may. You said earlier something about 'envy'. I realize that I am envious; and although I allow myself to be psychanalised from time to time, as most of us (psych)analysts do, I haven’t been able to go beyond this thing. I am almost ashamed to admit it, but envy is there, ranging from petty jealousy up to its more complex forms, and I don’t seem able to "shake it off"

K: Is your mind ( ready, willing & ?) capable of being free from envy, not in little bits, but "completely"? Unless there is total freedom from it, right through one’s whole being, ( greed &) envy keeps repeating itself in different forms, at different times.

Q: Yes, I realize that. Envy must be wholly eliminated from the mind, but... how ?

K: When one asks for a ( 'fool proof' ?) method, one wants to get rid of envy in order to become something else; so envy is still operating .

Q: I see what you mean. This (subtler ?)aspect had never struck me before.

K: Inquiring ( holistically ?) into the possibility of total freedom from 'envy' is one thing, and seeking a method to help one to be free is another. In seeking a method, one is ( eventually getting ? ) stuck with a method, a practice, a discipline. Thus envy goes on and is subtly sustained.

Q: Yes, as you point it out, I see that’s perfectly true. In effect you are asking me if I am really concerned with a 'total freedom' from envy. Do I want to be free from the totality of envy, from both the ( rewarding) pleasures and the painful anxiety of it? My first reaction is, I don’t know if I want to or not. I suppose what I would really like, is to keep the stimulating side of (greed &) envy and get rid of the rest. But it is obviously impossible to retain only the desirable parts of it, and one must accept the whole content of envy, or be free of it completely. I am beginning to see the (holistic ?) meaning of your question. The urge is there to be free from envy, and yet I want to hold on to certain parts of it. We human beings are certainly irrational and contradictory! This requires further analysis, and I hope you will have the patience to go through to the end of it. I can see there is (some subliminal) fear which is also involved in this. If I were not (inwardly) driven by ( greed &) envy I might not be so successful, so prominent, so financially well-off. There is a subtle fear of losing all this a fear of (material) insecurity, and this underlying fear is certainly stronger than the (conscious) urge to be free even from the unpleasant aspects of envy, to say nothing of being totally free from it. I now see the intricate patterns of this problem, and I am not at all sure I want to be free from envy.

K: As long as the mind thinks in terms of ‘more’, there must be ( greed & ) envy; as long as there’s comparison there must be envy; as long as there’s a goal to be achieved, there must be envy; as long as this ('psycho-) additive' process of self-improvement, and so on, there must be envy. The ‘more’ implies ( thinking about one's life in terms of ?) time, does it not? And it requires time to change from 'what one is' to 'what one should be', ( the psychological usage of ?) time as a means of gaining, arriving ,achieving.

Q: Of course. To move from one point to another ( from one state of mind to another ?) whether physically or psychologically, time is necessary.

K: But is (any) time needed to be free from envy? Is time the factor of change? Or is any change within the field of time is no change at all?

Q: I am getting rather confused here. You are suggesting that ( a psychological ?) change in terms of time is no change at all. How is that?

K: Such change is a modified continuity of what has been, is it not?

Q: Let me see if I understand this. To change from the fact, which is envy, to the ideal, which is non-envy, needs time - at least, that’s what we like to think. This gradual change through time, you say, is no change at all, but merely a further indulging in envy. Yes, I can see that.

K: As long as the ( self-centred) mind thinks in terms of changing itself through time, there is no (qualitative) transformation in the present. This is a fact, isn’t it?

Q: All right, we both see this to be a fact. Then what?

K: How does the mind respond when it is confronted with this fact?

Q: Either it runs away from ( facing) the fact, or it stops and looks at it.

K: Which is your reaction?

Q: Both. There is an (a deep instinctive) urge to escape from the fact, and at the same time I (would consciously) want to examine it.

K: Can you observe a fact about which you have a (value) judgment?

Q: I see what you mean. I am not observing the fact, but 'evaluating' (the pro's & con's of) it. My mind is projecting its ideas and fears upon it. Yes, that’s right.

K: In other words, your mind is occupied (at various levels ?) with its (various self-interests ?) and is therefore incapable of being simply aware of the ( totality of the inner) fact. You are ( un-consciously ?) operating upon the fact, and not allowing the ( global perception of the ?) 'fact' to operate upon your mind.
The 'fact' (to be considered is ?) that a change within the field of time is no change at all, that there can only be 'total' and not partial, gradual freedom from ( thinking in terms of time, with its associated ?) envy - the very ( insight into the ?) truth of this 'fact' will operate on the (totality of your ?) mind, setting it free.

Q: I really think that the truth of it is making its way through my (unconscious ?) 'blockages'.

This post was last updated by John Raica Sun, 23 Jul 2017.

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Mon, 24 Jul 2017 #681
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

A STARTER'S KIT FOR HOLISTIC EDUCATION

The moon was bright outside, and the dark shadows were motionless; through the window, the river was just visible, a flow of silver against the dark, silent trees on the other bank. A strange thing was going on in the space which is the mind. It had been watching the graceful movements of the (musician's) fingers, listening to the sweet sounds, observing the nodding heads and the rhythmical hands of the silent people. Suddenly the 'watcher', the 'listener' (all self-consciousness ?) disappeared; there was left only the vast (inner) space which is the 'mind'. All the things of the earth and of man were (contained ) in it, but they were at the extreme outer edges, dim and far off. Within that (empty inner) space, there was a (meditation ?) 'movement' (in) stillness. It was a deep, vast movement, without direction, without motive, which began from the outer edges, and with incredible strength was coming towards the centre of a total all-oneness, uncontaminated, unknowable, a solitude which is complete in itself. It is the ( consciousness of the ?) whole, the totality, but not approachable (by any temporal path ?).

(There were four of them, all boys of about the same age, sixteen to eighteen. Rather shy, they needed coaxing, but once started, they could hardly stop, and their eager questions came tumbling out. You could see that they had talked it all over among themselves beforehand, and had prepared written questions; but after the first one or two, they forgot what they had written, and their words flowed freely from their own spontaneous thoughts.)

Q: Sir, when you talked to us students two or three days ago, you said something about how necessary a 'right' education is if we are to be able to face life. I wish you would explain to us what you mean by 'right' education. We have talked it over amongst ourselves, but we don’t quite understand it.

K: What kind of education do you all have now?
Q: In our college, and we are being taught the usual things which are necessary for a given profession. I am going to be an engineer; my friends here are variously studying physics, literature and economics. We are taking the prescribed courses and reading the prescribed books, and when we have time we read a novel or two; but except for games, we are at our studies most of the time.

K: Do you think this is enough to be rightly educated for life?

Q: From what you have said, sir, it is not enough, but that’s all we can get here, and ordinarily we think we are being educated.

K: Just to learn to read and to write, to cultivate memory and pass some examinations, to acquire certain capacities or skills in order to get a job - is that (all there is to) education? That’s not (covering) all of your life. There is also sex, ambition, envy, violence, war, love, death, God, man’s relationship to his society-and so many other things. Are you being educated to meet this vast affair called life?

Q: Who is to so educate us? Our teachers and professors seem so indifferent. Some of them are very clever and well-read, but none of them (bother to) give any thought to this kind of thing. We are pushed through, and we shall consider ourselves lucky if we take our degrees; everything is getting to be so difficult.

Q(2) Except for our sexual passions, which are fairly definite, we know nothing about life; all the rest seems so vague and far off. We hear our parents grumbling about not having enough money, and we realize they are stuck in certain grooves for the rest of their days. So who can teach us about life?

K: No one can 'teach' you, but you can 'learn'. There’s a vast difference between learning and being taught. Learning goes on throughout life, whereas being taught is over in a few hours or years - and then, for the rest of your life, you repeat what you have been taught. What you have been taught soon turns to dead ashes; and then (your daily ) life becomes a battleground of vain efforts. You are thrown into life without the (necessary) leisure to understand it; and before you know, you are already married, tied to a job, with (the various pressures of) society pitilessly clamouring around you. One has to (start ) learning about life from early childhood on; when one is all but grown up, it is almost too late.

Do you know what life is? ( Here's a condensed outline:) It extends from the moment you are born to the moment you die, and 'perhaps' (even) beyond. Life is a vast, complex whole - like a house in which everything is happening at once. You love and you hate; you are greedy, envious, and at the same time you feel you shouldn’t be. You are ambitious, and there is either frustration or success, worries & anxiety, fear and ruthlessness; and sooner or later there comes (the depressing existential ?) feeling of the futility of it all. (On the collective level) there are the horrors and brutality of war, or of a 'peace' imposed through terror; there is nationalism, sovereignty, which supports war; (not to mention that ) there is death at the end of life’s road, or anywhere along it. There is the search for God, along with its conflicting beliefs and the quarrels between organized religions. There is the struggle to get and keep a job; there are marriage, children, illness, and the dominance of society and the State. Life is all this, and you are thrown into this mess. Generally you sink into it, miserable and lost; and even if you survive by climbing to the top of the heap, you are still part of the whole mess. This is what we call 'life': everlasting (hoping & )struggling with a little joy occasionally thrown in. And (learning ?) to go beyond all this is also (an optional part of our ?) life.

Q: Fortunately, we still know only very little of that life of struggle, but what you tell us of it is already in us potentially. I want to be a famous engineer, I want to 'beat them all'; so I must work hard and get to know the right people; I must plan, calculate for the future. I must make my way through life.

K: That is just it. Everyone says that he must make his way through life; each one is 'out for himself', whether in the name of business, religion or the country. You want to become ( rich &) famous, and so does your neighbour, and so does his neighbour; and so it is with everyone, from the highest to the lowest in the land. Thus we build a society based on ambition, envy greed and acquisitiveness, in which each man is the enemy of another; and you are ‘educated’ to conform to this disintegrating society, to fit into its vicious frame.

Q (2) But what are we to do? It seems to me that we must conform to society, or be destroyed. Is there any way out of it, sir?

K: At present you are so-called 'educated' to fit into this society; your capacities are developed to enable you to make a living within the pattern. Your parents, your educators, your government, are all concerned with your efficiency and financial security, are they not?
Q(4) I don’t know about the government, sir, but our parents spend their hardearned money to enable us to have a college degree, so that we can earn a livelihood. They love us, they think of our welfare and want us to be good citizens.
K: Yes, they want you to be ‘good citizens’, which means being ambitious, everlastingly acquisitive, and indulging in that socially accepted ruthlessness which is called 'competition', so that you and they may be secure. This is what constitutes being a so-called 'good citizen'; you say that your parents love you; but is it so? You may have many possessions and sit in the seat of power, but without the beauty and greatness of Love, ( your inner) life soon becomes misery and confusion. Love implies - doesn’t it? - that those who are loved be left wholly free to grow in their fullness, to be something greater than mere social machines. Love does not compel either openly or through the subtle threat of duties and responsibilities. Where there’s any form of compulsion or exertion of authority, there’s no Love.

Q(3) I don’t think this is quite the kind of 'love' my friend was talking about. Our parents love us, but not in that way. I know a boy who wants to be an artist, but his father wants him to be a business man, and he threatens to cut him off if he doesn’t do his duty.

K: What the parents call (familial) duty is not love, it’s a form of compulsion; and society will support such parents, for what they are doing is very respectable. The parents are anxious for the boy to find a secure job and earn some money; but with such an enormous population, there are a thousand candidates for every job, and the parents think the boy can never earn a livelihood through painting; so they try to force him to get over what they regard as his foolish whim. They consider it a necessity for him to conform to society, to be respectable and secure. This is called (parental ?) 'love'. But is it Love? Or is it just fear (of the unknown ?) covered over by the word ‘love’?

Q(3)When you put it that way, I don’t know what to say...

K: What has just been said may be unpleasant (and/or destabilising & disturbing ?) , but it is a 'fact'. The (standardised ?) 'education' that you have now obviously does not help you to meet this vast complexity of ( modern) life; you come to it ( inwardly) unprepared, and are swallowed up in it.

Q (3) But who is there to educate us to understand life? We have no such teachers, sir.

K: The educators have to be educated also. The older people say that the coming generation, must create a different world, but they don’t really mean it. On the contrary, they set about ‘educating’ you to conform to the old pattern with some (optimised) modifications. Teachers and parents, supported by the society in general see to it that you are trained to conform to tradition, to accept ( greed ?) ambition and envy as the natural way of life. They are not at all concerned with a new way of life, and that is why the ( future) educators are not being rightly educated.

Q(3) But we want to be rightly educated, sir. What shall we do?

K: First of all, see very clearly (the truth of ?) one simple fact: that neither the government, nor your teachers, nor your parents, do really care to educate you ( holistically ?) ; if they did, the ( state of the ) world would be entirely different. So if you want to be rightly educated, you have to set about it yourself; and when you are grown up, you will then see to it that your own children are rightly educated.

Q: But how can we 'rightly' educate ourselves? We need someone to teach us.

K: You have ( specialised ?) teachers to instruct you in mathematics, in literature, and so on; but ( the holistic kind of ?) education is something deeper and wider than the mere gathering of information. ( A holistic) education (requires) the cultivation of the mind (& heart ?) so that your action is not self-centred; it is requiring a learning throughout life to break down the walls which the mind builds in order to be (temporarily ?) 'secure', and from which arises fear with all its complexities.

(More down to earth:) Eat the right (kind of ?) food, and keep physically fit. Let the mind be alert and capable of dealing with the problems of life as an (integrated) human being. ( But still deeper ?) you have to understand yourself; you have to keep on learning about yourself. When you stop this learning (and start accumulating problems ?) , life becomes ugly and sorrowful.

( In a nutshell:) Without ( the Intelligence born of ?) Goodness and Love, you are not rightly educated.

This post was last updated by John Raica Mon, 24 Jul 2017.

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Tue, 25 Jul 2017 #682
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
(Education)

K...it is requiring a learning throughout life to break down the walls which the mind builds in order to be (temporarily ?) 'secure', and from which arises fear with all its complexities.

A quite radical message for adults let alone children to 'swallow'. That there is no 'arrival', no end to the 'learning', no end to dissolving the walls being constantly erected...There's always only beginning, like the one living cell at the end of every branch, forging its way forward. "Life is movement," I heard him say at one small meeting, "a gathering in and a letting go...It is only the self that holds on." "The self IS 'holding'."

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Tue, 25 Jul 2017.

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Tue, 25 Jul 2017 #683
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
since most of the 'mature' people never grew up

Regarding 'maturity', beside age, its always been seen more or less as an accumulation...of knowledge, fame, wealth, prestige,(poise, demeanor ). But a more sensible view of that word ( given what we see has gone on in the past and in the present) would be that 'maturity' would be a passing through the accumulation stage to a realization that maturity lies in giving up all that has provided a psychological 'security' and that life is a movement, not a clinging to the past. Christ is purported to have said it beautifully: 'Man hath not where to lay his head'. Maturity for Man is moving past the self,(the accumulation, the 'holding') which as you say, is a "'frozen in time' state of being".

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 26 Jul 2017.

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Fri, 28 Jul 2017 #684
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

THE (INNER) VOYAGE ON AN UNCHARTED SEA

When the mind is on the flight of (self-) discovery, 'imagination' (aka: image making ?) is a dangerous ( slippery?) thing. Imagination has no place in ( self-) understanding; it destroys ( the quality of a direct?) understanding as surely as does speculation. Speculation and imagination are the ( devious ?) enemies of attention. But the ( meditating?) mind was aware of this, and so there was no (imaginary) flight from which it had to be recalled. The mind was perfectly still and because it was still, it was alone (all-one) . Its stillness was not the (stiff?) stillness of death, it was a 'movement' (an awakened state of being ?) which was not of Time, but was still in the unknown depths of creation.

( In his late forties, he made his living by writing for the newspapers about 'serious' subjects, and giving talks all over the country. He appeared to be well-read, and was interested in religion)

Q: I have a 'guru' of my own and I go to him as regularly as possible, but I am not one of those blind followers. As I travel a good bit, I have met many teachers, from the far north to the southernmost tip of the country. Some are obviously fakes, with a smattering of book knowledge cleverly disguised as their own experience. There are others who have done years of meditation, who practise various forms of yoga, and so on. A few of these are very advanced, but the majority of them are as superficial as any other set of specialists. They know their limited subject, and are satisfied with it. There are ashramas whose spiritual teachers are efficient, capable, assertive and completely autocratic, full of their own sublimated ego. I am telling you all this to indicate that I am serious in my search for ( the Ultimate) Truth, and that I am capable of discernment. I have also attended some of your talks, when time has allowed; and while I have to write for a living, and can’t give all my time to the religious life, I am entirely serious about it.

K: If one may ask, what significance do you give to that word ‘serious’?

Q: I do not trifle with religious matters, and I really want to lead a religious life. I set apart a certain hour of the day to meditate, and I give as much time as I can to deepening my inner life. I am very serious about it.

K: Most people are serious about their problems, about the fulfilment of their desires, about their position in society, about their looks, their amusements, their money, and so on.

Q: Why do you compare me with others?

K: I am not ( really?) belittling your seriousness, but the powerful are serious about their importance and influence.

Q: But I am very earnest in my endeavour to lead a religious life.

K: Does the desire for something make for seriousness? If it does, then practically everyone is serious, from the cunning politician to the most exalted 'saint'. The object of desire may be worldly or otherwise; but everyone is ( dead-?) serious who is after something, isn’t he?

Q: Surely there is a difference, between the seriousness of the politician or the moneymaker, and that of a religious man. The seriousness of a religious man has a quality which is wholly different.

K: Has it? What do you mean by a religious man?

Q: The man who is seeking God. The hermit or sannyasi who has renounced the world in order to find God, I would call truly serious. The 'seriousness' of the others, including the artist and the social reformer, is in a different category altogether.

K: Is the man who is seeking God really 'religious'? How can he seek God if he does not know Him? And if he knows the 'God' he seeks, what he knows is only what he has been told, or what he has read; or else it is based on his personal experience, which again is shaped by his own desire to find security in another (next?) world.

Q: Aren’t you being a little too 'logical'?

K: Surely one must understand the 'myth-making' mechanism of the ( self-centred) mind before there can be the (direct?) experiencing of That which is beyond the measure of the (temporal) mind. There must be ( an inner) freedom from the (inherent limitations of the?) 'known' for the Unknown to be. The ( mystery of the?) Unknown is not to be pursued or sought after. Is he serious who pursues a projection of his own mind, even when that projection is called God?

Q: If you put it that way, none of us are serious.

K: We are ('dead -?) serious' in pursuing whatever is pleasant, satisfying.

Q: I do not think that I am seeking God for my own gratification. I am denying myself many things, which isn’t exactly a pleasure.

K: You deny yourself certain things for the sake of a greater satisfaction, don’t you?

Q: But to seek God is not a matter of gratification.

K: One may see the foolishness of pursuing worldly things and so one’s mind turns to the pursuit of a bliss which is called God. In the very process of self-denial is its gratification. After all, you are seeking some form of ( spiritual) permanency, aren’t you?

Q: We all are; that’s the nature of man.

K: So you are not ( really) seeking That which is above and beyond the transient, beyond strife and sorrow. What you are really seeking (subliminally) is a permanent state of undisturbed satisfaction.

Q: To put it so baldly sounds terrible.

K: But that is the actual fact, is it not? It is in the hope of attaining total gratification that we go from one teacher to another, from one religion to another, from one system to another. One pursuit may not be as socially harmful as the other, but we are seeking (not just the personal?) gratification, ( but still deeper?) the continuation of that 'centre' (of self-interest?) which is ever wanting to succeed, to be or become something (better than what it is now?) .

Q: Am I really seeking to 'be something'?

K: Aren’t you?

Q: I don’t care about being known as a writer, but I do want the ideas or principles of which I write to be accepted by the important people.

K: Aren’t you ( subliminally) identifying yourself with those ideas?

Q: I suppose I am. One tends, in spite of oneself, to use ideas as a means to ( worldly ) fame.

K: But to perceive the facts about oneself as they are, and not as one would like them to be, demands an unbiased perception, without the memory recognizing them as right and wrong.

Q: You are surely not totally condemning ambition, are you?

K: To examine ( the truth or falseness of?) what is, is neither to condemn nor to justify. Self-fulfilment in any form is obviously the perpetuation of this (all controlling) 'centre' that is striving to be or become something. ( On the other hand, the?) ambition to fulfil (oneself) or to become something (more) , has always within it the seeds of frustration, fear and sorrow. This self-centred activity is the very nature of egotism, is it not?

Q: Good Heavens, you are stripping me of everything: of my vanities, my desire to be famous, even of my drive to put across some worthwhile ideas. What shall I do when all this is gone?

K: Your question indicates that nothing is gone (yet). No one can take away from you, inwardly what you don’t want to give up. You will continue on your way to (achieving worldly ) fame, which is (ultimately ) a way of sorrow, frustration, fear.

Q: Sometimes I do want to chuck the whole rotten business, but the pull is strong. What will stop me from taking that path?

K: Are you asking this question seriously?

Q: I think I am. Sorrow, I suppose?

K: Is sorrow the way of (self-) understanding? Or does sorrow exist because there’s no such understanding? ( So, here's your homework:) If you examine the whole urge to become (or be) something, not just intellectually, but deeply, then ( a holistic quality of?) Intelligence and understanding would come into being and destroy (delete?) the (psychological?) roots of sorrow. But ( the residual accumulation of personal & collective ) sorrow does not bring understanding.

Q: How is that, sir?

K: Sorrow is the result of a shock, it is the (result of a?) temporary 'shaking up' of a mind that has settled down in the (comforting?) routines of (material) life. Something happens - a death, the loss of a job, the questioning of a cherished belief - and the (temporal) mind is disturbed. And... what does a disturbed mind do? It ( seeks and ) finds a ( fool-proof?) way to be undisturbed again; it takes refuge in another belief, in a more secure job, in a new relationship. Again the wave of life comes along and shatters its safeguards, but the mind soon finds still further defence; and so it goes on (accumulating the hurts?) . This is not the way of Intelligence, is it?

Q: Then what is the 'way of Intelligence'?

K: Don’t you want to find it out (experientially?) for yourself? If I were to give you an answer, you would either refute or accept it, which again would impede ( the unfolding of your inner?) intelligence, understanding.

Q: I can see that what you have said about 'sorrow' to be perfectly true. That’s exactly what we all do. But how is one to get out of this ( time-)trap?

K: To 'see' (the truth about?) the whole nature of this (time-) trap is the only liberating factor - but ( meditation-wise ?) you have to take this (Inner) Voyage on an Uncharted Sea.

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Sat, 29 Jul 2017 #685
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

( Continuing to 'unzip' K's Commentaries on Living )

’THE CHALLENGE OF THE PRESENT

(He had evidently read a great deal, and was now trying to go beyond knowledge. His wife took little part in the conversation, but listened with apparent interest.)

Q : Is it ever possible to free the mind from ( its anchorage in ?) memory? Is not memory the very substance of the human mind - memory being the knowledge and experience of many centuries?
Anyway, I have never been able to understand why one should be free from the (knowledge of the ) past as you seem to maintain. The past is rich with pleasant associations and remembrances. There would be great poverty of being if all the experience and knowledge one has gained were to be (deleted or?) put aside. It would be a mind that had no depth of knowledge and experience, a primitive mind.

K: If you do not feel the necessity of being free from the 'past' (free from the 'known'?) , then the 'richness' of the past, with all its sufferings and joys, will be maintained. But is our (memory of the?) past a living
thing? Or does the movement of the (living) present give life to the past? The present (state of our being?) , with its demanding intensity and changeful swiftness, is a constant challenge to the ( all controlling ?) mind. The ('what is' in the ) present and the (pleasant or painful memory of 'what was' in the ) past are always (getting) in conflict unless the ( integrated?) mind is capable of meeting wholly the swift present. (This generalised state of inner ) conflict arises when the ( self-centred?) mind, burdened with the ( memory of the?) past, the known, the experienced, responds incompletely to the
challenges of the ( stream of life in the?) 'present', which are always new, changing.

Q: But can the (average human) mind ever respond completely to the present? It seems to me that one’s mind (or consciousness?) is always coloured by the past; and is it ever possible to be wholly free of this coloration?

K: Let us go into it (analytically?) and find out. The (memory of the?) 'past' is ( the result and the creator of the psychological ?) 'time' is it not? - time as ( the continuity of your personal) experience, knowledge; and all further experience strengthens the ( presence of the?) past.

Q: How?

K: When a (challenging?) event takes place in one’s life and one has what we call a (personal) 'experience', this experience is immediately ( processed by the brain and) 'translated' in terms of its own past (storage of experience) . ( Eg;) If one has a particular ( attachment to a ) religious belief, that may bring about (or colour?) certain experiences which in turn strengthen the belief. The superficial (self-conscious) mind may adjust itself to the pressures and demands of its immediate environment; but the 'hidden' (dormant?) part of the
mind is heavily conditioned by the past, and it is this ( genetic & cultural) background that dictates the
experience. The whole movement (temporal activity?) of our consciousness is the response of the past, is it not? This (stand-by memory of the?) past
is essentially dormant, but it comes to life (ASAP?) when any challenge is offered to it; it responds (by trying to get in control of the situation?)
All ( 'auto-pilot'?) thinking is the response of the past, of accumulated experience, knowledge. So as all (such) thinking is conditioned, (our mind's?) freedom is beyond the (controlling) power of ( our self-centred?) thought.

Q: Then how is the mind ever to be free of its own limitations?

K: If one may ask, what is the (subliminal) motive behind your question? Is it a theoretical or an actual problem?

Q: I think, both : there is the speculative curiosity to know more , as one might want to know about the
structure of matter, but it is also a 'personal' problem to me in the sense that there seems to be no way out of my conditioning. I may break out of one pattern of thought, but in that very process another pattern is formed. Does the breaking up of the 'old' ever bring the 'new' into being (as you seem to infer in your talks ?) ?

K: If it is ( mentally ) recognizable as the 'new', is it the New? Surely that which is recognized (and named) is still the outcome of the past. This 'recognition' (verbal processing of any new experience?) is born of ( the past) memory. It is only when this (surreptitious interference of the ?) 'past' ceases that the New
can 'be' ( directly perceived?) .

Q: But is it possible for the mind to break through the (smoke ) curtain of the past ?

K: Again, 'why' are you asking this question?

Q: As I said, one is curious to know; and there is also the desire to be free of certain burden of unpleasant and painful memories.

K: Mere (intellectual?) curiosity does not lead very far. And to hold on to the 'pleasant' (memories) while trying to get rid of the unpleasant, only makes the mind (inwardly?) dull ; it does not bring freedom. The mind must be free from (its subliminal attachment to?) both, not just from the unpleasant. The desire to hold on only to what is 'pleasant' breeds (its own?) conflicts and such a mind can never be free (of its tethering in the known?) .
As long as the ( self-centred?) mind is caught in the stream ( constant siphoning in?) of memory, pleasant or unpleasant; as long as it is held in the chain of cause-effect; as long as it is using the present (moment?) as a (very convenient?) passage from the past to the future, it can never be free. The truth of this must be (directly) seen, and then your question will have quite a different (experiential) significance.

Q : So, if I see the truth of it, will there be freedom (from the field of the 'known') ?

K: The actual (truth of the?) fact that there’s no freedom as long as the mind is a ( 'conscience?) prisoner' of the past must be experienced.

Q: Has a man who is free in this ultimate sense any relationship to the ( Mankind's consciousness) stream of causation and time? If not, then what is the good of this freedom? What value or significance has such a man in this world of joy and pain?

K: Are you not asking this question from the boat drifting on the Stream of Time? What (practical) significance a free man has for the people (safely sailing?) in their boat ? Probably none at all. Those people are not interested in ( any spiritual?) freedom; and when they meet a man who is free, they either make of him a ( living ?) deity and place him in a shrine, or they ( more conveniently ?) 'put him away' in stone or in words - which is to 'destroy' him.
But surely your (primary ) concern should be with freeing the mind of the ( psychological conditioning of the?) past – that ( inner part of the?) mind that is 'you'.

Q: When once the mind is free, then what is its responsibility?

K: The word ‘ responsibility’ is not applicable to such a ( time-free?) mind. Its very existence has an explosive action on (thought & ) time, on the ( streaming of the?) past. It is this 'explosive' action that is of the highest importance. The man who remains in the boat and asks for help wants it in the pattern of the past, in the field of ( social) recognition, and to this the 'free mind' has no reply; but that explosive freedom acts on the ( collective?) bondage of (thought & ) time.

Q: I don’t know what I can say to all this. I really came with my wife out of curiosity and I find myself
becoming deeply serious. At some depth of myself I am serious, and I am discovering it for the first
time. Many of my ( materialistic?) generation have turned away from the recognized religions, but deep down there is a 'religious feeling' ( sense of a 'holistic' consciousness?) , with very little opportunity for it to come out. One must avail oneself of the 'present' opportunity.

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Mon, 31 Jul 2017 #686
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

(Continuing to unzip the Commentaries)

THE HOLISTIC (non-dualistic ) APPROACH OF DESIRE

The sky overhead was intensely blue, and the horizon was filled with enormous white clouds, with the morning sun upon them. They were fantastic in shape, and they remained motionless and distant. You couldn’t get near them, even if you drove towards them for miles. By the side of the road the grass was young and green. The coming summer would burn it brown, and the country would lose its green freshness; but now everything was made new, and there was joy in the land. One’s mind was aware of the stately trees, the rocky hills, the villagers, the wide blue skies, but it was also in (a state of) meditation. Not a thought was disturbing it. There was no flutter of (personal?) memory, no effort to hold or to resist, nor was the (expectation for?) anything in the future to be gained. The mind was taking everything in, it was quicker than the eye, but it didn’t ( bother to?) keep what it perceived; the happenings passed through it, as the breeze passes among the branches of a tree. One heard the conversation behind one, and saw the bullock cart and the approaching lorry, yet (in its depths?) the mind was completely still; and the movement (born) within that stillness was the impulse of a new beginning, a new birth. (However?) the mind was not 'experiencing' ( not verbally recognising?) the new: it 'was' itself the new. It had no ( consciousness of its temporal ?) continuity, and so no death; it 'was' ( the) new, not 'made new'. The fire was not (lit) from the embers of yesterday.

( He had brought his friend so that with his help he could better formulate his points. They were both rather reserved, and not given to many words, but they said they knew Sanskrit and some scriptures. Probably in their forties, they were slim and healthy looking with good heads and thoughtful eyes.)

Q: Why do the Scriptures condemn desire? Practically every teacher of old seems to have condemned it, especially sexual desire, saying that it must be controlled, subjugated. The Buddha himself talked of desire as the cause of all sorrow and preached the 'ending' of it. Some of the Christian 'saints' have also tortured themselves in various ways, while others ( wise men?) held that one’s body, like the ass or the horse must be well-treated but controlled. We are just beginners in the religious life, but somehow we feel there’s something missing in all this, and we would like to talk these things over with you. As far as we could make out from our reading, you have never said that desire must be suppressed or sublimated, but that it must be 'understood' with an awareness in which there’s no condemnation or justification. But although you have explained this in many different ways, we find it difficult to grasp the ( experiential ) meaning of it.

K: What is exactly the problem you want to discuss?

Q: Desire is natural, is it not, sir? Desire for food, desire for sleep, desire for some degree of comfort, sexual desire and even the desire for truth - in all these forms, desire seems perfectly natural, but why are we told that it must be eliminated?

K: Can we inquire into the truth and the falseness of desire? What is the significance, the content of desire? And what importance do you give to it?

Q: I have many desires, and these desires change in their value and importance from time to time. A desire which I have one day may, by the very next day, be gone, or have become intensified. Even if I no longer have sexual desire, I may still want ( an inner sense of vitality and ?) power; I may have passed beyond the sexual phase, but my desire for (having more inner) power remains constant.

K: That is so. The objects of our desire may change as we grow older, but desire remains. But (the need for its ?) fulfilment and the pain of frustration are always within the area of desire, are they not? Now, is there (the same momentum of ) desire if there’s no (particular?) object of desire? Are desire and its object inseparable? Do I know desire only because of the object?

Let us find it out (analytically) . I see a new (prestigious model of ?) fountain-pen, and because mine is not as 'good', I want the new one; so a process of (thought driven by ) desire is set going, a chain of (actions &) reactions, till I get, or fail to get, what I want. A fancy object 'catches the eye', and then there comes a feeling of wanting it or not wanting. But at what point in this process does the ‘I’ come in?

Q: That’s a good question.

K: Does the ‘I’ exist ( on 'stand-by') before the feeling of wanting, or does it arise with that feeling? You see some (fancy) object and a number of (sensory & mental) reactions are set going which are perfectly normal (as long as you are 'choicelessly aware' of them ? ) ; but with them comes the ( personal ?) desire to possess the object, and this starts another set of (mental ?) reactions which bring into being the ( self-consciousness of the?) ‘I’ who says,”I must have it”. So this ‘I’ is put together by (our self-centred thinking which is processing ?) the feeling or desire which arises through the natural response of (sensory) seeing. ( (Now, the 100 $ experiential question is:) without seeing, sensing & desiring, is there an ‘I’ as a separate, isolated entity? Or does this whole process of seeing, having a sensation & desiring, constitute the ( self-sustaining process of the?) ‘I’?

Q: Do you mean to say, sir, that the ‘I’ is not there in the first place ? Isn’t it the ‘I’ who perceives and then desires?

K: What do you say? Doesn’t the ‘I’ separate himself only in the process of perceiving and desiring? Before this process begins, is there an ‘I’ as a separate entity?

Q: It is difficult to think of the ‘I’ as merely the result of a certain physio-psychological process, for this goes against all our habits of thought, which say that the ‘I’, the watcher, is there first, and not that he has been ‘put together’ (by its desires?) . But I see that what you just said could be an ( unconscious background ?) fact.

K: Is this (the result of) your own direct observation and clarity of thinking ?

Q: Of course, I may at first mistake a piece of rope for a snake, but the moment I see the thing clearly, there’s no mistaking, no wishful thinking about it.

K: If this point ( of clear & unbiased perception ?) is clear, shall we get on with your ( academical?) question of suppressing or sublimating desire?

Q: Desire is always there, sometimes burning furiously, and sometimes dormant but ready to spring to life; and our (experiential ) problem is, what’s one to do with it or how am I to be free of it?

K: Are 'you' trying to suppress, sublimate desire? Do you want to tame it and make it respectable?

Q: Desire is natural, isn’t it, sir?”

K: What do you mean by 'natural'?

Q: Hunger, sex, wanting some basic comfort and security - all this seems so healthily sane and normal. After all, we are built like that.

K: If it is so 'normal', why are you bothered by it?

Q: The trouble is, there’s not just one ( predominant) desire, but many ( other collateral and ) contradictory desires, all pulling in different directions; I am torn apart inside. Two or three desires are dominant, and (usually) they override the conflicting lesser ones; but even among the major desires, there are (hidden) contradiction creating strains and tensions, eventually causes (inner confusion & ) suffering.

K: If the fulfilment of desire brought only pleasure and no suffering, you would go merrily along with it, wouldn’t you?

Q: Obviously, but there’s always some pain and fear as well, and these (side-effects?) are what we would want to eliminate.

K: Yes, everyone does (think the same) , and the whole design and background of our ( self-interest based) thinking is to continue ( and optimise ?) the pleasures while avoiding the pain of ( unfulfilled?) desires. Isn’t this ( temporal continuity?) what you also are striving after?

Q: I’m afraid it is.

K: This (subliminal?) struggle between the pleasures of desire and the suffering which also comes with it is the (very basis of the?) conflict of duality. Desire seeks fulfilment, but in the shadow of its fulfilment is (lurking the sense of personal ?) frustration. These two are inseparable.

Q: Is it never possible to have fulfilment without the pain of frustration?

K: Haven’t you experienced the brief pleasure of fulfilment, and isn’t it invariably followed by ( a long 'tail' of?) anxiety, pain?

Q: I have noticed that, but one tries in one way or another to keep ahead of the pain.

K: Therefore how to guard against such (pending?) suffering is your chief concern throughout life; so you begin to discipline desire; you say, ”This is the right desire, and the other is wrong, immoral.” You cultivate the ideal desire, the what should be, while caught in the what should not be. The 'what should not be' is the actual fact, and the 'what should be' has no reality except as an imaginary symbol. This is so, isn’t it?

Q: But however imaginary, aren’t such ideals necessary in helping us to get rid of the suffering ?

K: Have your ideals helped you to be free from suffering, or have they merely helped you to (cheat yourself and others by ?) carrying on with your (pet) pleasures while ideally saying to yourself that you shouldn’t? So (even swept under the carpet?) the pain and the pleasure of desire continue. Actually, 'you' don’t really want to be free of either; 'you' want to drift with the pain and the pleasure of desire, meanwhile talking about ideals and all that stuff.

Q: You are perfectly right, sir.

K: Let’s proceed from there. ( The inner movement of thought sustained?) desire is not to be divided as pleasurable and painful, or as right and wrong ; there’s only ( a constant streaming of personal & collective ?) desire, which appears under different forms, with different objectives. Unless you understand (the truth about?) this, you will merely be ( caught in ) struggling to overcome the contradictions which are (inherent in ) the very nature of desire.

Q: Is there then a central ( thought-sustained?) desire from which all other desires spring?

K: Do you mean the desire for ( maintaining and/or optimising our temporal) security?

Q: I wasn't really thinking of that; but there is also the desire for sex, and for so many other things.

K: Is there one central (thread of?) desire from which other desires spring like so many children, or does desire merely change its object of fulfilment from immaturity to maturity? There’s the desire to possess, to be passionate, to succeed, to be secure both inwardly and outwardly, and so on. Desire weaves (its way) through all our thought and action, through the so-called spiritual as well as the mundane life, does it not?

Q: We can’t think any further. We are stumped.

K/ If you try to suppress ( the subliminal momentum of) desire, it comes up again in another form, doesn’t it? To (succeed in?) controlling desire is to narrow it down to being ( egotistically?) self-centred; to discipline it is to build a wall of (mental) resistance, which is always being broken down - unless, of course, you become fixed ( entangled?) in ( following) one ( 'steady state'?) pattern of desire. To sublimate desire is an act of ( self-centred?) will; but this 'will' itself is essentially the concentration of desire, and when one form of desire dominates another, you are back again in your old pattern of struggle.

( To recap:) Control, discipline, sublimation, suppression of desire - involve (mental) effort and all such effort is still within the field of duality, of ( the 'I' controlling the?) ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ desires. (The resulting self-centred & ?) petty mind can be very active causing mischief and misery for itself and others. However much such a petty mind may struggle to overcome desire, it will continue to be a 'petty' (self-enclosed?) mind. All this is clear, isn’t it?

Q: I think so...but please go a little slower, sir, and don’t cram every sentence with ( general ?) ideas.

K: Like steam, desire is ( a form of ?) energy, is it not? And as steam can be directed to run every kind of machinery, either beneficial or destructive, so ( the potentially intelligent energy of?) desire can be dissipated, or it can be used for ( a holistic?) understanding without there being any 'user' of that astonishing energy. If there’s a 'user' of it, whether it be the individual or the collective (consciousness?) , then ( all our 'psychological'?) trouble begins; then there’s the closed (karmic?) circle of ( causes & effects of?) pain and pleasure.

Q: If neither the individual nor the collective (consciousness?) is to use that energy, then 'who' is to use it?

K: Isn’t that a wrong ( ego-centric?) question you’re asking? A right question would open the door to understanding : there’s only (Universal Mind ?) energy; ( at that level of integration ?) there’s no question of 'who' will use it. The ( hypothetical?) 'user' of it, is the one who sustains confusion and the contradiction of pain and pleasure. This 'user', (self-identified) as as the 'one' and as 'the many', says, ”This is right and that is wrong, this is good and that is bad”, thereby perpetuating (in time) the (ongoing) conflict of duality. He is the real mischief maker, the author of ( his own?) sorrow.

( For more homework study:) Can the ( self-identified ?) 'user' of that ( source of life- ?) energy called 'desire' cease to be? Can the 'watcher' not be a separate entity but be ( one with?) that energy itself?

Q: Isn’t that (inner integration?) very difficult?

K: It’s the only ( meditation related?) problem, and not how to control, discipline, or sublimate desire. When you begin to understand this, ( the total energy of?) desire has quite a different significance; it is then ( becoming part of the?) the purity of Creation, the movement of Truth. (But merely to repeat the traditional assertions that desire is the supreme, and so on, is not only experientially useless, but it is definitely harmful, because it acts as a 'soporific', an easy trick to quiet the petty mind.)

Q: But how is the 'user' of ( the Mind energy contained in?) desire to come to an end?

K: If the question ”How?” reflects the search for a (fool proof mental ?) method, then the 'user' of desire will merely be 'put together' (re-created?) in another ( upgraded) form. What‘s important ( in the context of a holistic Meditation?) is the ( natural?) ending of the 'user', not ( the bestest method regarding ?) 'how' to put an end to the 'user'. There is no ‘how’. There is only (a matter of global ?) understanding, the (insightful?) impulse that will shatter the ( 'psychological' infrastructures of the?) 'old' (brain?) .

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Tue, 01 Aug 2017 #687
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

IS THERE ANYTHING PERMANENT (IN THE HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS ) ?

( There were three men and two women in the ( small discussion) group that had come. They were all good friends and called each other by familiar names, and they had evidently talked over together a great many thing.)

Q(1): I always think, that very few artists are really creative. Some of them know how to handle colour and brush; they have learnt design and are masters of detail; they know anatomy to perfection, and are astonishingly capable on canvas. Equipped with capacity and technique, and moved by a deep creative impulse, they paint. But presently they become known and established, the creative vision is gone, but they still have their superb technique, and for the rest of their lives they juggle with it. I’m not a (professional) artist, but I have a feeling there’s something enormously significant that we all miss.

Q(2) I’m a lawyer, but the practice of law is to me only a means of livelihood. One has to do so many dirty things to get on, and I would give it up tomorrow were it not for family responsibilities, and my own fear (of material insecurity) - which is a greater burden than the responsibilities. From childhood I have been attracted to religion and even now I try to meditate every morning. I am neither happy nor unhappy; I just exist. But in spite of everything, there’s a deep yearning for something greater than this shoddy existence. Whatever it is, I feel it is there, but my will seems to be too weak and ineffectual to break through the mediocrity in which I live. Everywhere I go - at home, in court, on solitary walks - this inward ( conflict &) agony is with me, like a disease for which there’s no remedy. I have come here to understand (and transcend) this inward fever.

Q(3) When I was a boy, I always wanted to be a doctor, and I’m a doctor now. I can and do make quite a bit of money; I try to be very conscientious with my patients, but you know how it is. I treat the well-to-do, but I also have patients without a penny, and even if I could treat a thousand a day, there would still be more. I can’t give all my time to them, so I see the rich in the mornings, and the poor in the afternoons, and sometimes far into the night; and with so much work, one does tend to become somewhat callous. I try to take as much trouble with the poor as with the well-to-do but I find I am becoming less sympathetic and am losing that sensitivity which is so essential to the medical practitioner. I have developed a good ‘bedside manner’, but inwardly my heart is becoming dry, my sympathy withering. I went away for a time in the hope that a complete change and rest would kindle the flame again; but it’s no good. The fire simply isn’t there. I attend to my patients, but my heart is empty of love. Can the 'real thing' ever be found again ?

K: Aren’t all these problems interrelated?

(Q2) : Come to think of it, it looks like my two friends and I are in the same boat. We may call it by different names - love, creativity, something greater than this tawdry existence - but it’s really the same thing.

K: Then what’s the problem we want to talk over?

Q(3) : Is there a state of 'Love', of creative (inner) peace which, once having been attained, will never degenerate, never be lost?

K: You are asking a great deal, aren’t you? If necessary, we shall consider later what that state is. But first of all,( for a philosophical detour?) : is there anything permanent (in the material world?) ?

Q: There must be ; it would be very depressing and (inwardly destabilising) to discover that there’s nothing permanent.

K: We may find that there’s something much more significant than ( the temporal ?) permanency. But before we go into this, ( just a small psychological detour ?) : do we see that in order to think clearly, one must not start from a supposition, a belief, or an inner demand (or high expectations ?)

Q(2) Sir, what you say is perfectly true, if I am to discover a new fact, or perceive the truth of something, my mind cannot be cluttered with what has been. I see how necessary it is for the mind to set aside all that it has known or experienced; but considering the nature of the mind, is such a thing possible?

Q(3) If there must be no inner demand, then I must not even wish to break through my present petty condition, or think of some other state ?

K: If for me the all-important thing is to understand you, then this very sense of urgency overrides all my prejudices and opinions about you, doesn’t it?

Q(3) There can of course be no diagnosis until after an examination of the patient. But is such an approach possible in an area of human experience where there’s so much self-interest?

K: If there’s the intensity to understand the ( truth of the) fact, then everything is possible; but everything becomes a hindrance if this intensity (of inner passion) is not there.
We are trying to find out if there is, or is not, a permanent (inner) state - not what we would like, but the actual fact, the truth of the matter. Everything about us, within as well as without - our relationships, our thoughts, our feelings - is in a constant state of flux. Being (subliminally?) aware of this, the (time-bound ?) mind craves for a perpetual state of peace, of love, of goodness, a sense of (total inner) security that neither time nor events can destroy; therefore it creates the (image of the?) Soul, the Atman, and/or the visions of a permanent (Nirvana or) Paradise. But this ( mentally projected ) 'permanency' has within it the seeds of the impermanent. There is only one 'fact' (to start our inquiry ?) : the (temporal) impermanence.

Q(3) : We all know that the cells of the body are undergoing a constant change, the physical body itself is impermanent; the psychosomatic organism wears out. Nevertheless, one feels there’s a state untouched by time, and it’s that ( time-free) state one is after.

K: Let us not speculate, but stick to ( observable psychological?) facts. Thought ( our self-centred thinking ?) is aware of its own impermanent nature; the things of the mind (& heart?) are transient. Our (self-conscious) mind has been 'put together' through time, and through time it can be taken apart. It can be ( culturally) conditioned to think that there’s a permanency, or it can also be conditioned to think that there’s nothing enduring. ( The cultural) conditioning itself is impermanent, as is observable every day. The fact is that ( in the spatio-temporal world ?) there’s impermanence. And the (self-centred) mind cannot abide ( deal meditatively with ? ) the uncertainty of its own (time-bound ?) state , and so it proceeds to create ( an inner shelter of ?) certainty.

Q(3) I am aware of this fact, I once knew what it meant to (have compassion & ) love (for) my patients, and while that (deep sense of) 'love' was there I didn’t care two pins whether it was permanent or impermanent; but now that it’s gone, I want it to be made enduring. The desire for permanency arises only when one has experienced impermanence.

K: Let us first see very clearly that (our self-centred) mind itself is of time, and that whatever the (temporal) mind puts together is impermanent. It may have had a momentary experience of something (timeless) which it now calls the permanent; and having once experienced that state, remembers it and desires more of it. So, from what it has known, (our personal) memory puts together and projects the 'permanent'; but this projection is still within the field of the transient.

Q(3) : I do realize that whatever is born of the ( time bound) mind must be in a constant state of flux, but when Love was there, it was not born of the (temporal) mind.

K: But now it has become a 'thing of the mind' through memory, and the ( temporal) mind now demands that it be revived; and what is revived will be impermanent.

Q( 2) That’s perfectly right, sir, I see it quite clearly. My ache is the ache of remembering the things that should not have been , and longing for the things that should be. I never live in the present, but either in the past or in the future. My mind is always time-bound.

Q( 1) I think I am getting this, the (time-bound) mind, with all its cunning, with its intrigues, its vanities and envies, is a whirlpool of self-created contradictions. Occasionally it may catch a hint of something (new) beyond its own mental noise, and what it has caught becomes a remembrance. It is with these ashes of remembrance that we live, treasuring things that are dead. I have been doing this, and what folly it is !

K: Now (the 1000 $ question is?) can the mind 'die' ( let go its subliminal attachments to?) to its remembrances, its experiences, to all the things it has known? Without seeking the permanent, can it die to (its karmic ties to ?) the impermanent?

Q(3) I must see if understand your point : I have known (that sense of compassion &) love and I cannot ‘know’ it again because my mind is held by the remembrance of 'what has been' ? It is this remembrance that my mind wants to make permanent, the remembrance of what it has known; so there is no love, but only the memory of love. But I do still want the real thing, not just the memory of it.

K: Wanting the 'real thing' is still the urge of (your experiential) memory, isn’t it?

Q(3) You mean I mustn’t want it?

Q(1) : That’s right, 'wanting it' is a craving born of ( your time-binding) memory. You didn’t want or cling to the 'real thing' when it was there; it was simply there, like a flower. But as it faded, the craving for (more of) it began. So I am back living in the fog of (my past) memory, which I now see is a sort of darkness.

K: This 'craving' is (born of) remembrance; there is no craving without the 'known' - the (active) memory of what has been - and it is this 'craving' (desire for more ?) that sustains the ‘me’, the 'self', the 'ego'. Now (back to our 1000$ question?) can the mind 'die' to ( its visceral attachment to ?) the known – the ( self-identified memory of the?) known which is demanding to be made permanent? This is the real problem, isn’t it?

Q(3) What do you exactly mean by 'dying to the known'?

K: To 'die to the known' is to have no (attachments to one's psychological ?) continuity of 'yesterday'. That (self-consciousness?) which has (a temporal) continuance is only (a refreshed personal?) memory. ( The free mind ?) that has no (need for temporal ?) continuity is neither 'permanent' nor 'impermanent'. Can there be an ending of (this temporal ?) consciousness as continuity, a 'dying' to the total feeling of (one's self-centred) becoming without gathering again (other psycho-debris?) in the very act of dying? There is this feeling of (self-centred ) becoming only when there is the (psychologically loaded?) memory of 'what has been' and 'what should be', and then the 'present' is used as a (mental) passage between the two. Dying to the 'known' is (bringing) the complete stillness of the mind. (While thinking within the field of the known?) under the pressure of (personal greed, desire or?) craving can never be still ( at peace with itself?) .

Q(2) : I followed with my understanding up to the point when you mentioned 'dying' , but now I am getting confused.

K: Only that ( integrated Mind?) which has an 'ending' ( for which 'dying' is an integral part of 'living' ?) can be aware of the New, of Love, or of the Supreme. What has ( temporal ) continuance, or ‘permanence’, is ( the persistence of the ?) memory of things that have been. The mind must die to the ( psycho- content of its ) past, though the mind is put together by the past. ( In the context of an authentic Meditation?) the totality of the mind must be completely still, without any pressure, influence or (interfering) movement from the past. Only then is the 'other' ( timeless dimension of being?) possible.

Q(3) I shall have to ponder over this a great deal. It will ( hopefully?) be the real meditation.

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Wed, 02 Aug 2017 #688
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

(More unzipped Commentaries on Living)

( HOLISTIC) AWARENESS AND THE CESSATION OF (BAD ?) DREAMS

A strange stillness was creeping over the land. You could feel it coming from afar, passing over and beyond you to the ends of the earth. You sat there completely motionless, your mind going with that stillness, expanding immeasurably without a centre, without a point of recognition or reference. Seated at the edge of that meadow, your body was unmoving, but very much alive. The mind was much more so; in a state of complete silence, it was nevertheless aware of the lightning and the shouting children, of the little noises among the grass and the sounding of a distant horn. It was silent in the depths where thought could not reach it, and that silence was a penetrating bliss ; it was not a ( mental) movement in terms of time and distance, but it was without an ending. It was strangely massive, yet it could be blown away by a breath. The stars were brilliant, but the lightning-bearing clouds were coming nearer. It would still take some time for the storm to break, but by then you would have reached shelter.

*

Q: I wonder why I dream so much? I have some kind of dream practically every night. Sometimes my dreams are pleasant, but more often they are unpleasant, even frightening, and when I wake up in the morning I feel exhausted. A friend took me to hear one of your evening talks, and with him I also attended a morning discussion. I was greatly moved by what I heard, and I want to pursue it. But what I am concerned right now is this nightly dreaming. My dreams are very disturbing, even the pleasant ones, and I want to get rid of them; I want to have peaceful nights. What am I to do?

K: What do you mean by 'dreams'?

Q: When I am asleep, I have visions of various kinds; a series of pictures or apparitions arise in my mind. One night I may be about to fall over the edge of a precipice, and I wake up with a start; another night I may find myself in a pleasant valley, surrounded by high mountains and with a stream running through it; another night I may be having a terrific argument with my friends, or I may suddenly see the dead body of my wife, and so on. My dreams are often nightmares, full of fear, and sometimes they are fantastically complicated.

K: When you are dreaming, does it ever happen that there is an interpretation of it going on almost at the same time?

Q: No, I have never had such an experience; I just dream, and afterwards groan about it. I have talked the problem over with some of my friends, but they are not of much help, and I feel rather wary of going to a psychanalyst. Can you tell me why I dream, and what my dreams mean?

K: ( For an awakened mind?) there may be no need to dream at all. ( But in the meanwhile?) you must discover for yourself the truth or the falseness of this whole process which we call 'dreaming'.

Q: Of course, if I could perceive for myself the full significance of dreaming, it should relieve me of this nightly anxiety and unrest. But I have never really thought about these matters, and you will have to be patient with me.

K: We are trying to understand the problem together, so there’s no impatience on either side. We are both taking the journey of exploration, which means that we must both be alert, and not held back by any ( subliminal?) prejudice or fear which we may uncover as we go along. Your consciousness is the totality of what you think and feel (consciously) , plus your secret (karmic?) desires; plus the cunning of your ( self-centred) thought (not to mention ) the obscure ( collective) urges and compulsions ( located ) in the 'depth of your heart' - all this is ( the content of) your consciousness. Regardless of whether you believe or disbelieve in God, or in the ( individual) Soul, the whole process of your thinking is ( operating within this 'known' ?) consciousness, is it not?

Q: I haven’t thought vry much about all this (stuff?) before, but I can see that my consciousness is made up of all these elements.

K: It is the ( movement of) past in relation to the present, which makes ( projects the 'self-image' or?) character; it is the collective ( Stream of Time?) , the racial (characteristics) , the totality of human consciousness . Is not all this ( the active memory-content of) what we call 'consciousness'?

Q: I get the feeling of this totality.

K: This (total) consciousness is also the battleground of contradictory desires, the field of strife, struggle, pain, sorrow, It is also (including) the revolt against this field, which is the (instinctive) search for peace, for goodness, for abiding affection. ( And in its particular version ?) a self-consciousness arises whenever there is ( a painful) awareness of conflict and sorrow, and the desire to be rid of them; or when there is an awareness of joy, and the desire for more of it.

( In a nutshell) All this is the totality of human consciousness; it is a vast process of (thought & time) - the (active memory of the ) past, using the present as a passage to the future. This consciousness is ( bound to) time - both in the waking and the sleeping period.

Q: But can one ever be fully aware of this totality of our Consciousness?

K: Most of us are ( choosing to live and be ? ) aware of only in a small corner of it, and our lives are spent in ( the illusory safety of) that small corner, creating a lot of (confusion & ) noise in pushing and destroying each other, with a little ( façade of politically correct ?) friendliness and affection.

However, of the major part we are unaware, and so there’s the ( artificial separation of the?) conscious and the unconscious. Actually, of course, there’s no such division between the two; it’s only that we give far more attention to the one than to the other.

Q: That much is quite clear : the conscious mind is occupied with a thousand and one things, almost all of them rooted in self-interest...

K: ...and the rest of it, hidden ( dormant, pressurised or ?) active, aggressive and much more dynamic than the conscious, waking mind. This hidden part of the mind ( expressing itself as the ' controller', 'thinker', 'observer', etc?) is constantly urging, influencing, controlling, but it often fails to communicate its ( exact) purposes during the waking hours, because the upper layers of the ( time-bound?) mind is occupied (doing other things) ; so it gives hints and intimations during so-called 'sleep'. The superficial mind may revolt against this unseen influence, but it is quietly brought into line again, for the totality of ( our time-bound) consciousness is concerned with being secure, permanent; and any change is always in the direction of seeking a greater permanency of itself. The (self-conscious) mind wants to be ( play safe ?) in all its relationships with people, property, ideas and beliefs. Haven’t you noticed this?

Q: But isn’t that natural?

K: We are 'educated' (conditioned culturally?) to think that it’s natural; but ( in a holistic perspective ?) is it? Surely, only the mind that’s not clinging to (its psychological) security is free to discover that ( spirtual essence?) which is wholly untouched by the past. But the 'conscious' mind starts (looking outwardly) with this urge to be secure, to be safe, to make itself permanent; while the neglected part of the mind, the 'unconscious' , is also watchful of its own interests. The conscious mind may be forced by ( the outer) circumstances to reform, to change itself at least (formally) . But the 'unconscious' ( part of our?) mind , being deeply entrenched in the past, is conservative, cautious, aware of the deeper issues and of their more profound outcome; so there’s a conflict (of interests?) between the two parts of the mind. This conflict does produce some kind of ( adaptative) changes, a modified continuity, with which most of us are concerned; but the real (inner) revolution is outside this dualistic field of consciousness.

Q: Where do dreams come into all this?

K: We have to understand the (active content of the?) totality of our consciousness before coming to a particular part of it. The 'conscious' mind, being occupied during its waking hours with the pressures of daily events, has no ( the necessary quality?) time or the ( meditative?) opportunity to 'listen' to the deeper parts of itself; therefore, when the conscious mind ‘goes to sleep’, that is, when it’s fairly quiet, not to worried, the unconscious ( layers) can communicate (with it) , and this (subliminal?) communication takes the form of symbols, visions, scenes. And on waking ( the self- conscious) 'you' say, ”I have had a dream”.

Q: Aren’t there ( the professional psy-?) people who are trained to interpret dreams?

K: There may be (lots of them?) ; but if you look to another for the interpretation of your dreams you are creating a new problem of dependence on authority, which breeds its (colateral) conflicts and sorrows.

Q: In that case, how am I to interpret them for myself?

K: Is that the ( holistically?) 'right' question? It may not be a question of how to interpret dreams, but are dreams necessary at all?

Q: Then how can I put a stop to these dreams of mine?

K: Dreams are a (psychological ) device by which one part of the mind communicates with the other.

Can't this ( 2-way) communication occur during the waking period as well? Isn’t it possible to be aware of your own (psychological) responses when you are with your family, when you are talking to your 'boss' in the office, or to your own people at home? Just to be (globally ) aware of all this, like being aware of the trees and the birds, of the clouds and the children, of your own habits, responses and traditions - to observe them (freely) without judging or comparing, constantly (learning non-accumulatively & ) listening, you will find that you do not (have to) 'dream' at all. Then your whole mind is intensely active; everything has a meaning, a significance. To such a mind dreams are ( theoretically?) unnecessary. You will then discover that in sleep there’s not only a complete rest and renewal, but a (meditative?) state which the (temporal ?) mind can never touch, a total (spiritual?) renewal which cannot be formulated (expressed verbally) .

Q: Can I be so ('holistically ) aware' during the whole day ? I can see the ( vital ) necessity of it

This post was last updated by John Raica Wed, 02 Aug 2017.

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Thu, 03 Aug 2017 #689
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE (HOLISTICALLY) SERIOUS?

It rained very often on this big island, and the earth was rich with green vegetation. There were immense trees everywhere, and well-kept gardens full of flowers. The people were well-fed, and the cattle plump and softeyed. On one tree there were dozens of orioles, with black wings and yellow bodies; they were surprisingly large birds, but their call was soft. They were hopping about from branch to branch, like flashes of golden light, and they seemed even more brilliant on a cloudy day. A magpie was calling in deep-throated tones, and the crows were making their usual raucous noise. It was comparatively cool, and walking would be pleasant. The temple was full of kneeling, praying people, and the grounds around it were clean. Beyond the temple was a sports club, where they were playing tennis. Children were everywhere, and among them walked the priests with their shaven heads and the inevitable fan. Over the palm trees could be seen a great stretch of pale blue sky, which the clouds were rushing to cover. Among the people, along the noisy streets, and in the gardens of the well-to-do, there was a great beauty; it was there everlastingly, but few cared to look.

*

(The two of them, a man and a woman, had come from some distance to attend the talks. They were gay and friendly, and their eyes declared the ancient culture that lay behind them. Pleasant-voiced and rather shy out of respect, they seemed surprisingly well-read, and he knew Sanskrit. He had also travelled a bit and knew the 'ways of the world')

Q: We have both been through many things : have followed some of the political leaders, been fellow-travellers with the Communists and known at first hand their appalling brutality, gone the rounds of the spiritual teachers, and practised certain forms of meditation. All these things were done with serious intent, but none of them seem to have great depth and we have now come to the ( critical) point when we no longer want to ‘get somewhere’, or participate in activities that have very little (spiritual?) significance. We now would want to understand what it is that you are teaching. My father was somewhat familiar with your ( holistic?) approach to life, and he used to talk to me about it, but I never got the interest to investigating the matter for myself. As it happened, a friend of ours attended your talks last year, and when he recounted to us something of what he had heard, we decided to come. I don’t know where to start, and perhaps you can help us out.

K: Since you have said that you are both 'serious', let us begin from there. What we mean when we talk about being ( holistically?) serious? Most people are serious about something or other. The schoolboy in his desire to pass an examination; the man who is out to make money; the professional man, and the man who is dedicated to some ideology - they are all ( 'dead?) serious' in their own way. Please don’t think I am quibbling, but if we could understand this ( holistical seriousness?) thing, we might learn a great deal about ourselves; and after all, that is the right beginning.

Q: I am serious in wanting to clarify my own (state of inner) confusion and it is for this reason that I have gone around seeking the help of those who say they can guide me towards that ( inner) clarification (not to mention that?) I am also serious in my desire to find God.

K: Most people are serious about something or other, but their seriousness always has an object(ive?) , religious or otherwise, and their ( degree of) seriousness upon the hope of attaining that object(ive) One is serious in achieving, in gaining, in succeeding, in becoming; and it is the ( self-projected) end that makes one 'serious', the 'thing(s) ' that one hopes to get or to avoid.

Q: I think I see what you mean : I want to find God, and it is important for me to find Him, otherwise my life has no meaning; it’s only a bewildering chaos, full of misery. He alone can guide me in this welter of contradictions, and that’s why I am serious about finding Him. But you are asking, is this seriousness at all?

K: Yes. In saying that God, the 'ultimate end', will give meaning to your life, you have brought into being two opposing states: your 'everyday living', and 'God'. You are struggling to find something away from (your actual way of?) life. You are serious about attaining a ( self-projected) goal which you call 'God', but is that seriousness? Or it may be that 'God' is to be found in the very understanding of this complex process called life.

( Recap:) You are serious about the 'things' of the mind, and not about the (workings of your own ) mind - who is the 'maker' of these things. In giving your seriousness to achieving a particular result, are you not ( subliminally?) pursuing your own gratification? And is that all we mean by 'seriousness'?

Q: I always took it for granted that I was serious in my various undertakings, but now I am beginning to see that there is an altogether different level of seriousness. I am beginning to get the feeling of it. Will you please go on?

K: Now, is there a ( self-sustained?) seriousness which is not directed towards an 'end' and does not build up resistance? Isn't ( holistic?) 'seriousness' a state of mind in which end-gaining and resistance do not exist?

Q: Let me see if I understand this : end-gaining is really ( based on) self-interest; it is a form of (gross or?) refined self-interest. Yes, that is now quite clear to me. But then what is 'seriousness'?

K: Let’s inquire and learn about it together. Is there any need for ( spiritual) guidance when we are constantly learning from everything as we go along or from being aware of the activities of our own minds ? But there can be no such freedom to learn ( by total immersion?) when the mind is tethered to a belief; or to the desire to be secure and achieve a particular end.

Q: But isn't impossible to be free of all that ?

K: You don’t know if it’s possible or impossible until you have tried.

Q: Whether one likes it or not, one’s mind is (already culturally) conditioned, so ( for starters?) what is one to do?

K: The mind can ( become?) aware of ( the inadequacy of?) its own (temporal) bondage, and in that very awareness it is alreay learning. But first of all, is it clear to us that a mind that’s blindly held in the 'known' is incapable of learning?

Q: In other words, you are saying that as long as I merely follow tradition I cannot learn anything new (about myself) ? But then, how am I to be free of (the subliminal tethering tp my) tradition?

K: Not so fast, please. To learn (the holistic way?) , there must be no ( emphasis on the?) accumulation of knowledge, no piling up of ( our personal) experiences as the (stand-by memory of the?) past. Do you yourself see the truth of this (necessity?) ? Is it a fact to you?

Q: I think I see it to be a ( psychologically related ) fact. Of course, you don’t mean that we must throw away all the knowledge that mankind has gathered, that would be absurd, The point is, if we want to learn ( about something new?) we cannot assume anything.

K: Learning is a ( free & creative inner ?) movement - not from one fixed point to another - and this 'movement' is impossible if the mind is burdened with the accumulations of the past, with conclusions, traditions, beliefs. This accumulation (of personal & collective experience?) is the ( very substance of the?) ‘me’, ( of the 'observer'?) or of the 'self'. This self(-consciousness?) and its ( temporal?) maintenance prevent the movement of learning.

Q: I am beginning to understand what you mean by the 'movement of learning'. As long as I’m enclosed within ( the self-imposed?) limitations my own desire for security, for comfort & inner peace, there can be no movement of learning. But then...how am I to be free of this ( ages old?) desire?

K: Isn’t that a ( holistically?) 'wrong' question? There’s no (prescribed ?) method by which to be ( inwardly ) free. ( Nevetheless?) seeing the importance of being able (willing & ready?) to learn ( through direct perception?) will free the mind from the ( dualistic) self(-consciousness?) which is put together by words, by memory.

Q: I do understand something of all this, but so much ( meditative work) is involved, and I wonder if I shall ever really get to the bottom of it...

K: ( Experentially- wise?) it’s not as bad as all that. With the ( insightful?) understanding of one or two central facts, the whole picture becomes (less or more?) clear. Now, let’s go back to the question of (holistic?) seriousness, with which we started. We saw that the (totality of our mind & heart?) is not 'serious' if it has some ( open or hidden expectations for a rewarding ?) 'end' to be gained or ( for a negative end to be?) avoided. Then what is a (holistic?) seriousness? To find it out (experientially) , one must ( for starters?) become aware that one’s ( time-bound?) mind is ( instinctively?) directed outwardly or inwardly in order to fulfil itself, to gain or to become something. It’s this ( quality of non-personal?) 'awareness' that sets the mind free to learn what it means to be serious; and to ( such holistic?) learning there is no end. To a mind that’s 'learning' (and not accumulating ?) , the Heavens are open.

Q: I have learnt a great deal in this brief conversation, but shall I be able to learn further without your help?

K: Do you see ( the insidious ways of?) blocking yourself? If one may say so, (become aware that?) you are greedy for more, and your greed is preventing the (holistic ) movement of learning. Had you been aware of the significance of what you were feeling and saying, it would have opened the 'Doors (of Perception?) to that 'movement'. There is just the ( creative movement of?) learning as you go along. Comparison ( in terms of 'more', 'greater' or 'ultimate') arises only when there is ( a mentality based on?) accumulation.

(In a nutshell:) To die to everything that you have learnt is to ( be free to?) learn anew . This dying is not a 'final' act: it is to 'die' (or let go the 'sticky' memory of the?) past from moment to moment.

This post was last updated by John Raica Thu, 03 Aug 2017.

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Sat, 05 Aug 2017 #690
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 691 posts in this forum Offline

(SELF-CENTRED) DESIRE AND THE PAIN OF (INNER) CONTRADICTION

Two men were engaged in digging a long, narrow grave. Some palm trees overhung the grave, and they had big bunches of golden coconuts. The men wore only loincloths, and their bare bodies were shining in the early morning sun. The leaves of the trees, stirred by a gentle breeze, were sparkling in the clear morning air. It was a lovely day, and as the sun had only just come over the treetops it still wasn’t too hot. The sea was pale blue and very calm, and the white waves were coming in lazily. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the waning moon was in mid-heaven. The grass was very green, and the birds were everywhere, calling to each other in different notes. The rows of white slabs with names carved upon them had been discoloured by the many rains. Two gardeners worked there all day long, watering, trimming, planting and weeding.
One was tall, and the other was short and plump. Except for a cloth on their heads against the burning sun, they too wore only loincloths, and their skin was nearly black. The tall one was now watering a flowering bush which he had just planted. From a large round, earthenware
pot with a narrow neck, he was sprinkling the water over the leaves and flowers. The pot glistened in the sun as the muscles in his dark body moved with ease, and the way he stood had grace and dignity. It was a beautiful thing to watch. The shadows were long in the morning sun.

( Total) attention is a strange thing. There is such attention only when the (thinking). Such attention is ( action of?) the complete 'good(ness) '

( He was a middleaged man, nearly bald, with clear observant eyes, and his face was lined with worry and anxiety. He hadn’t come to talk about his family, or the future of the world , but about himself.)

Q: Ever since I can remember, I seem to have been in a state of (inner conflict & ) contradiction. I have always had
ideals, But I have always fallen far short of them: from my earliest years I have felt a pull towards a life of solitude and meditation, and I have ended up with (supporting ) a family. I once thought that I would like to be a scholar, but instead I have become an office drudge. My whole life has been a series of disturbing contrasts, and even now I am in the midst of a contradiction which bother me greatly; for I want to be at peace with myself, and I don’t seem able to harmonize my conflicting desires. What am I to do?

K : Surely, there can never be a (mental) integration of opposing desires. Can personal ambition and the desire for (having inner ) peace ever be brought together? Mustn’t they always be contradictory?

Q: But cannot one's conflicting desires be brought under control? Cannot these wild horses be tamed?

K: You have tried, haven’t you?

Q: Yes, for many years.

K: And have you succeeded?

Q: No, but that is because I haven’t tried hard enough to 'discipline' my desires.

K: Is not this (dualistic attitude involved in the attempt of ?) disciplining of desire the breeder of (your inner conflict &) contradiction? When you try to 'discipline' desire, who is the ‘you’ that is doing the 'disciplining'?

Q: The higher (part of my) Self ?

K: Is it? Or is it merely one part of the mind trying to dominate the other, one (thought-sustained) desire suppressing another ( thoughtless?) desires? This suppression of one part of the mind, by another which you call the ‘higher self’, can only lead to (a state of inner) conflict. However much one (rational) desire may suppress or discipline another, that 'higher desire' breeds other (compensative ?) desires which soon are in revolt. Desire multiplies itself; there isn’t just one desire. Haven’t you noticed this?

Q: Yes, I have noticed that in disciplining a particular desire, other desires spring up around it. I guess that you have to go after them one by one ?

K: And so spend a lifetime pursuing and holding down one desire after another - only to find at the end
that desire still remains. Will (-power) is ( a highly concentrated form of ) desire, and it can tyrannically dominate all other desires and become a ( self-contolling) habit; but... a mind that functions in the groove of habit is ( soon becoming repetitive ?) mechanical, ( and creatively?) 'dead'.

Q: I’m not sure that I understand all the fine points you were explaining, but I am aware of the entanglements and contradictions of desire. How am I to be ( inwardly) at peace ?

K: With ( a non-dualistic?) understanding there does come peace, but the mere desire to be at peace only strengthens (the self-centred action of will?) the source of all conflict. A strong, dominant desire never brings ( an authentic inner) peace but only builds an imprisoning ( thought-controlling) wall around itself.

Q: Then how is one to get out of this net of self-contradictory desires? Isn’t it only through the patient and rigorous practice of a proper self-discipline that one can end this strife?

K: Any (such) method implies an effort to control, suppress or sublimate desire, and in this effort, (a wall of) resistance in different forms, subtle or brutal, is built up. It’s like living in a narrow (mental) cage that shuts you away from the vastness of life.

Q: You seem to be very much against self-discipline...

K: I am only pointing out that a 'disciplined' (moulded)
mind is not (necessarily?) a free mind. However, with a (non-dualistic ?) understanding of desire, ( the concept of a self-imposed) discipline loses its ( experiential) significance. The (holistic) understanding of desire is of far greater significance than the (self-enforced) discipline resulting from the conformity to a (fool-proof ?) pattern.

Q: If there’s to be no (self-) discipline, then how is the mind to be free from desire, whifool-proof ?)ch brings all these
contradictions?

K: Desire does not (just) bring contradictions. ( The thought enforced?) desire 'is' contradiction. That is why it’s important to ( have a non-dualistic ?) understanding of desire.

Q: What do you mean by ( a non-dualistic ) understanding of desire?

K: It is to be aware of ( the movement of thought sustained ? ) desire, without naming it, without rejecting or accepting it. It is to be simply (non-personally) aware of desire, as if you would understand a child : you must observe it ( non-judgementally?).
Similarly, to ( holistically) understand ( the activities of the thought sustained) desire, there must be this 'simple' ( non-verbal) awareness of it.

Q : Will there then be the cessation of all my self-contradictions?

K: Is it possible to guarantee anything in these (very volatile 'psychological') matters? Isn't this very urge to be sure another form of (time binding) desire?
Sir, haven't you ever known a moment when there has been no ( inner conflict or ?) self-contradiction?

Q: Perhaps in sleep, but not otherwise...

K: Sleep is not necessarily a state of freedom from self-contradiction (just a 'time-out'?) - but haven’t you experienced moments of 'total action' - an action
involving (the dynamic harmony of ) your mind and your heart well as your body, the 'totality' of your whole being?

Q: Such a state of complete self-forgetfulness must be a great bliss, but I think that very few of us are ever blessed in that manner...

K: Sir, ( in this 'holistic' inner state?) when the self (-centred consciousness) is ( temporarily) absent, do we not know Love without the 'interpreting' mind?

Q: Sometimes, a strange feeling of ‘otherness’ does come over me - but it’s such a rare thing. I only wish it would last and not fade away so quickly...

K: (See how subtly?) 'acquisitive' we are ? We want to hold (& possess?) That which cannot be held; we want to remember ( and treasure) That which is not the stuff of memory. All this desire to 'be', or to become ( one with It ?) , makes for the building up of (a highly refined version of?) the self. But this (time-bound ?) 'self (-consciousness'?) can never know Love; it can only know desire, with its (inherent) contradictions and miseries.

( In a nutshell?) Love is not a 'thing' to be pursued, to be gained; it is not to be 'bought' ( achieved ?) through the (righteous?) practicing of 'virtue'. All such ( time-binding) pursuits are the ways of the (temporal) 'self', of (our self-centred ?) desire; and with ( such?) desire there is always the pain of ( inner conflict and?) contradiction.

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