Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Holistic Education


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Tue, 03 Jul 2018 #91
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 207 posts in this forum Offline

Can the Brain be Free of its Own ( 'knowledge' created inner ) Limitations ?

( A 'reader friendly' edited K dialogue, 1980)

K: Apparently (the present ) human consciousness is ( entangled in ?) a mass of accumulated ( personal & collective) knowledge and reactions according to that knowledge. Now, if the ( 'thinking ) machines', the computers, are going to take charge of all ( the practical aspects of our outward existence ?) what then will the ( total consciousness of the?) human being be ? What is ( left of ) a human being if his sorrows and anxieties are all wiped away by chemicals or by some implanted electronic circuitry? And (not in the least?) what is the true function of a (holistic?) school then?

PJ: If you take a strong tranquillizer, your ( personal) anxieties are temporarily over. That is not arguable. But I don’t think we are getting to the central thing. There is something else also involved in this.

K: Look, Pupul, if my anxieties, if my fears and my suffering can be allayed and my pleasure increased, I ask: What then is a human being? What is our mind?

ACHYUT PATWARDHAN (AP): Do I understand that while on the one hand man has developed these extraordinary (technological) capacities, there is also a corresponding process of deterioration in the mind which is a side-effect of super mechanization?

K: I don’t think we understand the depth of ( the human challenge involved ). What is a human being when the computer—I am using the ( generic) word ‘computer’ to include the new brain chemicals and so on—takes us over completely and our brains will physically deteriorate. At present, the brain is being 'exercised' (stimulated?) through pleasure, through suffering, through anxiety—it is kept working because we have ( lots of unsolved personal & global) problems. But when the 'thinking machines & chemicals' take over, it will cease to work. And if it is not working, it will deteriorate. So let us inquire whether the human mind can survive at all if it is deprived of its problems either chemically or by the computer.

AP: I am not quite clear about one point. There is in each human being a feeling of an (inner) void, of emptiness, which needs to be filled. There is a strange (existential) void in every ( thoughtful?) human being.

K: Take a pill and you will never feel the void.

AP: At some point you have to see that there is something in the human consciousness which will remain untouched by (the flow of time ?).

AC: What if you don’t find that?

AP: Before you come to the finding of that, at least you must posit a need for that.

K: I am positing a ( very realistic) need : the chemicals and the computers are (eventually) going to destroy my brain.

AC: As a human being, I feel that there is something else ( in the depths of human consciousness) which I really want to find out. So the ( 1000 $) question is: How is man to create this new technology and yet not be destroyed by it?

K: The ( holistic quality of the human ?) mind is ( constantly) deteriorating because it will not allow anything to penetrate its ( materialistic?) values & its dogmas. It is stuck there. If I have a strong personal conviction or opinion, I am deteriorating (inwardly) . And the ('intelligent' ) machines are only helping us to deteriorate faster.
So what is a (sensible & thoughtful?) human being to do?

I think that is the root of it : what man seeks now, is ( to continue & optimise his/her ) pleasures in different forms. From times immemorial, what is the stream (the existential trend?) he has always followed? Pleasure.

AC: Pleasure, yes, but also the ending of (pain, insecurity & ) sorrow.

K: To avoid the ('less than pleasurable' things?) , but essentially to pursue pleasure.
We want pleasure at any price and suffering (or the existential malaise?) is an indication to me that I am not having ( the 'right' kind of) pleasure.

AC: What I am saying is that historically man has always pursued pleasure.

K: Which means—what? Go on, analyse it.

AC: The 'self' (identified entity) has pursued it.

AP: When you say the ‘self’, are you talking of the physical self or of the psychological self?

K: Both. I want to survive physically and psychologically, and to survive, I must do certain things, and to do certain things, they must be pleasurable. Sir, please look into this very carefully. Ultimately man wants pleasure. The pursuit of 'God' is ( a 'sublimated ' form of seeking personal safety & ) pleasure.
Is this ( same evolutionary trend) that is going to be encouraged by the (developpment of intelligent ) machines & (the new prescription ?) drugs? And will man be merely an entity that is concerned with pleasure? Is (our present existential) conflict resulting from trying to find a balance between the two? The conflict between 'good' and 'evil' has existed from time immemorial. The problem is to find a balance or a state where this conflict does not exist, which is pleasure (for ever & ever ? ) . But ( holistically -wise?) isn't pleasure the most destructive thing in life ?

AP: In terms of what you are saying, does the search for freeing the mind from ( its time) bondage fall in the realm of pleasure?

K: Let us get this clear between ourselves. It is a fact that human beings, historically, have always been in conflict; there has always been the conflict between the 'good' and the 'bad'. The spirit of the 'good' conquering pervades, which ends up in ( the myth of an endless ) pleasure. One can realize instantly (ASAP?) that the whole movement of man has been this - the whole of it, not only the physical but also the 'psychological' self-preservation is part of that movement. That is a fact. And isn't this a ( surreptitiously?) destructive (trend) for the human mind & brain?

RB: Whether you name it 'bad' or not, it can still be terribly destructive.

K: It can be very destructive, but the moment I have called it 'bad', it is something to be avoided—right? And then a ( secondary inner) conflict begins. But it is a 'fact'. Why do you need to call it anything else? Look, sir, the computer & the chemicals, are taking over man. This is neither 'good' nor 'bad'—it is happening.

Can we move to some other aspect ? ( The search for) pleasure is always happening within the (field of the ) 'known'. I have no pleasure today but the day after tomorrow it might happen. (man's instinctual search for?) pleasure is a (thought – sustained ) 'time' movement. Is there ( any search for) pleasure that is not based on ( our past ) knowledge? My whole life is (spent in the field of ) the 'known'. I project the 'known' into the future. The future is the present modified, but it is still ( in the field of ) the known. I have no ( solid guarantees of ?) pleasure in the Unknown. And the computer, etc., is (also functioning exclusively?) in the field of the 'known'.
Now the real ( experiential) question is whether there is freedom from the 'known'. That is the real question because ( in the known?) there is pleasure, there is suffering, there is fear. The whole movement of the ( self-centred) mind is (in the field of ) the known. ( The human mind may project the unknown, it may theorize, but that is not a measurable fact) . So computers, chemicals, genetic cloning are all ( operating in the field of) the 'known'. So can there be ( an inward?) freedom from the known? The ( living inwardly caught in the ?) 'known' is destroying man.

PJ: The mind of man at present is threatened, is being ( slowly) destroyed, because of the way in which it is functioning. A very interesting thing has struck me just now, namely, that the present functioning of the mind—as we know it—will be destroyed either by the machine which will take it over or by the other, namely, freedom from the known. So you see, sir, the challenge is much deeper.

K: You’ve got it ! Pupulji is saying is that the ( self-enclosing field of the ) 'known' in which our minds are functioning presently is ( slowly but safely?) destroying us. The known is also ( involved in our ) future (techological) projections such as machines, drugs, genetics, cloning; all that is born out of these. So both are ( concurring in) destroying us.

AC: But she was also saying that the other movement – the 'freedom from the known', will also destroy the mind as we know it now.

K: Let us be clear. Either there must be a 'new human mind' or the present thing is going to destroy the (old) mind. Right? But this 'new mind' can only exist actually, when (the thought-time continuity of our living in the field of) knowledge ends. So the question then is whether ( the inward time-binding continuity of) knowledge can end and not whether there can be ( a hypothetical) 'freedom from knowledge'.

AC: Action out of knowledge can end. Knowledge can’t end.

K: It can. You see, ( the holistic?) action is freedom from knowledge.

PJ: What do you mean when you say that 'knowledge ends'?

K: ( Our psychological ) knowledge has ( its continuity in the field of the ) known. Can (this psychological component of ) knowledge end? Who is to end knowledge? The ( virtual) 'person' who ends knowledge is still a part of knowledge. So there is no entity apart from knowledge which can end knowledge.

AC: So, sir, there is the tremendous (psychological instinct of) of self-preservation and there is the 'factual ' knowledge. And you are asking: Can (the psychological component of ) knowledge end ? Doesn't this amount to self-annihilation?

K: I understand what you are saying, but I am leaving for the moment, the ending of the self. I am just saying that both—the (artificially 'intelligent' ) computers and my life—are based on knowledge. And so long as we are (inwardly) living in ( the field) knowledge, our brains are being destroyed through routine, the new machines, etc. So the human mind is (solidly caught in the field of) knowledge. There is no question of itself saying that it must free itself from knowledge. There is only the mind which is (entangled in time binding) knowledge.

Let's move on from there. What is the state of the mind that is completely aware, or knows, or is cognizant that it is entirely ( functioning in the field of) knowledge?
Apparently knowledge is a (mental) movement. Knowledge has been acquired through movement. So knowledge is movement.

AC: And you are speaking of the state of mind when (its thought- continuity in ?) time comes to a stop ?

K: That is freedom (from the known?) . That means, ( mind's direct) perception is free from knowledge and its action is not out of (its past) knowledge. Unless this inner 'machinery' of the mind stops, we are going to continue destroying ourselves.
So is there a ( holistic) perception which is not born out of ( the field of) knowledge? Because when this ( knowledge -born ) movement stops, there must be ( a time-free ?) action.

AC: In other words, it is to act in the ( temporal) world, but nothing 'sticks', no ( psychological ) marks are left. Nothing takes root.

K: Which means—is there such a perception which is not of knowledge ? Of course; there is an (intelligent & compassionate ) perception which cannot be 'computerized' (computer simulated?)

AC: The question is: What is the mechanism of the mind, what is the structure of the mind which operates with ( a holistic quality of) perception, with insight, and with absolutely no accumulation?

K: Look at how long it has taken to come to that (fine holistic?) point, which is ( a direct) perception without ( personal) record ! And why? Because we function in time.

AC: What you are saying is that you don’t have to go through this ( time-consuming) process. ( But... on the other hand?) if we have come to this point, and do not act ( ending though-time ?) , it can be much more dangerous than not having a discussion at all.

K: That is what I am saying. It is a tremendous danger. Have you come to a point where you see what the human mind has invented— the computer, drugs, chemicals, cloning - our minds are as mechanical as that ? And we are acting always in that area. And therefore we are destroying ourselves. It is not the (e-) machines that are destroying us.

PJ: One can say at the end of it, ''Tapas, tapas & tapas'' - in other words ... we have not done our homework.

K: I am not sure if you are not back in time. You know, sir, a pianist once said, ‘If you practice, you are practicing the wrong thing’. I wonder if you realize that his is the real revolution (in the human Consciousness ?) .
So, sir, ( in a nutshell) the ( central) question is one of ending the (psychological time ) movement, and not ending ( the valuable factual) knowledge. That is the real question (left for meditation homework ?) .

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Thu, 05 Jul 2018 #92
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 207 posts in this forum Offline

Intelligence, Computers and the Awakening of a holistic Intelligence beyond the Mechanical Mind*

( a reader friendly edited K dialogue, cca 1982)

ASIT CHANDMAL (AC): Sir, you are saying that ( the compassionate?) intelligence has nothing to do with thought, but ( for the time being the modern ?) man knows only the thinking process and the (computer) scientists call it a 'major (thought) attack on the unknown' in creating a machine which will perform like the human mind.
Now if they succeed in creating a (highly intelligent) computer which will perform like the human mind, then the present human mind will become obsolete. So if the human mind is different from a 'thinking machine', what is the difference? Is it creativity, is it intelligence, and if so, then what is creativity and what is intelligence?

K: Where do we start exploring this? Should we differentiate between the mind and the brain or would you only use the word ‘mind’ to convey the wholeness of the human mind?

AC: I am using the word ‘mind’ in terms of what a human being is (consciousness-wise) . He has a brain with thought, emotions and all kinds of reactions.

K: So you are using the word ‘mind’ in the sense that it includes all reactions, emotions, remembrances, confusion, desire, pleasure, sorrow, affection. If all that is the 'mind', then what is the relationship between that and the brain?

AC: What do you mean by the 'brain'?

K: Is it 'my' brain or the ( generic human) brain ( resulting) from this tremendous evolution?

AC: It is obviously the product of evolution.

K: So it is not my brain; it is not my thinking. It is thinking. Are you saying then that ( the capacity of) thinking is an integral part of the brain?

AC: It seems to be.

K: ( This survival oriented?) thinking has created all the human, psychological problems as well as the technological problems. And the same thinking tries to solve these problems and it finds that it cannot, because in itself is limited. Thought is the result of experience, knowledge, memory. Knowledge is never complete. All limitations must create their own problems and so, thought can never solve (globally or holistically any problem of a psychological nature ?) .
Thought is the result of vast (accumulation of human) experience (processed & stored in the personal & collective ) memory. You have seen how the computers are working. Thought is a form of ( 'self'-conscious?) computer which has had a great deal of experience, a great deal of knowledge, but still limited.

AC: In other words, you are saying that all new knowledge is essentially contained in the old knowledge and is a result of thought.

K: Of course. All knowledge is the result of thought.

PJ: The racial mind is the result of millennia of evolution. So in a sense, while all the options within it may still be limited, all the options of the memory of mankind are available to it.

AC: It may have more options, more memory than the computer, but essentially it is still doing the same thing—operating out of memory and knowledge.

K: Yes, sir, let's move from there : would you agree that the computer has a cause as the human brain has a cause? Then what has a cause, has an end. Now, is there something (Within the human mind?) which is causeless? If there is such a thing as a movement which is causeless, that is Creation.

R.R.: What you are saying is that there is an 'extraordinary' ( dimension of the human?) mind.

K: No I have not gone into it, yet. After forty or fifty thousand years, the computer reached this point - ( of becoming able to take over most of the practical thinking functions of ?) the brain. But it hasn't the perception of the human eye looking at the heavens and saying what a marvellous night this is. Is there an ( inner quality of holistic) perception which is not the product of thought?

P.J.: Sir, the problem seems to be that if the brain is working in a closed circuit only, then what Asit says is true. But the whole reason for our being here is, can there be an acceleration of the very capacity of the brain so that it ceases to be a process? Is the human brain (inwardly trapped in?) a closed circuit (of its own past experience & knowledge?) ?

K: Would you consider that the human brain has infinite capacity? I don't like the word 'capacity' because for us capacity is (the result of) educated knowledge and all that. But if I can use that word, the brain has infinite capacity. Look what it has done in the technological world, including the computer.

A.C.: You can't say that thought is limited and then say that the brain has infinite capacity.

K: The (self-interest based?) Thought has limited the brain, has conditioned the brain. ( if I am culturally conditioned as a?) Hindu, I believe in all the superstitions, all the nonsense. Now, if that conditioning is somehow freed, it has got..? Is there a (directly perceptive inner ?) instrument which is not thought? Thought is a worn-out instrument. I think it has reached its tether, because it has not solved the human problem. So, is there a way of inward looking which can instead of going 'out there' can turn inwards? That inward movement is the infinite.

A.C.: You are asking in other words what Pupulji was asking the other day: Is there a ( holistic) sensory perception without thought?

K: Will you listen to something? Our present life is a movement, going out and coming in, like the tide. I create the world, and the world then controls me. And then again, I react to the world. It is movement out and in, this is our life, action and reaction, reward and punishment. Can this movement (of thought) stop? Because as long as this movement exists, I am caught in time, that is evolution.

R.S.: Why not just say that this is the nature of human life, of evolution?

K: Yes, I am evolving. This movement gets better, worse, it is always movement. So, as long as this (interactive thought?) movement exists (inwardly) , I am mechanical (statistically predictable?) .

A.C.: I follow that.

K: If you accept this, then ( one can consider awakening the latent capacity of a non-personal ? ) intelligence - something totally different from thought.

R.S.: Now there is a certain kind of low level activity, what people ordinarily call intelligence, which perhaps we can better call 'ingenuity', where, in order to get something you want - but you may not be able to get it in a straightforward way - you may have to resort to some fairly original way, some new kind of competence and so on. There is a certain kind of ingenuity which is not purely mechanical. It may still come down to a certain mechanical set of desires and within that is the framework of certain inventiveness. So the framework may be one of action-reaction but within that we exhibit considerable ingenuity and inventiveness.

K: I would not call that 'intelligence'.

R.S.: Perhaps ingenuity or inventiveness ?

K: I would call that ingenuity and I say all that has nothing to do with ( universal?) intelligence. Intelligence is something totally different.

Q: Will you elaborate on what we call intelligence?

K: I don't want to 'elaborate'. Ingenuity, choice, cleverness, moving from one point to another, from one corner to another but within the same field, that is what we are doing.

P.J.: That is the 'field of the known'.

K: Yes, yes. I don't want to use that word for the moment.

A.C.: I was just wondering why we have evolved along that line ?

K: It is essentially based on (self-interest :) seeking a reward and avoiding the punishment.

A.C.: But I am asking what is the reason in particular that we have evolved like that? It must have had tremendous advantage (for our species survival in time) .

K: Of course, it is completely secure. Secure for the time being, but the 'time being' ( may also) create wars. So would you go along up to this point that this is not ( the authentic?) 'intelligence'?

A.C.: Yes...

K: Right. Then let us enquire what is Intelligence. If it is out of my ( self-centred thinking) system, that means the movement of reaction has stopped, and that is the movement of time. Agreed?

A.C.: When you say 'time', I don't understand.

K: Time in the sense I have evolved along this process. And that is unintelligence. As long as I am in this field there is no intelligence; it is adaptability.

A.C.: But one has to respond (using our thinking?)

K: We will find out. If this is not intelligence, then we have to go into something quite different (experientially) . If I totally deny, not verbally but actually, (seen that) this is not intelligence, then what happens to the ( thinking& feeling?) mind which has been caught in this? Do you understand my question? As long as we are functioning in time, cause - effect, action - reaction, which is this movement of the tide going out and coming in, as long as my whole attitude to life is that and I refuse to move out of that, there is nothing to be said (but...game over?) But if I see that my (self-centred approach) will not solve the problems of humanity; then I have to look in another direction.

P.J.: What is the nature of this (alternative) 'looking'?

K: My (mind's) eyes have always been seeing in this (outward?) direction only. And you come along and tell me, look in other directions. Now my (mental) eyesight has been so conditioned that I don't even ( consider the meditative option to?) turn around to look. So I must be first free of this (traditionalistic looking at everything with the 'eyes of the known'?) . I can't look in any other direction if I am not free of this.

P.J.: Can one see the falsity of it and end it?

K: Would you say this whole movement is the ( survivalistic) 'wandering of desire'?

P.J.: Yes. This (outward mental) movement is the wandering of desire.

K: Can this desire be seen as a whole, not the object of desire, but desire itself? Can it see itself as a movement of attraction?

P.J.: But...can the ( the thought sustained) movement of desire see itself in action ?

K: To understand if desire can see itself, one must go into ( the origins of) desire. (The time-binding?) desire exists only when thought interferes with sensation.

A.C.: This question is very important (experientially ) . We are operating in that field (of time-thought), anything operating in that field can never deny that field.

K: Of course. As long as I am in (inwardly caught in?) that movement, you cannot ask me to see it as the false and deny it.

P.J.: Therefore, where do I look?

K: You don't have to look (anywhere ) . Discover for yourself how to end this movement. Is that possible at all?

P.J.: It is just ( a matter of non-personal inward?) perceiving.

K: That is all. There is only 'perceiving'. There is no 'perceiver' perceiving - there is only perception, right? The perception of 'that which is false' (inwardly time-binding?) . What is (this intelligent?) perception without the ( interference of the ) naming process , without remembrances, perceiving something which one ( commonly ) calls 'intuition'? (I don't like to use that word, forgive me.) Perception is direct insight.

P.J.: Is the question one of being inwardly 'completely awake'?

K: Would you call that 'attention' (or 'totally attending'?) ?

P.J.: To be 'completely' awake is (experientially synonimous to) attention.

K: That is all.

P.J: That, the computers can never do...

R.R.: Can we ask you a ( bonus ?) question: What happens when we perceive with insight?

K: There is this ( inward flash-) 'perception of insight' and the brain cells themselves change. Can ( in the meditation context ?) your thought ever stop when your brain has been conditioned in time, in this movement... cause, effect, action, reaction and all that suddenly stops? Hasn't the brain undergone a radical change? Of course it has.

R.R.: I have refrase my question : as the brain cells change, what happens after perceiving it?

A.C.: Only the physical brain has changed, but I am afraid it dies...

K: That is why we are going into the question of 'consciousness'.

A.C.: Does this end with (brain's physical) death? Then all that will be different from the computer...

P.J.: The (next experiential ) question then comes in : How can man so accelerate the other to bring into being this new perception?

A.C.: One can only see this ( the falseness of that though-desire-time ?) movement and do nothing else.

K: That is all.

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