Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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The Great Consciousness Puzzle


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Fri, 05 Jan 2018 #1
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 694 posts in this forum Offline

To a certain extent the K Teachings can be regarded as a Great Holistic Puzzle of Human Consciousness ( 1000 + pcs) where some essential pieces are clearly pointed out and explained in less or more detail ( as would be self-centredness , the thought-time process, desire, fear, etc) while many other 'details' are simply missing and will have to be provided from our own inner experience.

In this sense, the whole body of K Teachings can be considered as a fully interactive 'workbook' and perhaps, as a 'work in progress'- and unless we do not bring in our own part of introspective work and interact with the truth content of the 'given' key elements, the overall experiential result will inherently be 'second hand' and/or frustrating & incomplete.
While not at all sure that following this thread will be of an authentic experiential significance, I propose it anyway to the wise consideration of our fine readers & participants

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #2
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

The fact that the 'light' may have illumined some among us does not mean that that light of understanding can be transferred to another. It must be found (or not) by oneself. That is clear. There are no guarantees and it seems that the 'odds' are against it. The weight and momentum of conditioning is immense and all encompassing. But there is no greater more important challenge. No other calling really.

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #3
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 694 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The fact that the 'light' may have illumined some among us does not mean that that light of understanding can be transferred to another.

Certainly not, Dan, but our individual interaction with that 'light'; or at least with some of the insightful perceptions it has provided, can most definitely help. As I 've noticed above, this giant 'puzzle' of the human consciousness (which is presently caught in a...giant illusion) is offered to us all as an 'existential option'- pretty much a 'take it or leave it' affair.
So this 'interactive' concept can probably be the main holistic tool in the educational field presently in the hands of clever professional 'illusionists'.

Also my starting idea was that K did not have personally all the pieces of the puzzle - even if he would have been disposed to offer all of them to us. Some of his close collaborators in India considered his work as 'incomplete'- and did not hesitate to tell it to K. So, the whole job is left in our own hands -see K's parable with the precious jewel which the weary traveller finds on the road and the closest he's looking at it, the strongest it shines. And when taken by other chores he forgets about it, the 'jewel' begins to loose its brilliance

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #4
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

But see what you are doing. The metaphor of there being a puzzle capable of completion once one has "all the pieces" may be the same misconception of reality as scientists once had who though that soon all the questions would be answered.

You may spend your whole life looking for the final pieces without realising there was no puzzle in the first place, and no pieces.

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #5
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

For what it may be worth, a description by Bohm recently posted about memory as being "holographic" made me consider it in a new way. From the understanding I had of memory as a '2 dimensional' phenomena, now was changed to '3'. Realizing this put 'remembering' past scenes and 'imagining' future ones in a new light. Like little 'shows' (extravaganzas) going on in the brain almost continually, but for the entertainment of 'who'? And memory and imaginings seen in this way brings home the question of the amount of energy that is needed (wasted?) for these constant 'displays' of an illusory psychological past, (present?) and future.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 06 Jan 2018.

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #6
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
"once the whole Book of Oneself is read...there's no more Book to read".

Now, is that equivalent to your saying . . .

John Raica wrote:
So once the Puzzle of human Consciousness is really solved; we have the experiential proof...there's no more self-centred consciousness -'as we knew' it.

K wasn't talking of solving any "puzzle" or assembling any "final pieces." In fact thought creates many puzzles and the point is not to solve each and every puzzle but to end the machinery that creates them. That's all. Please understand that human consciousness is not a puzzle. Thought has created puzzles about it.

Therefore stop that process. That is all K was saying. And the way to do so was to read the book of oneself, which he said was the book of humankind. Do you see the difference?

This post was last updated by Paul David son Sat, 06 Jan 2018.

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #7
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
From the understanding I had of memory as a '2 dimensional' phenomena, now was changed to '3'.

Okay but that is quite an abstraction. How does one intend to make it concrete? What are the three dimensions, actually? Are they the physical, the emotional and the intellectual, for example? Or are they something else? Does the capacity of thinking to reflect upon itself form a dimension? Does the ability to juggle images through time form a dimension? I wonder of you see the weakness of abstraction? One has to bring things back down to the level of connectivity, to concretion, to actuality, in order to test them or to see something actual. Otherwise we are left with a rather sophisticated but utterly useless type of phrasemongering, I'm afraid.

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #8
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
but during the sleep hours, 'unseen hands' seem to reshuffle even the few the pieces we could find the right place during the previous day.

I have highlighted the word "we" in the above sentence. The "we" referred to is clearly the conscious part of the mind, that is, the movement which functions to reflect upon a more general movement, to manage and refine it, to censor and redirect it, to control and categorise it.

That there exists such a conscious and self-reflective process is hardly deniable. That it is common for it to assume that 'it' is the entity that thinks and call itself "I" or "we" is also fairly obvious. That it then upsets itself by talking of "unseen hands" that interfere with it when it is sleeping is really rather sad.

By calling itself "I" and "we" the 'conscious' function of the largely unconscious mind arrogates to itself the image of being the lord and master of its underlying processes, the uncreated creator of itself. But then what of the unseen hand? To solve its puzzle it therefore invents a God, the final piece. If it can no longer tolerate there being a God at all, then it is apt to invent Krishnamurti :-)

This post was last updated by Paul David son Sat, 06 Jan 2018.

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #9
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
it looks pretty much as a very personal conclusion

Well, what else is being exchanged here but personal viewpoints? One may call ones viewpoint an insight or any other thing, but it doesn't change a damn thing. Thought, however insightful it may be at any moment, is still thought.

John Raica wrote:
and not even a 'good willed' one

A good example of a personal conclusion. Thanks.

John Raica wrote:
Perhaps we should 'listen' to each one before jumping to such 'devastating' conclusions ?

Has something been "devastated?' What? What is capable of being devastated by my words when I pointed out that when one has run out of Gods one invents a new one? K saw the immense danger in that. I said no more than he said.

Seriously, I would be interested to know what you found to have been subject to 'devastation' and by which words.

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Sat, 06 Jan 2018 #10
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
Our self-consciousness, which seems to constantly recreate itself from scratch. During the sleep hours the brain seems to work out its ancestral way of making order- either forgetting or trying to compensate symbolically for the 'bad' stuff. And there is still another added difficulty: willingly or not, during the sleep hours we seem 'return' or 'revisit' various zones of our collective consciousness.

So it is only the brain and more precisely 'thought' that has to 'see' the trap that it keeps itself in. Logic, intellect, is obviously of no use. How does thought see, realize, that as it strives to be more and more secure, knowledgable, 'sure of itself' that it constantly closes itself off from a 'greater possibility'? The brain has become habituated to the poison of the self (the 'I' process). As you imply, the odds against any radical change are immense. But as has been said, only thought can free itself, there is no other entity.

J.R. "unless we do not bring in our own part of introspective work and interact with the truth content of the 'given' key elements, the overall experiential result will inherently be 'second hand' and/or frustrating & incomplete."

Without "our own part", it is just 'following' (or critiquing). "Our own part" is thought becoming aware of itself.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 07 Jan 2018.

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #11
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
But as has been said, only thought can free itself

The kernel of that sentence is "thought can free itself." Is it so?

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #12
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
The kernel of that sentence is "thought can free itself." Is it so?

Probably but only if it sees totally clearly the limited situation it has gotten itself into. If it doesn't or can't see the danger of the divisiveness of the 'I', then no, it will continue as it has been..(and make the best of it).

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #13
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 694 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
So it is only the brain and more precisely 'thought' that has to 'see' the trap that it keeps itself in.

Well, yes & no, Dan: we often forget that 'thought' is just a function of the brain - certainly a vital one when it comes to our physical survival, but nothing more- So, if we're expecting from this particular function to understand itself ...the implied question is 'who is the entity behind this 'self-knowing' attempt ? Can this mechanistic process of thought 'see' anything new ? It certainly can 'recognise' any new challenge in terms of its existing experience and it can even 'take action'. But everything will happen within the field of what was previously known, of what was stored in the "memory bank of our past experiences & knowledge". So, thought can only simulate a virtual action of 'knowing itself' - which will be subtly or grossly of a mechanical nature.

So a different perceptive instrument ( or inner quality) is required for 'thought to know itself' or to realise its intrinsical limitations - K called it 'insight' , which is generating the favorable inner environment ( or 'light'?) in order for an authentic process of 'self-understanding' to take place .

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #14
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
this particular forum will not become another virtual "war zone". There are already too many of them created by all kinds of psycho-bullies

I don't see any evidence of psycho-bullying. Do you?

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #15
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
So a different perceptive instrument ( or inner quality) is required for 'thought to know itself' or to realise its intrinsical limitations - K called it 'insight' , which is generating the favorable inner environment ( or 'light'?) in order for an authentic process of 'self-understanding' to take place .

I agree with this. The model that I have of this situation is that the 'light' (insight) is always there but 'thought/time' is the impediment to its illumination of the brain/mind. The brain is 'conditioned', in a kind of 'darkness'. It operates in the darkness with an illusory center, the 'self'. 'Fear' of the 'unknown' maintains the status quo as well as the process of reward and punishment. Only 'insight' can reveal to it, thought's own fallacial attitude toward 'death'.

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #16
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 694 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
I don't see any evidence of psycho-bullying. Do you?

Perhaps you don't really mean it, Paul but it does often sounds like 'my' ideas vs 'your' ideas. And no matter how rigorously or righteously expressed, it still smells a conflictual attitude. All we're getting as a 'reward' from this 'free job' is a few 'thank you' posts every year (and the usual toll of ... trolls) , but I don't see any point in engaging in any sort of personal conflit- be it only in the field of ideas. These 'psychological' things are either 'right' or wrong' ( in the eyes of the beholder) and it seems to me a matter of elementary common sense to respect anybody's opinions (or simply to ignore them) .

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #17
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
But, Krishnaji, I'm dying ! To which K answers sternly "I am dying everyday"

In a way the self-pity we feel regarding our own death or that of someone close is based on an idea or image of what 'death' is, an 'ending', isn't it? The self (self-identified thought) stands apart and cries "this should not happen!" But is there such a thing as an 'ending' or is that only based on the short-sighted, limited information coming through our senses (and that of our instruments). K. has said that there are only "beginnings", no endings. That makes more 'sense', doesn't it? Creation only always 'is'.

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #18
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
Perhaps you don't really mean it

Well, I must mean something so let's work together to find out what, rather than in the antagonistic style.

John Raica wrote:
it does often sounds like 'my' ideas vs 'your' ideas

I suppose it must do but one may ask the quality of mind that comes to it to decide how it is to sound. Let's take the "my" and the "your" out of the equation and ask whether and in what way different ideas meet each other. As long as one feels there are "my ideas" being confronted by "your ideas" one will tend to personalise and defend. If one feels they are just ideas, neither yours nor mine, one may see how the ideas stand to each other. One idea may be ill-conceived or quite mistaken while another idea may be an accurate reflection of the actual (though still a reflection, not the actual itself).

John Raica wrote:
it seems to me a matter of elementary common sense to respect anybody's opinions

But therein lies a problem, for two different things are being conflated. I see the common sense in respecting each and everyone's right to both hold and express their opinions. But I do not see any common sense in granting respect to the opinions themselves, which may or may not be worthy of respect. The question is therefore not one of the worth of the opinionator but that of the opinion. It seems to me that if one is too proud of an idea, too identified with it as 'mine,' taking it too seriously for its worth, then one wants to protect it, defend it, make sure it is not questioned too much etc. If one conflates ones opinions with the right to have such opinions one is bound to end up imagining conflict, devastation, ill-will and bullying where there is none.

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Sun, 07 Jan 2018 #19
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
But then...who is to tell that one idea is 'mistaken' and another is 'accurate' ?

Each one does this and we do it most of the time when confronted by ideas. It is also helpful when one can do it with regard ones 'own' ideas without getting too upset. Ideas are very rarely ones own however and it is only the individual hubris which asserts ones ideas are ones own.

But when you refer to 'the thinker' it is well to remember that there is no separate thinker. As I suggested in an above post, it is only the conscious function of the mind (a very small part) which considers itself to be 'the thinker.' To all intents, the separate thinker, separate from the movement of the mind in general, does not exist. I suggest that as a starting point. It then becomes unnecessary to bring in 'the thinker.'

I do not think that questioning another's opinion is a basic invasion of their privacy (you seem to say it is). Where does that idea come from? How is it formed in your mind? Why bring in an issue of personal privacy on a public forum when we are here discussing the ideas, comments and opinions each of us puts forward? Surely it is not a matter of personal privacy to discuss, question or even to criticize a publicly posed opinion. Have we become so delicate?

This post was last updated by Paul David son Sun, 07 Jan 2018.

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #20
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
Or... was it "the beginning 'is' the ending"

Both. It's the same. Only 'beginnings' or "beginning is the ending". Another piece of the puzzle I came upon today is that our senses don't accurately comprehend the world that we are living in. What we see, hear, feel, our scale of time, etc. is only a fraction of 'what's out there'. We know this because of science, so an adjustment has to be made psychologically to 'correct what we see, hear, feel...the sun rises/wrong, the moon wanes/wrong, the earth is flat/wrong, etc. The animals do not have to make these adjustments, they deal with things as they see, hear, feel them...Regarding 'death', for us, we know that it really is not an ending at all but a transformation of energy, that there really is not an 'ending', only another "beginning".

But we suffer terribly when we do not understand that.

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #21
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 694 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
Have we become so delicate?

Speaking only for myself, Paul, I have become inwardly very sensible to any sense of conflict. And my profound conviction is that with a confrontational mental attitude ( even if motivated by the best intentions in the world) we will keep 'going around in circles' until Doomsday ( even if some may like to call it the 'Spiral of Evolution' )

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #22
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 694 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Another piece of the puzzle I came upon today is that our senses don't accurately comprehend the world that we are living in.

Thanks for playing the new 'puzzle game', Dan ! In fact, as you have probably realised it is essentially about our consciousness interacting with the 'living spirit of Truth' ( some may generically call it 'insight'). It is actually a highly creative interaction and very probably the 'right' direction of any holistic learning. At the end of the day, what actually matters is not 'how much' we have understood or failed to understand , but the 'qualitative' difference in our own very living - do we feel more 'alive', more integrated, more compassionate & responsible ?If yes, the learning experience has worked out well. Indeed, there's nothing really worth in looking back- the 'psychological bridges' to the past are no more there.

Dan McDermott wrote:
there really is not an 'ending', only another "beginning".

Yes, probably this is the best way to look at it. K once spoke about "an endless voyage on uncharted seas, from which there is no return" (a 'one way ticket' only !)

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #23
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
but the 'qualitative' difference in our own very living - do we feel more 'alive', more integrated, more compassionate & responsible ?

Advancing age makes me hesitate to say "yes" to "feeling more alive"...the body breaks down but the reaction or psychological response to that 'lawful' process is not as 'hysterical' as it might be. To the rest I would say "yes". (to some degree)

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #24
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
I have become inwardly very sensible to any sense of conflict. And my profound conviction is that with a confrontational mental attitude ( even if motivated by the best intentions in the world) we will keep 'going around in circles'

Okay John, but there is another part to that equation which is that I was not being confrontational at all. I have just reread my initial posts and revisited where my mind was at when I was composing them. I recalled that I was concerned that each and every inquiry is best started on the right foot and that by posing this one as a 'consciousness puzzle' that one had to solve by assembling the final pieces one has already tended to fix the results wrongly. This was not a confrontational stance so I began to ask why my points were taken as such, why I was not being heard, what was blocking it.

Look, K said very early on, when he told the story of the Devil and his friend taking a walk, that the path of assembling the pieces was not a good one. Never mind about me, I don't count at all, but at least K's point should be considered.

As for all the other things I wrote, you did not address even one of them, which to my mind is a pity. It is well and good to avoid confrontation but to ignore that which one finds difficult or that which upsets ones comfort is another thing that will take anybody round in circles. My questions were legitimate.

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #25
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

The way that I see the puzzle is this: Mankind is headed in a 'direction' that will (can, might,won't, etc. depending on how you see it) bring about more suffering and disaster. The 'puzzle' confronting some of us believing that that is the trend, is how after millennia of going in that direction, can it be changed? The K. solution lies in the necessity of a radical psychological revolution that can only take place in an individual brain. Resulting from 'insight' into the dilemma each of us face (to the degree that we accept any of this as possibly true and worthwhile.) The 'puzzle' analogy doesn't quite work here since (jigsaw) puzzles are put together piece by piece until the 'picture' is complete. (solved). According to what I glean from K. is that this works in the opposite way: the pieces that make up our current direction ("darkness") are removed (negated) through 'insight' i.e. the direction of nationalism, organized religious belief, psychological "becoming", greed, conflict, fear, competitiveness, aggressiveness, etc.; the negation (dissolving) of which leads to "nothing" (not-a-thing.): To our essence: "naked, unadorned awareness".

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #26
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The 'puzzle' analogy doesn't quite work here since (jigsaw) puzzles are put together piece by piece until the 'picture' is complete. (solved). According to what I glean from K. is that this works in the opposite way: the pieces that make up our current direction ("darkness") are removed (negated)

That seems accurate. K wasn't offering parts of a puzzle that we then had to complete. The ego is what we are discussing, is it not? Whereas the ego is put together piece by piece it cannot be understood by its pieces, nor by understanding it piece by piece. The ego is a self-accumulating puzzle which like the mythical Gordian Knot cannot be understood or 'unraveled' in its own terms, cannot be undone in any normal way but has to be cut through in a single stroke from a pure blade.

I think K referred to this as the negative movement rather than the positive movement, negation rather than accumulation. Negation is therefore a radically different kind of movement. Alexander's pure blade, in this case, would be a metaphor for an insight of such unrepentant force that everything accumulated until then would be devastated.

Yes Dan, there is no reason to believe the course of humanity has turned away from suffering and disaster. Though the Hegelian notion that history would eventually be 'resolved' by the dialectical playing out of its internal contradictions has not been thoroughly disproved. It's one of those theoretical propositions that can never be disproved as the 'event' can always be theoretically postponed by every type of explanation. Hegel also used the term 'negation' and 'negation of the negation' as the final movement in any series of contradictions.

For me it has become impossible to believe in any of these abstract theories, whether of the laws of history or the prospects of a final enlightenment. I think being in a state where belief is impossible is just what K advised, not just with reference to nationalism or religion but in all things. So we should be asking, I feel, what belief entails, psychologically. I think it must inevitably entail building a positive emotional response to any idea which one cannot put to any type of empirical test such that one is emotionally dedicated to the idea being 'good' and 'right' irrespective of what one actually knows for oneself (which is very little).

Dan McDermott wrote:
the negation (dissolving) of which leads to "nothing" (not-a-thing.): To our essence: "naked, unadorned awareness".

. . . which (if I may say, without appearing confrontational) is just such a belief.

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #27
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
Dan McDermott wrote:

the negation (dissolving) of which leads to "nothing" (not-a-thing.): To our essence: "naked, unadorned awareness".

P.D.: . . . which (if I may say, without appearing confrontational) is just such a belief.

The actual quote by K. is "unadorned naked awareness", sorry. It's from a private talk with Terrence Stamp in Ojai ca.1986:

"...The unadorned naked awareness that is always there, rarely heeded, is what you always have been, always will be. Cannot not be..."

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #28
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
"...The unadorned naked awareness that is always there, rarely heeded, is what you always have been, always will be. Cannot not be..."

I think that to say such a thing and be speaking the truth it has to be utterly true for one every minute. If it is speculation, feeling or belief one is falling into a rather ugly trap of self-deception, however well-meaning.

I was once at a dialogue weekend at Brockwood when one of the participants suggested that rather than dialogue we all just sit there and "stay with our nothingness." I looked at her, with her wrists covered in bangles, fingers full of rings, her obviously chosen new-age costumery and I genuinely began to doubt her sanity. Yet, as K pointed our regularly, if one wants, with enough gusto, to imagine any state, it will probably be accomplished.

This post was last updated by Paul David son Mon, 08 Jan 2018.

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #29
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 142 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It's from a private talk with Terrence Stamp in Ojai ca.1986:

I couldn't find it in several searches on jkonline, using "unadorned naked awareness."

Who recorded the comment?

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Mon, 08 Jan 2018 #30
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 122 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
Who recorded the comment?

I believe by Mr. Stamp himself and was in a piece he wrote about his meeting or meetings with K. I will put the whole excerpt up when I have time.

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