Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Greg Van Tongeren's Forum Posts

Forum: Awareness in our world today

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Topic: Is vegetarianism a must for saving the world and ourselves? Sun, 13 Sep 2009

The division between meat-eaters and vegetarians is not 'inward division'. It is a physical fact. We are what we eat - no?

gv: One kind of diet may well be factually more healthy than another but thought invents a self-image around it and compares that image with that of others.

Topic: Is vegetarianism a must for saving the world and ourselves? Thu, 10 Sep 2009

Pat: I suggest the "self-righteous feelings of indignation" come from the flesh-eaters. :)

That implies inward division, i.e. between the meat-eaters and the vegetarians; us and them.

Topic: Is vegetarianism a must for saving the world and ourselves? Tue, 08 Sep 2009

Pat said: Unlike Krishnan, I am not a lifelong vegetarian. Over twenty-five years ago I had an insight into the danger of flesh-eating. Since then I have not touched meat, nor have I had any desire at all to do so. So one can only say - it must have been a genuine insight! :)

Perhaps so. Or perhaps a new identity was established in belief as to what should or should not be eaten along with other associated beliefs. Indicators of that might be a judgmental attitude or self-rightious feelings of indignation.

Topic: Is vegetarianism a must for saving the world and ourselves? Mon, 07 Sep 2009

Pat-- It is very easy to find out for oneself whether or not disease, aggression and flesh-eating go together. One only needs to take the action of cutting out all animal flesh from the diet - and observe what takes place.


Aren't you minimizing the nature of deeply engrained habits? What takes place is that you suffer. You may think: "I should not eat this because it was once a living creature that was violently killed to satify man's appetite. I would not kill it myself so I shouldn't eat it just because someone else did it for me." But at the same time after a lifetime of eating and enjoying meat, you very much want to consume it and that is an undeniable fact. So there is a conflict between what is and what you think should be and generally the habituated reoccurring urge wins out.

That which we resist, persists. This is a problem not only with what we eat but with conditioned reactions and urges generally.

What is occurring inwardly when we lose sensitivity? Sensitivity is a quality of energetic presense, and that is our real treasure is it not? (I am asking myself) So I see how in doing violence outwardly, we are doing violence inwardly. I see how and why virtue is indeed its own reward.

Topic: Is vegetarianism a must for saving the world and ourselves? Mon, 07 Sep 2009

KS: One cannot categorize vegetarianism as an "ism" and belief-system and try to dismiss it ,as you attempt at, dear GV Tongeren. We are pointing out the consequences of unmitigtaed violence inflicted upon fellow creatures on this Earth and the gross consumer nature. It is not an ism. It is an actual fact of what is obtaining today's world. One does not need to be an arrogant philosopher to be sensitive to ones own body and ones own envron. As the saying goes "it is Sofie`s choice.......

gv: an approach that speaks in terms of what should be is based upon belief. Where others disagree as to what should be, there is conflict. When people actually see and feel the truth or a matter, they act. They don't need to be persuaded or condemned or coerced. I recall that when asked about diet, Tolle suggested you listen to your body and let it tell you what best meets its particular needs. He does not say a certain diet is a moral imperative because that kind of "morality" is not arising from sensitivity.

If the reason we don't eat something is because we were taught it is very wrong, we may well get sick when we eat it, but that is a conditioned reaction. I recall Osho said that happened to him, his conditioning in that regard was so deep.

Topic: Is vegetarianism a must for saving the world and ourselves? Sun, 06 Sep 2009

Isn't vegetarianism like every other "ism," a divisive philosophy as to what should be? Another belief-system as to what is moral and what is not?

Where non-human animals, fish, and fowl eat other creatures, is that unnatural for them? Or is that part of the natural order of things? If it is natural for them, are you saying man is different or better than that? Or perhaps that he should be?

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sat, 05 Sep 2009

Bob, I too am just stating the facts as I see them as I have elsewhere to others that proclaim their greatness, e.g. in comparison to K or Lao Tzu or the Buddha, etc . Self-aggrandizement is easy to see in others but not so easy to see in oneself. What is spiritually beneficial is always a letting go of some kind of identification, is it not? I appreciate the insights you express and have no reason to doubt what you say has unfolded for you. Take care.


Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Fri, 04 Sep 2009

gv: All people claim importance because they are separate, i.e. because identity is established in the known. Only if you seem to be separate from the world, do you say I am special. The intense creative energy is right at hand when the self is not. But that energy is not yours or mine or K's.....To stand alone is to be all-one, to embody the Tao. When the two are reduced to one, what is the one reduced to?

rm: Pure Spirit! One who is totally void of Self, Self-Interest!

gv: does what is without self know and proclaim itself to be such? Does innocence have an image of being innocent? Do the humble boast of being humble? Does that which is without division claim I am without division and you are not? See the absurdity of it? The very assertion implies division.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Fri, 04 Sep 2009

All people claim importance because they are separate, i.e. because identity is established in the known. Only if you seem to be separate from the world, do you say I am special. The intense creative energy is right at hand when the self is not. But that energy is not yours or mine or K's.

To stand alone is to be all-one, to embody the Tao. When the two are reduced to one, what is the one reduced to?

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Thu, 03 Sep 2009

Yes, talk is cheap, especially when it is about the 'me.' :-)

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Wed, 02 Sep 2009

I can understand what K meant by the urge to be anonymous because in that there is innocence, beauty and true freedom from the known. The comparing and judging of self and others seems to have no place in anonymity, nor does any claim of being part of an elite few.


The sage does not distingush between his mind and the mind of the world. Therefore he cares for the world of others like a mother cares for her children....

He who is unimportant has true influence. He who has influence and importance will not endure.

It is the emptiness at the center of a spoked wheel, within the center of a clay cup, inside the walls of a house, that make them of use. That is the Way.

Lao Tzu


K: Greatness is anonymity, to be anonymous is the greatest thing. The great cathedral, the great things of life, great sculpture, must be anonymous. They do not belong to any particular person, like truth. Truth does not belong to you or to me, it is totally impersonal and anonymous; if you say you have got truth, then you say you have got truth, then you are not anonymous, you are far more important than truth. But an anonymous person may never be great. Probably he will never be great, because he does not want to be great, great in the sense of the world or even inwardly because he is nobody. He has no followers. He has no shrine, he does not puff himself up. But most of us unfortunately want to puff ourselves up, we want to be great, we want to be known, we want to have success. Success leads to fame, but that is an empty thing, is it not? It is like ashes. Every politician is known and it is his business to be known and therefore he is not great. Greatness is to be unknown, inwardly and outwardly to be as nothing; and that requires great penetration, great understanding, great affection. J Krishnamurti

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Tue, 01 Sep 2009

However, the flame of curiosity and the capacity for critical thinking and self-knowing have been completely and permanently snuffed out of most of us by our love and discipline lacking parental and societal conditioning. Rendering us blind, obedient, and robotistic sheep (though not always docile, but often quite violent or ravenous) all the rest of our days." (Bob M.)

Such is the all-pervasive nature of the human species presently. Which very rarely allows for any truly heart to heart and thereby spiritually productive dialogue or relationship to take place anywhere.

Thanks for the rap and take care Greg. Bob M.

gv: you are welcome and thank you too.

When you see conditioned behavior that is robotic, do you perceive a robot? As long as we are inwardly separate, there must be conflict. But that inward separation is thought-derived; there is no actual separation between a 'me' in here and a 'you' out there.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Mon, 31 Aug 2009

"To think for oneself, to find out what is true and stand by it, without being influenced, whatever life may bring of misery or happiness - that is what builds character."

gv: if we see the fact that there is no self-nature, then we see that any effort at self-improvement no matter how well-intentioned or noble is born of man's vanity and confusion. The judging mind is essentially divisive and where there is division there is no love. Out of seeing the false as false, there is naturally a shift to anonymity. I am nothing; the other is everything.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sun, 30 Aug 2009

gv: If self is thought-derived, it can not become anything, right?\

Bob: No, some of us can indeed become free of the bondage of the thought-derived self, as you put it. Like K accomplished.

gv: I am pointing to something else. The belief that I have become, or attained or gained something is a more subtle form of the same confusion is it not? It is the ideation that I was, I am now and I will be, i.e. it implies psychological time.


gv: There may be self-reflection as a habit of thought but that doesn't mean there is or ever was a self to become transformed or to attain enlightenment.

Bob: We are the self - the self is us. K said or alluded that self-critical awareness (self-reflection) was necessary. For instance in order to "have integrity", " to free the mind of sorrow".

gv: if we only know division, there is no choice but to start there, to lay a foundation of virtue and order as K put it. Someone says "don't speak to me of the non-dual. To me that is just an idea. I only know an on-going sense of ego isolation." So we can ask, is the observer really separate from the observed? To find out there has to be awareness or alert presence that is not tied to or entangled with any content of consciousness.


gv: Light does not seek light. It is luminous by its very nature.

Bob: I think we could say light seeks to ignite other lights or is compelled to do so by its very nature. However are we in fact a light? Are we a bright shining light? Or does our light flicker at times, depending on inner or outer circumstances? Can its brightness be increased? Is our light as bright as K's was? Or perhaps even brighter than his was?

gv: light is a common analogy that K also used to point. Light in terms of awareness is independent of thought and motive and ideation about past or future. In that sense it is timeless.


J. K.: Only when the brain has cleansed itself of its conditioning, greed, envy, ambition, then only it can comprehend that which is complete. Love is this completeness. (J. K. - 'K's Notebook') Here K quite simply points out a goal or ideal state of completeness that can be attained to and the action that's necessary to do so.

gv: K also said that intelligence comes into being when the brain realizes its limitations. By the brain in this context I understand he means the brain activity that accounts for thought. That kind of brain activity is a movement of the past in the present. We need that obviously but it can only operate with the limited field of the known which is memory and the response of memory.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sun, 30 Aug 2009

KS: emphasized text These are abstract concepts, like"God" But dear Greg, actuality is inequality,poverty, hidden agendas and self-promotion.Politics of any nation stinks.There is no sanity in it. Like an actor on a theatre scene appears and bound to disappear, BUSHES,OBAMAS and others would vanish from the scene but the human suffering would continue.

gv: yes the actuality is that there is poverty. In a perfect world we would bring about an immediate end to all human poverty. Does that mean we take no action to end poverty unless it ends all poverty? You may say that the action taken does not address the root of the problem i.e. man's consciousness. That is so but less poverty here and now though not "perfect" is still good.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sat, 29 Aug 2009

K: "Truth, the real God - the real God, not the God that man has made - does not want a mind that has been destroyed, petty, shallow, narrow, limited. It needs a 'healthy mind' to appreciate it; it needs a 'rich mind' - rich, not with knowledge but with 'innocence' - a mind upon which there has never been a scratch of experience, a mind that is free from time. The gods that you have invented for your own comforts accept torture; they accept a mind that is being made dull. But the real thing does not want it; it wants a total, complete human being 'whose heart is full, rich, clear, capable of intense feeling', capable of seeing the beauty of a tree, the smile of a child, and the agony of a woman who has never had a full meal. You have to have this extraordinary 'feeling', this 'sensitivity' to everything - to the animal, to the cat that walks across the wall, to the squalor, the dirt, the filth of human beings in poverty, in despair. You have to be 'sensitive' - which is to 'feel intensely', not in any particular direction, which is not an emotion which comes and goes, but which is to be sensitive with your nerves, with your eyes, with your body, with your ears, with your voice. You have to be sensitive completely all the time. Unless you are so completely sensitive, there is no intelligence. 'INTELLIGENCE (God/Truth/Love/Wisdom?) COMES WITH SENSITIVITY AND OBSERVATION.' " (J. Krishnamurti - 'Book of Life' - 5/1)

gv: interesting that in the above passage K posits a mind to become healthy, sensitive, to become rich with innocence and free of time. See the problem? K speaks often of the illusion of becoming in time and then turns around and speaks in dualistic terms of a mind that can become. Similarly, K says unless you are completely sensitive "all the time" there is no intelligence. But he also said that the desire for continuity or a permanent state is born of man's confusion.

Light does not seek light and what is not of time does not seek continuity in time. When we go into this deeply we find that the mindstate that moves in images of what was and what could be is not dominating consciousness when intelligence is operating. Attention is when the self is not. Which means all self-thought of becoming better or more sensitive or anything else is absent. The richness of emptiness is only something to attain or hold on to when we believe we "exist" separately in "time." You can not grasp for a state of non-grasping or desire to become free of desire to become. If you start with error ( I think therefore I am) you end with error.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sat, 29 Aug 2009

DAVID BOHM: But we are saying that "the pure energy of mind is able to reach into the limited energy of man."

Bob: The pure energy of a sound, right-functioning, and purified mind is able to reach into and release the limited energy of man. The limited energy being the result of a non-centered or wrongly or ill-functioning brain and sensory system.

gv: the question is whether there is "a" particular mind to become sound or if there is only a particular brain. K is submitting that there is no particular mind. The thinker is thought. It is out of belief that we are separate entities (e.g.- a mind or an Atman, soul, or thinker) that there is effort to become better or more in time. That is why he says the evolution of the psyche is a fallacy. What is thought-derived can not become anything. It is not actual.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sat, 29 Aug 2009

Now the news at hand:President Obama has lost a loyal supporter and friend, the legendary democratic leader Edward Kennedy has died at the age of 77.A great loss for USA and the world at large.

gv: Krishnan, may I ask why you say this was a great loss and when RM says it was perhaps actually a gain you immediately agree with that? Similarly you speak admirably of Obama but when RM says Obama and his efforts to bring about change are just more human delusion, you readily agree? Are you trying to avoid an argument or changing your opinion?

Does the fact that the consciousness of humanity collectively is not changed mean that the good that occurs here and now is just imaginary? Do you see what Obama means in saying the perfect is the enemy of the good? The good is here and now. The perfect is just a figment of thought.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Fri, 28 Aug 2009

gv: Is it the psyche that is evolving, or is it spirit evolving and man is a vehicle for that?

Bob: I use the word evolution/evolving here in the sense of the psyche, brain, or spirit genuinely breaking free of it's fragmentary or wrongful, thus severely limited, manner of functioning.

gv: self-assertion implies self-image and self-image is thought-derived. What is K pointing to when he says the evolution of the psyche or the self is a fallacy? If self is thought-derived, it can not become anything, right? Conditioning or programming can change but no matter how it changes or increases in terms of knowledge and capacity, it is still programming. There may be self-reflection as a habit of thought but that doesn't mean there is or ever was a self to become transformed or to attain enlightenment. Light does not seek light. It is luminous by its very nature.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Thu, 27 Aug 2009

KRISHNAMURTI: We are saying, let's be clear, that the evolution of consciousness is a fallacy... There is no psychological evolution, or the evolution of the psyche.

DAVID BOHM: Yes, and since the future of mankind depends on the psyche, it seems then that the future of mankind is not going to be determined through actions in time.

KRISHNAMURTI: Mind is universal, not polluted by thought. You only have your brain, which is conditioned. You can't say "It's my mind" ... What lies beyond thought when thought is silent is attention. Attention is without activity of thought ...Undirected attention of the mind contacts the brain as long as the brain is silent. Attention can only "be" when self is "not."

DAVID BOHM: But those cells that are conditioned, whatever they may be, evidently dominate consciousness now, right?

KRISHNAMURTI: Yes. Can those cells be changed? We are saying that they can through insight - insight being "out of time."

DAVID BOHM: This insight will be through the action of the mind, intelligence, and attention.

KRISHNAMURTI: Where there is that insight, intelligence wipes away suffering.

DAVID BOHM: ... there is contact from mind to matter which removes the whole physical chemical structure which keeps us going on with suffering.

KRISHNAMURTI: That's right. In that ending, there is a mutation in the brain cells.

DAVID BOHM: That mutation just wipes out the whole structure that makes you suffer...

KRISHNAMURTI: Matter is limited, thought is limited.

DAVID BOHM: But we are saying that "the pure energy of mind is able to reach into the limited energy of man."

KRISHNAMURTI: Yes, that's right and change the limitation.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Wed, 26 Aug 2009

gv: Or is the evolution of a purported individual psyche a fallacy?

Bob: Not at all. Although it must happen individually at least initially, though under the right circumstances I feel it can happen both individually and collectively simultaneously or in an explosive manner. Yet in order for such an explosion to ever take place a fully-perfected individual must first appear.

"The perfect man is pure Spirit." (Lao Tzu)

gv: is it the psyche that is evolving, or is it spirit evolving and man is a vehicle for that? Or to put in differently, is it man who is awakening or is it intelligence that is awakening in the particular human being?

We can look at in terms of innocence. Does innocence measure and compare who is more innocent or more evolved? Or is the beauty of innocence its purity i.e. - that there is not that self-reflection occurring?

Another side of it is the nature of the timeless dimension that we are. In our physical forms we are separate but in our formless identity so to speak we are one. It is not that my spirit is more pure than yours. That implies separation which means identification with thought and form.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sun, 23 Aug 2009

Bob said: A spiritual or kundalini awakening or a mutation or shift of the mind, such as K underwent in 1922, and which I feel strongly is necessary if one is to discover that new state of consciousness he spoke of and dwelled in, cannot be made to happen (as you seem to rightly grasp). It must happen of itself, and yet it can only really happen to someone who is built for it. Meaning again the need to be sensitive, serious, sincere, having a finely-formed organism, etc. However, I believe we can be of help in the awakening of others if we communicate with them from the core of our being, or from a place where ALL the offensive/defensive walls created by years of being caught in the self-protective thought mode are dropped. Even if only momentarily. Though the more enlightened and self-realized one is the greater effect he'll have in this adventure. Though ironically, and somewhat sorrowfully, I find that even those who are incapable of self-overcoming and attaining to that new state of consciousness can themselves be of value in the awakening of others if the conditions are right. That is of course if the recipient or the seeker is in a state of perfect openness. And again even if only momentarily

gv: Thanks for the detailed response. Yes, an energetic awakening is necessary yet cannot be made to happen. A sensitive sharing with other people is necessary but there too, there is no way to know where if anywhere the seed can or will take root. Can we truly say there is one who attains or self-overcomes and then perhaps succeeds in hitting a spiritual home run in changing the culture? Or is the evolution of a purported individual psyche a fallacy?

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Fri, 21 Aug 2009

Robert Michael wrote: As in the evolution of an individual tree some branches flourish while others fail: as in a forest some trees grow tall and stretch out wide branches while others are stunted and die out; as in the onward and upward progress of any species some individuals are in advance of the main body while others lag behind; so in the forward march of the collective human mind across the centuries some individual minds are in the van of the great army, while in the rear of the column stagger and fall vast numbers of defective specimens." (Richard Bucke - 'Cosmic Consciousness')

gv: the branches are not separate from the tree and the tree is not separate from the whole environment. It is thought that divides the totality into parts and then treats partial activity as if it occurs in isolation from what is occurring for the totality. Thought invents individual "minds" but in actuality, there is nothing inherently separate and all that is springs equally from the source. In regard to the evolution of consciousness, it is not the 'me' that is evolving or failing to evolve. So when K says that intelligence requires great sensitivity, the danger is that is misconstrued to indicate that sensitivity is a means to intelligence. That brings back the illusion of time. See what I am getting at?

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sat, 15 Aug 2009

Greg: What is it that gives impetus to self-inquiry?

Bob: Having a finely-formed and sensitive brain and neurological or sensory makeup. Passion, courage, and having a thirst for truth at all costs thereby being soundly built into such an organism. These qualities providing the impetus for self-inquiry. One's sensitive nature also providing suffering as the result of his being keenly aware that he is miserably entrenched in the mediocrity and empty nature of the status quo that's all around him. Suffering also providing the impetus to transcend (or perhaps even throw in the towel and die?) I think impetus for extensive and exhaustive self-inquiry may also often stem from deep-seated or semi to un - conscious remembrances of some times of genuine joy, happiness, love, and goodness that were experienced in the days of one's youth.

gv: I question whether the impetus comes from the mind or character or memory of the organism. The right sensitivity and neurological makeup relates to the organism's capacity and receptivity, but the impetus seems to transcend the particular organism. It seems to come from an energetic source out of which we derive our being. It seems like an evolutionary impulse.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Sat, 15 Aug 2009

Krishnan Srinivasan wrote:

your explanation that the "the impetus to become implies poverty of being" is very fascinating remark.Most human beings, in that sense, are poor, very much so, in a competitive world of "BECOMING"

gv: yes, if we can but see this one thing through and through!

K at times used the expression - "the richness of emptiness." If we see wherein our true "wealth" lies, we at once see the absurdity of becoming. It lies not in gaining or attaining or acquiring but rather in our very being itself which is directly connected to the source.

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Wed, 12 Aug 2009

Robert Michael wrote: And while he also rightly criticised religious organizations for their lack of life, truth, and the spirit, he unfortunately ignored their essentially sound fundamental founding principles as time went on. And then he went on to create dead and equally ineffective and also largely mischief-making organizations himself. So while K surely and repeatedly touched all the bases in his long lifetime, he was never able to hit the homerun ball. As was and continues to be the same case with so many others of his stature, be it real or imagined.


What is it that gives impetus to self-inquiry? Why does one human have little or no interest, another has a strong interest, and yet another has such an intense interest that it overrides everything else? What determines whether a human has very little insight, or partial insight, or insight to the extent that consciousness is radically changed?

A human may embody the Tao so to speak, but that means he is a vehicle or vessel, not that he or she is really in control of anything. Do you follow?

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Wed, 12 Aug 2009

KS: wrote your questions seem to point out the corruptibility of organizations by corrupt psyche of the individuals.Society is based on individuals and as long as the individual has not changed, there is no hope for the society,JK often advocated action based on understanding , compassion and love.When individuals cease to "become", there would be no resistance among them-only team spirit, kindness towards each other and goal-directed behaviour without any personal gain at the end.I wonder whether our "heroe" of this topic Mr President OBAMA fits the bill.


For a flower to blossom, the environment must be right. The flower doesn't grow in isolation. For the flowering of goodness to grow into a new culture, the environment must be ready for it. There must be a place of safety, stability, and a degree of freedom or there will be no room for the awakening of intelligence to occur in man.

So while the crisis is in consciousness, the right political and economic environment as well as a safe and healthy physical environment seem to be indispensible. What happens to the government, the legal system, law enforcement and military if they are abandoned to the utterly corrupt? What happens to the physical environment? It is not such a simple matter. If we love the world of nature including human beings, do we say let it all fall down?

Given the extent of human insanity, to have a political leader of the most powerful country who is not blindly identified with race or group or ideology, is almost a miracle.

==== KS: Your idea of "conditioned movement either way" is interesting one.Could you explain it further.

By conditioned movement I mean a movement that is not a tool of intelligence. Ambition is ambition whether it is for material success or spiritual success. You mention people who cease to become. Do you see that the impetus to become implies a poverty of being? If man's identity is not of time, what is it to become?

Topic: The US President, OBAMA & his.. Tue, 11 Aug 2009
Krishnan Srinivasan wrote:

The US President Obama has impressed his audiences in USA and other parts of the world as a concerned, globally conscious leader through his speeches over the past few months. If one analyzes his speeches, one comes across a compehensive understanding of the problems the world faces today and his concern. If J.Krishnamurti was alive today, what would he offer OBAMA as an advice? What would you say or share with OBAMA?

Is there such a thing as an individual who is not corrupt, who can say I am free of corruption, hypocrisy, self-deception, etc? Or is all human identity, thought-derived? If we see all the world is a play and people are just actors, do we then say, except for me? :-)

If I think I am separate to bring about a desired result, a better world for example, does it matter whether the movement to bring about change involves a change in the human psyche rather than in human organizations? Or is it essentially the same conditioned movement either way?

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