Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
Awareness in our world today | moderated by Krishnan Srinivasan

What does it mean to be "Aware"?

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Thu, 18 Jun 2009 #1
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

What is it to be aware? Obviously, one can be aware only in the present, which can be refined down to now--not ten minutes ago or even one minute ago, but now. But what is this "now," the only condition in which we can be aware. And what is it that is aware.

max

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Thu, 18 Jun 2009 #2
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
What is it to be aware?

Life is like the tamarind fruit bound in its shell

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Thu, 18 Jun 2009 #3
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

The term "aware" is derived from the old English"geware" meaning "watchful". The present meaning is to be"cognisant" or "conscious of".... What, I mean, to be conscious of what/which? That is to to be cognisant/conscious of the WHOLE/TOTALITY! That means understanding without any fragmentation introduced by ever-interfering thought.Thought can form the "I"/ME etc.So , one has to be conscious of what one is in the whole realm of the things of the UNIVERSE! Do "I" sound crazy....?

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Thu, 18 Jun 2009 #4
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

You say, "that means understanding without any fragmentation introduced by ever-interfering thought." This is certainly a first consideration. Thought has absolutely nothing to do with awareness. Awareness cannot be approached by thought.

I'm a little suspicious of "consciousness." Isn't consciousness thought?

max

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Thu, 18 Jun 2009 #5
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
I'm a little suspicious of "consciousness." Isn't consciousness thought?

Life is like the tamarind fruit bound in its shell

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Thu, 18 Jun 2009 #6
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

Consciousness has, thought/speech&Language/video-forms of memory,feelings,emotional experiences-etc all these as its content. That does not preclude the process of "WATCHFULNESS".So thought can watch itself, then it becomes aware of itself.

Life is like the tamarind fruit bound in its shell

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Thu, 18 Jun 2009 #7
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnan Srinivasan wrote:

.So thought can watch itself, then it becomes aware of itself.


This is a very important point. Can thought "watch itself"? Can thought do anything, take any action at all? Thought is a construction of the brain. It is a passive construct. Thought is memory. One cannot possibly think of something of which he has not the slightest background or experience.

If one is watchful, that is the same as saying that he is seeing, looking. If one is looking at a subject through the screen of his memories, what he sees about the subject will be distorted by those memories. To the extent of this distortion, he will be unaware of what he is observing.

max

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Fri, 19 Jun 2009 #8
Thumb_deleted_user_med Dappling Light India 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

It is observation of order and disorder within and without without judgement or wishful thinking, to put in simple terms. That's how it starts.

Towards the end they say it results in dramatic visions and psychedelic sort of experiences. I doubt that but am open to that.

There is a certain beauty associated with conditioning.

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Fri, 19 Jun 2009 #9
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

Keshni Sahni wrote:
It is observation of order and disorder within and without without judgement or wishful thinking, to put in simple terms. That's how it starts.
Towards the end they say it results in dramatic visions and psychedelic sort of experiences. I doubt that but am open to that

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Fri, 19 Jun 2009 #10
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

There is the cosmic order out in the Universe(s) and we are all familiar with our own inner chaos/disorder. To be without judgement and to be free of wishful"thinking" requires "EFFORT".Is it not? but, to me, "Awareness" arrives upon one when the person is absolutely and totally free of his/her "self"/"EGO". One can look at a flower and be lost in awareness. Wrinkled face of an old person can trigger awareness on observing deeply at face. One cannot command at will these psychedelic experiences or moments of awareness. What I mean is one cannot cultivate it. It comes on its own will.

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Fri, 19 Jun 2009 #11
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnan,

A couple of things. Is effort needed to be free? If we are involved in becoming, in trying to reach a goal (we aren't talking about a physical goal)--in other words, if we are making an effort to attain--we will never be free. Why is that? Simply because when we are "trying," we aren't actually "doing"! We're too busy.

Awareness has to be now--awareness in the past or the future is impossible. "Trying" to be aware is not awareness. So how are we, as physical organisms, aware? We are aware through our senses. It might be said that awareness IS sensing. If we don't sense something, we certainly aren't aware of it.

max

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Sat, 20 Jun 2009 #12
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:

Krishnan,

A couple of things. Is effort needed to be free? If we are involved in becoming, in trying to reach a goal (we aren't talking about a physical goal)--in other words, if we are making an effort to attain--we will never be free. Why is that? Simply because when we are "trying," we aren't actually "doing"! We're too busy.

Awareness has to be now--awareness in the past or the future is impossible. "Trying" to be aware is not awareness. So how are we, as physical organisms, aware? We are aware through our senses. It might be said that awareness IS sensing. If we don't sense something, we certainly aren't aware of it.


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Sat, 20 Jun 2009 #13
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

Dear Max ,
I agree entirely with you on the futility of #effort#.

In relation to our discussions here, I am quoting below SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI`s
"EKATMA PANCHAKAM" translated into English.(translation:Prof.K.Swaminathan)


  1. When, forgetting the Self, one thinks
    That the body is oneself and goes
    Through innumerable births
    And in the end remembers and becomes
    The Self, know this is only like
    Awaking from a dream wherein
    One has wandered over all the world.

  2. <pre>One is ever the Self. To ask oneself
    "Who and whereabout am I?"
    Is like the drunken man`s enquiring
    "Who am I?" and "Where am I?"
    </pre>

3- The body is within the Self. And yet

<pre> One thinks one is inside the inert body,
Like some spectator who supposes
That the screen on which the picture is thrown
Is within the picture.
</pre>


  1. Does an ornament of gold exist
    Apart from the gold?Can the body exist
    Apart from the Self?
    The ignorant one thinks "I am the body",
    The enlightened knows "I am the Self".


  2. The Self alone, the Sole Reality
    Exists for ever.
    If of yore the First of Teachers
    Revealed it through unbroken silence
    Say who can reveal it in spoken words?


So I have nothing to add just now on this.
Regards,
Krishnan

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Sat, 20 Jun 2009 #14
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnan,

All we know that exists is this body. It is my view that the body, through thought, has created the Self, or in more modern terminology, the psychological "I." But the the Self and the "I" are exactly the same.

When I say this is my view, that means this is the way I see it. My view may be distorted, and to that extent it will be in error. But it is important to say that it is "my view" so that it will be different from "my opinion." Opinion is thought and belief; viewing, even when distorted, is seeing--an entirely different act from opinion.

Looking forward to more on this.

max

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Sun, 21 Jun 2009 #15
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
When I say this is my view, that means this is the way I see it. My view may be distorted, and to that extent it will be in error. But it is important to say that it is "my view" so that it will be different from "my opinion." Opinion is thought and belief; viewing, even when distorted, is seeing--an entirely different act from opinion.

Looking forward to more on this.

Life is like the tamarind fruit bound in its shell

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Sun, 21 Jun 2009 #16
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

"Knowledge, belief, conviction, conclusion and experience are hindrances to truth.They are the very structure of the self"-J-Krishnamurti:Rajagopal,D.:Commentaries on living:from the notebooks of J.Krishnamurti,New Delhi, 1972:BI Publications-page89.
Further one can go step by step following J.K by his words/sentences such as the following:(Quotes from various publications of JK)
"The naming is the process of the thinker
Thoughts creates the thinker
The very process of thinking creates the "me"
There is only thinking, there is no thinker."

In my opinion, dear Max, the devil is "Thinking" How to cut it off and be SILENT? Or how am "I" going to tear "myself" apart from the flow of "Thinking"?

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #17
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

Strong words, Krishnan! Silence (the absence of the noise of thinking) is absolutely necessary before one can do anything truly creative or new.

Thinking is the use of memory, and memory is of the past. When we act out of memory, we drag forth yesterday and continue on with yesterday as the root, the base. That has been the destruction of the Middle East. To be new and creative, the past must not--cannot--be carried forward. Action based on thinking can be the work of the very devil.

Can silence be brought about through effort, discipline, knowledge, ritual?

max

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #18
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
To be new and creative, the past must not--cannot--be carried forward. Action based on thinking can be the work of the very devil.
Can silence be brought about through effort, discipline, knowledge, ritual?

Life is like the tamarind fruit bound in its shell

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #19
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

Thinking is limited. Science&technology marvels are wonderfully brought up by thinking.But they are limited , or, there are limits to their understanding of THE WHOLE.
In human relationships(as you quoted above in the Middle East), the lack of LOVE;COMPASSION & UNDERSTANDING is obvious. TO reach SILENCE through the route of rituals,discipline,etc, is deluding onself into temporary illusions. Leads nowhere.
Dropping the EGO instantly helps.And observing theWHOLE(including"me"&the whole Universe(s)) creates UNDERSTANDING/INTELLIGENCE/COMPASSION/LOVE.So naturally harmony in relationship.

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #20
Thumb_deleted_user_med Dappling Light India 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Sir, did anyone experience mystical experiences as the mind unravels itself in awareness?

Like out-of-body experiences that you described earlier? Are these true?

I did experience some when I used to practice Silva's Mind Control. When I used the technique, on that very night I started seeing magnanimous visions which later subsided. But still I do see some fantastic scenes with great detail occasionally in sleep/semi-sleep. What do dreams tell with regard to awareness?

There is a certain beauty associated with conditioning.

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #21
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

Keshni Sahni wrote:
Like out-of-body experiences that you described earlier? Are these true?
I did experience some when I used to practice Silva's Mind Control. When I used the technique, on that very night I started seeing magnanimous visions which later subsided. But still I do see some fantastic scenes with great detail occasionally in sleep/semi-sleep. What do dreams tell with regard to awareness

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #22
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

My OBE experiences come and go. Bystanders, watching me not breathing at all or shallowness in breahing with tears copiously flowing from the eyes, "Me" on the other hand experience "blissfulness" one can say more than orgasm in sex. A kind of all-knowing-all-feeling-all-hearing, sometimes knowing what is happening to the person next-door/nearby room etc. sometimes experience of flying(not physically) intutively take on the body of a bird,go watch the surf/froth of the sea,leaf-less tall trees of winter, "I" fly through etc. Some persons are worried I am going to die on seeing me like this. I tell them to take it easy&not to disturb this seance.I reassure them my breathing will become normal.In all this, I have a satisfying UNDERSTANDING that there is an UNIQUE ONENESS OF ALL THINGS. They are all ONE-people,trees,animals,birds,seawater,snow,sand all are united in someway as ONE.That feeling dominates the"ME" and gives enormous peace of mind afterwards.It is not my body that experiences. Some or other particle, call it intutive particle that participates in this-may be "soul" I do not want to use terminology. I dont know.I cannot command this at will.can happen any moment. I cannot fake it. Lerave it. it is not important.

Dear Keshni Sahni, I recommend you to read "MANDUKYA-KARIKA" of SRI GAUDAPADA
(Disciple of ADI SHANKARA)or the English translation of it, by Swami Ghabirananda of SRI RAMAKRISHNA MATH,Puranattukara,Tiruchur,Kerala,India1987. This English translation, I have translated into the DANISH language.-There you have lucid explanation of the DREAM state as well as VINEYA(TURIYA/ATMAN) state. That may clarify why you have such dreams and what is their Nature. I am totally fascinated on the subject. Modern medical science&psychological Sciences have a lot to learn about this cognition in dream&waking states.

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #23
Thumb_deleted_user_med Dappling Light India 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Well I did go through "flying" experiences - where the body starts becoming lighter and mind shoots in space - at a rapid speed without control - There are visions of color and light - beautiful things on the way . Sometimes there is a sort of knee-jerk reaction.

I have never touched drugs or stimulants(except coffee). But I did practice Silva method and pranayam.

There is a certain beauty associated with conditioning.

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #24
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

Dear Keshni Sahni, sounds interesting. We have to look at these things in a scientific way.there are clairvoyants etc. there was also the guy who was a keen JK student later on , attacked or rather rdiculed JK and had his own marvellous experiences. He lived in Bangaluru & Switzerland , died a few years back. One need not pursue them except for personal curiosity.I dont know anything about this Silva method. I will study about it when I find time.

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #25
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

Dear Keshni Sahni,
Now I remember his name , yes, he was called UG KRISHNAMURTHY. have you heard of him?

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Mon, 22 Jun 2009 #26
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnan,

It is interesting to examine why rituals, discipline, knowledge, beliefs, systems, methods, and all such approaches do not work. We say, "Some of the wisest men in the world have done all this, gurus and learned men, and now they are passing what they knew (or know) down to us. What's wrong with this? We should use it!"

Approaches fail because they use thought (memory)--which is of the past. If we, who are living, creative beings, carry the past into the Now, the Now will not be new but will be a deteriorating continuation of yesterday.

We must see the Ego for what it is. But who is it that sees the Ego?

max

This post was last updated by max greene Mon, 22 Jun 2009.

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Tue, 23 Jun 2009 #27
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
We must see the Ego for what it is. But who is it that sees the Ego?
max

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Tue, 23 Jun 2009 #28
Thumb_readytoloadup_correction Krishnan Srinivasan Denmark 322 posts in this forum Offline

The person bereft of the bonds of Ego sees or observes his own EGO clearly-one may say only some Saints like Jk or Sri Ramana maharshi, Nisargadata, Sri Ramakrishna and persons like them. But I think it is possible for each one of us to loosen up the bonds of the EGO and be free of it.

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Tue, 23 Jun 2009 #29
Thumb_deleted_user_med Dappling Light India 31 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Krishnan Srinivasan wrote:
have you heard of him?

Yes, my father met UG Krishnamurti personally once. I think he is also a Guru like Krishnamurti.

There is a certain beauty associated with conditioning.

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Tue, 23 Jun 2009 #30
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 23 posts in this forum Offline

The entity able to see the Ego for what it is (or to see anything, for that matter) is the living physical organism with its wonderful brain. That's all a human is--a living physical organism. A man wants to believe that there is more, so he goes to an authoriy and accepts what he has to say on the subject. Or, if he has a little more energy, he speculates on his own. The man isn't satisfied that he is a living being. That's not good enough. He wants more.

max

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