Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Huguette . 's Forum Activity | 856 posts in 4 forums


Forum: General Discussion Sat, 12 Aug 2017
Topic: Just a word of thanks...

dave h wrote: Well, how will you decide to achieve inner order (or anything) from a state of disorder? How do you deal with psychopaths/narcissists in your life? How do you deal with disease/illness?

I can't decide to achieve inner order. I am seeing my own disorder, that's all I can do, isn't it? Out of seeing my own disorder, there comes some degree of order in my own thinking and action, as I see it... but maybe not.

As for dealing with psychopaths, I think what Tom says (#91) makes sense, unless it's someone close to you, a son, daughter, a friend, a parent - then to be as rational, as non-judgmental, as realistic as possible - meaning to be fully attentive - do the best according to one's understanding. How do you deal with it?

Added:

And as Jack says, if it's a public figure, speak out to the best of one's understanding, not losing sight of one's own limitations.

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 12 Aug 2017
Topic: Just a word of thanks...

Wim Opdam wrote: is it much too much to asked for humanity that leaders of states are tested for psychological stability and health ??

But who will test them, Wim? Dr. Frankenstein, the other politicians, religious leaders.... who?

Forum: A Quiet Space Sun, 13 Aug 2017
Topic: Why does the self keep going?

Clive Elwell wrote: ...to those who concern themselves with the question, we have to keep plugging away, inquiring – what else is there to do? And I am not excluding 'letting go' from that inquiry. I am not excluding anything. We cannot ... afford to leave any stone unturned.

Clive,

Just to be clear, what I understand K to be referring to by "looking under every stone" - and what it means to me - is seeing, being aware of, detecting every subtle movement of thought which keep self "alive", every subtle assumption, conclusion, certainty which governs our action without our realizing it. It does not mean looking for an explanation for why self endures. Have I misunderstood you?

On Mind and Thought, p 133:

...self hides in many ways, under every stone, the self can hide in compassion, going to India and looking after poor people, because the self is attached to some idea, faith, conclusion, belief, which makes me compassionate because I love Jesus or Krishna, and I go up to heaven. The self has many masks, the mask of meditation, the mask of achieving the highest, the mask that I am enlightened, that “I know of what I speak.” All this concern about humanity is another mask. So one has to have an extraordinary, subtle, quick brain to see where it is hiding. It requires great attention, watching, watching, watching.

Forum: General Discussion Sun, 13 Aug 2017
Topic: Just a word of thanks...

96:

dave h wrote: Well, just because someone's brain is not wired up to experience empathy, doesn't necessarily mean there is no order to their thinking. But there's more to it than just a lack of empathy.

Also what does disorder mean anyway? Is there an objective definition? The word means something out sequence, something out of place, right? Or is it always subjective? When a doctor sees a cancer, he sees disorder right? And he studies it, and gives treatment, and maybe if the patient is lucky there is relatively less disorder.

I agree, there is order in disorder as well. If there were no order in disease, for example, no treatment could be found, could it? In spite of black holes and other such things which I don’t understand, if there were no order in space and the universe, there could be no life at all, it seems to me. The planets would long ago have smashed into each other.

But here we are talking about psychological disorder creating disorder in relationship on every level. This is not a definition but something that each one of us either experiences, perceives … or not. Isn’t it? If someone feels or perceives his life to be in disorder, then he is interested in order, which means understanding his own disorder. No?

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 19 Aug 2017
Topic: Just a word of thanks...

Huguette . wrote:

I agree, there is order in disorder as well. If there were no order in disease, for example, no treatment could be found, could it? In spite of black holes and other such things which I don’t understand, if there were no order in space and the universe, there could be no life at all, it seems to me. The planets would long ago have smashed into each other.

dave h wrote:

Maybe those planets would never have formed in the first place. Maybe there are many kinds of universes out there with different rules/order, and only some are able to generate entities that are able to form concepts such as order. In any case, these conversations always touch on these issues: can you understand disorder without understanding order? don't they both go together? aren't these concepts always subjective?

The planets did form and there is order observable. In what is observed of the planets and the universe, it is seen that there is order governing their movements at all levels. Disorder is also observed, but it does not negate the order. The fact is, from the smallest to the largest elements, there is order. If there were no order, we could not have a calendar, we could not have navigated the 7 seas, we could not use fire to cook, we could not build anything, we could not know what would happen each time we took a step and put our foot down, we could not do anything. We could not BE. I never understood the concept of parallel universes or multiple universes. As far as I understand “universe”, it means the undivided totality.

There’s order in the universe, which includes disorder within it. Order is the guiding light, isn't it?, not disorder. Just as there is order and disorder in the universe, there is order and disorder in human beings. I don’t see order and disorder as subjective. There is order observable in the cosmos, it is not subjective. There is order in cancer, it is not subjective. To name certain psychological disorders as psychopathy is to observe those disorders. They would not be seen as disorders if order were not the guiding light. You asked earlier how others deal with psychopaths/narcissists in their lives or with disease. That is recognizing disorder, isn’t it? Is it subjective?

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 19 Aug 2017
Topic: Just a word of thanks...

dave h wrote: We are limited beings, going through life with this limited understanding of ourselves, and others, and yet here we are, we still have to act, and deal with the problems our species faces. Even if I am not enlightened, I know abusing someone because of the colour of their skin, is wrong. I don't understand this notion that we can only contribute to disorder, because we are not enlightened enough yet. It's like saying, I don't completely understand how cancers work, so I better do nothing at all.

Whatever action is taken with respect to cancer, or anything else, can’t just be done in a haphazard fashion, can it? Will we take the approach that it’s better not to study cancer to understand the order which governs it? Will we rather try “eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat, tongue of dog, adder’s fork”, rubbing our heads and patting our tummies, spinning around 10 times while singing a song? … At least then we’ll be DOING SOMETHING. Is that “doing something” actually doing something? Is it better than doing nothing at all?

Do we take the approach not to bother studying ourselves, not to see if we can discern the order governing our disorder, and just plod ahead and let the disorder act? Is that “doing something”? We may know that abusing someone because of their colour is wrong but how do we act or react faced with those who think it’s just dandy, who think that it’s their inalienable right? Punch them, shoot them, shake your fist at them, yell at them, ridicule them, mow them down with a car, write a book, sing kumbaya? Isn’t the reaction, whatever it is, giving free reign and authority to the disorder? I may know that one type of abuse is wrong but do I recognize the root of abuse in myself, do I observe myself being abusive to a child, a co-worker, a homeless person because I’m afraid?

We contribute to the disorder because we let our disorder act and we call that action. We "let disorder act" by the mere fact of being ignorant of our motives. I’m not saying not to act. Yes, we have to act - life demands it. But can we act thoughtfully - meaning soberly, rationally, with clarity as to motive, without mere intellectualization? And if it turns out I make a mistake because I misunderstood, I pick up from there and still act. Can we act thoughtfully, not willy-nilly, not on a guess or a gamble, on authority or tradition?

Forum: A Quiet Space Fri, 25 Aug 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

Clive,

Is the question why the self keeps going? Isn’t it rather why the brain’s delusion is maintained, the delusion that there is a self separate from the brain? It is the brain which needs to understand the nature of self, not self, not “you” or ”me” - but the brain can say “I” for purposes of communication.

As I see it, I thought that if I was aware, if I was patient, if I understood time and self, self would end and life would be bliss. I thought I was "doing it right". And where is the bliss?

I think self-understanding has nothing to do with the bliss of a silent mind. Perhaps it opens the door to bliss, to something indescribable. I know nothing about this.

Of course, awareness, attention or observation IS silent but that is still not a silent mind.

So I think we’re confusing 2 things here - self-understanding and a silent mind. As I see it, self-understanding refers to observing and understanding time, the observer/observed duality, conflict, the contents of consciousness, effort, desire, becoming, fear, action, relationship, and so on. It is silent awareness, attention, observation which reveals the nature and significance of these things. When all this is actually deeply fundamentally understood, there is necessarily a transformation in one’s approach to life, isn’t there? In action/relationship, one now goes north instead of south - not as a method or a means but as the natural consequence of self-understanding. One may stumble or fall. The contents of consciousness still get agitated, there are reactions, fear, and so on. But one cannot unsee the nature of time, self, the significance of effort, and so on, can one? Still, this understanding may be a new delusion the brain has latched onto, and if so, awareness reveals it, no?

When you or I ask why does the self persist, isn’t it because we feel we have understood self and time and still we suffer from the old reactions - fear, confusion, shame, anxiety, desire? Wasn’t all this supposed to end with the new self-understanding? So it was just a kind of barter - peace in exchange for self-understanding.

When you observe the chaos in the world, do you not observe it “at a glance”? You don’t - the brain doesn’t - enumerate all the innumerable fragments that make up the chaos, all the instances of corruption, injustice, brutality, greed, cruelty, and so on. Even without knowing or remembering every instance of chaos, we see that chaos pervades action/relationship, don’t we? So don’t we see at a glance that the psychological world put together by thought - not the physical Earth but the world of the totality of relationship made up by the totality of man’s actions and endeavours - is in chaos? And that the root of that chaos is in the brain?

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Aug 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

12:

Clive Elwell wrote: for me the limited self understanding that might have hapened cuts off ALL directions of movement

Can all directions of movement BE cut off? Life is relationship, isn't it? Self-understanding does not end the endless movement in relationship. There can be no relationship/action without movement, can there? And movement has direction. If there is no direction, there can be no movement. Relationship which is driven by effort goes in one “direction”. Relationship in which there is no effort to become, to win, to achieve, and so on, goes in a totally different “direction”, as I see it. This is what I mean by “north and south”, or call it “east and west”, “northeast and southwest”. It refers to the quality of the energy which determines the direction or integrity of the movement.

The rain falls and nourishes the earth. The acid rain falls and burns the earth. That is relationship. The fire burns and destroys the forest and at the same time, its ashes and embers replenish the earth so that a healthy new forest emerges. That is relationship. A neighbour says, “How you doing today” or “You better keep your damn kids off my lawn”. That is relationship.

A man juggles his income to avoid paying taxes and he says, “That makes me smart”. Another man jumps in front of a stranger to stop a bullet. One mother sermonizes and yells at her small child, telling him he’s bad. Another mother gather her toddler into her arms and says with compassion, “Are you frustrated?” and the child immediately calms down. All that is relationship, action, movement. All that is relationship and a silent mind does not mean the end of relationship, does it (not implying that "I have" a silent mind)?

When I say north and south, it refers to the fact that the trajectory is traced either by history, tradition, self-interest, effort, ambition, fear, desire, jealousy, conceit, and so on - on the one hand - or else that the trajectory is not rooted in the past or aimed towards a future goal - on the other hand. The trajectory that is not rooted in time still has movement, doesn't it?

Clive Elwell wrote: Better to say all the old directions still arise in consciousness

To me, “all the old directions” are one and the same direction. There is a multitude of movements all going in the direction set by effort/time/self. It is not an actual degree of direction. It is the quality of the "going" that is transformed by the source of the movement. Isn't that what is meant here by direction?

Clive Elwell wrote: all the old directions still arise in consciousness, but it is quickly seen that they lead only to contradiction.

It is seen or not seen. It may have been seen yesterday or 5 minutes ago and if "now" there is inattention, it is not seen. Where "now" there is inattention, it is only the memory of understanding which acts. So I stumble and fall. No matter what HAS BEEN understood, there can always be inattention, can't there? Where there is attention, it is seen afresh, not from memory. Where there IS attention, it cannot be unseen. No?

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Aug 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

Huguette wrote: Still, this understanding may be a new delusion the brain has latched onto, and if so, awareness reveals it, no?

Clive: Seems to me there can be no accumulation in self understanding. One is always “starting anew”, so can delusion gain a foothold? One may, and does, make mistakes of course, but these are not held onto, in so far as one is conscious of them.

I was referring here to "looking under every stone". The mind which assumes or concludes that it has understood all and that henceforth it can make no mistakes is not the mind which understands, is it? Vigilance is still necessary.

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Aug 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

Huguette wrote: When you or I ask why does the self persist, isn’t it because we feel we have understood self and time and still we suffer from the old reactions - fear, confusion, shame, anxiety, desire? Wasn’t all this supposed to end with the new self-understanding? So it was just a kind of barter - peace in exchange for self-understanding.

Clive: Looking at this. It doesn't seem quite right, or completely right. I think the question was asked because it does seem that the movement of the self is continually 'seen through' … and it also continually re-appears. But really I do not feel in touch with the state of mind that asked the question originally. Best to start over again.

I understand what you're saying. I think this goes to what I see as our confusion between silent observation and a silent mind which, to me, are not the same phenomenon, if I can call it that.

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Aug 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

Huguette wrote: So don’t we see at a glance that the psychological world put together by thought - not the physical Earth but the world of the totality of relationship made up by the totality of man’s actions and endeavours - is in chaos? And that the root of that chaos is in the brain?

Clive Elwell wrote: I would say that that IS seen. And yet ….. well, this is why I raised the issue about the self being blind. It seems that it simply cannot see itself for what it is. As it arises it does not realise that it is chaos, and is only a fragment – instead it is apparently based on the notion that it is somehow truth, somehow an absolute reality.

I'm still puzzled by this kind of statement. You say - or would say -:) - that this IS seen and you also say that it seems that self simply cannot see itself. I don't understand "who" sees and "who" doesn't see and are they 2 different entities?

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 29 Aug 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

21:

Huguette . wrote:

It is not an actual degree of direction. It is the quality of the "going" that is transformed by the source of the movement. Isn't that what is meant here by direction?

Clive Elwell wrote:

Can you enlarge on this, Huguette, I am not quite grasping it.

I’m sorry. I think I made my meaning unintelligible by talking about “degree”. I meant degree as in direction degrees. That is, even though self seems to be heading in a multitude of directions, all these “different” directions or actions are self-centred, aren’t they? Self carries over yesterday’s enmity, anger, fear, hope, expectation, attachment, desire, pleasure, achievements, failures, and so on, into today and this also shapes tomorrow. So what seems to be a multitude of directions are all the direction chosen by the darkness of the confused mind.

Yesterday’s (Aug 28) QOTD expressed the same thing differently still, as I see it: “if thought is limited by memories, traditions, prejudices, by the past, then any action springing from it can only create further ignorance and sorrow.” This is what going north (or call it south or east) means to me.

Also, today's QOTD: "The eternal is ever the unknown for a mind that accumulates; what is accumulated is memory, and memory is ever the past, the time-binder." The mind which functions out of its accumulation cannot "change directions", can it?

Then action, movement, direction which does not spring out of the past is a complete change of course - it is “going” south (or west or north) instead of north (or south or east), a total change of direction stemming from the brain’s understanding of itself, which ends psychological time. This, as I understand it, is still not the silent mind we talked about. Is it?

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 29 Aug 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

25:

Clive Elwell wrote: But in actual fact, the self has no permanence, no continuity. The self is a creation of thought, and thought is transient, it comes and it goes. Comes and dies. So thought can do nothing psychologically.

The self cannot see that it is impermanent.

Isn't it more than a question of continuity alone? The self cannot see anything, can it? ... no more than "someone" in a dream can observe anything? Isn't self a figment of the brain's (thought's) imagination? The brain can observe, if it observes silently, without the past clouding its observation. The brain is material, it is not a figment. IT sees the table, not self. No?

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 07 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

Tom Paine wrote:

Do we need to make an effort here?

Clive Elwell wrote:

Do we need to make any sort of effort? This is indeed an important question. We are certainly conditioned to make effort, to react, to strive to achieve something - which carries the implication we know that something. And this process is applied across the board, in practical and 'spiritual' areas. We feel lost if we do not have a direction, don't we?

And yet, as you say Tom, "This effort would obviously not be the choiceless observation (of 'what is') K. often spoke of".

And if there is effort, can there be peace, harmony?

I feel I want to quietly watch this movement in myself. And yet does thought immediately turn even that into a goal, and so make an effort to bring it about?

Here is a quote from K, rather odd, that I came across yesterday, that seems to have some relevance to this inquiry:

“Enlightenment is an accident, but some activities make you accident-prone.”

I don’t know that K did say this but it doesn’t contradict anything he said, I think.

Certain existing conditions or a confluence of conditions may contribute to, or cause, an accident: a patch of black ice on the road, inattention, poor visibility, fatigue, a loose banister, a broken latch, rotting wood, faulty construction, inappropriate medication, and so on. But isn’t the essence of "accident" that it is something which happens without forethought, premeditation, will, effort or intent? It is totally unexpected. "I didn’t see it coming."

With respect to enlightenment, what seems clear to me is that - however each one of us understands that word enlightenment - there can be no enlightenment unless “the house” has been put in order, and order comes from self-understanding, not through the effort to create order.

In spite of any cosmetic efforts, a house which has cobwebs in the attic, mould in the basement, dirty floors and walls, garbage strewn all around, clutter filling every space, broken windows, broken floors, doors and walls, cannot be a refined, orderly house, can it?

And a mind - however each one of us understands that word - which is disordered, conflicted, depressed, resentful, jealous, angry, hateful, chasing pleasure, and so on - cannot “by accident” be enlightened. Isn’t this self-evident? One can pretend to oneself that one understands one’s own mind, the fact remains that “pretend” self-understanding cannot - does not - unclutter the mind, cannot end disorder in the mind.

An ordered mind is not an enlightened mind but order might open the door, or the window. And even if enlightenment never enters, isn’t order in itself a joy - in those moments of order or clarity?

Then what is it that moves one to observe oneself, to look into the root of one’s actions, and so on? Isn’t it life itself? Isn’t there within each one of us - whatever “one” is - a flame which we did not invent or seek, a flame which we don’t control, a flame which we are not always aware of, but a flame which is not put together by desire, imagination, effort, pretense or hope? And it is that flame - which we did not light - which “pushes” us to understand. Isn’t it?

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 07 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

re 13:

Yes, Tom, I’m saying that. Insight is an “accident”. But can there be insight where there is NO self-understanding and NO self-observation? Self-understanding, to me, IS the order which “opens the door” to the unknown. And self-observation, as you say, is the action which prepares the ground for learning to take place. There is no effort in this, and no expectation.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 07 Sep 2017
Topic: On the inherent blindness of the self

re 12:

Huguette: So don’t we see at a glance that the psychological world put together by thought - not the physical Earth but the world of the totality of relationship made up by the totality of man’s actions and endeavours - is in chaos? And that the root of that chaos is in the brain?

Clive Elwell wrote:

I would say that that IS seen. And yet ….. well, this is why I raised the issue about the self being blind. It seems that it simply cannot see itself for what it is. As it arises it does not realise that it is chaos, and is only a fragment – instead it is apparently based on the notion that it is somehow truth, somehow an absolute reality.

re 22:

Clive Elwell wrote: Yes, I am also puzzled.

Would you say that all we can communicate are descriptions? We observe ourselves, the world, and if we wish to communicate what we see, we have to use the medium of thought, no? That is one of the purposes of thought. So the communication is a description, and descriptions are part of thought, and so subject to the same limitations as thought is. They are fragmented. Being fragmented means one part of the mind may say things in contradiction to other parts of the mind. “Mind” here may be seen as an individual mind, or the common human mind.

Putting it simply, our perceptions are limited, and so may be contradictory.

What do you say, Huguette, about the statement “the self is intrinsically blind”? No, I will rephrase that - “the self has elements, or an element, that are/is intrinsically blind”?

But Clive, YOU speaking are that self - “you” and “me” being the content of consciousness held in memory, in the brain. So if YOU say “that this IS seen” (we had been talking about seeing at a glance “that the psychological world put together by thought [...] is in chaos and that the root of that chaos is in the brain?”], doesn’t that statement mean that YOU see it … not ANOTHER self separate from YOU the speaker sees it? If not, what does "this IS seen" mean?

We are talking about self-observation, about observing "self" in movement. When I am angry, I am not blind to that anger, am I? It is not the description of the anger I am seeing then but the actual anger itself, constituted of thoughts, feelings, emotions. I can pretend I’m not angry, I can try to hide my anger with words and effort, but the fact is I’m angry and honest self-observation without a shadow of pretense or escape reveals it. Self IS fragmented but in the moment of anger, I can clearly observe my anger. It’s not that one part of the mind says “I'm angry” and other parts of the mind say "maybe you're not really angry".

If one CANNOT observe oneself in the moment - if the mind CANNOT observe itself whatever THIS moment contains, what is the point of talking about self-observation and self-understanding at all? This is what puzzles me. We’re not talking about self-analysis according to Dr. Freud, where I may say one thing while unaware of the deeper contents of consciousness. We’re talking about self-observation, what is actually SEEN - as words, as vague barely-perceptible fears, as memories, images, as conclusions, beliefs, and so on.

Where there is no self-understanding, the brain/mind is blind to the nature and processes of self, to the limitations of thought, and so on, isn't it? But "self" is not blind. Self as an actual entity does not exist, does it? So how can "it" be blind? The brain/mind can still say “I” and “me”, “you” and “them” in communicating, without it being reflective of fragmentation, can’t it?

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 12 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

Dan McDermott wrote:

For the state of non-continuity to be, thought has to be silent, has to realize that it cannot 'know' the 'unknown'.

Tom Paine wrote:

And that can be an intellectual conclusion as well. But does thought really want this non-continuity? Or the unknown? 'What is' is the desire for continuity.

Dan, We are not seeking “the state of non-continuity” here, are we? Isn’t it that we want to understand our own mind, the human mind?

As I see it, it is not enough for thought “to realize that it cannot know the unknown”. Isn't it essential to see the source of the desire for continuity? Isn't it fear? As K says:

The understanding of what is needs no motive; the motive and the means prevent understanding. Search, which is choiceless awareness, is not for something; it is to be aware of the craving for an end and of the means to it.

[bolded by me - Huguette]

(The above segment was erroneously quoted by John as follows: “The understanding of 'what is' needs no ( personal) motive; since ( based on ) choiceless awareness, is not a search for something; it is to be aware of the (psychological) craving for (reaching a self-projected?) 'end' and of the (cunning ) means to it.”) [Huguette: the word "since" should be “search”, as can be seen from the original K quote. The words I bolded in K's original quote were omitted by John])

The desire for continuity is not just the desire for eternal life, is it? Isn’t the desire continuity also present from moment to moment? The mind does not want to end for even a moment. In THIS moment - let alone for eternity - the mind does not want an ending, does it? Doesn’t the mind want continuity in THIS very moment? Tom, doesn’t it KNOW at THIS moment that it wants continuity? Isn't the very thought of ending, of not pursuing this “search”, any search, or any train of thought, frightening to “it”, to “me”? This is the frightening, uncomfortable, void we always talk about, isn’t it? This fear can be seen on the spot, in THIS moment, can’t it? Isn’t the desire for eternal life merely an extension of this moment’s desire, rooted in fear?

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

re 39:

Isn’t thinking one such pleasurable or comforting activity? Isn’t thinking an “occupation” which is viewed as doing something "positive” towards effecting a desired change? And isn’t occupation of any sort valued above inactivity? The prized occupations are entertainment, school, work, showing off one’s skill, knowledge, intelligence, beauty, possessions, and so on. “Doing nothing” is not prized at all or valued, it seems to me, except as a temporary period to recover from exhaustion, illness, danger or some other such experience.

Doesn’t the mind fear “doing nothing”? As you say, it doesn't fear the unknown. Isn't thinking the last occupation the mind always resorts to? When I’m depressed, anxious, bored, lonely, jealous, angry, psychologically frightened, when I fear my "girlfriend/boyfriend might be attracted to someone else and leave me” as you say, why do I endlessly think about it? Does thinking about it ever fundamentally solve fear, anger, depression, jealousy, etc.? Isn't there another kind of action to try, to experiment with? But one clings to thinking as the only thing left for “me” to do, as "my" last resort before “the void”, doesn't one?

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

re 40:

Certainly, there’s fear of failure, fear of ridicule, of inadequacy, of weakness, of losing everyone and everything I have, of death, of sickness, and so on. So we think and think and think about what to do…. We don’t WANT to stop thinking, do we? Has thinking ever fundamentally resolved our existential problems? One problem may get solved or somewhat better and another one surfaces or an old ones re-surface. But we don’t want to give up on thinking, do we?

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

43:

Huguette . wrote:

We don’t WANT to stop thinking, do we? Has thinking ever fundamentally resolved our existential problems? One problem may get solved or somewhat better and another one surfaces or an old ones re-surface. But we don’t want to give up on thinking, do we?

Tom Paine wrote:

This 'we' is thought. Can we say that thought doesn't want to stop? Does thought itself have wants? Is thought separate from wanting? I don't think so, except when it's functioning in a strictly practical manner. Is there any 'we' outside of thought?

Yes, agreed, Tom. This “we”, “me”, “you”, is put together by thought or the mind - the mind which depends on the brain for its functioning, the mind which is situated in the brain in the sense that it is a conglomerate of the brain’s various functions or abilities having to do with thought, such as remembering, language, reasoning, recognition, pattern recognition, organization and planning, calculating, measuring, comparing, and so on.

Because the brain ultimately regulates ALL the body’s functions - breathing, motor skills, etc. - one cannot say that the brain IS the mind exactly, that the brain and mind are synonymous. But all the functions or abilities which constitute the mind as it is commonly understood are functions or abilities of the brain, aren't they? And this mind, this conglomerate which is located in the brain, has been conditioned by its upbringing to believe that it is subservient to a separate, independent “me” which is NOT part of the brain. No?

Isn’t it the brain, thought or the mind which does and doesn’t want? Doesn’t the brain/mind/thought say “I want” or “I don’t want”? Are we to deny the "what-isness" of desire? I want freedom, I want to tease, I want to disobey or obey, I want to be happy, successful, I want to always be DOING something, etc. So perhaps we have to ask what desire IS? Is there good desire and bad desire?

I tease someone else and I say, “I don’t want to stop”. Who is this “I” who doesn’t want to stop?

Or someone tells me, “Sit down and keep quiet” and I say, “I don’t want to”. Who is this “I”?

Or someone with a gun tells me, “Put your hands up”. What do “I” want then? I don’t know what, but “something”, no?

Not very good examples, I know. I’m not good at thinking of examples.

Isn’t there an inborn “flame” in each human heart which longs for … there is no word that exactly expresses it … something like happiness or fulfilment, well-being. Isn’t there? And any desire “we” have (the mind has) is rooted in this inborn longing or desire, isn’t it? But is it corrupted by conditioning, self-ignorance and duality? So that, in "our" ignorance of what the human being is, "we" want (the mind wants) instead to tease, to disobey or obey, to hurt, to impress, to control, to be powerful and successful, to be occupied, to have pleasure, and so on.

So I’ve been told about a totally new approach to action in the face of conflict, of contradiction, of problems in relationship. This new approach is that thought is not adequate for taking action in relationship. But I don’t WANT to give it up because it is a frightening prospect. At the same time, it is clearly seen that thought IS inadequate for solving conflict. Then there is no choice for the mind - thought - but to end its inappropriate, useless efforts in solving conflict, is there?

So, what is the mind? Obviously, the mind is our total awareness or consciousness; it is the total way of our existence, the whole process of our thinking. The mind is the result of the brain. The brain produces the mind. Without the brain there is no mind, but the mind is separate from the brain. It is the child of the brain. If the brain is limited, damaged, the mind is also damaged. The brain, which records every sensation, every feeling of pleasure or pain, the brain with all its tissues, with all its responses, creates what we call the mind, although the mind is independent of the brain. You don't have to accept this. You can experiment with it and see for yourself.

(Verbatim Reports) Third Talk in New Delhi, 1959 [This same excerpt was recently quoted elsewhere, I believe.]

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

With respect to your opening question - why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the enquiry - it occurs to me, Clive, that maybe we ARE.... If we are looking for results, if we have expectations, we may conclude that we are NOT giving our whole heart and mind.

So I'm not saying we ARE. I'm saying MAYBE we are. Who can say we are NOT? I just wanted to say it.

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

re 48:

I’m puzzled by your reply, Tom. I was responding to your saying (at 43), “Can we say that thought doesn't want to stop? Does thought itself have wants?” - which to me implies that we can’t (say it) and that thought doesn’t (have wants). But then you said (#48): “it's thinking that says 'I don't want to stop'”.

Are you saying that thought HAS “wants” but that there is no desire underlying the words expressing desire, or that thought has no wants, or ..... something else? Then I have to ask “who or what” has desire and where does it originate? Or is there something else altogether which I missed in your response? I just don’t understand.

This question of desire IS crucial, isn’t it? It is what this thread (and perhaps every thread) is essentially about, isn’t it? As I see it, there is a fundamental desire, inborn to every human being - a living “flame” (as I call it but call it something else) which is not rooted in time/thought. This "desire" is a longing for freedom, fulfilment, well-being. None of these words (freedom etc.) capture the actuality of that fundamental desire, but that’s as close to describing it as I can come. Surely you understand what I’m talking about with these clumsy words, don’t you? Don’t we ALL have that longing or desire? We may push it underground, we may distort it, analyze it, try to repress it, sublimate it or ignore it, and so on, but it IS there, isn’t it? It’s not just “me”, is it? And aren’t ALL the OTHER desires rooted in thought?

Forum: A Quiet Space Fri, 15 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

52:

Huguette . wrote:

As I see it, there is a fundamental desire, inborn to every human being - a living “flame” (as I call it but call it something else) which is not rooted in time/thought. This "desire" is a longing for freedom, fulfilment, well-being. None of these words (freedom etc.) capture the actuality of that fundamental desire, but that’s as close to describing it as I can come.

Tom Paine wrote:

The way we live, with perpetual conflict, it's no wonder there's a desire for well-being. I'm not sure that that desire is 'fundamental', however. The small child doesn't have it. They're too busy exploring the life all around them....which is all new to them. I recall being with a very little girl when a cat walked into her field of view. "A cat!", she exclaimed with such joy apparent in her eyes and her voice. This event was so extraordinary to her. She didn't seek out some future state of well being, but was living it ....was fully alive...already. :)

I understand what you’re saying, Tom. But isn’t that same child who is filled with wonder going to feel hurt, be psychologically scarred, when she is yelled at, teased, ridiculed, told that she is bad (perhaps over and over again), and so on? Won’t tears come to her eyes? Though she will cry when a toy is taken from her, being deprived of a toy does not leave a mark or scar on the tender heart of a child, does it - unless it is also done violently, meanly? Psychological violence - being yelled at, told she is bad etc. - DOES leave a mark in her consciousness, doesn’t it?

The hurt she experiences from psychological violence is not based on thought or idea, is it? The hurt of being deprived of her toy, if it is done without violence - IS rooted in thought, isn’t it? “It’s not fair!”

With psychological violence, there is no thought of “it’s not fair!”, is there? There is just hurt. So isn’t there a natural “desire” NOT to feel hurt - which is NOT rooted in thought? One desire that is NOT rooted in thought, and a desire that IS rooted in thought. I say “desire” for both because I don’t know what other word to use for "desire" NOT rooted in thought. But they are not the same process or phenomenon, are they?

Forum: A Quiet Space Fri, 15 Sep 2017
Topic: Why don't we give our whole heart, mind, to the inquiry? .......

58:

Huguette . wrote: This question of desire IS crucial, isn’t it? ..... etc

Clive Elwell wrote: Are you suggesting, Huguette, that there is a fundamental desire that is an expression of life itself?

Tom Paine wrote: Isn't it that we desire fulfillment when we suffer...and the desire is for the suffering to end. Therefore we want to escape the suffering. Not judging this as wrong, but this fundamental desire you're speaking about is the desire to end suffering, as I see it. Therefore we never look at the suffering itself, because we want it to end. Or it's a desire for some experience that is based upon the known. But I dont know freedom, so how can I desire that...which is unknown...which is beyond the 'me'?

Where there is being, there is awareness. Where there is awareness, there is being. The 2 are inseparable, aren’t they?

If someone is thrown into a dungeon, being does not want it …. not as a thought, not as a reaction of the past ….. as a fact. Isn’t it so? “Self” may think about it, rage against it, resign itself to it, but this is not what I’m talking about. There is a “desire” to be free, a discontent, which is not formulated by thought. Isn’t there? Maybe “discontent” says it better than “desire”.

If someone is living life wholly bound and governed by idea, belief, superstition, desire, motive, societal pressure, there is also a discontent of being and awareness of it, isn’t there?

Discontent is not rooted in thought. It is the spontaneous action of being, the human being, the wolf being, the ant being, and so on. To dismiss the fact of the discontent as merely thought, to deny its existence, to attribute it to thought is itself thought, isn't it?

The human being is more than thought alone, isn't he? Beyond thought is awareness, and through awareness, intelligence, love, compassion ..... discontent. No? I'm questioning it, not declaring it to be so.

Forum: A Quiet Space Mon, 25 Sep 2017
Topic: No one is responsible=everyone is completely responsible (to Tom/all)

re 24:

Respectfully and hesitantly, Per, I don’t think that the comparison between the mind and the car is accurate or helpful.

The car which has broken down CAN be fixed through knowledge, skill, reasoning, analysis, comparison, and so on. That is an appropriate use of thought, isn't it? It is in “its functional place”, as you say. Thought is not out of order there, is it?

But “I” am not the car, the car is not “me” - a person and a car are actually separate in terms of functionality, intended use, material composition, origin, etc. - like apples and oranges. Of course, everything - good and bad - is part of the totality ..... but I still want or need to put the car in order so that I can use it to go from A to B. Observation and awareness cannot put the car in order. The human mind has put the car together and the mind can fix it. But the skills and knowledge used for putting the car in order are useless for bringing order to the psychological house, aren't they?

I want to put "my" mind in order because I understand that the human mind’s disorder is responsible not only for my personal sorrow, but also for the whole world's sorrow. And as part of that understanding, I realize that “I” cannot put the mind in order. Obviously, it would be “me” who would determine whether or not the mind “stays within its boundaries”, as you put it, isn’t it? So right from the start of my intention to put the house in order, I would be starting with a "wrong" step, wouldn't I? Isn't this understanding solid, immovable? It's not a guess or an idea, is it? Not that it cannot be constantly questioned and renewed with doubt. It must be doubted and seen afresh or it must surely become an idea or belief, I think.

I do see that the use of “me-we-you” has its functional place in communicating with each other, but the “me” which is the self-centre, the psyche, the image, the beliefs, ideals, and so on, has no legitimate place, as I see it. Of course that psychological “me” will get frustrated by this insight but the same silent awareness which opened the window to the insight can also observe the frustration. And then the frustration is not a problem to be overcome.

The brain has not been put together by itself. One can say that intelligence, the source, the uncreated, creation, has put the brain and everything else that is not man-made together. Can that source or intelligence “fix” it, perhaps through awareness? I don't know. Whether or not “it” can, what is clear is that the human mind cannot, isn’t it?

I hope I have understood what you said.

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 26 Sep 2017
Topic: No one is responsible=everyone is completely responsible (to Tom/all)

re 27:

Per,

I think that skill can be developed over time but that talent is innate ability. Talent may be polished by technique and practice but it cannot be acquired over time by technique, effort and practice if it is absent to begin with. No?

In the same way, perception or awareness is not a skill that can be developed over time through practice, technique and effort, is it? Nor is it a talent for the gifted few. Perception or awareness is there for all living things, unsolicited, effortless and free. Isn't that perceived and understood? The snail's awareness may not be like human awareness or like the tree's awareness, but isn't awareness observed in all forms of life by the sensitivity of our own human awareness? Or is this a delusion?

Doesn’t perception require sensitivity and freedom? By freedom, I mean a mind that is not occupied or preoccupied with its own desires, a mind that is not overcome by fear, anger or jealousy, and so on. Aren’t preoccupation, desire, fear, anger, etc., the things that stand in the way of sensitive awareness? So sensitivity or awareness is not a skill that can be practiced or acquired and it is untouched by time.

Can perception or awareness - being independent of time and unrelated to thought - be "used" by the mind-brain-thought to put the house in order?

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 28 Sep 2017
Topic: Creation and destruction as one

For beauty to come into being, the mind must be choicelessly aware of its own pettiness; there must be an awareness in which comparison has wholly ceased.

[Commentaries on Living Series I, Chapter 53, Spontaneity]

Mina and Juan,

For the person who does NOT experience beauty, who does not love, isn't it meaningless to be told that life is beautiful? If my mind IS petty, if I'm jealous, angry, bitter, despondent, afraid, ambitious, lonely, can I experience beauty or love?

K didn't say life is beautiful. He said (paraphrasing), “Your mind is petty and THAT stands in the way of beauty”. But is it a fact? And if it is, am I ready to face myself as I am? "Facing myself", meaning awareness, attention, observation - just that. So it is no good telling me life is beautiful. Help me find the way to see it.

And isn’t stating that “life is beautiful” a label, just as saying “life is ugly” a label? A label tells you something is this or it is that, fixed, unchanging. Life is not restricted to just one attribute, it is not just one way, it is not static. Life is beautiful AND life is ugly, cruel, kind, known, unknown, peace, upheaval, laughter, tears, love, evil ..... not as opposites, as facts, as constant movement. Life is not just “my life”. It is all of life. No?

I might be mistaken.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 28 Sep 2017
Topic: Creation and destruction as one

Juan E wrote at 41: Why are you dividing life between ugly and beautiful?

Juan,

I'm not dividing life. I'm saying life is the totality, not a part. To admit beauty and deny ugliness is dividing life, as I see it. Can beauty be understood by exclusing ugliness?

Can't we be simple about it? "You" are talking to "me", not to yourself. "I" am listening to "you", not to "life". Saying so is not duality, in my view. Apples and oranges are not duality. We eat apples, not mud. We cuddle babies, not barbed wire. These distinctions or differences are not duality.

It is the heart which says - without the shadow of a word - "beautiful" or "ugly". The heart responds to life and the word is not needed for that response to happen. That response cannot be prevented but it can be twisted by the cunning word. If everything is everything, is nothing is anything, if there is no distinction between this and that, we are brain and heart dead, it seems to me.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 28 Sep 2017
Topic: Creation and destruction as one

Mina Martini wrote at 42: ...life is really completely unknown, whole, and in that wholeness utterly beautiful, (utterly 'what is', which is what is desribed in essence! This person uses the word 'beautiful' as a synonym to 'whole, holy', and she does not mean some label with it, the opposite of which would be the label of the 'ugly'. She means neither, no label at all!!) beyond the apparent limitations that any static definitions could ever capture of course!

Mina,

I think you're complicating things greatly (still realizing I can be mistaken).

What do you mean by "in that wholeness"? Life IS its wholeness, isn't it? I CAN look at a part of life, but that part cannot be confused with life which is whole and cannot be arbitrarily fragmented. The "wholeness" of life does not exist on its own, separate from life. If you say that "beautiful" to you is a synonym for "whole", then aren't you saying that "in that wholeness life is utterly whole" ... which ends up being meaningless, no?

It seems to me you are moving the conversation away from self-understanding by insisting that "life is beautiful". Can the person who is ignorant of the workings of his mind see beauty, other than as an idea? Doesn't the very question of self-understanding surface because there IS suffering? If there is just beauty and no suffering, life is not questioned, is it? There is beauty, ugliness, suffering, passion, despondency - all that is life. We don't question suffering as a means to ending it. Suffering is part of life, isn't it? It can't be eliminated, as I see it. Sorrow is the artificial prolongation of suffering through time. It is self-inflicted. No?

Isn't self-understanding crucial for the human being - so that he may live intelligently, not necessarily happily? [Added: ... and if he lives intelligently, will he contribute to the suffering?]

Please forgive me if I'm harsh. Can we understand each other - heart to heart, mind to mind, the wholeness of you and me? Maybe, maybe not.

[Added: I just noticed the QOTD - "To have right relationship, this barrier of psychological enclosure around each one of us has to be pulled down. Obviously, as I cannot do anything with others, I must first start with myself and set about to pull down the enclosure which I am putting up around me for self-protection." Can we, in our exchanges, "set about to pull down the enclosure"?]

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 30 Sep 2017
Topic: What you ARE, you are not...(to Dan/all)

Mina,

Where is the “'place' where no division exists” and how do I get there from here? Here division IS. I AM the 'place' where division exists, as you say. But I cannot see that I am division unless I first acknowledge or face that I do lie, that I am confused and lost, that I am afraid, that I am cunning, that I do not love, that I am unkind where it makes me feel better, that pleasure is more important to me than understanding truth, and that I pretend NOT to be all that. It is in the moment that I stop pretending "not to be what I actually am" that I see the division between what-is and what should be, isn’t it?

Isn’t awareness the “pathway”, if I dare to call it that? K didn’t call it that for then his listeners would surely immediately try to “practice” awareness ..... and clearly, practicing awareness instantly chases awareness away. Awareness cannot be reached through practice.

But I can understand what thought is in all its guises by observing all its manifestations in myself - psychological time, fear, anger, jealousy, pretense, conceit, conflict, ambition, self-blame, intention, subtle or vague intimations of “something”, can’t I? Then don’t I simultaneously understand that awareness is not thought and that understanding is not thought? In one movement, I see-learn-understand about the nature of thought, awareness and understanding, it seems to me. So instead of practicing awareness, I understand what humble awareness is and how fragile it is. Then when I lie, I stop pretending that I am NOT, and just be aware of the lying. Then I see the division. Nothing more. No?

Added:

Group Discussion 30th December, 1947, Madras, India [today’s QOTD]

Your problem is to be that which you are. If you are stupid, cunning, black-marketing, be that. Be aware of it. That is all that matters. If you are a liar be aware that you are a liar; then you will cease to lie. To acknowledge and to live with 'what is' is the most difficult thing. Out of that, comes real Love, because that sweeps away all hypocrisy. Try it in your daily life; be what you are, whatever it is; and be aware of that. You will see an extraordinary transformation taking place immediately. And from that, there is freedom because, when you are nothing, you do not demand anything. That is liberation. Because you are nothing and you are free, there is real opening and no barrier between you and another. Though you are married and though you love one, there is no enclosure. If you love one completely, you love the whole because one is the whole.