Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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P Sylvan's Forum Activity | 342 posts in 4 forums


Forum: General Discussion Sun, 09 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

This is my first post to the forum. My own particular line of inquiry at present relates to what we mean by and what is implied by the term ‘perception’ or ‘pure perception’. In the past I assumed that basically what I saw in front of me was what was actually there and until recent times it didn’t really occur to me to question this underlying assumption. Then on one occasion I was out cycling in the countryside and for me something quiet unusual happened.

I happened to see something on the ground by the side of the road. Initially I didn’t know what I was looking at, but in the next instant, a recognition took place and what was being seen was in fact a blue cigarette packet in the grass by the side of the road. In the blink of an eye, a machine gun fire like response, of images, associations and judgments regarding this blue cigarette packet took place such as ‘how thoughtless of someone to have dumped their garbage here’, and, ‘how disgusting, what kind of people would do this’. There was a ‘seeing’ of four or five of these types of judgments / associations and then the whole process was over. I then saw the cigarette packet in a similar way to the tree or the flower nearby. There was a sense that each was essentially the same in that there were no associations or judgments being added to the basic ‘recognition’ of what was being seen.

This whole episode probably only lasted a few seconds and what was different about this from my more ordinary observations was that the process of seeing this object, recognizing it and the subsequent judgments and associations were all stretched out as though in slow motion so that each individual piece of the total was seen as it appeared. I was left thinking that the ‘seeing’ of each piece of the process was its own ending. And I was further left wondering what if anything is seen as it actually is.

Therefore, my question is: What actually is perception?

Paul Sylvan

Forum: General Discussion Sun, 09 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

Hi Dr. Sudhir Sharma

As you say a quiet, still mind sees ‘what is’ as it is actually. Are you also suggesting in your post that ‘seeing / perception’ is clouded when there is thought in such a mind, or ,only when there is thought as reaction?

Paul Sylvan

Forum: General Discussion Sun, 09 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

Hi Rick,

Yes, a good approach. Can we say that any supposed ‘perception or observation’ in which there is an entity as separate from that which is being seen is not ‘Pure Perception’.

Paul Sylvan

Forum: General Discussion Mon, 10 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

max greene wrote: Is there such a thing as "pure perception" in the first place? Is there, can there ever be, perception of something as it actually is? Can we ever truly see things as they are?

Hi Max,

This is a challenging question. We have already suggested that any ‘perception’ in which there is a separate entity perceiving could not be referred to as ‘Pure Perception’. Is there then a ‘perception’ a ‘state’ in which there is no division, no separate entity? In your post, if I have understood you correctly, you are saying that in the present moment - the moment of what IS, there can be no perceiver or observer’. This is how I also see it. So, what is the quality or the nature of ‘perception’ without a perceiver or observer in the present moment? I would suggest that the present moment and its perception are one and the same thing - the same undivided movement. And, that this movement being entirely fresh and new is unrecognizable as recognition cannot enter its domain. All recognition it seems to me arises after the ‘Pure Perception’ of ‘What Is’ and is therefore of time.

Paul

Forum: General Discussion Mon, 10 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

RICK LEIN wrote: i don't know what pure perception is...awareness has no specific object?:)

Hi Rick

I wonder if we can use the words pure perception and awareness interchangeably so long as we are not using awareness in the sense of ‘I am aware of .....

Paul

Forum: General Discussion Mon, 10 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: Are you saying that when observer is absent, then recognition of what is being seen is not possible? Are you not confusing naming with recognition here, Paul S?

Hi Dr Sudhir Sharma,

I would like to give an example to try and convey my point.

You are standing high in the mountains and there is an extraordinary sunset taking place which you are watching. As you stand there, you are drawn in to the sunset and become one with that sunset. There is no longer the sunset, nor the ‘you’ looking at that sunset. There is only that which is being seen, and that, is not describable or knowable in that moment. Of course after the event when thought starts up again it is an entirely different matter. I am therefore suggesting that there is a perception in which recognition of what is being seen is no longer possible. There is therefore no observer, thought or recognition operating in that moment.

‘K’ makes some interesting statements regarding awareness which I think relate to the subject being discussed. On page 2 of the dialogue on Awareness on this site ‘K’ says ‘Awareness has shown us the nature of the trap, and therefore there is the negation of all traps; so the mind is now empty. It is empty of the ''me'' and of the trap. This mind has a different quality, a different dimension of awareness. This awareness is not aware that it is aware’.

Paul Sylvan

Forum: General Discussion Mon, 10 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: Are you saying that when observer is absent, then recognition of what is being seen is not possible? Are you not confusing naming with recognition here, Paul S?

Hi Dr Sudhir Sharma,

I have found several passages which I think speak very directly to your question and which may open up other areas for dialogue. They are from ‘Krishnamurti Exploration into Insight’ and relate to recognition. The full text can be found at

http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teach...

K: ..... “There is a state where the mind does not recognize anything. There is a state in which recognition and experience, which are the movement of the known, totally come to an end.”

K: “Let us begin again. The brain functions within the field of the known; in that function there is recognition. But when the brain, your mind, is completely still, you don't see your still mind. There is no knowing that your mind is still. If you know it, it is not still, for then there is an observer who says `I know'. The stillness which we are talking about is non-recognizable, non-experienceable. Then comes along the entity that wants to tell you this through verbal communication. The moment he, the entity, moves into communication, the still mind is not. Just look at it. Something comes out of it. It is there for man. I am not saying it is always there. It is there for the man who understands the known. It is there and it never leaves; and though he communicates it, he feels that it is never gone, it is there”.

Paul Sylvan

Forum: General Discussion Mon, 10 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

max greene wrote: Are the present moment, and perception without a perceiver, one and the same?

Hi Max,

In so much as the present moment and ‘Perception’ in the way that I am generally using this term on this forum are not of time, I would suggest that both terms refer to the same ‘state’.

max greene wrote: I would say that the very naming as "perception" or even "pure perception" takes perception out of the present moment.

I’m not entirely sure Max, what you are saying here. ‘Perception’ or ‘Pure Perception’ are only terms that we are currently using in our communication in order to point to something which is not touchable by the term itself.

In your ‘top down’ movement you are using the word perception somewhat differently I think to me. I would put the word ‘Perception’ with a capital P in to your category of intelligence/action/creation and as you say ‘and then all else follows’. In ‘Ks’ Exploration into insight, he says:

`there is only perception and nothing else. Everything else is movement in time. Perception is without time. There is a momentum which is timeless.' I am convinced that we could also find many examples of how this word ‘perception is used by ‘K’ in a somewhat different way. Ultimately, so long as we understand how each of us is using the word and what that term is pointing to, I don’t think it much matters.

Paul

Forum: General Discussion Tue, 11 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

RICK LEIN wrote: Well there is the factor of deep conditioning?:)

Rick,

I am not sure what your comment is referring to, but I will add some clarity to my previous statement by including the words ‘and agree’ The statement therefore now reads:

Ultimately, so long as we understand and agree how each of us is using the word and what that term is pointing to, I don’t think it much matters.

Paul Sylvan

Forum: General Discussion Tue, 11 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

RICK LEIN wrote: Perhaps we need a Krishnamurti dictionary? As long as we interpret words according to conditioning we will have distortion?:)

Rick,

Aren't all words conditioned? As to needing a Krishnamurti dictionary, I am not sure that this would solve the problem as ‘K’ uses words to mean different things at different times in different contexts.

Paul Sylvan

Forum: General Discussion Tue, 11 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

The following text from the Ending Of Time seems pertinent to this discussion.

The Thirteenth Conversation with David Bohm at Brockwood Park September 1980

K: ......... “You have told me perception without any motive, direction, pure perception is love. And in that perception- love is intelligence. They are not three separate things, they are one thing. I have a feeling for it. Because you have led me up very carefully - not led me - you have pointed out very carefully step by step, and I have come to that point, I have a feeling for it. I am sensitive enough, by listening to all this, to come to that point when I have a feeling. He says, 'By Jove, that is so'. But it goes away so quickly. Then begins, 'How am I to get it back?' Again the remembrance of it, which is knowledge, blocks”.

Paul

Forum: General Discussion Wed, 12 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

max greene wrote: ...When they are of the timeless present moment, they are not separate, not identified and not named. They don't exist!

Max,

Are you saying that in the ‘timeless present moment’, not only is there no identification and naming possible, but also, there is no recognition either? And, if you are saying this, then it appears that the present moment cannot ever be known as memory has yet to come into existance.

Now, we are attempting to communicate all of this through the vehicle of language which is in and of time. Therefore, I would say that it is appropriate on occasion to use the words Perception, Awareness and Observation in the same way that you have used ‘Timelessness is the present moment’ to point to that ‘timeless present moment’ which is beyond language itself. This is how I am seeing it.

Paul

Forum: General Discussion Wed, 12 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

Do we ever see anything as it is?

Some time ago, Oliver Sacks wrote about a 50 year old man named Virgil. Virgil had been virtually blind from early childhood but as a result of an operation was able to see for the first time. ...‘When the bandages were removed, Virgil could see, but he had no idea what he was seeing. Light, movement and color were all mixed up and meaningless.......His brain could make no sense of the images that his optic nerve was transmitting’. Virgil had to learn to make sense of what he was seeing. Since first reading his account, It has seemed to me that there is a considerable amount of mental processing going on that we are not aware of. It is not just a case of opening our eyes and seeing. If there is no previous experience of the visual world in memory, we are not able to visually recognize what is being seen. And, as all recognition is of the past, can ‘we’ and do ‘we’ ever see anything as if for the first time?

Paul

Forum: General Discussion Thu, 13 Oct 2011
Topic: WHAT IS PERCEPTION ?

max greene wrote: The only way to see something for the first time is to see it with no past, no memory.

Hi Max,

We have both used certain terms which as you say are not the thing, to point towards that which is unknowable. I have suggested that this ‘unknowable’ state cannot be known because memory has yet to come into existence. This does have a certain ring of truth about it for me. However, it also leaves me in somewhat of a predicament... From the point of view of the ‘present moment’, if memory has yet to come into existence, what makes me / us say that there is such a ‘present moment’? How would we know? If memory has not yet been ‘born’ what is the mechanism operating that makes us think that there is such a ‘present moment’ in the first place? You mention in your post ‘The new, faced by factual memory still remains new’. How does this fit with your statement: ‘The only way to see something for the first time is to see it with no past, no memory.’ It seems at first sight that there is a contradiction, but there may not be. For the avoidance of doubt, I am convinced that there is such a ‘present moment’, however, I also realize that only an ‘I’ would say such a thing. Can we penetrate any further into this?

Paul

Forum: General Discussion Thu, 07 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

Paul Davidson wrote: My challenge which no-one has taken, is to answer the question, can there be inquiry without thought?

Hello Paul,

You have asked the question “Can there be inquiry without thought?” In so much as inquiry implies a seeking, a search or investigation, surely such an inquiry can only be conducted with and in thought. It is only the movement of thought that takes me on that journey which I call inquiry. Without any movement of thought, where did my inquiry go and is there one to be had?

Forum: General Discussion Thu, 07 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

"There may be 'inquiry without thought..." and "So, please someone, question inquiry itself..."

Paul,

For me I would say that the inquiry is initiated in and by thought and the excitement of unraveling the question and the implications of that question push me on with the inquiry. This journey is the movement of thought. However, there is amongst all of this thought, something else which appears to be not just more thought. A certain clarity and freshness that can arise during the process of inquiry itself that has both life, energy and vitality. Without these qualities inquiry would not last very long for me. I am inclined to suggest that whilst inquiry is thought, and without thought there is no inquiry, there is the potential for inquiry to be more than just thought.

Forum: General Discussion Fri, 08 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

Paul Davidson wrote: "Because you do not have the seriousness within you to follow an inquiry."

Given that the question arises in consciousness, could it be that the purpose of inquiry is to lead us on to the point of no inquiry? And if this is so, it would seem that this can only happen if there is both the intention and the energy to see the inquiry through to its end. ‘K’ said that the answer was in the understanding of the question. Whilst we don’t see ‘what is’, don’t we find ourselves walking down the many interesting roads of inquiry?

Forum: General Discussion Fri, 08 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

lidlo lady wrote: "...A tool is the extension, the means of the intention that wields it. Thought is the tool, but without the intention to explore, examine, unearth, expose, reveal,..."

Hello lidlo Lady,

Are you saying that the ‘intention’ is manifesting through thought but that it is not of itself thought?

And, if so, in this instance are you using the word ‘intention’ as an alternative word for Awareness? I only ask because intention seems to convey direction and a movement towards an end point which appears to still be the “tool” of thought.

Forum: General Discussion Fri, 08 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

Paul Davidson wrote: P Sylvan wrote: could it be that the purpose of inquiry is to lead us on to the point of no inquiry?

Paul Davidson wrote: I can only consider the purpose of inquiry on the basis of the purposes that we give it. It is an activity of mind. It doesn't come from the stars with its own existential purpose, PS.

Paul,

Yes, my use of the word ‘purpose’ was not well enough considered as, like the word Intention it implies both a direction and an end result. This is not what was intended. I wonder if restating, as follows would make things clearer:

Could it be that the action of inquiry leads to the point of no inquiry?

To be clear, I am not suggesting in any way that inquiry should have an end point or that one is to be desired because that would be the movement of Thought. I am simply suggesting that the action, the doing of inquiry, has its own life and once it is finished that particular inquiry is ended. I am also not suggesting that all inquiry has at that point ended.

Paul Davidson wrote: Even, I it seems to me, if duality were to end in one, inquiry would continue.

You seem to be suggesting that inquiry would continue in the absence of Self? If so, wouldn’t such inquiry be of a different nature to what we have been discussing?

Forum: General Discussion Fri, 08 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

Paul Davidson wrote: The moment mind stops inquiring, the accumulation of fixed points begins. If you are not flowing with the river you are interrupting that flow, like a damn.

Yes and No. It seems to me that it depends on why the Mind has stopped inquiring. I see two possibilities:

1) That there is insufficient energy and intention to pursue inquiry in which case all “fixed points” remain and develop.

2) The moment Mind ceases to inquire, (not due to the action of thought) it becomes quieter and the fixed points dissolve. Where are the fixed points in a quiet mind? The “dam” has at least temporarily been washed away.

Forum: General Discussion Fri, 08 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

lidlo lady wrote: Now that you've brought in the concept of "Self", I must inquire what you mean by that word.

Hi lidlo lady

I used the word ‘self’, to refer to the idea, to the ‘me’ because it seemed to me that this was what PD was suggesting by his use of the term ‘duality’. For the moment, however, rather than moving away into a slightly different conversation regarding the nature of the sense of self, I hope that we can continue to explore the implications and nature of inquiry a little further together.

lidlo lady wrote: "A quiet mind" has no questions, no inquiry, nothing to pursue, and if nothing arises that must be attended to, it falls asleep. A quiet mind is not the end of the rainbow; it's just a respite.

I’m with you as far as nothing to pursue, (depending on what you mean by inquiry) but what do you mean by “if nothing arises that must be attended to” and do you see the only outcome for such a mind as falling asleep?

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 09 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

Paul Davidson wrote: One could say that true inquiry only begins with the ending of self, but this is only logical extrapolation.

Paul,

Yes, this is true. All the while I believe that I am making the inquiry, I will be progressing in time towards some projected end point. This is the trap I fall into because without knowing it I am continually maintaining that sense of a separate observer, of a ‘me’. But now you have said something of real importance and that is: ‘true inquiry only begins with the ending of self’. So now we really are talking about the quality of observation in which there is no “logical extrapolation”.

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 09 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

Ordinarily I think that I am the instigator of my own inquiry, that it is my personal inquiry and that I am making and directing it. But is this so, or, is Inquiry taking place anyway as a natural function of the mind? If it is, my sense of ‘me’ as being the director of the inquiry would be false.

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 09 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

lidlo lady wrote: but there are things we do well not to ignore or dismiss.

Hi lidlo lady,

I don’t understand what you are saying here, can you please elaborate?

lidlo lady wrote: How do you define "quiet mind"?

Lets not define it for the time being but continue ‘feeling’ out the implications of this question that Paul has raised “Can there be inquiry without thought?” that is of course if others are interested. I personally feel very energized by this particular line of inquiry.

lidlo lady wrote: Is it a reality for you or a K-ism?

We may all be using terminology that ‘K’ has used at various times in order to communicate with each other and I’m not concerned with that at all. What matters to me is that I am not intentionally deceiving myself or others in this inquiry. I hope I am able to convey something past any ‘K-isms’. You are of course right to point it out should you consider at any time that this is what I or anyone else is doing.

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 09 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

Paul Davidson wrote: Can a question unfold and reveal?

Hi Paul,

Yes thanks, that is a better way of stating the question and I like the implications for the word reveal in terms of this inquiry.

Paul Davidson wrote: Your question, as you put it, still carries the teleological imprint.

Good job I’ve got a dictionary.

Paul Davidson wrote: Inquiry may lead somewhere or may lead nowhere. It may not lead at all. It may follow.

Or, Inquiry may not be of time at all. I think we have now covered all eventualities.

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Sat, 09 Jun 2012
Topic: And the same idiotic question, "But how?"

lidlo lady wrote: Huh? I missed the "inquiry may not be of time at all" part.

Hi lidlo lady,

Paul Davidson wrote:

'Inquiry may lead somewhere or may lead nowhere. It may not lead at all. It may follow.'

I, was viewing each possibility (albeit a bit tongue-in-cheek) as a movement in Time, hence my statement was designed to wrap up all possibilities including that Inquiry may not be of Time.

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Mon, 02 Jul 2012
Topic: Where is error?

lidlo lady wrote: It depends on what you think memory is. It may be a lot more subtle and complex than you can imagine. The question is whether it's operating when there's no sense of separation or observer/observed duality. I say it is, but in a very different way, that is, non-dualistically. Saying this isn't K-correct, but I'm only interested in the truth of the matter.

Hello Lidlo Lady,

When you suggest that memory is operating when there's no sense of separation, do you mean that memory is operating over and above that which is required for recognition?

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Mon, 02 Jul 2012
Topic: Where is error?

lidlo lady wrote: What's possible is for thought to operate at such a sublime level as to be undetectable, virtually absent, and this is what's happening when perception seems direct, thoughtless, untouched by the past, etc. There's no consciousness, no perception, without the response of memory, though at times it may seem that way.

Hello Lidlo Lady,

When you say “What's possible is for thought to operate at such a sublime level as to be undetectable, virtually absent,” do you mean that energy is moving to produce thought, but thought is not yet sufficiently formed or advanced to be detected, or are you saying something else?

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Wed, 04 Jul 2012
Topic: The True Believer

Hello Dr Sudhir Sharma,

Your comments below raise some interesting questions regarding the nature and processes involved in perception.

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: Perception is related to awareness and not to memory which is the storehouse of experiences/knowledge etc. I fail to understand as to how the storehouse of words and images can do the processing of sensory data that is streaming in live?

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: So far my understanding was that memory reacts, but you are saying that it responds.

I am reminded of the case of Virgil who had been blind from the age of three but as a result of an operation was able to see for the first time. ‘When the bandages were removed, Virgil could see, but he had no idea what he was seeing. Light, movement and color were all mixed up and meaningless; all were just a blur. His brain could make no sense of the images that his optic nerve was transmitting’.

Virgil it seems had to learn how to see again and it does appear to me that a certain and previous ‘conditioning’ is necessary in order to make sense of and literally ‘see’ what is being looked at. For me, such conditioning does not take away from what we are calling ‘direct perception’. I would agree that perception is related to awareness but feel that recognition processes are also involved as responding mechanisms. I think that what is confusing here is that we often talk about memory and knowledge only from the perspective of duality.

The question for me is therefore: Is there content as memory and knowledge which is necessary for processing sensory data but which is not invested with a sense of self? Would you accept any of this?

Paul S

Forum: General Discussion Wed, 04 Jul 2012
Topic: The True Believer

Hi Dr Sudhir Sharma,

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: I am also saying that recognition process is involved, but not in the form of naming what one is seeing/perceiving. Recognition occurs in direct perception and memory helps there but non-verbally.

Yes, This is how I also see it.

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: What is stored in memory as facts and informations can help in recognition, but is formation of words (thoughts) necessary for this to happen?

It seems to me that certain aspects of ‘what is stored in memory as factual information’ enables recognition, and that such recognition does not use words. Words may be used after the event to describe a recognition but do not have any place in the actual instant of recognition itself so far as I can see.

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: Can actual processing of live data be done by preformed, fixed grooves in brain cells?

I suppose it depends on what is meant by fixed grooves in the brain cells. In so much as memory may be seen as the activation of neural networks, then it seems to me that various networks are involved and operating in the process of recognition.

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: Is memory a 'helper' or 'actor' in processing of sensory data?

I would say that memory as recognition is vital in the processing of sensory data. To say that memory is a ‘helper’ would raise the question, a helper to whom? I see this recognition process involving memory as a natural ongoing process that requires no input from that which thinks it is recognizing or naming, i.e. the self.

Does this resonate with how you are seeing it?

Paul S