Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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John Perkins.'s Forum Activity | 380 posts in 2 forums


Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 22 Mar 2016
Topic: welcome to new member

Thank you Clive, and for the opportunity to share some reflections with like-minded. (I selected that word 'reflections' quite carefully with your posts in mind, Max (-: ).

Hello to everyone.

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 22 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

m christani wrote: Is it possible to perceive the hurt, the image, not to improve it, and not to move away?

This seems to me a good question, Mike. It seems very much in line with K's suggestion to watch our thoughts. Just to watch them. It is surely true that we all have a self image and we certainly don't like it being dented or even questioned.

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 22 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

max greene wrote: Watching is easily enough done, but watching is impossible to do with thinking and thought. It is seeing -- awareness -- that is "watching." And, there is no entity who watches. It is always, "I'm going to watch," but in seeing there is only the seen, there is no "I" who sees. The observer quite literally is the observed.

K - Are you watching your thoughts - how one thought pursues another thought, thought saying, "This is a good thought, this is a bad thought"? When you go to bed at night, and when you walk, watch your thought. Just watch thought, do not correct it, and then you will learn the beginning of meditation. Now sit very quiet. Shut your eyes and see that the eyeballs do not move at all. Then watch your thoughts so that you learn. Once you begin to learn there is no end to learning. Krishnamurti On Education Talk to Students Chapter 1

Do you really find this watching so easily done, Max? I envy you if you do. To me it seems to demand an extraordinary level of attention, which also has to be maintained. It doesn't seem to come easily to me at all.

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 23 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

max greene wrote: Thought is the non-existent past and the projected future, but reality is the present. To realize this is to bring the distraction of thought to an end.

Is this to say that if or when a person, through K-style meditation, comes eventually to completely know themself and hence are rid of the 'I' (which, I think, is what the teachings suggest), that they have no more brain movement? Their brain becomes just a dead-weight?

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Fiona wrote: Is this to say that if or when a person, through K-style meditation, comes eventually to completely know themself and hence are rid of the 'I' (which, I think, is what the teachings suggest), that they have no more brain movement? Their brain becomes just a dead-weight?

Tom wrote: K. suggests totally the opposite I would say. Even without thought the brain is still alert with sensing, a term max often uses, right? The brain will still be seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, etc. when thought is absent. Why call it a dead weight if the brain is totally sensitive to the environment...the sunset, the flower, the trees, clouds, one's neighbor, etc?

Hello Tom. Like Max I can't claim any academic knowing about the brain but I'm sure we've all seen video of brain scans, and from them it looks as if the brain is perfectly capable of sitting completely quiet and still if there isn't any stimulation. But even in that stillness it must 'contain' memory, and this makes me think of it as like a battery. A battery, with no circuitry, is just unmoved power. But when say a light bulb is connected, movement (thought) happens. How is this movement (thought) to be separated from memory, which also only happens when a 'bulb' (a stimulous) becomes connected?

You see, I tend to think that the things we give these different names to, such as 'thought' and 'memory', are actually indivisible things, and that we only separate them because that's what the fragmented mind habitually does in order to try to get an idea of what's going on. Strictly, I think it's probably meaningless.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Clive, to your #17

Clive Elwell wrote: K suggested in so many ways that if the brain could be free of the burden of the past, thought, then it would be a different instrument altogether. "With immense potential", I think he said. or even infinite.

He sometimes described his own brain as like an empty drum. When it was tapped (ie a challenge came along) then it gave out exactly the right note, being empty.

I'm sure this is right, but in the vibration of K's 'drum skin' (on stimulation), can thought and memory be divided? And if there is movement at all (as in the 'vibration'), how, please, might it not correspond to thought/memory?

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Max, to your #22

So you would say that memory is like flour in the bakery, it is there, but it can do nothing until the baker (thought, movement) comes along and does his bit.

But my question, really, wasn't just whether thought and memory can be divided but whether they can be divided in the vibration of K's 'drum skin' specifically? You see, if for him the 'drum' is empty but for all the rest of us the drum is full, then surely it would be a good idea for us to work on understanding the difference, wouldn't it?

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Tom Paine wrote: Memory is dormant in 'stillness'...that makes sense. But the brain may be active in that stillness with memory dormant.....active in perceiving the world around one....hearing, seeing, touching...while walking in nature without any image/thought.... or even when listening to one's friend or neighbor.

Are you saying, Tom - please let me get clear - that you think the brain can be active without any corresponding physical movement (whatsoever)? Do you think that the senses work in isolation from the brain?

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Topic: Are There Two Kinds of Consciousness?

max greene wrote: There is the consciousness of thought and the self. But is there another kind of consciousness, a consciousness that can be called "conscious awareness"? In other words, awareness as its own consciousness.

Awareness as its own consciousness is the only way in which "consciousness" can have real meaning and significance.

To my mind I think this comes very close to hitting the nail on the head, Max. I don't think it's far from what I'm trying to drive at in the post I just made on the other thread (of Mike's, 'The Self Image' or something).

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Clive Elwell wrote: So my own feeling is, very tentatively, that thought/memory were not involved in the vibration of K's empty drum. I have a feeling that he discusses this somewhere with Bohm. But when he communicated his response to others, then obviously language was involved, words, and that is part of thought, is it not?

Yes I agree, communication requires thought. But if the communicator (in this instance K) knows what truth is and they are simply trying to convey something about that without any prospect of gain for themself, then surely the whole operation is practical isn't it (ie. as opposed to psychological), and therefore clean despite involving thought?

This is where I tend to differ from Max's views about thought. I don't see why the brain shouldn't be able to work without holding itself the centre of the universe. In fact, it seems to me that if it cannot do this, then the 'teachings', by implication, must not be worth the paper they're written on.

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Mar 2016
Topic: Self knowledge and self knowing, is there a difference?

Clive Elwell wrote: K talked a lot about self knowledge, about how important, how essential it was. But he also talked at great length about the ending of knowledge, about freedom from knowledge.

Is there a contradiction?

I don't think there is a contradiction here, Clive. I think that one the teachings try to convey is that the extent to which a person comes to truly observe the nature of his or her own operation, to that extent will the operation be 'cleaned up'. Therefore, if this is right, then self knowledge is like no other in that it is automatically and instantly converted into action. Therefore, strictly speaking, self knowledge is not knowledge at all but actually practical activity.

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

max greene wrote: Memory is encoded in the cells of the brain, and memory is accessed when we are aware that it is needed. Memory is recalled through awareness, but the brain with its thinking immediately interferes unless awareness continues. As I see it, this interference -- thought, the movement of thought -- is a mistaken use of memory. Memory used with awareness is the correct use of memory.

Doesn't this feel a bit loose to you, Max? I mean, for example, what might it be that becomes 'aware that it [memory] is needed'? How does awareness, without thinking, change (presumably suddenly) from not needing memory to needing it?

I know the whole business is complex to go into so I'm not knocking you here at all, I'm just looking to see if it holds together. One thing I think we can say about K is that his narrative hung together. He could always explain what he said, to whatever depth any listener was capable of hearing it.

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Mar 2016
Topic: Are There Two Kinds of Consciousness?

What shall we study then? Indeed it might be asked what are we here to study? If, that is, we're all so convinced already that what K spent 60 years pointing to is an entirely conjectured 'moon'?

Forum: A Quiet Space Sat, 26 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Juan Eyegaray wrote: So, if i'm not mistaken, you're trying to inquire in which way a person like K is using thought in the 'reality' (as he used to call the world brought about by thought) while himself being in a state of mind that has no need for thought at all, isn't it? ... Or in other words, how it was that his mind, using thought to communicate with the world around, was not corrupted in any way by doing this in the same way our minds seem to be corrupted all the time by that very thought.

On the nail, Juan. Thank you for managing to put it so succinctly. It seems absurd to me to suppose that the operation of the human brain, the most marvelous thing the universe has ever manifested, should constitute an inherent error. And as I have pointed out, such a supposition must automatically invalidate the teachings we're supposed to be here investigating.

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 29 Mar 2016
Topic: What is inquiry?

m christani wrote: What is inquiry?...

Is inquiry related to questioning?...

To me, inquiry is simply become a daily thing, done at odd moments, but it has simply become a fact of my daily life.

It seems to me Mike that 'inquiry' can be of two kinds. It can be private and personal, which is the one you have emphasized and described in your thread opener, or it can be communal, taking the form of dialogue, which is the one we're probably more concerned with here. I'd like to say a little bit about this second variety.

I'd say it involves two or more people taking some relevant subject matter, of real interest to each, and pursuing it rigourously. 'Pursuing it rigourously' to me means to adhere as closely as possible to a rational line of investigation, which in turn means to, as assiduously as possible, avoid any contradiction or inconsistency.

This is harder than it seems, not least because the ego's delusional nature dictates, actually, that it doesn't want to discover (or even approximate too closely to) anything true; it is its antithesis.

Let's examine that a little. Any line of inquiry that stays rational and avoids any contradiction and inconsistency must de facto draw closer to the facts of the matter under investigation. The longer and more intensely the inquiry goes on the closer it must draw to the facts. It can never come to the truth itself, that should be understood, so it is inevitable that such an inquiry must always eventually leave a question hanging, but nevertheless the longer it goes on the closer it must draw, and this scares the living daylights out of ego, which feels threatened on account it itself is the lie.

This situation dictates that at some point, the least truly interested in the dialogue will bail-out. But because this is the last thing they would want to face or admit about themselves, they will not do it openly. So what they do is begin to disrupt (corrupt) the inquiry, which they do by three means; they subtly abuse other participants; they subtly abuse (by eg. 'misinterpretation') statements and questions that arise; or they stay silent when they ought not.

Believe me, the cleverest ones can come up with ingenious ways of doing this to leave themselves looking as though they didn't do it at all. The most perverse and unprincipled activity is likely to become involved, from people from whom the majority would probably least expect it.

This is the problem and what stands in the way, constantly blocking, meaningful inquiry.

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 29 Mar 2016
Topic: What is inquiry?

Tom Paine wrote: The 'me' is basically insecure.

Yes, totally actually. Since the 'me' represents a centre in a universe that doesn't have a centre, it cannot but be entirely wrongly based and hence can never be anything but insecure.

It seeks security in 'knowing' where it's going....in gaining something, even psychologically or 'spititually'.

Indeed. It tries to find security.

I think we are afraid to face that basic insecurity and use discussions as an escape from facing that....facing 'what is'... our problems and conflicts...fears....all the confusion and contradiction in our life.

Yes Tom. You see, the question was 'What is Inquiry' and already we have run off on a tangent.

The fact is that mankind evidences himself able to solve pretty-much any problem he wants to. In every area of endeavour he attains unbelievable heights. And yet, even despite that he himself is the truth that he is looking for, still he cannot manage to make sense of himself. The reason is because in this particular area of endeavour, unlike any other, he comes slap-bang up against the most potent adversary the universe has to offer, viz. himself. And the 'I' that he comes up against is not only determined, literally on pain of death, to outwit him but is supremely confident in doing so, because, despite man's seeming deference (ie. in places like this) to the likes of K, he - the bundle of 'I' - believes in nothing else but itself.

This, as I say, is what inquiry is up against. Dialogue, we might think, should be an easy thing for us to achieve, but in fact it proves itself ad nauseam a virtual impossibility. We talk and talk and talk and do nothing but go round in circles.

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 29 Mar 2016
Topic: What is inquiry?

Juan Eyegaray wrote:

In which sense are you using the word 'avoid'? ... Because as it is used here it seems like it would imply some kind of control ...

Ha ha! I see what you mean. But no, I simply mean that by the employment of rigour, inconsistencies and contradictions should be spotted for what they are and ironed out (eradicated) by mutual agreement.

In other words, when you say 'communal inquire' are you referring to an inquire driven by some member of the group, some authority?

No, Juan, absolutely not. As I tried to make clear, the drive would be provided purely by the genuine interest of the participants.

... And also, on what basis is it considered that there's a contradiction or an inconsistency?

By mutual consent on examination of course. Believe it or not, the specific nature of logic and rationality is common to all compos mentis humanity. If it were not so, then the teachings wouldn't stand a chance of any proper level of recognition.

To me, contradiction and inconsistency while two (or more) people are inquiring into something have a vital function: that is, to become aware of it and so to see something more deeply with regards to the actual inquiring, either for both or just for one of them ... I would like you to explain why they should be avoided?

Of course. This just evidences that we're coming at the same thing from different ends. When I say 'avoid' them, I just mean don't allow them to stand; to carry any weight in ongoing investigation.

Anyway, on what basis you judge that 'they stay silent when they ought not'?

Staying silent simply because the answer to any raised question doesn't happen to suit your purposes is counterproductive and has no place in the type of dialogue we're referencing here.

"There will be no peace in the world unless it is able to listen silently to its own noise." [me]

True.

Forum: A Quiet Space Tue, 29 Mar 2016
Topic: What do you want?

Clive Elwell wrote: Yes. Otherwise we drift, we just pursue whatever desire comes our way, get torn between conflicting desires, suffer endless frustrations. Is this the "going to pieces" that K talked of?

I suspect, Clive, that if one knows what they're talking about in this, they'll know what they're talking about. Ie. they won't have to ask.

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 30 Mar 2016
Topic: Please and Thank You

Florian Tönjes wrote: Interesting to me that the word "thank" originates from Proto-Indo-European tong-, teng- ?(“to think”) according to wiktionary.

Yes very interesting, Florian. Because to offer 'thanks', it seems to me, is really to acknowledge that a kindness or consideration has been recognized; has been observed and thought about.

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 30 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Fiona wrote:

It seems absurd to me to suppose that the operation of the human brain, the most marvelous thing the universe has ever manifested, should constitute an inherent error.

.

Clive Elwell wrote:

Why so, Fiona? I believe there have been many evolutionary "dead ends". Is there any guarantee of success with nature's creations?

Well, Clive, for the vast majority of elapsed time the evolutionary process which has culminated (presently) in us, has managed perfectly well without a judge. The advent of homo sap of course changed that, and now he looks back at the process that 'evolved' him and counts it wanting. Would you consider that an altogether rational stance? What yardstick, for example, does he use? Even the differing philosophical ontologies of the Eastern and Western hemispheres would probably dictate a cultural difference in 'yardsticks'.

In fact, the fact that brain might well be the most complex thing that the universe has evolved might well be the reason for an error developing. It is also possible that the error (ie of the self, the ego) was INHERENT in the development of the brain. And the time has come to remove the error, or go beyond it.

I fear you may be falling into the trap, Clive, (forgive me if you think I'm wrong) of allowing your brain and its ideas run away with you. As K pointed out, we could do this kind of 'back and forth' all day.

Have you read "The Ending of Time" series, Fiona? The starting point is K asking "has the brain taken a wrong turn?"

I have indeed, intensely, thank you. I great series of dialogues between a prince amongst men and a demi god. what could possibly make a better read? And I agree with you the question was put, and discussed. Could you please clarify your point?

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 30 Mar 2016
Topic: The self-image

Fiona: Well, Clive, for the vast majority of elapsed time the evolutionary process which has culminated (presently) in us, has managed perfectly well without a judge.

.

Clive: Well, I am not sure that all the species that have gone extinct would agree with that :-)

Well I think this brings us back to the 'yardstick'. How eg. could we know what might have resulted had any or all of the now extinct species never come about? Perhaps we'd have four heads. Perhaps we'd never have got past the centipede stage. The question is obviously a nonsense that we could bat back and forth all day long for no gain. Fact is that we, its product, cannot rationally 'judge' evolution.

Clive: However, let us not fall into the trap of considering that mankind is rational.

But then why should some folk (like eg. you and me) single out K from the proffered multitude of historical and contemporary 'clever dicks'? He could always explain what he said, and it made sense. What do his explanations chime with if not the same logic and rationality with which those explanations themselves are imbued?

You see Clive, it seems to me we have to establish some sort of a datum from which to work. On K forums the intent and ideal seems to be - at least to some extent - that we use K for that purpose. But it seems often we struggle to get past the circumstance of using ourselves for it in his stead. Our pronouncements continually show that we think we are such clever little monkeys, even though we work our words in such a way as to refute that very idea. In other words, we live in a self-delusional condition. The 'I' has us fooled into thinking we have our eye on it, when the fact is we never get ourselves out of the same old field of operation. The 'I' is our unrelenting and uncompromising master; deny it to ourselves as we will.

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 30 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

max greene wrote: There is no conclusion with awareness and understanding. Thinking comes a conclusion with "yes," or "no," and this conclusion is belief and the self.

Max, I honestly do not mean to deride or make light, but this is your conclusion isn't it? You relentlessly pursue and press it. Questions have been posed, I've observed, the answers to which might cast a shadow of doubt on its veracity; you choose to ignore them it seems.

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 30 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

Clive Elwell wrote: Yes, a good question, Fiona. Perhaps deserving of a new thread. How do we know K's teachings are true?

I could find many possible replies, but in the end I would say: we don't. We are on our own, There is no authority, we have no 'bible', no absolute reference for what is true. And this is consistent with the teachings, this really is what the teachings tell us.

Do they? Do they really? When K entrusted to the Foundations the teachings, exhorting that they should be kept whole and complete and uninterpreted, you're suggesting that he wasn't implying some special and extraordinary thing about them? I think, sir, that perhaps you need to revise your application of 'we'.

Forum: A Quiet Space Wed, 30 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

Clive, why in #5 do you part-quote me? The full quote (ie. "When K entrusted to the Foundations the teachings, exhorting that they should be kept whole and complete and uninterpreted, you're suggesting that he wasn't implying some special and extraordinary thing about them?") would put a different slant on it altogether and, I think, makes your response inappropriate.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

m christani wrote: To me it's a matter of insight. Eg, K says, "Desire comes from sensation, the image made of sensation." And I look and see it is so. Obviously, referring to 'the Other', or whatnot, I can't verify. You can take almost any statement of K and if you bother to look attentively, deeply, you will see that it is so. Obviously I haven't seen or understood everything he's said, but I have found enough truth in his statements that I feel confident enough in the rest, that I say, "Here is something worth studying."

Nice response Mike. I think you put your finger neatly on the object of the inquiries here. If we happen across a university professor who speaks very sensibly and cohesively, and we find that in all his or her writings there is sound reasoning etc., then we lend our ear to that person the more, and the more assuredly. It is the same with K. There is a coherence and consistency to the teachings as a whole and it is for inquirers here to see if they can come to appreciate that fact for themselves.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

max greene wrote: You say there are questions that have been raised about this that I haven't answered. Please lay out these questions, as certainly I did not deliberately ignore them. They should be discussed, as that is what these forums are all about.

Quite so, Max. I think one question that has arisen concerns your idea that all thought is necessarily corrupt on account it is always, you opine, 'I' driven; ie. 'I' centred.

If your theory is right, then it means that nothing, including any teachings - or hence any 'teacher' - can be true. It automatically excludes the possibility, central to the teachings themselves, of a human being coming to 'see' themselves and their own corrupt operation and thereby effecting a clean-up. It sort of tows the party line of the christian priesthood with the deliberately controlling claim of 'man being born in sin with no way out of it' (or in other words, 'We'll save you; just keep putting your money on the plate').

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

Clive Elwell wrote: I sometimes part-quote just to make it clear which post I am referring to. There was no intention to mislead anyone.

Ah! I see. It's just that sometimes a part quote can put the whole thing out of context.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

Fiona wrote:

When K entrusted to the Foundations the teachings, exhorting that they should be kept whole and complete and uninterpreted, you're suggesting that he wasn't implying some special and extraordinary thing about them?

.

Clive Elwell wrote:

It still seems to me that you have not explained why my response was inappropriate, and I invite you again to do that. I really would like to understand what you are saying, Fiona.

Sorry for being unclear, Clive. What I had to say really reflects my personal understanding. You see, I think that when a person gets 'clean', as I fully believe K was, then the very nature of their utterances is qualitatively different to all other utterances. If that is indeed the case then K himself would have been perfectly aware of it of course, and that is why he would view the teachings (which he was for ever disclaiming personally, as in, "The speaker is not important"), as 'special and extraordinary', as I said.

I'll respond to the rest of your post a bit later when I have more time.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

m christani wrote: Hmm...you seem to have poked a hole in my argument! So what is the difference between k and a learned professor?

I don't think I poked a hole in your argument, Mike. I certainly didn't mean to. What I said was intended to be supportive of it because I think you are right. The difference between K and a learned professor is the sheer breadth and depth of what K continually described throughout his life. It is way beyond the bounds of even any combination of academic disciplines. Unlike the professor, what K had could not be 'learned', in my view it could only be seen. The 'professor' scenario is analogous that's all, which is all I intended to indicate with what I said; it is on an altogether lesser scale.

Forum: A Quiet Space Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Topic: How do we know what Krishnamurti said is true?

Clive Elwell wrote: How do we know K's teachings are true?

I could find many possible replies, but in the end I would say: we don't. We are on our own, There is no authority, we have no 'bible', no absolute reference for what is true. And this is consistent with the teachings, this really is what the teachings tell us.

Clive: I think the confusion arose over your post #5 because the part-quote (of me) you used was a question, which you answered with a question.

Anyway, I've highlighted above what I find contentious and possibly the hub of our difference in this. Ie. the question of whether or not it is possible to know that the teachings are true, which you opine it isn't, and further, that you think the teachings themselves even tell us this.

Let me just put, initially at least, a single angle which for me sails against what you suggest:

The scope of what K spoke about is unspeakably vast. It is literally unfathomably immense intellectually. For decades he willingly invited the very brightest and most learned individuals the world had to offer, often two or three at a time, to discuss it all with him and question him on it publicly. No scripts, no preparation. Despite this, as any intelligent and earnest student of the teachings will know, there is no contradiction to be found in it all. (If anybody thinks there is then they should, as a priority, highlight it and let's, by all means, open a thread for its scrutiny). But my point is that a narrative of such scope that can so casually (by which I mean without any apparent effort or time spent in study in the academic sense) be held together by one person and evidence such coherence, cohesion and consistency for so many decades, should surely, to a significant extent at least constitute its own testimony. If this can be discovered, why would the teachings themselves tell us that it can't?