Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Topic: Has sitting quietly to observe thought any value? Fri, 03 Jun 2016

Meetings with a Remarkable Man

British Actor Terence Stamp and Michael Krohnen at the Pepper Tree Retreat

Wow. This fella is a diamond, I thought, as the diminutive Indian sat down opposite me. It was Rome 1968. I was working with Fellini.

Initially on being invited to lunch with a Sage, I had been confused. Sage was something I had only encountered with onions inside a Christmas turkey. If a little explanation is needed, although I was a working actor, and had been known for some time, I remained an East-End spiv trying to come to terms with what had happened to me. Jeddu Krishnamurti or Krishnaji to his associates, was extremely well turned out, well-cut strides, wearing two shirts. The Indian silk bottle green under a paper-thin two-button cashmere.

We didn't speak, yet occasionally, when he noticed me checking him out, the edges of those dark eyes would crinkle and make me feel self-conscious and, although I wouldn't have admitted it, shy.Other more assured guests, European stringers from Time and Newsweek, peppered him with questions. He didn't appear fazed. After the meal, delicious vegetarian fare, his secretary asked me if I would like to accompany Khrishnaji on his afternoon walk. Is Maraschino a cherry? The fresh air, the energy of our stride evaporated my timidity, and I went into verbal diarrhea. I recall babbling on about my Uncle Bob who'd had major heart surgery and technically died for a moment. I couldn't stop. He didn't speak. At one point he stopped walking and said "Look at that tree." I did as bid. A tree, a sapling actually. Nothing to write home about.

I looked back at him. He smiled. I smiled back. We continued our stroll. I continued rapping. Some more time passed. He paused again, this time touching my arm and glancing up: "Look at that cloud." I did. A cloud, not evening pink or lit from within, rather mundane as clouds go. He looked back at me and smiled. I smiled back. We turned back, I took note of his shoes, bespoke and tiger-stripe brown.

I can't claim to have had any expectations, so I can't say I was disappointed, however I did feel I had somehow failed the audition. And yet. And yet it is, as they say, as if it happened yesterday. But with the benefit of hindsight and the passage of forty years those two incidents may have been what G. I. Gurdjieff intended with his 'Stop' practice or what a fellow traveller entitles 'The pausing of thought'!

Impressed as I was by the perfume of the little fella's personality, I struggled through his many books and lectures, when I could. Not a lot sunk in: 'The observer is the observed.' Rome. 'When the eagle flies it leaves no mark'. Wimbledon.

His favourite pal, the wondrously named Contessa Vanda Pasigli Scarivelli, basically encouraged me to adopt a vegetarian diet, gave me instruction in her 'Hollow Yoga System' and taught me about 'Complete Breath'. Yet, I suppose I was too coarse a material. I sought instant gratification on the less demanding guru circuit, 'enlightenment light' I think of those years now. I justified it to myself as acts of refinement, a rope ladder up to Krishnaji's austere (no toys) dialectic.

Years passed. Tai Chi forms. Whirling Dervishes, Tantric texts, enlightenment intensives, encounter groups, taste abstinence, continence.

A message from Brockwood Park. It is 1977; Krishnamurti has opened a school for children, he is encouraging artists to visit. I clamber on the Portsmouth train at Waterloo, happy at the idea of seeing him again, bothered by a vague notion that it is the very seeking (during my ten years, forced, sabbatical from filming) which is distracting me from the moment, the 'what is' as Krishnaji terms it.,

I find myself beside him at lunch, this meeting is two tiered, starting out as two fellas interested in threads. Current shirt maker, price of bespoke shoes etc. However there occurs a disconcerting shift in his voice and manner best likened to Cole Porter's lyric 'how strange the change from major to minor'."Why do you choose to live superficially?" he asks. I look around at the close proximity of the other diners. "Shall we walk?", he asks.

We stroll toward the ornamental woods and an impressive 'handkerchief tree', which I hadn't seen in bloom before, and is a favourite of his. He takes my hand and fixing me in his glance "I don't mean to be hurtful but you won't get this in a supermarket." He had obviously heard about my sojourn in India, decked in saffron.

"I get caught up in distractions, I guess. I can't grasp your stuff. It's above my ceiling."

"Thought can't grasp it", he replied. "The mind can't grasp it."

"That's what I mean - you always talk about what it isn't."

"Exactly. Any movement of thought is away from it. Yet ask yourself what you can't get away from. Look into it. We'll talk again."

As it turned out, a few years passed while I was looking into it. And then in the Eighties I am in California and I hear he is in Ojai, the place where it 'happened' to him all those years before. On impulse I ring the Foundation and speak to Mary Zimbalist, his current secretary. "Come on up" she says, "He always enjoys seeing you." It is only a two-hour drive on the motorway toward San Francisco. Ojai is an American Indian word; in means 'the nest'. They considered it an enchanted valley and only smoked pipes of peace there. It is high desert festooned with orange groves and often permeated with fragrance of their blossom.

I am taken to the old house where he and his younger brother were billeted to get them away from the London Blitz during World War II. We pass the old pepper tree he leaned against the night 'the ocean was poured into the drop'. Mary sees my look "Yes, it is still here" she says. He is waiting on an old sofa in the main room. Krishnaji is usually dressed in the style of the country he is in but today it is unusually dry and hot and he is wearing his Indian khadi white pyjama draw-string trousers and knee-length kurta. The house has been kept the same, carpets, furniture, fittings all Twenties period. He is austere without harshness. I sit. We sit in silence for some time.

Finally he says "Haven't seen you in any films lately."

"My films don't pull in big audiences. As it happens my public is almost as small as yours."

This draws a chuckle "It's true."

"Why is that?"

It's like what we were talking about at Brockwood; people choose to live superficiality. They have a vested interest in thought. Years, lifetimes, centuries. Can't give it up or rather can't see beyond it." I try a different tack.

"It's known you don't like to talk about yourself, but I feel we've known each other a long time." He doesn't appear to object, so I press on. "I heard you liked motorbikes."

"No", he replies, "cars, fast cars."

I take a deep breath. "Before this happened to you." I am thinking of the Pepper tree, "What were you like?"

"I was an idiot." Then he corrects himself and letting his jaw slacken he pulls it down. "No, I was gormless. No thought in the head. My parents would give me money, I would give it to the first beggar who asked. They would send me out for a walk, I would just keep walking. That's why they had my little brother keep an eye on me. When the realisation came that the mind could observe itself, there were no distracting thoughts."

"I find that depressing," I said.

"Why?"

"Well it's been nearly twenty years since our paths crossed. I've sweated through your books, tried to stay alert during your talks, always assuming you had a radio in your head, always on. Now you tell me you're not a free diver but a fish."

His voice segued into its minor key. "You don't have to be Edison to switch on the electric light."

"Listen", I said, "I am a simple guy, self taught mostly..." He reaches out. His hand on my arm warm and dry.

"What you are...what you actually are, is being. Being is not the mind thinking. Thinking is a movement, a motion. Being is the silence that precedes the motion. You cannot see it; you cannot grasp it because you are it. The feeling that you are. The unadorned naked awareness that is always there, rarely heeded, is what you always have been, always will be. Cannot not be. You can't look for it, because it is what is looking. It is like space, you can't see it but everything is in it. Everything is it. So I say to you, 'be aware when you are unaware' let its presence warm you, fill you. Be present in the Presence." He smiles the serene smile. How could I not believe him? It's okay. It's really O.K.

It was to be our last conversation. He passed away shortly thereafter.

"Each of you hold a hand" he told Mary Zimbalist and a young man who happened to be with him in Ojai "and you will feel me go." They did. And, they did.

Terence Stamp

Posted 19th September 2012 by Andy Gilman

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Wed, 17 Feb 2016

P Sylvan wrote:

Listening

Ravi Seth wrote:

Seeing,tasting,touching, smelling and what you say above .

Hello Ravi,

I meant 'Listening' as in a 'State of Listening'.

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Tue, 16 Feb 2016

P Sylvan wrote :

So our question remains: “can thought be aware of itself?”

Max Greene wrote: Yes, and another question remains as well: How is it possible for thought to be aware?

Hello Max,

What would be our approach to this question?

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Tue, 16 Feb 2016

P Sylvan wrote:

So our question remains: “can thought be aware of itself?”

natarajan shivan wrote:

What is the state in which a question remains unanswered?

Listening

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Tue, 16 Feb 2016

natarajan shivan wrote: P Sylvan wrote:

in order for thought to be aware of itself

natarajan shivan wrote: What we are discussing, as I see, can't be approached from both sides, therefore we have to be careful with the usage of 'in order for'.

Yes. Good point.

natarajan shivan wrote: P Sylvan wrote:

‘starting point’, which includes its mechanism of continuance as the sensed observer (as memory). Is this what you mean or are you saying something other than this?

natarajan shivan wrote: The starting point is not memory, it arises and flows in perception .

Ah, I think I understand what you are saying now, Natarajan. I was thinking that you were still referring to division.

This thinking that we are discussing, that “arises and flows within perception”, cannot then be divided from perception, because the act of perception knows no such division. I would like to suggest that this thinking runs at a ‘higher frequency’ so-to-speak than the thinking with which we are normally more familiar and in which there is the sensed division between the thinker and its thought. It also seems to me that this thinking that “flows in perception” doesn’t ever accumulate content and is therefore always in harmony with the every movement of the new - such thinking therefore, never creating conflict.

The following extract from a conversation between K and David Bohm seems relevant here:

“K: That’s it. Therefore, thought itself is a distorting factor if the truth is not operating.

DB: Yes. I mean, I think that’s quite right. You see, that if truth is not operating then thought moves in all sorts of fortuitous ways. It’s like the wind and the waves, you know.

K: Of course.

DB: The waves come in and they go this way and that way and criss-cross, and whatever happens will just shape thought, make it go all around and distort.

K: Quite. Would you say thought in itself is divisive – understood – is in itself distorting, it is creating distortions?

DB: Well, as a matter of fact it is, or are you trying to say it necessarily does so? You see, there are two possibilities: one is to say thought without the truth necessarily distorts, or the other is to say no matter what happens thought is distorting. I don’t think we want to say that thought...

K: No, no, no.

DB: The other one – right?

K: The other one.

DB: So we say thought without truth is a divisive process.

K: That’s right, sir. Thought without the capacity, without that quality of seeing, is a distorting factor.

DB: Yes.

K: Yes.”

Second Dialogue with David Bohm and Dr Parchure Brockwood Park 24th May 1975

I also find that the following extract speaks to this sense of unity from which an expression of itself takes form.

“Questioner: Can there be thinking without memory?

Krishnamurti: In other words, is there thought without the word? You know, it is very interesting, if you go into it. Is the speaker using thought? Thought, as the word, is necessary for communication, is it not?The speaker has to use words, English words, to communicate with you who understand English. And the words come out of memory, obviously. But what is the source, what is behind the word? Let me put it differently.?

There is a drum; it gives out a tone. When the skin is tightly stretched at the right tension, you strike it, and it gives out the right tone, which you may recognize. The drum, which is empty, in right tension, is as your own mind can be. When there is right attention and you ask the right question, then it gives the right answer. The answer may be in terms of the word, the recognizable, but that which comes out of that emptiness is, surely, creation. The thing that is created out of knowledge is mechanical, but the thing which comes out of emptiness, out of the unknown, that is the state of creation.”

The Collected Works, Vol. XII",181,Choiceless Awareness

natarajan shivan wrote: P Sylvan wrote:

So could we consider the following: When the observer is the observed and therefore the factor of division has ended, that Perception is the seeing in which the seen is no longer separated from the seeing, and in that state of unity, thought can be said to be aware of itself as it comes into being?

natarajan shivan wrote: We can't say anything about such thought, but the fact of it can be evidenced by the absence of conflict despite our lack of awareness about it.

So our question remains: “can thought be aware of itself?”

Paul

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Sun, 14 Feb 2016

natarajan shivan wrote: “Thinking being aware of itself, as I see, implies decoupling of it from memory as its starting point, but nevertheless contains it as inseparable from itself.”

P Sylvan wrote: I’m not clear as to what you mean here. Are you saying that “decoupling of it from memory”, means that thought is no longer being looked at from separation, i.e. from within the field of thought, and that therefore, there is no longer two but one?

natarajan shivan wrote: decoupling of it from it's starting point which is the reserve as past/memory. As I see, there is no more looking at it continually but we are aware of its beginning, and by letting it happen thus , we are one with it, in unity.

OK, let me try again, Natarajan, and if I am still off the mark in terms of what you are saying, perhaps you could let me know at which points I am misunderstanding your meaning.

I think that you are suggesting that in order for thought to be aware of itself, that there first needs to be a ‘decoupling’, or an ending of the difference between thought and ‘its’ ‘starting point’, which includes its mechanism of continuance as the sensed observer (as memory). Is this what you mean or are you saying something other than this?

It also seems that you are further suggesting that after this ‘decoupling’ or ending has taken place, that there is then (in relation to thought), “no more looking at it continually” from within the field of thought. Further, that in the absence of the observer/observed division, there is an awareness of thought arising from “its beginning” and “by letting it happen”, or in other words, without there being any centre interfering or attempting to change that which arises, there is unity in which awareness and thought cannot be divided because the former factor of division is now absent.

It seems to me, that upon the observer being the observed, that there is then no longer any factor of division in thought, and thought can therefore no longer be separated from Awareness itself. I am reminded of several statements made by K that seem pertinent here:

“The essence of thought is that state when thought is not.” (Notebook (61) 20th)

And:

“In the total emptiness of the mind, intellect, thought, feeling, all consciousness have their existence.” Krishnamurti's Notebook (84) 13th

So could we consider the following: When the observer is the observed and therefore the factor of division has ended, that Perception is the seeing in which the seen is no longer separated from the seeing, and in that state of unity, thought can be said to be aware of itself as it comes into being?

Is this what k was pointing to when he said: “So you are not aware as thought arises, but thought itself is aware as it comes into being.” ?

Paul

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Fri, 12 Feb 2016

natarajan s wrote: P Sylvan wrote:

When K asks: “can thought be aware of itself”, it may appear that he is suggesting that thought has attributes over and above those of being a purely mechanical functioning. However, I don’t think that this is what K is suggesting

natarajan s wrote: Paul,

Could we consider both (i.e. observer as memory united with the observed in awareness and also the progressive movement of awareness from then on towards some sort of action)as a part of one and same situation, i.e. Seeing, effortlessly flowing into Doing. The tension held in the situation of observer/observed translating into action. Awareness which signified the relationship, moving towards action which contains it as Unity.

Thinking being aware of itself, as I see, implies decoupling of it from memory as its starting point, but nevertheless contains it as inseparable from itself.

DO (BE)-BE(DO)-DO (BE)-...Doing(Seeing)-Seeing(Doing)-Doing(Seeing)--back and forth.

“Could we consider both (i.e. observer as memory united with the observed in awareness and also the progressive movement of awareness from then on towards some sort of action)as a part of one and same situation, i.e. Seeing, effortlessly flowing into Doing.”

Hi Natarajan,

Are you saying that upon the condition in which the observer (‘as memory’) is the observed, that seeing and action are unified in the sense that the doing is the manifestation of the seeing? Is this what you are proposing?

“The tension held in the situation of observer/observed translating into action.”

Yes, I agree, that the energy previously locked up in the psychological structure of difference is therefore freed into action.

“Thinking being aware of itself, as I see, implies decoupling of it from memory as its starting point, but nevertheless contains it as inseparable from itself.”

I’m not clear as to what you mean here. Are you saying that “decoupling of it from memory”, means that thought is no longer being looked at from separation, i.e. from within the field of thought, and that therefore, there is no longer two but one?

"DO (BE)-BE(DO)-DO (BE)-...Doing(Seeing)-Seeing(Doing)-Doing(Seeing)--back and forth.”

In terms of the “DO (BE)-BE(DO)...." it seems, if I am understanding you correctly that there would be an ongoing movement in and out of Awareness - is this what you are suggesting?

Apologies for all the questions but I want to make sure that I am not misunderstanding or misinterpreting what you are writing as this is not an easy area of inquiry.

Paul

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Fri, 12 Feb 2016

natarajan s wrote: P Sylvan wrote:

When K asks: “can thought be aware of itself”, it may appear that he is suggesting that thought has attributes over and above those of being a purely mechanical functioning. However, I don’t think that this is what K is suggesting Paul,

Natarajan S wrote: Could we consider both (i.e. observer as memory united with the observed in awareness and also the progressive movement of awareness from then on towards some sort of action)as a part of one and same situation, i.e. Seeing, effortlessly flowing into Doing. The tension held in the situation of observer/observed translating into action. Awareness which signified the relationship, moving towards action which contains it as Unity.

Thinking being aware of itself, as I see, implies decoupling of it from memory as its starting point, but nevertheless contains it as inseparable from itself.

DO (BE)-BE(DO)-DO (BE)-...Doing(Seeing)-Seeing(Doing)-Doing(Seeing)--back and forth.

Hello Natarajan S,

I’m not sure if you will see this message as your account has been deleted, but if you do, and if you are interested in exploring the themes in your post together a little further, please send me a PM.

Best,

Paul S

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Wed, 10 Feb 2016

max greene wrote: P Sylvan wrote (quoting Krishnamurti):

. . . thought doesn’t have to acknowledge – it is mechanical.

max greene wrote: How can thought be mechanical? Thought is the result of the brain's process of thinking, and thought is therefore totally psychological. How can the psychological be mechanical?

It is the brain that functions mechanically. Thought is the self, an imaginary construct by the brain.

Hello Max,

When you say that “thought is therefore totally psychological”, are you saying that all thought has within it the sensed division of the observer and the observed? From previous conversations I think that perhaps you might be? What K and Bohm seem to be saying in the particular quote that I posted is that in Perception, thought no longer takes itself to be something that it isn’t, and therefore, in the absence of the observer/observed division, thought then functions mechanically as required in its correct area of functioning. So in relation to thought, K and DB have said:

K: "No, thought doesn’t have to acknowledge – it is mechanical.

DB: No, no, it is mechanical. Yes, all right. Thought has changed so that it is mechanical and thought no longer attributes to itself – I want to put it that thought ceases to attribute to itself the non-mechanical.

K: Yes, that’s right."

In the same conversation, K also states in relation to thought that:

K: "Yes, creative, opposite – quite, quite. So if it is merely mechanical then it can operate mechanically in everything without any psychological centre.”

Eighth conversation with Dr Bohm in Gstaad 25 July 1975

Paul S

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Wed, 10 Feb 2016

"Can one observe the movement of thought, not as an observer looking at thought, but thought itself becoming aware of its own movement”

I am reposting the following quotes taken from posts 62 onwards.

“thought itself becoming aware of its own movement”

And:

“to see the fact of that image without the observer”

And:

“That is, can thought be aware of itself, as it arises?”

And:

“find out if that thinking can be aware of itself. Not you aware of thinking”

And:

“ Now take one thought and see if that thought can know itself.”

And:

“So you are not aware as thought arises, but thought itself is aware as it comes into being.”

When K asks: “can thought be aware of itself”, it may appear that he is suggesting that thought has attributes over and above those of being a purely mechanical functioning. However, I don’t think that this is what K is suggesting, and in the following extract K and Bohm are to my mind quite clear that when there is Perception, a change occurs in which thought is no longer producing the illusion of its being anything other than entirely mechanical in its nature.

“K: Yes. No, let’s get this clear, I’m not quite… Let’s get… There is total perception. In that there is no thought. And that perception is action.

DB: Yes, and that will change the quality of thought by changing the brain cells.

K: Yes, and so on – we’ve been into that. Now, thought has only a mechanical function.

DB: By mechanical we mean more or less not intelligent, you see. In the dictionary they are given as more or less opposites.

K: Yes, thought has…

DB: It’s not creative, not intelligent.

K: No, no, it’s purely mechanical.

DB: Yes. Creative is also taken as the opposite of mechanical.

K: Yes, creative, opposite – quite, quite. So if it is merely mechanical then it can operate mechanically in everything without any psychological centre.”

Eighth conversation with Dr Bohm in Gstaad 25 July 1975

And:

“K: That’s right, that’s right. When that is seen, thought is then merely mechanical.

DB: Well, then thought acknowledges…

K: That’s it.

DB: …it is mechanical. You see, thought...

K: No, thought doesn’t have to acknowledge – it is mechanical.

DB: No, no, it is mechanical. Yes, all right. Thought has changed so that it is mechanical and thought no longer attributes to itself – I want to put it that thought ceases to attribute to itself the non-mechanical."

K: Yes, that’s right.

Eighth conversation with Dr Bohm in Gstaad 25 July 1975

So the question arises as to how can thought be aware of itself, if it (thought) is a purely mechanical ‘thing’? Is there another way of understanding what K is saying here?

Paul S

Topic: About the unconscious mind......Revisited Mon, 08 Feb 2016

Sean Hen quoting K wrote in post 62: Krishnamurti: "Can one observe the movement of thought, not as an observer looking at thought, but thought itself becoming aware of its own movement; the awakening of thought and thought itself observing its movement?

Hello Sean,/Dan,/All,

In relation to the above, I recently posted the following extract on another thread which seems to be addressing the same question. I have also copied below that a further extract which I think is relevant.

“but also to be aware of what the machinery is that creates the image. Now let us see what that machinery is. You understand my question? That is, first one has to be conscious, to be aware, to know - not verbally, not intellectually, but actually know as a fact - the existence of this image. It is one of the most difficult things because to know the image implies a great deal. You can know, you can observe that microphone - that is a fact. You may call it by different names, but if we understand what you call by these names, then we see the fact of it. So there is no interpretation there; we both know it is a microphone. But it is a different thing to understand the image without interpretation, to see the fact of that image without the observer, because the observer is the image-maker, and the image is part of the observer. This is a very complex thing.”

First Talk in Bombay, 1966

(Highlighting mine)

AND:

"Now the question is a little more difficult, more deep. Can thought - please listen to this - which is, you can be aware as anger arises, that is fairly simple, but is there an awareness of thought itself? You understand what I am saying? You are thinking now, aren't you? Or are you all absent minded? You are thinking now, aren't you? Now as you are thinking find out if that thinking can be aware of itself. Not you aware of thinking - do you understand the problem? I wonder if you see this. This is really great fun if you go into it. Not only fun, it is very, very serious, because we can go very, very deeply into all this. That is, you are thinking about something, about your dress, how you look, what people have said, what you are going to meet, and this and that - thinking is there. Now take one thought and see if that thought can know itself. Ah, yes, sir, this requires tremendous attention which you are not used to. You are thinking about the dress you have had or you are going to buy. The thought that arises, can that thought say, 'Yes, I am awake' - you understand? I see myself, itself, not you observe the thought, because you are also thought. Do you understand? So you are not aware as thought arises, but thought itself is aware as it comes into being. I wonder if you see this.”

J. Krishnamurti Second Question & Answer Meeting at Brockwood Park 30 August 1979

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

(Highlighting mine)

Paul S

Topic: Perception - pure, direct and total. Is there such a thing? Sun, 15 Nov 2015

Hi Robert,

I have sent you a PM.

Paul

Topic: "Living in the moment" Fri, 16 Oct 2015

max greene wrote (post 81): What is the "noise" in the mind but thinking? Is this motiveless thinking noiseless?

Max, I would say that the “noise” that you mention is always the movement of escape from this actual moment which is experienced as the ‘me’ and the ‘not me’. For there to be thinking in which there is no longer a ‘me’ requires that there is no escape from the fact taking place. Then, whatever is perceived is arising within silence.

Paul

Topic: "Living in the moment" Fri, 16 Oct 2015

Jean Gatti wrote: In this case, a "thought that has no center" would just mean a thought which happens spontaneously but which is not 'controlled' by a center (ie. self) ... therefore this kind of thought does not belong to anyone (as there is no 'controller') ... in this case also there is no 'loss of attention' (or loss of awareness), because this 'voice' is just observed as any other outer event, there is no 'absorption' of attention caused by a will of control ...

Hello Jean, I hope you don’t mind me jumping into your conversation here with Max.

What you are saying in the above appears to me to rest upon there being that quality of mind that K refers to as attention in which the sensed observer is entirely absent. Up until this point, everything has been seen in reference to a sensed observer, to an experiencer experiencing ‘its’ thoughts, ‘its’ consciousness. But when there is no sensed observer or experiencer, there can be no sensed ‘ownership’ of thought. Therefore, thought is no longer seen as your thought or my thought and its arising is within the emptiness of listening.

The following is relevant here:

K: Wait, wait, this is sit - I'm showing it to you. So can the mind be without thought, and use thought when necessary? Which means, the mind being empty of thought can use thought, and live with thought, in harmony, not one and the other. And this is meditation. So that the mind has no illusion; and illusion arises when you want to achieve. When you say, 'I must attain that,' and then you can invent something which you will attain and think you've got it. But always if you can remember that piece of wood on the mantelpiece - you follow? (laughs) So my mind, so the whole of my mind is sacred - you understand? - not its content is sacred. I wonder if you're meeting all this - but that quality of mind that's completely empty. And out of that emptiness, space and silence, thought can operate. This is all my description, you understand? - it's not yours.

Sixth Public Discussion in Saanen August 1972 (my highlighting)

Paul

Topic: "Living in the moment" Fri, 16 Oct 2015

P Sylvan quoting K wrote: “There are two different kinds of thinking: one, thinking about something, about a problem, about a personal issue, or about the world and so on. That is, thinking about something. And is there another kind of thinking which is not about something?”

And:

“Where there is attention there is no centre from which you are attending. I wonder if you are doing it as we are talking. That is, when you attend, in which there is no division, then in that attention thought is not your thought or my thought, it is thinking. Can we proceed along these lines? Are we following each other?”

First Public Talk in Saanen, July 1979 (highlighting mine)

max greene wrote: That is a strange talk by Krishnamurti. It seems to be at odds with other talks -- at least, some of his other talks.

As you say Max, It is an unusual talk in terms of what K may have been suggesting in regard to thinking but it is not the only talk that addresses thinking in this way. Take for example the following quotes taken from an extract from the 3rd Public Talk, Bombay, 17th February 1965:

“And as long as we maintain the thinker as the centre, as the observer, there must be conflict”

“So one has to observe thought without the thinker – that is, not to condemn thought; not to change it; not to suppress it, ... but just to observe thought. Then, you will say, Who is the observer who observes thought? The observer, the thinker, exists only when there is the idea to transform the thought, to suppress the thought, to change the thought, to dominate the thought, to control the thought.”

source: Bombay, 3rd Public Talk, 17th February 1965 (highlighting mine)

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

It might seem from the above quotes that once the sensed division in thought has ceased, or in other words when the observer is the observed, thinking is then a naturally occurring process in which there is no longer the sense of any thinker. Some of the quotes from the previously presented text along with the following text from which the above quotes are taken can be read in different ways though which needs to be borne in mind whilst looking at all of this.

“And one of the major contradictions in our life is this: the division between the thinker and the thought. The thinker for most so-called religious people is the atma and all that stuff; something that is first, and thought afterwards. But if you observe, there is no first, there is only thinking; thinking invents the thinker, and the thinker assumes a permanency in time, as the supreme, the higher self, the atma; but it is invented by thought. Without thought, there is no thinker, so we have this contradiction not only at the conscious level but at the unconscious level. There is this division - mine and not mine; having experience and to experience more; to change the thought by the thinker. So there is this duality, a battle that is going on consciously or unconsciously, all the time. And as long as we maintain the thinker as the center, as the observer, there must be conflict, and hence action breeding further conflict. So one has to observe thought without the thinker - that is, not to condemn thought, not to change it, not to suppress it, not to say this thought is good, that thought is right, this thought is noble, that thought is ignoble; but just to observe thought.

Then, you will say, ' 'Who is the observer who observes thought? '' The observer, the thinker, exists only when there is the idea to transform the thought, to suppress the thought, to change the thought, to dominate the thought, to control the thought. Only when there is the activity of doing something about the thought, is there the thinker. But when that whole activity stops, there is thinking, and not the observer thinking. And when you so observe, you will see that, in the observation, the thought undergoes a fundamental revolution; and, therefore, life, existence, is such that there is no contradiction in action. This is not an ideal; this is not something for you to achieve. Do not think in that way anymore. This is a natural process, if you understand this extraordinary phenomenon of observation: to observe oneself without any desire, without any sense of wanting to change, to mutate, to suppress^ - just to observe.”

Third Talk in Bombay, February 17, 1965

Paul

Topic: "Living in the moment" Thu, 15 Oct 2015

In relation to “two kinds of thought/thinking”, discussed in posts 49, 50 and 51, what do others make of the following extracts taken from the First Public Talk in Saanen, July 1979, in which K goes into the subject of ‘thinking together’?

The full talk can be found at the following address and is worth reading:

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

“There are two different kinds of thinking: one, thinking about something, about a problem, about a personal issue, or about the world and so on. That is, thinking about something. And is there another kind of thinking which is not about something?”

And:

“Where there is attention there is no centre from which you are attending. I wonder if you are doing it as we are talking. That is, when you attend, in which there is no division, then in that attention thought is not your thought or my thought, it is thinking. Can we proceed along these lines? Are we following each other?”

First Public Talk in Saanen, July 1979 (highlighting mine)

Paul

Topic: WOOBUSTERS Tue, 13 Oct 2015

The following might also be of interest to you Wim.

Questioner: I am very interested in your teachings; I would like to spread them, and which is the best way?

Krishnamurti: Truth cannot be repeated; when repeated it becomes a lie. This repetition is not truth, and so propaganda is a lie. Truth is to be experienced directly. Repetition is a mere copy. That which you repeat may be a truth to him who has experienced it, but when it is repeated it becomes a lie. In this terrible net of lies, called propaganda, thought is caught.

Eleventh Talk in Madras

Paul

Topic: WOOBUSTERS Tue, 13 Oct 2015

"Another related memory is from K. : “repeated truth becomes a lie.” I’ve tried to find the source without success."

Hello Wim,

Is the following helpful?

Krishnamurti: To be a propagandist is to be a liar. (Laughter.) Don't laugh, Sirs. Because, propaganda is merely repetition, and repetition of a truth is a lie. When you repeat what you consider to be the truth, then it ceases to be the truth. Say, for instance, you repeat the truth concerning man's relationship to property, the truth which you have not discovered for yourself; what value has it? Repetition has no value; it merely dulls the mind, and you can only repeat a lie. You cannot repeat truth, because truth is never constant. Truth is a state of experiencing, and what you can repeat is a static state; therefore it is not the truth.

The Collected Works, Vol. V Bombay 10th Public Talk 14th March, 1948

Paul

Topic: Perception - pure, direct and total. Is there such a thing? Tue, 13 Oct 2015

Jean Gatti wrote: P Sylvan wrote:

Quoting K : "... I am talking about seeing in itself. Is there a seeing without knowledge, without the object?" ...

Jean Gatti wrote: for this kind of seeing to happen, mind must remain absolutely silent and empty

Hello Jean,

Yes. The seeing that K is talking about when he says that: "... I am talking about seeing in itself. Is there a seeing without knowledge, without the object?" is therefore a seeing in which there is no sense of any seer. I understand K to be using the term seeing therefore, in the above, in the same way that he uses the term listening, as in the act of listening. In the conversation, ‘In The Mind of Krishnamurti’ between K and Pupul, K speaks to a quality of mind which is, to use your words Jean, “silent and empty”.

K: “...there is a state of absolute nothingness, and that that nothingness cannot be examined—because examination implies measurement, and there is no measurement of nothingness; full stop. You see, obviously, you can only perceive nothingness if your mind is also that.”

Rishi Valley 15 December 1978 (highlighting mine)

And:

K: “If you are talking casually, you don’t listen. But if you are talking seriously, you are listening to the questioner and you are listening. You see, Pupul, there is an act of listening which is not ‘me’ listening to my responses. There is only listening”.

Rishi Valley 15 December 1978 (highlighting mine)

Paul S

Topic: Why did Krishnamurti say..... Thu, 08 Oct 2015

max greene wrote: Is there any thought, either so-called psychological or functional, that does not have a center?

Why did Krishnamurti say...

Re: Post 109 & 129

Hi Max,

Perhaps in the end it all depends upon the scope of the activity that we include within any definition of thought. But in the spirit of this particular thread title - “Why did Krishnamurti say...”, perhaps we could take another look at what he might have meant in the following extract:

“Meditation really is a complete emptying of the mind. Then there is only functioning of the body; there is only the activity of the organism and nothing else; then thought functions without identification as the me and the non-me. Thought is mechanical, as is the organism. What creates conflict is thought identifying itself with one of its parts which becomes the me, the self and the various divisions in that self. There is no need for the self at any time. There is nothing but the body, and freedom of the mind can only happen when thought is not breeding the me. There is no self to understand but only the thought which creates the self. When there is only the organism without the self , perception, both visual and non-visual can never be distorted. There is only seeing 'what is' and that very perception goes beyond what is. The emptying of the mind is not an activity of thought or an intellectual process. The continuous seeing of what is without any kind of distortion naturally empties the mind of all thought and yet that very mind can use thought when it is necessary. Thought is mechanical and meditation is not.”

Extract taken from 'The Beginnings of Learning'. Copyright: Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd. London. 1979

Paul S

Topic: Why did Krishnamurti say..... Thu, 08 Oct 2015

Jean Gatti wrote: because oftentimes even functional thought can easily be 'perverted' or 'corrupted' by some sense of self.

Jean / All,

Perhaps the question as to whether a particular thought is functional or psychological is determined not by the thought itself but by the nature of the seeing or the quality of mind in which that thought arises. In other words, it is the seeing that determines whether or not it is appropriate to refer to a thought as functional or psychological and not the thought itself.

Jean Gatti wrote: It can also be said that thought, in all cases, means inattention because the thought process itself captures all our attention...

In terms of psychological thought this seems to be so. The question I am asking though is whether there can be thought occurring, in which there is no longer any centre, or in other words a state of attention without a centre in which thought still operates as and when necessary.

The following lengthy extract (sorry) may be addressing this point and also talks about how in attention, thinking is then no longer your thinking or my thinking. This might be a good area to further explore.

Where there is attention there is no centre from which you are attending. I wonder if you are doing it as we are talking. That is, when you attend, in which there is no division, then in that attention thought is not your thought or my thought, it is thinking. Can we proceed along these lines? Are we following each other?

When you give your attention, which means to give all your mind, your heart, your nerves, to completely give attention, do you find that there is a centre from which you are attending? So in that attention there is not your thinking and the speaker thinking, there is only a quality of total attention. Right? Don't look so mystified (laughter), it is really quite simple.

You see our thinking, ordinary everyday thinking, is with regard to a certain subject, to a certain action, to a certain problem - thinking about something. Right? Right? That thinking is from an experience, from a memory, from a knowledge, therefore it is your experience opposed to another's experience. So there is always division. Right? Please follow this. You have your opinion and another has his opinion and the two divisive opinions, dividing opinions can never come together. If you believe in something and another believes in something else strongly, then there is wide cleavage. To that way of thinking we are accustomed. Right? Now we are asking: that thinking can never be 'together' because it is always either opposing, defending or accepting. Whereas we are saying something entirely different. Thinking together implies that you and the other have let go all their prejudices and all that - thinking together because in that thinking together there is no your thinking and my thinking separate, it is together thinking. Right? Have you understood this?

No, please this is very serious because it is either you accept it as an intellectual concept, which then becomes your concept and his concept. If you merely accept the verbal explanation and draw from that explanation a conclusion according to your experience, knowledge, prejudices, and the other does the same, there is no coming together. You are following all this? It is important that we come together in our thinking so that there is no barrier between your thinking and my thinking, his or hers. Can we do this together? Because from this we can proceed because your mind then has a totally different quality. It is entirely objective, nothing personal. The self-centred problems with which we are burdened can never be solved unless there is a different quality of thinking or a different quality of perception, a different quality of insight into the problem. Right? I wonder if you are following all this.

First Public Talk in Saanen July 1979

Paul S

Topic: Why did Krishnamurti say..... Thu, 08 Oct 2015

Jean Gatti wrote (post 99): "Thought is a failure device, by construction."

Hi Jean,

Thought as in psychological thought moves us away from the actuality of this present moment and in that movement begins a search for completion in time away from that which is already complete. In this sense I would agree with your statement that “Thought is a failure device”.

However, when there is no immediate movement of thought leading away from the actuality of this moment, then perception is no longer being compromised. Under this condition, it seems to me that thought can then operate and its operation is no longer an escape from the moment and no longer “a failure device” as perception is not being interrupted by its movement.

Are you seeing this similarly or were you pointing to something else with your statement?

Paul S

Topic: Perception - pure, direct and total. Is there such a thing? Thu, 24 Sep 2015

Robert Neilson quoting K wrote: You can come upon your relationship to this nothingness and its fear only by being choiclessly aware of the escapes. You are not related to it as a seperate, individual entity; you are not the observer watching it; without you the thinker, the observer, it is not. You and nothingness are one; you and nothingness are a joint phenomenon, not two seperate processes.

Hello Robert,

Thank you for posting the above extract which is pertinent to the topic under discussion.

Robert Neilson wrote: Interesting what he says about "joint phenomenom" I have cognised in actuality that complete negation and 'observed' but I have had only moments of what might be that perception before the thinker intruded

Yes, I would say that thought is very keen to move in the hope of discovering this ‘pure’ perception or ‘nothingness’ that K talked about, but less keen on acknowledging that its very movement denies that which it seeks. In this respect I find what K has said in the above extract in relation to “being aware of the escapes” significant.

Paul S

Topic: Perception - pure, direct and total. Is there such a thing? Thu, 24 Sep 2015

P Sylvan wrote:

Is there such a seeing?

mike c wrote:How do you approach that? Do you begin seeing outwardly, nature, becoming sensitive, seeing the clouds, shrubs, flowers, the trees, the leaves, squirrels, birds, listening to the leaves, cars, kids, arguments? If you can't see clearly outwardly, can you see clearly inwardly? I don't know.

Hello Mike, I would say that in the seeing/perception that K is talking about, there really is no division to be made between an inner and an outer because the quality of the mind that is the seeing is the same whatever appears within it.

Perception, as in pure or direct perception, as I am understanding K, refers to the quality of mind that ‘knows’ no division and therefore the moment is complete in and of itself. It is only thought that says otherwise in its subtle or not so subtle movements towards a projected completion in time.

Paul S

Topic: Perception - pure, direct and total. Is there such a thing? Wed, 23 Sep 2015

Perception - pure, direct and total. Is there such a thing?

K talked of a pure, direct or total perception. What precisely did he mean by his use of these terms in relation to perception, because as many visual illusions seem to demonstrate, what we ordinarily see or perceive is continually being put together and modified by mental processes that in themselves limit and condition what is seen. Unless there can be a perception entirely free from conditioning, entirely free from interpretation and interference, or in other words, a perception not touched in any way by the known, it would seem impossible for there to be this pure, direct or total perception that K spoke of. However...

In Tradition and Revolution, dialogue number 17, (Madras), one of the participants (in answer to a question regarding the traditional approach to perception) stated that:

“Perception is `pratyaksham', perception is seeing the self-nature of things, the essential quality of things”

K responded by saying that:

“Seeing the essence of something is perception, is that it? I am talking not of what you see but the act of seeing”... “Seeing is one thing and seeing something is another.”

(my highlighting) (Tradition and Revolution, dialogue number 17, Madras)

K then goes on to say that:

“What is seeing, perceiving to you? Not seeing the object, but the quality of the mind that perceives? Seeing the object with the eyes is one thing, seeing with knowledge is another. I am talking about seeing in itself. Is there a seeing without knowledge, without the object? I see that cupboard. Seeing that is with word and knowledge, the word being associated with the cupboard. Is there a seeing without the image, without the object?”

(my highlighting) (Tradition and Revolution, dialogue number 17, Madras)

AND:

“The state of seeing is more important than what is seen. To be aware of the past in that choiceless observation is not only to act differently, but to be different. In this awareness memory acts without impediment, and efficiently. To be religious is to be so choicelessly aware that there is freedom from the known even whilst the known acts wherever it has to.” (my highlighting) The Urgency of Change, The Religious Life

In the above extracts, K is equating perception not with what is being seen including the mental processes by which the seen becomes recognized and known, but rather, with the 'act of seeing'. In other words, his concern is with the quality of mind that is capable of seeing, or perhaps it could be put in terms of the quality of a mind that is the seeing.

On page 66 (25th Aug 1961) of Krishnamurti’s Notebook, he says:

“It’s the emptiness that is essential not what’s in the emptiness; there is seeing only from emptiness;” (my highlighting)

If what K is saying in the above quote is correct, then it would seem to follow that such a seeing is itself a pure, direct and total perception.

Is there such a seeing?

Paul S

Topic: When slapping a refugeee makes clear violence is so vain Sun, 23 Aug 2015

Max Greene quoting k (post 84) wrote:

("There is no need for the self at any time. There is nothing but the body, and freedom of the mind can only happen when thought is not breeding the self."

Krishnamurti on meditation, "The Beginning of Learning" Australia, published 1979)

Hi Max,

What do you make of the following highlighted text from which your above quote was taken?

Paul

Meditation really is a complete emptying of the mind. Then there is only functioning of the body; there is only the activity of the organism and nothing else; then thought functions without identification as the me and the non-me. Thought is mechanical, as is the organism. What creates conflict is thought identifying itself with one of its parts which becomes the me, the self and the various divisions in that self. There is no need for the self at any time. There is nothing but the body, and freedom of the mind can only happen when thought is not breeding the me. There is no self to understand but only the thought which creates the self. When there is only the organism without the self , perception, both visual and non-visual can never be distorted. There is only seeing 'what is' and that very perception goes beyond what is. The emptying of the mind is not an activity of thought or an intellectual process. The continuous seeing of what is without any kind of distortion naturally empties the mind of all thought and yet that very mind can use thought when it is necessary. Thought is mechanical and meditation is not.

Excerpt taken from 'The Beginnings of Learning'. Copyright: Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd. London. 1979 Published by Victor Gollancz Ltd.

Taken from the krishnamurti Australia website.

Topic: In The Spirit Of Dialogue Sat, 08 Aug 2015

Frank Smith wrote: Can you please say more about this quiet room and its purposes and what it is meant for. I have never been to Brockwood, and find this idea intriguing. It is not similar to a meditation room is it? We are supposed to enter quietly, take quietness with us, before we enter?

Hello Frank,

If I remember correctly Brockwood has a booklet in each of the guest rooms detailing the intentions for the centre. I think that there may be more information on the quiet room within that booklet. I have done a quick search but nothing has turned up - perhaps you could contact Brockwood and hopefully they will be able to help you.

Paul

Topic: In The Spirit Of Dialogue Sat, 08 Aug 2015

Listening.

“Were you aware of the noise of that jet - were you aware of it? Were you aware of your reaction to it? And the reaction was: I wish it would go away because I want to find out, I want him to talk more, it's preventing me from listening. Or did you just listen to that extraordinary thunder? When you listened to that thunder without any choice you listened entirely differently, didn't you? No? You followed the thunder as it went further and further away. You listened to it and then you became aware of the different sounds of the river - didn't you? - of those children far away? But if you said, I don't like that sound because I want to listen here, I want to find out, then what has happened? Then you're in conflict, aren't you? You want to listen and you're prevented by that noise, so there is resistance between the noise and the desire to listen, to find out; therefore there was conflict, and you were lost in that conflict. You neither listened to the thunder nor listened to what was being said.”

Krishnamurti, Saanen Aug 7th 1967

Topic: What is the self? continued Sat, 08 Aug 2015

max greene wrote: Paul,

Memory applied to memory is thinking -- the brain is busy at comparing, evaluating and judging memories. In this activity the present is ignored, as thinking is of image and the past, exclusively. Thinking is tied to memory.

On the other hand, awareness together with memory is not an activity of the brain. I would say there can be an awareness that thinking is taking place -- and the instant of that awareness is the end of the thinking. I can't see it as possible to think and to be aware at the same time.

Is this what you are getting at?

Hi Max, Sorry for the delay in responding to this. I don’t understand what you mean when you say that “awareness together with memory is not an activity of the brain.” Do you mean that memory is not an activity of the brain?

In the absence of the psychological, is it your view that memory arising is non-dualistic in nature?

Paul

Topic: What is the self? continued Sat, 08 Aug 2015

Aseem Kumar wrote: P Sylvan wrote:

Is there any difference in the way in which the response of memory is perceived when the observer is the observed?

Aseem Kumar wrote: Paul, in the presence of observer/observed duality, the past accumulations (knowledge/experiences) stored in memory react emotionally to 'what is' in the now moment.

When the observer is the observed, this emotional component will be affected in some way. Let us try to figure out what all might happen:

The self centered activity/conflict between what is and what should be could be totally (thought plus emotional component) absent by not arising at all.

Hi Aseem,

Sorry for the delay in replying to your post. When the observer is the observed, there will no longer be the illusion of a separate entity that is looking and consequently all thought activity maintaining and perpetuating that observer illusion must dissipate when the observer is the observed.

I had previously asked:

“Is there any difference in the way in which the response of memory is perceived when the observer is the observed”?

Under the above condition, there is only the seeing of fact in which there is no longer any reaction to the fact as the movement of the psychological. This is the fundamental difference it seems to me between observation and the movement of the observer away from or as a reaction to the fact.

The question that I asked also raises again this question of whether or not (upon the observer being the observed) there can be any other response arising in/from memory that can be in essence considered as thought. If there is, then such a response from memory must necessarily be non-dualistic in its nature. So is there a response from memory as a non-dualistic action arising in Intelligence and if there is, is such an action thought?

Paul

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