Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Why does the self persist?


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Wed, 19 Apr 2017 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3135 posts in this forum Offline

The self. The self is suffering. The self is disappointment.

The self is the pursuit of pleasure, desire and hope – these things always being in the future, and remaining there.

The self is satisfaction, but always with the shadow of dissatisfaction, frustration.

The self, as I see it, is basically pain. Given that, why does it persist? This seems a reasonable question. Something that has brought about so much suffering, so much misery to the human race; perhaps, for millions of years, somehow has never seen its own consequences. Why? It continually operates in hope it will "succeed" in the future, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. Why? Why?

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Wed, 19 Apr 2017 #2
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1515 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why? It continually operates in hope it will "succeed" in the future, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. Why? Why?

I'm living in perpetual conflict at work, with the wife or kids, if I'm married, with the social pressures to conform, economic pressures, with the dictates of my religion. I sit at my desk at work and daydream about my upcoming date to play golf on my favorite course and have some drinks afterwards with my golfing buddies. This imagined...projected...future is much preferred over what is now...my conflicts, inner and outer.

Let it Be

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Wed, 19 Apr 2017 #3
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 236 posts in this forum Offline

re #1:

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why? Why?

Isn’t the question put by a fragment, that is, by the fragmented mind?

Does the mind itself - not the fragment, not the “me” - understanding its predicament, seeing the root and nature of its suffering, the bondage of its conditioning --- in seeing all this (as you expressed it at #1), does it understand that no amount of effort can break it free, that any effort it makes is still part of sorrow?

It is the suffering which makes me ask why, isn't it? And the suffering is caused by the mind’s conditioning, by the mind's bondage to the process which is responsible for assembling self, isn't it? Self desires a way out … which is understandable but which, to me, cannot and can never (there, I've said it, "never"!) lead to a solution.

It is always consciousness that is searched for the answer. That is still the approach, in spite of our limited understanding of self (as you expressed it at #1). It is the same self, the same divided mind, asking the question and searching for the answer in the only way it knows how, by searching through the known/memory, the past, isn’t it?

Can the mind ask a different question? I’m not trying to be clever in asking this, just trying to get to the bottom of the fact as you are. I want to make it clear that I don't think I have the answer. I'm looking. Where do we go from here, from asking "why"? I understand the nature of self, I understand that desire is engendered by thought and that desire cannot find a solution and I'm still suffering. What's missing?

I AM - my consciousness IS - the aggregate of all my habits, memories, compulsions, fears, ambitions, conceits, desires, beliefs, theories, and so on. This content dictates my behaviour, actions, the tone of my relationships. This is the bondage I cannot escape, isn't it? I approach life through that aggregate. To be free of all that - fear, pleasure, compulsion, belief, memories, etc. - IS the transformation K talks about, isn’t it?

“Our chief concern is the
transformation, the radical change, of
the human mind. The human mind
includes the brain, the heart, the
organism as a whole.” [Total Freedom,
28 July 1974]

What IS the mind, action, behaviour, relationship, when the mind is NOT a slave to knowledge --- when action is NOT determined or influenced by belief, when relationship is NOT poisoned by the past, when the intellect is NOT compelled to choose a course of action, when the heart’s voice is NOT ignored, when the mind is awake but NOT PURSUING ideation, mentation, intellectualization, cogitation, effort, as a means to solving its psychological problems? Do we know? Not “know” in the sense of “knowledge” but in the sense that the relationship between cause and effect is seen, observed. Is there then NO action?

There IS action, isn't there? Does awareness not act? Awareness doesn’t mean that the body’s needs are not heeded and taken care of, does it? It doesn’t mean that the demands of LIFE (not thought) are not heeded and taken care of. Life’s demands being met is not incidental, negligible or unimportant. Once life’s demands are met, there may then seem to be “nothing” happening, no action. But isn’t the demand for “something” to happen the agitation of a fearful mind, dust being stirred up by desire?

There may seem to be no “action” when the field lies fallow but don’t pay it no mind, Betty Lou :-) - don’t give it any significance. The earth is restoring itself. Doesn’t the question “why” arise because desire gives significance or importance to “nothing”? In awareness, stirrings within the content are seen to arise - fear, concerns, ideas, desires. Does significance or importance have to be attributed to them by thought? Will something “bad” happen if these stirrings are not acted on, heeded or obeyed, but simply observed? These psychological stirrings are not the expression of life’s essential needs and demands. They are desire - thought - and thought is the root of sorrow, isn't it?

Can I observe the discomfort of thwarted desire and so on without trying to solve the discomfort that entails, but observe because this is my life and I want to understand it, I want to learn the truth about every aspect of myself?

This post was last updated by Huguette . Wed, 19 Apr 2017.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3135 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I'm living in perpetual conflict at work, with the wife or kids, if I'm married, with the social pressures to conform, economic pressures, with the dictates of my religion. I sit at my desk at work and daydream about my upcoming date to play golf on my favorite course and have some drinks afterwards with my golfing buddies. This imagined...projected...future is much preferred over what is now...my conflicts, inner and outer.

Yes, the imagined future is a great pull. It represents the pleasure that the mind is not finding in the present moment. But it is a myth, is it not?

When the imagined moment arrives – well, imagined things never do materialise, an image can become an actuality. It may turn out you loose the game badly, and he who you considered a friend on the course said something nasty to you. There may be a momentary satisfaction on taking the first sip of the drink, - but then immediately the mind starts to think of the future, what will come next? And there are worries nagging away, the unfinished work on your desk, and what did that odd look from the boss yesterday actually mean?

My point is, why do we never actually learn? The mind has been what it is for untold thousands of years, but it has never fundamentally CHANGED? Why? Why doesn't it see the patterns that it is in, and end them? When the self, with its petty pleasures, is really just a source of conflict and destruction, why doesn't it SEE that and CHANGE, or end?

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #5
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why doesn't it (the mind) see the patterns that it is in

This is not actually true, Clive ... In fact the mind does see all of them, otherwise it would not try to act upon them, trying to change them in a way or another with all kind of theories (and therefore other patterns) all the time.

The other day, for instance, i was in a lunch with some of my co-workers and someone raised the issue of women's subjugation in general, and in some parts of the world in particular ... So they (most of them women themselves) were there discussing that pattern, while i was listening to them ... After a while i put a simple question to all of them: why adult women that have passed by all those sufferings have not put and end to it? Why have they continued passing the old pattern to their daughters? ... All of them agreed about that passing the old pattern to new generations, but none of them had an answer to the question i put.

So you see, i do see the pattern and what it is causing to me, but either i don't know what to do to change it (and therefore i continue passing it to the next generation, no matter if i perfectly know the troubles it is causing to me), OR i approach (again this word) to it through the theories of another, even daring to create a new ones saying that the old ones are already obsolete ... Which simply means, in short, that i am never in contact with that so-called pattern, that i have always a filter between me and such pattern that prevents me to look at it directly and see it has no ground whatsoever, that it is only imagined and therefore empty.

So, not seeing that it is empty, i am convinced that it really exist, which makes me create real solutions to the "real" problems it causes, not being aware that in doing so i am in fact still in the field of imagined patterns.

So, to sum up:


  1. I do see the pattern and its consequences

  2. I do firmly believe that such pattern has a real existence

  3. Therefore i create real solutions to solve the problems it creates, without being aware that in doing so i'm creating new patterns.

  4. Go to 1.

Therefore it is an endless cycle until for some reason one is able to see the emptiness of the pattern as well as of any solution trying to solve the problems that such imagined patterns create.

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #6
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

@Hugette

Thanks a Lot for your post with which i would like to share a further investigation about some things you say/asks in it when i come back home (i'm in a coffee shop right now in a short stop in my daily round leaving already for the post office) ... Meet you later, then!

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

This post was last updated by Juan E Thu, 20 Apr 2017.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #7
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1515 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why doesn't it see the patterns that it is in, and end them?

But we are totally immersed in the patterns...totally identified with them....they are us...what we feel life IS...it's our way of living and thinking and reacting. Juan says that we do see them; however it's obviously a superficial awareness...we don't understand them...what is behind them...what's causing the addictions...the patterns of behavior. We see we don't like our job or our relationship with our girl/boy friend, for instance, but we don't understand the fears that keep us stuck there. We don't see that our pleasure/security seeking(our golf or tennis addiction, for instance) is a result of the great fear and conflict we have at work and/or at home. We don't even realize that we've been programmed to conform to the behavior and thought patterns we're caught in....that our minds and our behaviors are a result of social and religious programming. We're frightened to change....and don't have any clue how we might change. Until we come across one like K, I think we're totally caught in the net and unaware that we are caught. Or we feel we ARE caught but seek temporary escape from the pain inherent in this way of living in pleasures and entertainments...or escape to some religious belief or path to salvation. I know lots of people who smoke. They know it's harmful, but they continue with it. They're aware of the pattern, but are afraid to confront all the various causes of it in themselves....afraid to face the pain....to face life without the crutch of the cigarettes....or the over eating or the booze or the drugs. I can't say that I'm so different. I no longer smoke and am not addicted to any other harmful substances, but I'm probably still caught in patterns of escaping from the pain of living in an insane, dog eat dog society...of having to make money and hold a job and pay rent to keep a warm roof over my head in the rain and cold, and healthy food in my stomach.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 20 Apr 2017.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #8
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Juan says that we do see them; however it's obviously a superficial awareness...

Yes, that's it ...

Tom Paine wrote:
They [WE] are aware of the pattern, but are afraid to confront all the various causes of it in them[-OUR]selves....afraid to face the pain....to face life without [NO] crutch

So, i am afraid to go into myself by myself without any crutch (either invented by me, or by any other) ... And being afraid of that, i invent all kind of imagined things (or attach myself to others' inventions) thinking (believing) that they will prevent me from suffering (either in the present, or in the future), and which in fact create even more suffering in me (and others) ...

So, is that the answer to the question Clive put to himself aloud for us to hear it also? ... Or Clive's question is going a little bit further than that in its inquire? ... Isn't he asking in fact, how is it that i am not aware that i'm inventing things all the time, and therefore constantly living in a painful illusion that i think its real since time immemorial? ... Isn't he asking in fact, how is it that i, seeing the patterns through a superficial awareness, am not able to go deeper under the surface?

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

This post was last updated by Juan E Thu, 20 Apr 2017.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3135 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Isn’t the question put by a fragment, that is, by the fragmented mind?

Clive: Yes, the question comes from thought, and so from a fragment.

Does the mind itself - not the fragment, not the “me” - understanding its predicament, seeing the root and nature of its suffering, the bondage of its conditioning

Clive: I don't know . How does one tell that? “The mind itself” suggests some sort of wholeness, not the fragmented perception you describe. The mind IS fragmented, is it not, and therein lies the root of the problem.

--- in seeing all this (as you expressed it at #1), does it understand that no amount of effort can break it free, that any effort it makes is still part of sorrow?

Clive: This is clear. And yet one hesitates to say that it is clear, since the movement of the self continues, albeit in a discontinuous way.

Let us pursue this a little. You ask if the minf understands its predicament. “I” would immediately say yes, there is a lot of watching of the activity of the mind throughout the day, which brings “a certain degree” of understanding of what is going on. And yet the fact that it continues in its fragmented way, with its contradictions, its conflicts, its duality, suggests a lack of understanding, does it not?

It is the suffering which makes me ask why, isn't it? And the suffering is caused by the mind’s conditioning, by the mind's bondage to the process which is responsible for assembling self, isn't it?

Clive: Yes and yes.

Self desires a way out … which is understandable but which, to me, cannot and can never (there, I've said it, "never"!) lead to a solution.

Clive: I would agree with you, Huguette, absolutely. All movements for “solutions” are actually the continued response of the self, and so can never find a solution.

But – sorry to go on about this – the point of my post is that this movement continues. Apparently it has continued for many thousands of years, and I am sure in that time that many serious minded-people have applied themselves very diligently to the problem. (you may say that that is irrelevant). But we are in a worse situation than ever, we are on the verge of perhaps completely destroying ourselves and most life on earth.

It is always consciousness that is searched for the answer. That is still the approach, in spite of our limited understanding of self (as you expressed it at #1). It is the same self, the same divided mind, asking the question and searching for the answer in the only way it knows how, by searching through the known/memory, the past, isn’t it?

Clive: Well, the mind does begin to see the futility of this “approach” (I have to admit that most people don't seem to). If I can put it this way: The mind is not ACTIVELY pursuing its attempts at solutions. But nevertheless, this movement keeps arising unbidden to the mind.

Can the mind ask a different question? I’m not trying to be clever in asking this, just trying to get to the bottom of the fact as you are. I want to make it clear that I don't think I have the answer. I'm looking. Where do we go from here, from asking "why"? I understand the nature of self, I understand that desire is engendered by thought and that desire cannot find a solution and I'm still suffering. What's missing?

Clive: Yes, that is a good question, “what's missing?”. I was pondering recently, something totally new is necessary.

Perhaps we can go into this question "What's missing?". Seems to me what is lacking is some sort of energy, some sort of focus, of somehow pulling things together. It is not easy to expalin.

I AM - my consciousness IS - the aggregate of all my habits, memories, compulsions, fears, ambitions, conceits, desires, beliefs, theories, and so on. This content dictates my behaviour, actions, the tone of my relationships. This is the bondage I cannot escape, isn't it? I approach life through that aggregate. To be free of all that - fear, pleasure, compulsion, belief, memories, etc. - IS the transformation K talks about, isn’t it?

“Our chief concern is the
transformation, the radical change, of
the human mind. The human mind
includes the brain, the heart, the
organism as a whole.” [Total Freedom,
28 July 1974]

What IS the mind, action, behaviour, relationship, when the mind is NOT a slave to knowledge --- when action is NOT determined or influenced by belief, when relationship is NOT poisoned by the past, when the intellect is NOT compelled to choose a course of action, when the heart’s voice is NOT ignored, when the mind is awake but NOT PURSUING ideation, mentation, intellectualization, cogitation, effort, as a means to solving its psychological problems? Do we know?

Clive: I don't know

Not “know” in the sense of “knowledge” but in the sense that the relationship between cause and effect is seen, observed. Is there then NO action?
There IS action, isn't there? Does awareness not act? Awareness doesn’t mean that the body’s needs are not heeded and taken care of, does it? It doesn’t mean that the demands of LIFE (not thought) are not heeded and taken care of. Life’s demands being met is not incidental, negligible or unimportant. Once life’s demands are met, there may then seem to be “nothing” happening, no action. But isn’t the demand for “something” to happen the agitation of a fearful mind, dust being stirred up by desire?

Clive: Yes, clear.

There may seem to be no “action” when the field lies fallow but don’t pay it no mind, Betty Lou :-) - don’t give it any significance. The earth is restoring itself. Doesn’t the question “why” arise because desire gives significance or importance to “nothing”? In awareness, stirrings within the content are seen to arise - fear, concerns, ideas, desires. Does significance or importance have to be attributed to them by thought? Will something “bad” happen if these stirrings are not acted on, heeded or obeyed, but simply observed? These psychological stirrings are not the expression of life’s essential needs and demands. They are desire - thought - and thought is the root of sorrow, isn't it?

Clive: It is seen that they CAN'T be acted upon, in fact. Because the actor is the acted upon.

Can I observe the discomfort of thwarted desire and so on without trying to solve the discomfort that entails, but observe because this is my life and I want to understand it, I want to learn the truth about every aspect of myself?

Everything points towards the necessity of this awareness. I think it can be said that there is quite an awareness of the movements of the mind – an awareness that is not a matter of choice, and one manifestation of it is that it is impossible not to see the real motives for one's thoughts and actions. Those motives being the actions of the self, of course.

But I am often astounded by the lack of awareness of the body, of what the senses are taking in.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3135 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
This is not actually true, Clive ... In fact the mind does see all of them, otherwise it would not try to act upon them, trying to change them in a way or another with all kind of theories (and therefore other patterns) all the time.

This is a good point, Juan.

May I suggest, though, we don't see the patterns - we only recognise them, only KNOW them?

Juan E wrote:
So, not seeing that it is empty, i am convinced that it really exist, which makes me create real solutions to the "real" problems it causes, not being aware that in doing so i am in fact still in the field of imagined patterns.

So here you are saying that we DON'T see the patterns, are you not? Even though we know they exist?

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #11
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Isn’t the question put by a fragment, that is, by the fragmented mind?

At first reading this question i thought to myself: "So what?!", but as soon i continued reading your words i understood what you meant with that starting question ... So let's go into it ;-)

Huguette . wrote:
It is the suffering which makes me ask why, isn't it?

Is that so? ...

Huguette . wrote:
It is always consciousness that is searched for the answer.

Yes, in what i think i know ...

Is there another place where i can look for it ...
... or all my problems start in my searching for the answer?
Why do i search for an answer?
Is it because i think its impossible to live without it?
Isn't the search for the answer which makes the self to persist?

Huguette . wrote:
Can the mind ask a different question?

So, are you trying to say that even if in essence both questions ("Why?" and "What's missing?") are asking the same, they are different somehow?

Huguette . wrote:
I understand the nature of self, I understand that desire is engendered by thought and that desire cannot find a solution and I'm still suffering. What's missing?

To put aside that understanding and see with my whole being that this is so ...

Could we take the famous K (and others) statement "the word is not the thing" a step further and say "understanding is also not the thing"? ... Isn't understanding still in the field of thought and therefore used by the me to perpetuate itself, to persist? ... Why do we think that it is not possible to live without such understanding, to live just seeing and nothing else? ...

Am 'i' not trapped in that illusory trap created by 'me'?

Huguette . wrote:
This is the bondage I cannot escape, isn't it?

I would put this statement this way: "This is the bondage [i think] i cannot escape (or be free of)"

Huguette . wrote:
What IS the mind, action, behaviour, relationship, when the mind is NOT a slave to knowledge --- when action is NOT determined or influenced by belief, when relationship is NOT poisoned by the past, when the intellect is NOT compelled to choose a course of action, when the heart’s voice is NOT ignored, when the mind is awake but NOT PURSUING ideation, mentation, intellectualization, cogitation, effort, as a means to solving its psychological problems? Do we know? Not “know” in the sense of “knowledge” but in the sense that the relationship between cause and effect is seen, observed. Is there then NO action?

Action is still there, what is not there is an actor identifying itself with the action

Huguette . wrote:
It doesn’t mean that the demands of LIFE (not thought) are not heeded and taken care of.

Can we go into what are the demands of LIFE (not thought) when the me isn't there?

Huguette . wrote:
But isn’t the demand for “something” to happen the agitation of a fearful mind?

Yes

Huguette . wrote:
Will something “bad” happen if these stirrings are not acted on, heeded or obeyed, but simply observed?

The point for the 'me' is not if something "bad" is going to happen, but "what will happen to 'me' if i do not act on, heed or obey those stirrings but i simply observe them?" ... The 'me' is utterly scared by such uncertainty, that's why it tries always to anticipate a result that it cannot know

Huguette . wrote:
Can I observe the discomfort of thwarted desire and so on without trying to solve the discomfort that entails, but observe because this is my life and I want to understand it, I want to learn the truth about every aspect of myself?

Definitely, after reading your whole post, the initial question makes full sense!
So, thanks again for your deep and clear post!

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3135 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I no longer smoke and am not addicted to any other harmful substances, but I'm probably still caught in patterns of escaping from the pain of living in an insane, dog eat dog society...of having to make money and hold a job and pay rent to keep a warm roof over my head in the rain and cold, and healthy food in my stomach.

Tom, Although it is an undeniable fact that the human mind has created a society which is so unintelligent, so difficult to live in, so impossible to live in a healthy way, with air, water, soil, food now all being so contaminated …...... a society where we live in a sea of propaganda ....a society where there is hardly any true cooperation, a society based so much on competition the demand to conform …... all the other difficulties that you often mention. Although all that is true, I am not sure that we can blame conditions for our inability to change.

There have been people who have cast off at least the outer pressures of society – the sanyasans of India being an extreme example. There were the western monastic orders, although obviously they still subjected themselves to enormous inner pressure. I myself have lead a life without much external pressure, have not felt much need to conform.. Our friend Juan seems to have an idyllic life, in sunny, laid-back Spain, with time to chat with the people he delivers letters to, time to stop off at coffee shops :-). To walk along the beach. There are people who have made lots of money early in life and were free to retire to a life of true leisure …...

But there is no evidence that these people, without the desperate external pressures that you describe, (with the possible exception of Juan, of course) have managed to go beyond the self.

So somehow I feel difficult conditions are not the reason that we do not 'break through'

(I want to add that one can hardly expect people living in abject, degrading poverty, people living in war zones, with no physical security at all, to devote themselves to religious matters, in the true meaning of that phrase.

Through his long life of talking and inquiry, K never ceased to put the question “Why do we not change?”. He never seemed to find the fundamental answer, I may be mistaken.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #13
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1515 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
Isn't he asking in fact, how is it that i am not aware that i'm inventing things all the time, and therefore constantly living in a painful illusion that i think its real since time immemorial? ... Isn't he asking in fact, how is it that i, seeing the patterns through a superficial awareness, am not able to go deeper under the surface?

Because we take all the 'patterns'...the images...as being fact. We take it all as real. One doesn't even bother to question that which he assumes is real, right? We may ask, as man has asked for thousands of years, why we suffer. But we never question all the conditioned beliefs/patterns/ideal that we live with....that make up 'me'. We don't question 'right' vs. 'wrong' because we believe it is a fact. Good vs. bad...the higher vs. the lower...the saint vs. the sinner...should vs. should not...man superior to woman...White superior to Black...Christian vs. Jew. WE(most) believe all this crap, right? Why would one question what he believes is real? What he feels is as real as the nose on one's face? One may wake up a little and see that the Black man and the White man are really the same under the skin....and the Jew and the Christian. But there are much deeper layers of brainwashing. So to make a long story short...we've been brainwashed so thoroughly that we're not even aware of the deeper layers of brainwashing. How can one question that which he is not even aware of?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 20 Apr 2017.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #14
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But we are in a worse situation than ever, we are on the verge of perhaps completely destroying ourselves and most life on earth.

Let me say that this is totally irrelevant, many species have disappeared from this world and not precisely by the hand of man ... No, what really matters is that the root that may or may not cause our own destruction is the same now as it was then (in the past) ... Without such a root we would have not invented the powerful means we have now to destroy ourselves ... It's that root which will push the button (or not), and not those means by themselves.

So, what matters if human being disappears from this world? ... After all, has not he gone always after such destruction of itself not seeing that what has to be destroyed in fact is another thing?

As Huguette says, that which is in fact behind the question "why?" is nothing else than an imagined future suffering ... Which could imply that it wouldn't lead to a real and serious inquiry about the present situation.

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

This post was last updated by Juan E Thu, 20 Apr 2017.

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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 #15
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Why would one question what he believes is real?

Yes, that's the whole problem ...

I'll continue tomorrow with this really interesting dialog
Hope you keep it still alive and in good health ;-)
Going to sleep now that some of you have just awaken to a new day ...
Thank you for starting this thread, Clive!

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #16
Thumb_rodin_de_denker Olive B Netherlands 104 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
why doesn't it SEE that and CHANGE, or end?

Hi Clive,

The mind/thought/separate self is made out of thought that thinks it, it is not a real entity.

If the separate self was a real entity then there was something to change, to evolve.

But what can you do to a non-existing entity.

The belief in the imaginary self is the cause of all unhappiness.

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #17
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1515 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But there is no evidence that these people, without the desperate external pressures that you describe, (with the possible exception of Juan, of course) have managed to go beyond the self.

You've got a point, Clive. Look at the rich movie stars and rock stars. They aren't compelled by financial insecurity to work....to slave away at a mind numbing assembly line or some other excruciatingly boring job, yet they don't change fundamentally in the manner K uses the word 'change'. They have no motivation to change. they can go from one amusement and pleasure to another...one relationship to another...collecting art or expensive jewelry...sports cars...fine wines. Of course they may experience boredom and loneliness, just like the rest of us. But they quickly escape by doing another film or concert...by staying busy with their career. One day life may present them with a tragedy...like the poor rock star who lost his young son in a tragic accident. Then perhaps they will question. It's sad that it almost always takes a serious tragedy or set back to one's financial security before one will even question.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Through his long life of talking and inquiry, K never ceased to put the question “Why do we not change?”. He never seemed to find the fundamental answer, I may be mistaken.

I think he summed it up by saying that we don't know how to look....to observe. We're always trying to change that which we observe in ourselves....our behavior...our thoughts, our emotional reactions. We don't simply observe as we might observe a tree or a flower.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 21 Apr 2017.

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #18
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
We don't simply observe as we might observe a tree or a flower.

And in which way do we observe a tree or a flower if i may ask?

I really question that a mind (or whatever name you [not you, but in general] want to call it) can be able to observe a tree or a flower in a different way in which it observes relation, or whatever else different from that tree or flower ... or able to simply observe a tree or a flower but not relation or whatever else different from that tree or flower.

This is utterly imposible, being it only a lie of the self to itself!

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

This post was last updated by Juan E Fri, 21 Apr 2017.

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #19
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1515 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
I really question that a mind (or whatever name you [not you, but in general] want to call it) can be able to observe a tree or a flower in a different way in which it observes relation, or whatever else different from that tree or flower ..

Well, you're certainly free of question, Juan, but K spent a lot of time going into the way we observe our wife or neighbor through the images we have built up about them over time, thus we don't see/observe them as they actually are. He also asked many times if we can observe the tree or the flower without our images...our knowledge...of the tree, but see it as it actually is. We normally look at everything through our screen of images, and this is the cause of our conflicts in relationship.....with the spouse or child or neighbor or friend. I'm not clear about what exactly you're questioning about the way we look/observe.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 21 Apr 2017.

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3135 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
Let me say that this is totally irrelevant,

What is it irrelevant to?

Juan E wrote:
No, what really matters is that the root that may or may not cause our own destruction is the same now as it was then (in the past) ... Without such a root we would have not invented the powerful means we have now to destroy ourselves ... It's that root which will push the button (or not), and not those means by themselves.

Are you saying, Juan, that without the existence of the self there would not have been. could not have been, technological development? This seems questionable. Is the self the only factor that can drive man? It is an interesting question, but perhaps ultimately a futile one. It remains mere speculation to a mind that IS driven by the self. Perhaps we need to put aside the self first, and then see how life is.

But, if we accept, as an example, that K was not driven by the self – he clearly still acted in this world, very much so. Or perhaps better to say he was the centre for action, a great deal of action – the formation of schools, Foundations for the dissemination of the teachings, an effect on the minds of scientists, psychologists, artists – and perhaps just ordinary men and women. And so on.

Putting K aside, however, without the self will not intelligence act through the brain? And that intelligence may be capable of bringing about what is necessary, what is important – including necessary, appropriate, technological/scientific development, perhaps.

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3135 posts in this forum Offline

Olive B wrote:
Hi Clive,

The mind/thought/separate self is made out of thought that thinks it, it is not a real entity.

If the separate self was a real entity then there was something to change, to evolve.

But what can you do to a non-existing entity.

The belief in the imaginary self is the cause of all unhappiness.

I had written: "
why doesn't it SEE that and CHANGE, or end?"

And I take your point, Olive. The word change was only used approximately. The self cannot 'change' into anything else; anything it thinks it changes into would still be the self. And this in fact is a common trick of the self.

But I feel it does has mean to ask if the self can end (not only ask verbally). But again, you point out the self does not actually exist, in the sense it does not have an independent existence, independent of thought. Does it make sense to talk of something which is not-existing, ending? Does such a concept actually keep the self existing?

But I happen to have just read, in K's "The Only Revolution", these words:

"Of course the self exists! The "me", the ego, the bundle of memories exists. We see it existing only when it responds to a challenge, but it's there, perhaps dormant or in abeyance, waiting for the next chance to respond"

Not that we should accept K's words as absolute, of course.

Can we say the self effectively exists? Does it have meaning, is it useful, to see that it is actually only a load of images? My answer to my own question is Yes. Such seeings represent little deaths of the self.

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #22
Thumb_2474 Dan McDermott United States 548 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Clive,
Jan posted this a bit ago on John's forum and seems germane to the discussion:

K.: "The motive power behind the will is fear, and when we begin to realize this, the mechanism of habit intervenes, offering new escapes, new hopes, new gods. Now it is at this precise moment, when the mind begins to interfere with the realization of fear, that there must be great awareness not to be drawn off, not to be distracted by the offerings of the intellect, for the mind is subtle and cunning. When there is only fear without any hope of escape, in its darkest moments, in the utter solitude of fear, there comes from within itself, as it were, the light which shall dispel it."

When there is only fear without any hope of escape, in its darkest moments, in the utter solitude of fear, there comes from within itself, as it were, the light which shall dispel it."

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #23
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Dear friends, i have two questions in my mind right now, one for each one of you ...

Clive Elwell wrote:
Are you saying, Juan, that without the existence of the self there would not have been. could not have been, technological development?

I would like to know what made you ask this question about something i have not said ...

Tom Paine wrote:
I'm not clear about what exactly you're questioning about the way we look/observe.

I would like to know what are doing there all the words you have written before that statement then ...

Don't take it personal, please ... We are just looking at it.

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #24
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Hi Clive,
Jan posted this a bit ago on John's forum and seems germane to the discussion:

K.: "The motive power behind the will is fear, and when we begin to realize this, the mechanism of habit intervenes, offering new escapes, new hopes, new gods. Now it is at this precise moment, when the mind begins to interfere with the realization of fear, that there must be great awareness not to be drawn off, not to be distracted by the offerings of the intellect, for the mind is subtle and cunning. When there is only fear without any hope of escape, in its darkest moments, in the utter solitude of fear, there comes from within itself, as it were, the light which shall dispel it."

One (not me, but someone) has read/listen many times these words, and one is still asking "Why is there not a change?" ... What's the meaning then to read/listen them again? ... Has one (not me, but someone) the hope to find out something which has not been found in the thousand times one has read/listen-to them before? ... Or they were clear since the very moment one read/listen-to them for the first time? ... Why one (not me, but someone) needs to read them again then, and so disguise once again his/her own fear to actually change?

Doesn't matter, just thinking aloud, not talking about anyone ...

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

This post was last updated by Juan E Fri, 21 Apr 2017.

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #25
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1515 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
Don't take it personal, please ... We are just looking at it.

I promise I won't :) But I feel we are not connecting, even on the basic intellectual level. Was what I wrote confusing? I feel that there is some kind of language barrier perhaps. Nothing personal intended from here either.

Let it Be

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #26
Thumb_avatar Juan E Spain 183 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I promise I won't :)

:-) thanks! :-)

Tom Paine wrote:
Was what I wrote confusing?

Not at all, but when one is not clear about what the other is questioning is there space for thousand groundless words or only for a simple question?

"When i talk to audiences, they know what i'm talking about ... another thing is that they do something about it" - K. Brockwood Park (Making ideas of the Teaching)

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 #27
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1515 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
Not at all, but when one is not clear about what the other is questioning is there space for thousand groundless words or only for a simple question?

Probably not more than 100 ;) but honestly at first read I thought I did understand you. But let's start over. What was the question again?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 21 Apr 2017.

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Sat, 22 Apr 2017 #28
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 236 posts in this forum Offline

#9:

Huguette . wrote:
Isn’t the question put by a fragment, that is, by the fragmented mind?

Clive Elwell wrote:
Yes, the question comes from thought, and so from a fragment.

Huguette:
Does the mind itself - not the fragment, not the “me” - understanding its predicament, seeing the root and nature of its suffering, the bondage of its conditioning

Clive:
I don't know . How does one tell that? “The mind itself” suggests some sort of wholeness, not the fragmented perception you describe. The mind IS fragmented, is it not, and therein lies the root of the problem.

What I meant is not just that “a” thought fragment is asking the question. I meant that in asking the question, the intellect/brain/mind itself has psychologically (obviously not physically) fragmented into 2 - “me” who is asking “why” (or something else), and the problem “I” have, in this instance the problem of the self which persists. So there is an apparent separation or distance between “me” and “my problem”. The mind itself is conditioned, educated to “see” this division as fact. It believes that there actually are the TWO apparently separate “things” things involved - “me” and “the problem”.

The mind says things like, “Before you love anyone else, you have to love yourself”, never questioning the actuality, significance and nature of “anyone else” or “yourself”. Is this so or not, that it is our conditioning which creates an apparent duality where there is in fact only the mind? To me, it is so.

As I see it, if a question is not engendered by silent stillness but is the result of a struggle in thought/time, the result of an effort or desire to solve the problem so that “I” may be at ease, then there is division and it is the fictional self asking. Whereas, if a question arises out of purely silent observation, then there is not the psychological division, then the undivided intellect is putting the question, not “me”, not “the thinker”.

So yes the mind is itself a fragment, a part of the whole, just as the nerves, kidneys, muscles etc. are fragments, part of the whole. That is not duality. The mind can be undivided - whole - in itself, it can act in a unitary manner in its own wholeness, where it is not psychologically divided by the idea of self being separate, independent, beyond thought.

The mind being part of the whole is not merely an idea, image, concept or belief. The mind/brain, like the liver, has certain functions and abilities which function healthily as an undivided part within the whole. In this sane, healthy functioning, there is no self-image, no apparent psychological centre supposedly separate from itself. But where the illusion of “self” divides the mind within itself, the mind does not function sanely, healthily, wholly - it seems to me.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 22 Apr 2017.

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Sat, 22 Apr 2017 #29
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 236 posts in this forum Offline

#9:

Huguette:
--- in seeing all this (as you expressed it at #1), does it understand that no amount of effort can break it free, that any effort it makes is still part of sorrow?

Clive: This is clear. And yet one hesitates to say that it is clear, since the movement of the self continues, albeit in a discontinuous way.

Let us pursue this a little. You ask if the mind understands its predicament. “I” would immediately say yes, there is a lot of watching of the activity of the mind throughout the day, which brings “a certain degree” of understanding of what is going on. And yet the fact that it continues in its fragmented way, with its contradictions, its conflicts, its duality, suggests a lack of understanding, does it not?

The mind sees the danger or harm in it, and yet it is a slave to compulsion, to this and that. Is it a habit, like smoking, drinking, gambling, compulsive sex, and so on? Whatever the habit, the mind resists - for 10 minutes or 60 years - but it is powerless to end it.

Resistance is thought, isn’t it? By asking “why”, by saying “I should not”, by blaming "myself" for my inability to end it, I/the mind avoids just facing the fact without immediately engaging in thinking about it, without condemning or explaining it. Isn’t looking for an explanation or a solution when confronted with fear, an avoidance of fear?

To neglect a child, a plant, even a house, is to destroy it, isn’t it? But to ignore or neglect fear is to nourish it, I think. Neglect doesn’t destroy fear, fear thrives on neglect…. well, of course, it’s just a way of expressing it. Nonetheless isn’t it so?

What do you think of the quote which follows in a separate post? Does it apply here? I think it does.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 22 Apr 2017.

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Sat, 22 Apr 2017 #30
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 236 posts in this forum Offline

Eight Conversations 4th Conversation

"Questioner: I have got one predominating habit; I have other habits, but they are of less importance. I have been fighting this one habit as long as I can remember. It must have been formed in early childhood. Nobody seemed to care enough to correct it then and gradually as I grew older it became more and more deep-rooted. It disappears sometimes only to come back again. I don't seem able to get rid of it. I would like to be completely master of it. It has become a mania with me to overcome it. What am I to do?

Krishnamurti: From what you say you have fallen into a habit for many, many years and you have cultivated another habit, the habit of fighting it. So you want to get rid of one habit by cultivating another which is the denial of the first. You are fighting one habit with another. When you can't get rid of the first habit you feel guilty, ashamed, depressed, perhaps angry with yourself for your weakness. The one habit and the other are the two sides of the same coin: without the first, the second wouldn't be, so the second is really a continuation of the first as a reaction. So now you have two problems whereas in the beginning you had only one.
Questioner: I know what you are going to say because I know what you say about awareness, but I can't be aware all the time.

Krishnamurti: So now you have several things going on at the same time: first of all the original habit, then, the desire to get rid of it, then the frustration of having failed, then the resolve to be aware all the time. This network has arisen because deeply you want to get rid of that one habit; that is your one drive, and you are all the time balancing between the habit and the fighting of it. You don't see that the real problem is having habits, good or bad, not just one particular habit. So the question really is, is it possible to break a habit without any effort, without cultivating its opposite, without suppressing it through uninterrupted vigilance which is resistance? Uninterrupted vigilance is simply another habit since it is generated by the habit it is trying to overcome.
Questioner: You mean, can I get rid of the habit without generating this complicated network of reactions to it?

Krishnamurti: So long as you want to get rid of it, that complicated network of reactions is actually in operation. The wanting to get rid of it is that reactionary network. So really you have not stopped this futile reaction to the habit.

Questioner: But all the same, I must do something about it!
Krishnamurti: That indicates that you are dominated by this one desire. This desire and its reactions are not different from the habit, and they feed on each other. The desire to be superior is not different from being inferior, so the superior is the inferior. The saint is the sinner.
Questioner: Should I, then, just do nothing about it at all?

Krishnamurti: What you are doing about it is to cultivate another habit in opposition to the old one.

Questioner: So if I do nothing, I am left with the habit, and we are back where we started.

Krishnamurti: Are we though? Knowing that what you do to break the habit is the cultivation of another habit, there can be only one action, which is to do nothing at all against that habit. Whatever you do is in the pattern of habits, so to do nothing, to have the feeling that you don't have to fight it, is the greatest action of intelligence. If you do anything positive you are back in the field of habits. Seeing this very clearly there is immediately a feeling of great relief and great lightness. You now see that fighting one habit by cultivating another does not end the first habit so you stop fighting it.

Questioner: Then only the habit remains, and there is no resistance to it.
Krishnamurti: Any form of resistance feeds the habit, which does not mean that you go on with the habit. You become aware of the habit and of the cultivation of its opposite, which is also a habit, and this awareness shows you that whatever you do with regard to the habit is the formation of another habit. So now, after having observed this whole process, your intelligence says, don't do anything about the habit. Don't give any attention to it. Don't be concerned with it because the more you are concerned with it the more active it becomes. Now intelligence is in operation and is watching. This watching is entirely different from the vigilance of resisting the habit, reacting to it. If you get the feeling of this intelligence watching, then this feeling will operate and deal with the habit, and not the vigilance of resolution and will. So what is important is not habit but the understanding of habit which brings about intelligence. This intelligence keeps awake without the fuel of desire, which is will. In the first instance the habit is confronted with resistance, in the second it is not confronted at all, and that is intelligence. The action of intelligence has withered the resistance to the habit on which the habit feeds.

Questioner: Do you mean to say that I have got rid of my habit?

Krishnamurti: Go slowly, don't be too hasty in your assumption of having got rid of it. What is more important than habit is this understanding, which is intelligence. This intelligence is sacred and therefore must be touched with clean hands, not exploited for trivial little games. Your little habit is utterly unimportant. If intelligence is there the habit is trivial; if intelligence is not there, then the wheel of habit is all you have got."

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