Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Religion is like bread


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Fri, 01 Sep 2017 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4325 posts in this forum Offline

For many people religion is probably a hobby. The old turn to religion, and so do people who are somewhat neurotic. I am using that word `religion' to mean not only the organized churches, with all the inward security they offer, but also the various and most extraordinary forms of belief, dogma and ritual to which so many adhere. Religion, to most people, is not a very serious matter. The government is now allowing organized religion in Russia, because politically it is not very important; it does not contain the seed of revolt, it is not a centre of revolution, so they let it go on.

And I wonder what part religion plays in the life of those of us who are here? By religion I now mean something entirely different, something that is as important, if not very much more important, than earning a livelihood. To me, religion is something to which you give your whole heart and mind and body, everything that you have. It is not something to turn to as a hobby, or to take up when you are old with one foot in the grave, because you have nothing else to do, but something that becomes devastatingly important, something intensely necessary as a whole way of living from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, so that every thought, every act, every movement of your feeling is observed, considered, weighed. To me, religion encompasses the whole of life. It is not reserved for the specialists, for the rich or the poor, for the elite or the intellectual. It is like bread, something that you must have. And I wonder how many of us take it as seriously as that - which does not mean being cantankerous, bigoted, exclusive, sectarian, or somebody very special. Religion demands, not knowledge or belief, but an extraordinary intelligence, and for the religious man there must be freedom, complete freedom.

Krishnamurti 1963, start of a talk in Saanen

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Fri, 01 Sep 2017 #2
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2251 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
something that becomes devastatingly important, something intensely necessary as a whole way of living from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, so that every thought, every act, every movement of your feeling is observed, considered, weighed. To me, religion encompasses the whole of life.

That part in bold seems odd. 'Considering' and 'weighing' means to me, thinking about....and someone separate from his thoughts and feelings to do the considering and weighing. As far as religiin being more important than earning a livelihood, tell that to the man who doesn't have enough money for rent. K, as we all know, never had a lack of money. He wouldn't touch the stuff himself, but all his needs were provided for by people with plenty of the 'filthy lucre'.

Let it Be

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Sat, 02 Sep 2017 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4325 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
That part in bold seems odd.

Yes. I like it when I come across "odd" quotes from K, things that seem to contradict much of what he has said elsewhere. It shakes me up, encourages me to re-evaluate, look at things afresh. It points out to me that perhaps I have drawn conclusions, become complacent, thinking that I understand.

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Sat, 02 Sep 2017 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4325 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
As far as religiin being more important than earning a livelihood, tell that to the man who doesn't have enough money for rent

There are not a few people, especially in India, who have given up all their accumulated weath, abandoned their families, their jobs, in pursuit of "the religious life".

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Sat, 02 Sep 2017 #5
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2251 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
There are not a few people, especially in India, who have given up all their accumulated weath, abandoned their families, their jobs, in pursuit of "the religious life".

I'm sure you're correct. They used to do that in the west too....back in the middle ages men joined a monastery or the priesthood. The monks grew their own food and raised domestic animals. Some of them went out begging. Nowadays, the monk with his begging bowl is not seen in the west. In fact, beggars are an object of scorn for the most part. I don't know how it is in India. I do recall K saying that the 'teaching' is not for the man who has not enough to eat. For him all that matters is how he'll get his next meal. I think the same holds for the man who's housing is in jeopardy because he can't afford to pay the rent. But I won't pursue this further. It's something I lived for many years, and I did both at times....pursued the practical matters that were necessary to keep a roof over my head as well as read K and inquired. But often the stress of just keeping your head above water financially wears you out...drains your energy... so inquiry becomes too difficult.

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This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 02 Sep 2017.

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #6
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2251 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
So, perhaps you, or anybody else here, could tell me what prevents this observation, that looking for a better life, from being made in a religious way ... that's it: as "something to which you give your whole heart and mind and body, everything that you have"

Because he's busy trying to 'keep his head above water' all day at a gruelling job, which tires him out at night... so he's got no energy to give his whole heart, etc., to anything but some relaxing entertainment and then sleep. Did you read carefully Clive's quote from K in the opening post? K is saying what? That the religious life is
"something that is as important, if not very much more important, than earning a livelihood." So he's separating the two....the religious life and earning a livelihood. You see that right?

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2251 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
"I don't want money, but I need food and clothes and shelter, and if somebody gives me, it's all right, if somebody doesn't, I live where I am." (K)

He admits he needs food clothes and shelter. How will he get it? Is he expecting for somebody to give it to him, as the quote seems to imply? What does he mean by "I live where I am"? A man who can't pay his rent will be kicked out. He can no longer live where he is!

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4325 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
But often the stress of just keeping your head above water financially wears you out...drains your energy... so inquiry becomes too difficult.

I understand what you are saying Tom. Voluntary poverty is a differet matter from enforced poverty. I think it does require a certain leisure to investigate the things of the mind/spirit - and it behoves those of us who have that to pursue such things.

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4325 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
Clive: Yes. I like it when I come across "odd" quotes from K, things that seem to contradict much of what he has said elsewhere.

Yes, I did use the word that you emphasised, SEEM.

One prime example would be he sometimes points out that thought is essentially trivial, and can never have the answers to human problems, and sometimes urges us to think things through - as in the QOTD:

"We have not thought out these problems for ourselves, because most of us want to be led. We don't want to think and find out, because to think is very painful, very disillusioning."

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #10
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2251 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
What does he mean by "I live where I am"? A man who can't pay his rent will be kicked out. He can no longer live where he is!

Juan: How can one listen to what another is saying from his own fear without corrupting what one is listening?

Well K is talking to the man who DOES have fear, no? Not saying I do, personally, as I'm relatively secure financially at the moment and have a roof over my head and food in my frige. I still question what he's trying to get across to the man who doesn't have a place to live or money for food...or both. What did he mean by, "I live where I am"?

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #11
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2251 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
and finally fall asleep until the next day to reapeat the same routine, and that he has neither worries nor wishes to improve his situation, and so on, other than that routine?

I'm very sorry, but i don't believe you

I was not implying he has no worries nor wishes to improve his situation, but rather that he accepts his struggle...his suffering ...as inevitable. I've heard it said many times, "Life is a struggle". You implied that he look into his problem with his whole heart, mind, everything, and I'm saying he is fragmented and worn out from his conflicts all day long, every day....and looks for a conventional outward solution, perhaps, like a better job, but doesn't understand this kind of looking you describe....nor does he have the energy. He only knows a fragmented looking...looking for a new job...better pay...new girlfriend....looking for outward improvement...not looking within. This is how the common man functions, no? The guy you meet at the bar or pub who talks about his troubles at work or money problems...problems with his wife or girlfriend or child. Does he look into himself, 'inwardly'? You imply that he should, and I'm only telling that the vast majority don't have a clue about this.

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2251 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Voluntary poverty is a differet matter from enforced poverty. I think it does require a certain leisure to investigate the things of the mind/spirit

That's all I was getting at in questioning K. It requires a certain leisure and physical security....otherwise man is too busy seeking food, clothes, shelter.....and often very weary from all the struggling that that can entail. K. said himself many times that physical security is absolutely necessary....meaning adequate food, clothes, shelter.

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This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 03 Sep 2017.

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4325 posts in this forum Offline

Juan E wrote:
Are you saying that while i am being exploited (which causes a lot of stress to the mind/spirit) i will not have any time/possibility to look at that exploitation, to the stress that it causes to my mind/spirit, and to why i do accept it passively? ... Are you serious, Clive?

I suppose it depends on what you mean by serious. I don't actually make any claims to be anything. But I am usually serious in what I write.

This is tricky ground to investigate, as we seem to be talking about other people. I need to find some way of looking at the question in myself. One thing I often notice is that I am often completely absorbed in some task, and then there is no looking, no inquiry - until I become un-absorbed. I can well imagine that a great many people are in this state of absorption most of the time - their work or study seems to demand it. And entertainment is also a state of complete absorption, is it not?

But perhaps the above is not really relevant to the question.

If someone is on the bread line - as in fact the majority of people living on this planet are - are they likely to be concerned with the religious life? They may seek comfort from belief and ritual, but that is not what we mean by the religious life. Are they likely to be inquiring fundamentally, if they are living in fear of being homeless, of not being able to feed themselves or their family? If they are overwhelmingly concerned with bettering themselves materially - which again is the state of the vast majority of people.

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Sun, 03 Sep 2017 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4325 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
It requires a certain leisure and physical security....otherwise man is too busy seeking food, clothes, shelter.....and often very weary from all the struggling that that can entail.

I think K himself has said this, although I cannot produce a quote to back this up.

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