Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
A Quiet Space | moderated by Clive Elwell

"In the light of silence, all problems are dissolved"


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Sat, 14 Apr 2018 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

There is a booklet, originally brought out for study at a gathering in India, called "In the light of silence, all problems are dissolved". I would like to present at least some of the excerpts in this thread.

Of course people are wlecome to comment, to discuss.

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Sat, 14 Apr 2018 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

"Thought cannot solve any human problem, for thought itself is the problem".

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Sat, 14 Apr 2018 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

In the light of silence, all problems are dissolved. This light is not born of the ancient movement of thought. It is not born, either, out of self-revealing knowledge. It is not lit by time nor by any action of will. It comes about in meditation. meditation is not a private affair; it is not a personal search for pleasure; pleasure is always separative and dividing. In meditation the dividing line between you and me disappears; in it the light of silence destroys the knowledge of the me. The me can be studied indefinitely, for it varies from day to day, but its reach is always limited, however extensive it is thought to be. Silence is freedom, and freedom comes with the finality of complete order.

from "The Only Revolution"

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Sun, 15 Apr 2018 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

"Try some time to see how busily you are occupied with your own problems, and find out what would happen if you were not so occupied. You will soon discover how frightened the mind is not to have any occupation! All our culture, all our training, tells us that the mind must be occupied, and yet it seems to me the very occupation creates the problem. Not that there are no problems - there are problems, but I think it is the occupation with the problem which prevents the understanding of it. It is really very interesting to watch the mind, to watch one's own mind and discover how incessantly it is occupied with something or other - there is never a moment when it is quiet, unoccupied, empty, never a space which has no limit.

Being so occupied, our problems ever increase, and the mere solution of one particular problem, without understanding the whole process of the occupation of the mind, merely creates other problems. So can we not understand this peculiar insistence of the mind, on its part, to be occupied - whether with ideas, with speculations, with knowledge, with delusions, with study, or with its own virtue and its own fears? To be free of all that, to have an unoccupied mind, is quite arduous because it means, really, the cessation of all this reaction of memory, which is called thinking".

London 1955 Talk 1

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Mon, 16 Apr 2018 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnamurti wrote:
"Try some time to see how busily you are occupied with your own problems, and find out what would happen if you were not so occupied. You will soon discover how frightened the mind is not to have any occupation! All our culture, all our training, tells us that the mind must be occupied, and yet it seems to me the very occupation creates the problem".

When one starts to examine the mind, it becomes very obvious that one of the major movements in it is the movement, the desire, that the mind keeps itself occupied. As I asked recently, is this because the mind is constantly trying to solve problems, trying to become problem-free, or is the need for occupation the driving force in itself?

If the driving force is the need for occupation, then it is natural to ask, why? There must be something that the mind is trying to avoid, It must be fearful of the state of non-occupation – or at least the image the mind has of such a state. This state we often refer to as ‘emptiness’, or ‘nothingness’. And I think it is clear the fear of ‘being nothing’ leads to all sorts of mischief.

Given this, given how dominant in us is the compulsion to be occupied, is it not important to explore this, to push against this? I mean to deliberately invite, or explore the state of non-occupation? No matter how much the mind resists this?

Or is such an exploration just another form of occupation?

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Tue, 17 Apr 2018 #6
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1008 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Given this, given how dominant in us is the compulsion to be occupied, is it not important to explore this, to push against this? I mean to deliberately invite, or explore the state of non-occupation? No matter how much the mind resists this?

Or is such an exploration just another form of occupation?

The word "invite" strikes me as being a 'positive' as in "who' is doing the 'inviting' here? It is an action of the 'self' isn't it? The motive being to 'see' something or learn something? It is a different action than just seeing what is there. We are almost always in a state of 'occupation' so is there a need to 'invite' anything at all? The desire to 'explore' creates the duality between the the 'explorer' and what is being 'explored'...better to 'explore' than just be 'unoccupied'?

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Tue, 17 Apr 2018 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The word "invite" strikes me as being a 'positive' as in "who' is doing the 'inviting' here?

I am very glad that you have brought this issue up, Dan, that you have challenged me in this, as it is a question that has been with me. I am not saying I have a prepared answer; I have been watching things, seeing what arises, and if there is contradiction.

If the issue is regarded conceptually, undoubtedly there MUST be contradiction, as there is between all ideas eventually.

It is an action of the 'self' isn't it?

Is it? Is that necessarily so? If one invites in order to ultimately gain from the invitation, then yes, it is of course the self. But cannot one invite what comes, simply because one sees that the alternative, which is to avoid, to try to escape, makes no sense? If it is a matter of perception, of seeing, is the self playing a part?

The motive being to 'see' something or learn something? It is a different action than just seeing what is there.

I am sorry Dan, I was replying to your mail sentence by sentence, (this is a bad habit that needs to change) and had not seen above that you had made the point, about seeing, that I made. Yes, if there is a motive, no matter in what guise, it stems from the self. If it is a matter of simply seeing the fact, the truth, then the self is playing no part.

We are almost always in a state of 'occupation' so is there a need to 'invite' anything at all?

I think it is better put in the negative. There is a need not to turn away the visitors at one’s door; not to escape from what comes into the mind. I have found this really significant. Any form of escape stems from fear, does it not? But when one is not escaping, when one is in the state of invitation, then THERE IS NO FEAR.

Fear I always of something imagined in the future, isn’t it? It is never of what is actually happening.

The desire to 'explore' creates the duality between the 'explorer' and what is being 'explored'

Desire does always create duality, it seems.

...better to 'explore' than just be 'unoccupied'?

But, as you say, I do not find that the mind IS “unoccupied”. Its occupation may, and does, continually change, but it seems to take great care to remain in the state of occupation. Either with the trivial or the seemingly profound, it is still occupation. There is no stillness. And to seek stillness is still a state of occupation, wouldn’t you say?

There is another issue that your mail brings up, Dan, which I will address in a separate mail.

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Wed, 18 Apr 2018 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

I don't know if you have ever noticed what sometimes happens when you have a problem, either mathematical or psychological. You think about it a great deal, you worry over it like a dog chewing on a bone, but you can't find an answer. Then you let it alone, you go away from it, you take a walk; and suddenly, out of that emptiness, comes the answer. This must have happened to many of us. Now, how does this take place? Your mind has been very active within its own limitations about that problem, but you have not found the answer, so you have put the problem aside. Then your mind becomes somewhat quiet, somewhat still, empty; and in that stillness, that emptiness, the problem is resolved. Similarly, when one dies each minute to the inward environment, to the inward commitments, to the inward memories, to the inward secrecies and agonies, there is then an emptiness in which alone a new thing can take place. I am not advocating it; I am not doing propaganda for that emptiness - good God! I am only saying that unless that emptiness comes into being, we shall continue with our sorrow, with our anxiety, with our despair, and our activities will bring more and more confusion.

Talk 10 Saanen 1965

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Wed, 18 Apr 2018 #9
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1008 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But, as you say, I do not find that the mind IS “unoccupied”. Its occupation may, and does, continually change, but it seems to take great care to remain in the state of occupation. Either with the trivial or the seemingly profound, it is still occupation. There is no stillness. And to seek stillness is still a state of occupation, wouldn’t you say?

Yes it is the 'occupying force' searching for 'stillness'. As if 'stillness' was something that was 'hiding' somewhere. Isn't it more reasonable that 'stillness' is not just the absence of 'noise' but a 'relationship' to the 'noise' that is taking place, whatever it is?

Is this what K. was getting at when he said: "... every struggle, every effort to attain liberation indicates an escape from the present."

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 18 Apr 2018.

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Wed, 18 Apr 2018 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The desire to 'explore' creates the duality between the the 'explorer' and what is being 'explored'

This is not “the other issue” that I mentioned, but something that just dawned.

Dan, when you ask:

The desire to 'explore' creates the duality between the 'explorer' and what is being 'explored'”; isn’t that question arising from the a state of mind that is NOT in the state of invitation? Do you see what I mean? Doesn’t the question contain a subtle form of resistance?

It may be that the state of invitation, in allowing all that is in the human mind to expose itself in this brain, reveals that there is a duality between the thinker and the thought, between the actor and his action. Is that to be resisted? Is that to be turned away from? Is it to be feared? Or is that another factor that is invited, welcomed, explored? Another factor that is allowed to flower, using K’s words?

In fact, any resistance whatsoever IS this state of duality, is it not?

Feeling a sense of beauty in this exploration, in this state of non-resistance. Again to use K’s words, is it not the choiceless awareness of what is?

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Wed, 18 Apr 2018 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Isn't it more reasonable that 'stillness' is not just the absence of 'noise' but a 'relationship' to the 'noise' that is taking place, whatever it is?

That is well put, Dan.

Dan McDermott wrote:
Is this what K. was getting at when he said: "... every struggle, every effort to attain liberation indicates an escape from the present."

Surely. And struggle in "the religious field" is most adept in hiding its true nature.

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Fri, 20 Apr 2018 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The word "invite" strikes me as being a 'positive' as in "who' is doing the 'inviting' here?

I have been looking for words to express something that arises in response to these words, Dan. They did not come, and I was reluctant to take refuge in some words of K. But the words of Per on the other thread point very well to what I meant by the state of invitation. I hope he does not mind my quoting them here:

-To stay with, live with, be with or better to let be any disturbance, pain, greif, sadness, discomfort. Until it opens up to understanding and through inherent action dissolves into presence. No thinking about, no action towards, no handling.

But as usual the very language insists on putting a division where non is intended. The phrase "be with" suggests an entity behind this movement of letting be - but the process is really the dissolving of this imagined entity.

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Fri, 20 Apr 2018 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

Continuing with the quotes from the book "In the light of Silence all problems are dissolved@:

. . . . . because, the answer is in the problem, not away from the problem. I go through the searching, analyzing, dissecting process, in order to escape from the problem. But, if I do not escape from the problem and try to look at the problem without any fear or anxiety, if I merely look at the problem, mathematical, political, religious, or any other, and not look to an answer, then the problem will begin to tell me. Surely, this is what happens. We go through this process, and eventually throw it aside because there is no way out of it. So, why can't we start right from the beginning, that is, not seek an answer to a problem? - which is extremely arduous, isn't it? Because, the more I understand the problem, the more significance there is in it. To understand it, I must approach it quietly, not impose on the problem my ideas, my feelings of like and dislike. Then the problem will reveal its significance.
Why is it not possible to have tranquillity of the mind right from the beginning? And there will be tranquillity, only when I am not seeking an answer, when I am not afraid of the problem.

Talk 8 Ojai 1949

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Sun, 22 Apr 2018 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

You can understand a problem only when you don’t condemn it when you don't justify it, when you are capable of looking at it silently, and that is not possible when you are seeking a result. A problem exists only in the search for a result; and the problem ceases if there is no search for a result.

Bombay 1948

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Sun, 22 Apr 2018 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

Questioner: We must not criticize, then, if we are to be aware?

Krishnamurti: Without probing deeply into oneself self-knowledge is not possible. What do we mean by self-criticism? The function of the mind is to probe and to comprehend. Without this probing into ourselves, without this deep awareness, there can be no understanding. We often indulge in the stupidity of criticizing others but few are capable of probing deeply into themselves. The function of the mind is not only to probe, to delve, but also to be silent. In silence there is comprehension. We are ever probing but we are rarely silent; in us rarely are there alert, passive intervals of tranquillity; we probe and are soon weary of it without the creative silence. But self-probing is as essential for the clarity of understanding as is stillness. As the earth is allowed to lie fallow during the winter so must thought be still after deep searching. This very fallowness is its renewal. If we delve deeply into ourselves and are still then in this stillness, in this openness, there is understanding.

Questioner: This complexity is so deep that one does not seem to have an opportunity for quietness.

Krishnamurti: Must there be an opportunity to be still, to be quiet? Must you create the occasion, the right environment to be peaceful? Is it then peace? With right probing there comes right stillness. When do you look into yourself? When the problem demands it, when it is urgent, surely. But if you are seeking an opportunity to be silent then you are not aware. Self-probing comes with conflict and sorrow, and there must be passive receptivity to understand. Surely self-probing, stillness and understanding are in awareness a single process and not three separate states.

Questioner: Would you enlarge that point?

Krishnamurti: Let us take envy. Any resolution not to be envious is neither simple nor effective, it is even stupid. To determine not to be envious is to build walls of conclusions around oneself and these walls prevent understanding. But if you are aware you will discover the ways of envy; if there is interested alertness you will find its ramifications at different levels of the self. Each probing brings with it silence and understanding; as one cannot continuously probe deeply, which would only result in exhaustion, there must be spaces of alert inactivity. This watchful stillness is not the outcome of weariness; with self-probing there come easily and naturally moments of passive alertness. The more complex the problem the more intense is the probing and the silence. There need be no specially created occasion or opportunity for silence; the very perception of the complexity of a problem brings with it deep silence.

Ojai 1948

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Mon, 23 Apr 2018 #16
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

The mind will always create problems. But what is essential is that, when we make mistakes, when we are in pain, to meet these mistakes, these pains, without judgement, to look at them without condemnation, to live with them and to let them go by. And that can only happen when the mind is in the state of non-condemnation, without any formula; which means, when the mind is essentially quiet, when the mind is fundamentally still; then only is there the comprehension of the problem.

Bombay 1953

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

To learn is to approach any problem quietly, silently. It is only a silent mind, a quiet mind, the mind that is moving with the fact, that learns.

Madras 1965

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4656 posts in this forum Offline

K wrote:
It is only a silent mind, a quiet mind, the mind that is moving with the fact, that learns.

In this quote I am looking at the words "the mind that is moving with the fact". What does that mean? Does it imply the mind that is not divided into thinker and thought?

And is there any significance in using the word "fact" rather than "facts"? Are not the facts of the mind - fear, pleasure, pain, desire, etc - changing all the time? Or is it that they only appear to change?

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