Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Does our daily life have to be constant struggle?


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Sat, 23 Jun 2018 #31
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
The Nazi guard, the slave master - I think that their hard-heartedness IS learned behaviour, conditioning.

Not so long ago I watched a documentary about the initial training of US army recruits. Every experience they went through had been very carefully planned by experts in propaganda, in brain-washing the human mind – and aren’t there a great many such experts in the world these days? It was not just a matter of learning “skills” (skills in the techniques of how to kill people) but their very perceptions and normal reactions were being re-conditioned. Basically, they were being trained to be insensitive, to follow orders blindly, not to question, not to think for them selves. If there was any “goodness”, any finer feelings in them it was channeled, limited, to a sort of camaraderie for their fellow soldiers.

I have just found the documentary if anyone is interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_G2u1RrLOk&t=72s

Interestingly, the documentary showed how these same conditioning techniques are practised in ALL armies, all over the world.

And also interesting, in the US group followed, the techniques failed with one young man. At some level he saw through it, and wanted to leave. He was allowed to eventually, although that involved a “black mark”, like a prison sentence, against him that could affect the rest of his life. He was regarded and treated as an utter failure, and a coward.

And probably the same dehumanising conditioning techniques are used for police cadets, which enables them to become so brutal in “the execution of their duties”. Etc.

So yes, Huguette, I also think that hard-heartedness is learned behaviour. The above is an extreme example, but isn’t it also subtly “taught” in school, and society generally, by the constant emphasis put on the self, on personal ambition?

And of course fear is factor. As Hitler rose to power, many people must has thought, realised, if they did not join in the persecution of the Jews, they themselves would be persecuted. So it became normalised, even regarded as virtuous behaviour.

Huguette . wrote:
I don't think that this inner movement of compassion is learned behaviour, a conditioned reaction.

I also feel this is true. Only the self can be conditioned, psychologically, no? Because of its basic qualities of fear and pleasure-seeking. And I would say compassion is not a quality of the self.

So can compassion be taught, be impregnated, through education and up-bringing? That seems a complex question.I would not say that it is not attempted in schools, but is this attempt done through trying to condition behaviour and thought?

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Sun, 24 Jun 2018 #32
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 753 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
If the ending of sorrow is the bliss of compassion, then it sounds as if compassion is something that is sought in order to end "my" sorrow, which sounds like the essence of selfishness or self-centredness.

If one is making compassion into a goal seems to be force of going out of order, but compassion is the natural outcome of intelligence, love.

Ojai, California | 10th Public Talk 16th July, 1944

Questioner: Is not the practice of a regular discipline necessary?

Krishnamurti: A dancer or a violinist practices many hours a day so as to keep his fingers supple, his muscles flexible. Now, do you keep your mind pliable, thoughtful, compassionate, by practicing any particular system of discipline? Or do you keep it alert, keen by constant awareness of thought-feeling? To think, to feel is not to belong to any system. We cease to think if we think in terms of systems and because we think within systems our thought needs strengthening. A system will only produce a specialized form of thought but it is not thinking, is it? Mere practice of a discipline to gain a result only strengthens thought to function in a groove and thereby limits it; but if we become aware and realize that we are thinking in terms of systems, formulas and patterns then thought-feeling, in freeing itself from them, is beginning to become pliable, alert and keen. If we can think every thought through, go with it as far as we can, then we shall be capable of understanding and experiencing widely and deeply. This expansive and deep awareness brings its own discipline, a discipline not imposed outwardly or inwardly according to any system or pattern but the outcome of self-knowledge and therefore of right thinking and understanding. Such discipline is creative without forming habit and encouraging laziness.

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

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Thu, 28 Jun 2018 #33
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
as long as I view life from the perspective of the self, can time and knowledge end? The perspective of the self-centre IS time and knowledge. As long as I view life from the perspective of self, can I be passionate about the truth, whatever it is? Passion means that my whole being is given to it. The self can't do that.

I am switching threads.

I started this thread with the question “does our daily life have to be constant struggle?”. Because it seemed such a monstrous thing that our lives – my life if you wish – DOES contain so much struggle and conflict. I am not saying that I belief or approve of struggle, but it is there, the mind seems conditioned into it. And it seems unable to extricate itself from conflict.

And this is the human condition, obviously. Conflict is threatening to overwhelm the world, it is causing untold misery, suffering, violence, destruction – and it is met with what is essentially more struggle, more violence. I don’t need to expand on this.

One cannot let this problem go. It demands all our energy. And not just on this forum!

I have been asking if there is a single, root cause, of conflict – or contradiction, to use the word I have picked up on lately. And it seems, as you have said, that there is. For whatever reason, the mind, thought, divides itself into thinker and thought, observer and observed, controller and controlled – we know all the terms that K used. Probably no one here on the forum will argue with this (although they are welcome to). For a while I considered the idea that the basic issue is that we are caught up in psychological becoming, but it is the same thing. To become, the mind divides itself into what it wants to become, and the entity that wants to become that.

Is it an over-simplification to say that the whole of human conflict stems from this division that thought does, into “me” and “mine”? Even if it is not the whole of it, it is there, it is a huge problem, as I say demanding our attention.

Huguette . wrote:
Ultimately, the problem of why the mind doesn’t step out of the pattern is without an answer, which we have also talked about recently. If the nature of self, time, consciousness, and the fragility, vitality and essentiality of awareness (poorly expressed, I know), are understood, is there anything else “to do”, is there anything else to understand about this problem?

Would you say, Huguette, this thinker/thought division is the essence of the pattern?

Is there anything “to do” about this problem, you ask. I think Peter was saying no. Of course we see that any effort to overcome the division is just a continuation of the division, no question of that. I AM THE PROBLEM. Any manifestation of me IS more contradiction.

Sorry if all this is simplistic, but there may be a place for simplicity. I want to “start again” with the issue, keeping it very simple, not getting drawn off at any tangents. Although I know that time does not have the solution. If conflict is to end, time must end, no?

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Fri, 29 Jun 2018 #34
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Would you say, Huguette, this thinker/thought division is the essence of the pattern?

I do see it that way.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Of course we see that any effort to overcome the division is just a continuation of the division, no question of that. I AM THE PROBLEM. Any manifestation of me IS more contradiction.

Sorry if all this is simplistic, but there may be a place for simplicity. I want to “start again” with the issue, keeping it very simple, not getting drawn off at any tangents. Although I know that time does not have the solution. If conflict is to end, time must end, no?

Doesn’t self-understanding itself brings simplicity? That is, the nature and bondage of self and time are understood; the divisive mechanism of thought is seen; the constant, needless, activity of thought is observed firsthand; and so on. And so the problem is unified, simplified. It is no longer that I can’t have whatever it is I want, that I have to chase after my desires, pleasures, shoulds and should-nots. It’s not that life has been or is unfair to me, that people are standing in my way, that I'm a slave to habit, that I’m afraid, angry, that I can’t control others or myself, and so on. I see that “I” cannot fix these “problems”, it is not within my capabilities to find peace, I don’t know what to do about the suffering all around me. And still the mind thinks and thinks about these things, and also about every kind of nonsense. These psychological processes are understood, and still the mind's mechanical thinking in time does not end.

So there is only one problem remaining: thought-time won’t end, thought-time can’t be shaken. That is simplicity. The problem is not with the social environment. It’s not that others are misbehaving. It’s not that I can’t get what I want from the environment. It’s an inner problem. Mechanical thought keeps going - that’s all. Can the mind solve this problem? As for me, I say no, it can’t. Is the mind which has come this far the same as the mind which had a multitude of problems? I say no, it isn’t. Not that I’m “right”.

I don’t know what it actually means for thought-time to end. I don’t know what the actuality of it is. What I know is that I can’t do anything about it.

So the mind observes, the mind is aware, alive. Much of the inner rubbish has been cleared away. There’s a certain inner order and calm, incomplete as it is. Life is, life goes on, and I may be talking nonsense.

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Sat, 30 Jun 2018 #35
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnamurti: We are discussing whether transformation can be effected by any action on my part. My action is always within a pattern of action or behaviour known to me, or foreseen by me or decided on by me on my past knowledge. Obviously, such an act will not lead to
transformation. Whatever I do is within the field of such a pattern of action; it is always based upon a thought in the past, the past being memory - factual as well as psychological.

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Sat, 30 Jun 2018 #36
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Doesn’t self-understanding itself brings simplicity?

Even the intention to understand oneself brings simplicity. I would say. Such intention is not to be confused with goal, with seeking. I think it comes with seeing that there is nothing more important than such intention, such understanding. And it is perfectly reasonable, sane, to devote one’s life to the issue.

And still the mind thinks and thinks about these things, and also about every kind of nonsense. These psychological processes are understood, and still the mind's mechanical thinking in time does not end.

Well, I don’t know. Can one ever say “the psychological processes are understood”? Some may have been understood, but there may be others, at a deeper level, that have not been.

So there is only one problem remaining: thought-time won’t end, thought-time can’t be shaken. That is simplicity. The problem is not with the social environment. It’s not that others are misbehaving. It’s not that I can’t get what I want from the environment. It’s an inner problem. Mechanical thought keeps going - that’s all. Can the mind solve this problem? As for me, I say no, it can’t. Is the mind which has come this far the same as the mind which had a multitude of problems? I say no, it isn’t. Not that I’m “right”.
I don’t know what it actually means for thought-time to end. I don’t know what the actuality of it is. What I know is that I can’t do anything about it.

This is a profound realisation, and indeed it does bring about a different quality of mind, if one can put it that way. (Athough most people would iterpret it as an indication of great dispair). This may be the very ending of conflict and contradiction in the mind that we have been discussing. If I can’t do anything about a problem, I cease to try to do anything. And then, is there a problem?

One could say the whole content of the mind is incomplete experience, with the me trying to bring completion. It cannot of course, at least not on an experience-by-experience level. There is too much unfinished business in the mind to clear up – and that is the whole of human consciousness, the common consciousness, not just “my” consciousness.

So the mind observes, the mind is aware, alive. Much of the inner rubbish has been cleared away. There’s a certain inner order and calm, incomplete as it is. Life is, life goes on, and I may be talking nonsense.

I don’t think you are talking nonsense, Huguette. It is the whole of society, of culture, that talks incessant nonsense; the culture that all the time emphasises the me, the individual, and thinks that the answer to the problems the self creates is a stronger self.

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Tue, 03 Jul 2018 #37
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Pursuing the great human problem of of conflict, of contradiction – I mean of course pursuing it in one self, not as some abstract theory – one arrives at the gate of the observer and the observed, the thinker/thought dichotomy. There is very little that the mind is sure of, but I would say it is a certainty that this is the very root of human conflict. And so it is not an issue to be taken note of and pass on to “other things”. It is behind all the other things of the mind. And so it is the cause of the whole history of human conflict, of the endless separation, and in the end, war.

I don’t want to get lost in rhetoric, in trying to find descriptions. But just to make sure we are understanding the same thing, the phenomena has been put – aptly to me - this way: the mind behaves like a thief, which has disguised itself as a policeman, in order to catch the thief. Thought is continually separating itself, dividing itself as an entity which tries to influence thought, control thought, analyse thought, understanding thought, stop thought, correct thought, judge thought as true and false.

But this entity is still thought, it has all the characteristics of thought, And so the this process is fundamentally false, illusory. I am sorry if this all seems obvious to people, but “I” am approaching it newly, freshly, if that is possible.

All that I do, psychologically, - try to do - is in the guise of the thinker, as if I was outside of the problem, separate from the problem. This is a false approach, and unless it is seen, the process can only produce more illusion. Continue the conflict, the basic confusion of the mind. So when the process is seen, it does not, can not continue. This is a fundamental realisation. Its implications are enormous. And I would say this is the core of K’s teachings.

But instead of realising the illusion of the thinker, the me, generally the world has put it at a higher and higher level. More and more elaborate policemen.

Will stop here for the moment. The more one talks of it, the further one gets from it.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Tue, 03 Jul 2018.

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Tue, 03 Jul 2018 #38
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But instead of realising the illusion of the thinker, the me, generally the world has put it at a higher and higher level. More and more elaborate policemen.

Will stop here for the moment. The more one talks of it, the further one gets from it.

Yes, one sees that the effort to attain must end, that there are no guarantees of outcome, that the only thing to do is:

..... to think deeply and go through the real agony of being uncertain.

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day | Jul 03, 2018

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Wed, 04 Jul 2018 #39
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Yes, one sees that the effort to attain must end, that there are no guarantees of outcome,

it is clear that the effort to attain, to become psychologically, must end. And of course it must end without any effort being applied. I do not see this as a contradiction, but as deep meditation.

Effort is part of this duality of thinker/thought, is it not? – what would be the entity that would make an effort? Would it be separate from the concept of what is to be attained?

Huguette . wrote, quoting K:
..... to think deeply and go through the real agony of being uncertain.

I am not sure about this “deep agony”. There is an agony in the mind’s contradiction, yes, but becoming uncertain – I mean being uncertain – can come as a relief. Is it not akin to the state of not-knowing? I thought I knew something as psychologically true, and there was a feeling of not measuring up to it, not being it. Or of being condemned to live something in the future. But then the certainty of this knowing ends. There is a wider, deeper perspective, as I am no longer certain. Why should this be “an agony”? Is there not a certain freedom in the dropping of certainty?

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Wed, 04 Jul 2018 #40
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2276 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is there not a certain freedom in the dropping of certainty?

Yes!

Let it Be

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Wed, 04 Jul 2018 #41
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 959 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why should this be “an agony”? Is there not a certain freedom in the dropping of certainty?

There is, yes, but maybe what's being referred to here is the "certainty" that you are who you think you are.. or the certainty that what you take for granted as being true is true. This at a level that we aren't even aware of. I think it becomes clearer when you have a 'shattering' event happen to you. When the image that you carry of yourself is 'upended'... Then you can see if you 'stay with it' how damage control begins immediately. There is the 'fact' of what you did, said, etc. that was 'so unlike you', so 'out of character', so 'embarrassing', "I can't imagine what 'came over me'" etc., etc. and there is confronting that fact, your ardent wish that this 'event' had never taken place. You rue it. You 'can't believe' it. You are miserable thinking about it...The remembered fact and the wish against it come into contact and you 'suffer'. But that suffering is a denial of the fact of what you did or what you said or how you acted. That was you but it doesn't 'fit' into the image that you have of yourself which is one of 'respectability', responsibility, reasonableness, so you declare what you did as aberrant behavior and vow not to repeat it... So what I'm trying to say is that there is a 'certain' me that is at all times being maintained. When something upsets this image of myself, there is a scramble to pacify it, to shore it up...restoring a 'certainty' about who and what I am. This is the 'ego', the 'self'.

K. says that in essence we are "nothing" (not a thing) but that is not how the self sees it at all. And the "agony" experienced at the losing of this 'certainty' is perhaps what the Gospel authors were describing when they write that the crucified Christ cries out that he has been abandoned by his God. That is the "agony".

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Thu, 05 Jul 2018 #42
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
There is, yes, but maybe what's being referred to here is the "certainty" that you are who you think you are

Clive: But that’s what I was referring to as well. Is there not a relief in the realisation that you are not who you thought you were? You are not the image – which really implies not any image.

.. or the certainty that what you take for granted as being true is true. This at a level that we aren't even aware of. I think it becomes clearer when you have a 'shattering' event happen to you. When the image that you carry of yourself is 'upended'... Then you can see if you 'stay with it' how damage control begins immediately. There is the 'fact' of what you did, said, etc. that was 'so unlike you', so 'out of character', so 'embarrassing', "I can't imagine what 'came over me'" etc., etc. and there is confronting that fact, your ardent wish that this 'event' had never taken place. You rue it. You 'can't believe' it. You are miserable thinking about it...The remembered fact and the wish against it come into contact and you 'suffer'. But that suffering is a denial of the fact of what you did or what you said or how you acted. That was you but it doesn't 'fit' into the image that you have of yourself which is one of 'respectability', responsibility, reasonableness, so you declare what you did as aberrant behavior and vow not to repeat it... So what I'm trying to say is that there is a 'certain' me that is at all times being maintained.

Clive: I am not sure that there is. To maintain a particular image in the face of ever changing thoughts would be perverse indeed. And yet I must admit this is what I see all around me, people insisting on their self-images. And this is odd, because it is a constant struggle to maintain any permanence of the mind. It is a constant invitation to frustration and sorrow. So why do we do it, if we do? Why don’t we accept the fact of impermanence, accept that there is no certainty in this world?

You (and I) might answer in terms of the mind seeking security, but the question is still there – WHY do we seek security, when observation and experience tells us such a thing is not possible – and indeed the very seeking creates tremendous conflict and misery in the world. Why don’t we ever LEARN?

When something upsets this image of myself, there is a scramble to pacify it, to shore it up...restoring a 'certainty' about who and what I am. This is the 'ego', the 'self'.

Clive: So why not, instead, drop the false image as false, rather than trying to shore it up? Which is generally the advice proffered by the world, by society.

K. says that in essence we are "nothing" (not a thing) but that is not how the self sees it at all. And the "agony" experienced at the losing of this 'certainty' is perhaps what the Gospel authors were describing when they write that the crucified Christ cries out that he has been abandoned by his God. That is the "agony".

Clive: Are you suggesting that he “lost his faith”?

Having said, and felt, my words above, I am reminded of what were almost Krishnamurti’s last words spoken in public:

“If you are uncertain, find out why and be certain”

It seems, once again, we are lead to the realisation that there are shades of meaning in most words. If we see this, we do not argue, or even shed blood, over particular, rigid, interpretations of meaning of words. (not saying that you are doing this, Dan)

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Thu, 05 Jul 2018 #43
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Yes, one sees that the effort to attain must end,

I have previously made a response to your words, above, Huguette. But something different came to me, seemingly "out of the blue".

How easy it is when we read something, a response comes from memory, we express it, and think some sort of understanding or learning has taken place. Did I really listen to your words? Because properly listened to, they reveal an enormous challenge, that demands ACTION, not just a verbal, perhaps intellectual response. One cannot say, as I suspect that I did, "yes the effort to attain must end", and then just carry on making effort.

One has to FEEL the challenge, take it on, live with it.

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Thu, 05 Jul 2018 #44
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Yes, one sees that the effort to attain must end,

It seems to me that it is impossible to make any psychological effort when it is seen that the observer is the observed. In fact the whole psychological landscape changes, or even ends, when that fact is clear.

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Thu, 05 Jul 2018 #45
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2276 posts in this forum Online

Clive Elwell wrote:
It seems to me that it is impossible to make any psychological effort when it is seen that the observer is the observed.

And the actor is the action. K’s powerful statement bears repeating I think.

Krishnamurti: We are discussing whether transformation can be effected by any action on my part. My action is always within a pattern of action or behaviour known to me, or foreseen by me or decided on by me on my past knowledge. Obviously, such an act will not lead to
transformation. Whatever I do is within the field of such a pattern of action; it is always based upon a thought in the past, the past being memory - factual as well as psychological.

Let it Be

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Thu, 05 Jul 2018 #46
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 959 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is there not a relief in the realisation that you are not who you thought you were? You are not the image – which really implies not any image.

It 'sounds' like there should be, but what I think takes place after the 'realization' you mention is that a new 'updated' image is formed of the me who has had a 'realization'. In other words the realization doesn't obliterate the self-image, it only re-organises it to a more comfortable place. And we move on from there.

Dan. So what I'm trying to say is that there is a 'certain' me that is at all times being maintained.

Clive: I am not sure that there is. To maintain a particular image in the face of ever changing thoughts would be perverse indeed. And yet I must admit this is what I see all around me, people insisting on their self-images. And this is odd, because it is a constant struggle to maintain any permanence of the mind. It is a constant invitation to frustration and sorrow. So why do we do it, if we do? Why don’t we accept the fact of impermanence, accept that there is no certainty in this world?

If the self is anything, it is "perverse". Forgive me if our difference here is only language, but what I see is not "people insisting on their self-images" but that people, you ,me, are our self-images. There is nothing else, that is what we are. And if that is so there is nothing "odd" about why the self-image persists in the face of it being a "constant invitation to frustration and sorrow" because for the self, frustration and sorrow are a far 'safer' bet than the 'unknown'. The 'unknown' is death because the self is the known.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why don’t we accept the fact of impermanence, accept that there is no certainty in this world?

I would answer, because there is no one to "accept" such a fact, except intellectually. The self can only 'accept' the idea of impermanence intellectually because the very premise that that fact points to, is that the self (me) is itself an illusion. The self cannot 'negate' itself. When it 'tries' to do so it splits as the 'negator' and the self to be 'negated'. Just another source of conflict. But the idea that impermanence is a fact...if that makes it past the self's 'defenses', maybe, can function like a seedling, and germinate on its own?

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Fri, 06 Jul 2018 #47
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote, citing K, :
Krishnamurti: We are discussing whether transformation can be effected by any action on my part. My action is always within a pattern of action or behaviour known to me, or foreseen by me or decided on by me on my past knowledge. Obviously, such an act will not lead to transformation. Whatever I do is within the field of such a pattern of action; it is always based upon a thought in the past, the past being memory - factual as well as psychological.

My comment in post &43 applies equally well here, I think,

“How easy it is when we read something, a response comes from memory, we express it, and think some sort of understanding or learning has taken place. Did I really listen to your words? Because properly listened to, they reveal an enormous challenge, that demands ACTION, not just a verbal, perhaps intellectual response. One cannot say, as I suspect that I did, "yes the effort to attain must end", and then just carry on making effort.
One has to FEEL the challenge, take it on, live with it.”

I imagine when most people, if they read statements like you have quoted above, especially:

"Whatever I do is within the field of such a pattern of action; it is always based upon a thought in the past, the past being memory”

they would feel K is being pessimistic and hopeless.

Perhaps this is a consequence of reducing K’s teachings to short extracts, taken in isolation, so one does not go through the whole process of exploration, inquiry, from start to finish.

But actually, as was discussed above, there is liberation in the words – well, not it the words, but in the complete understanding of the words. When one truly sees that all psychological action is based on the past, and can only continue the past, then one “sees the truth in the false”, the futility of such action is seen, and it drops away.

Drops away to reveal what? Perhaps that is another problem for people who approach K’s teachings as any other system of thought. One has to actually do it, and face the unknown that is revealed – not speculate about what might happen.

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Fri, 06 Jul 2018 #48
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It 'sounds' like there should be, but what I think takes place . . .

Thanks for the post, Dan, it raises many issues, questions.

You are certainly right in describing the self as “perverse”. It also has to described as “blind”. And. Especially in “The Ending of Time” K insists that it is irrational – except it can be rational in certain limited areas, like a laboratory.
Why? Why so , unintelligent, to bring in another word? So unintelligent we do not realise that we ARE unintelligent. I mean we are actually destroying ourselves and most life on earth, but we don’t stop, we don’t learn, we, for the most part, just carry on, indifferently. I am sorry to keep raising this point (there he goes again), -it is a fact.

Dan: Forgive me if our difference here is only language, but what I see is not "people insisting on their self-images" but that people, you ,me, are our self-images"

No, you are right to point this out. There is no person apart the self image, no one who “has” a self image. The image maker is the image.*

Dan: “ And if that is so there is nothing "odd" about why the self-image persists in the face of it being a "constant invitation to frustration and sorrow" because for the self, frustration and sorrow are a far 'safer' bet than the 'unknown'. The 'unknown' is death because the self is the known”

I can only reflect on this.

Clive Elwell wrote: Why don’t we accept the fact of impermanence, accept that there is no certainty in this world? And Dan replied: "I would answer, because there is no one to "accept" such a fact, except intellectually."

That is exceedingly interesting, Dan. I used the word “accept” without questioning what it means, if it HAS any meaning. Would it mean merely to draw a conclusion? And then that becomes part of our knowledge, our conditioning.

The word implies time. Far better to ask, “why don’t we SEE the fact of impermanence, SEE that there is no certainty?”. That is an immediate challenge. We either see it or we don’t.

Like so many illusions that we are taught, that society puts into us, to “accept” does imply there is some entity in charge of the mind, someone who can choose to accept or not accept.

Dan: “The self cannot 'negate' itself. When it 'tries' to do so it splits as the 'negator' and the self to be 'negated'. Just another source of conflict.”

Exactly so, Dan

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Fri, 06 Jul 2018.

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Fri, 06 Jul 2018 #49
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 959 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
You are certainly right in describing the self as “perverse”. It also has to described as “blind”. And. Especially in “The Ending of Time” K insists that it is irrational – except it can be rational in certain limited areas, like a laboratory.

All:

I've been pondering this morning a story a friend related to me about a party she attended where everyone there was "in favor of the 'wall'" and thought the immigrants separated from their children, "had it coming for trying to enter the country illegally", etc. etc....For me what this pointed to was a lack of 'compassion'. They don't 'see' and 'feel' these refugees as themselves, they don't 'see' and 'feel' these children as their own...they have no or little 'compassion' toward the 'other'. Nor do I. What is it that stands in the way of our seeing and feeling the 'other' as ourself? Why this 'self-centered' view of the world? Intellectually it isn't a problem to understand: there is one brain the human brain and our conditioned sense of 'individuality' is an illusion. (The 'me' and the 'mine') In this regard, K. has said "The ending of conflict is the bliss of compassion". It is the "me and the mine" that is the source of conflict, isn't it? It is a 'limited' window through which I view the world and others. But that is what I am, how I see. There can never be peace it seems, if this does not change radically. Can it change (dissolve?) at this point or is it too 'established'?

It is a strange use of the word 'bliss' isn't it, when 'compassion' implies the awareness of the others "suffering'?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 06 Jul 2018.

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Sat, 07 Jul 2018 #50
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I've been pondering this morning a story a friend related to me

I've been pondering this morning a story a friend related to me about a party she attended where everyone there was "in favor of the 'wall'" and thought the immigrants separated from their children, "had it coming for trying to enter the country illegally", etc. etc....For me what this pointed to was a lack of 'compassion'. They don't 'see' and 'feel' these refugees as themselves, they don't 'see' and 'feel' these children as their own...they have no or little 'compassion' toward the 'other'.

Clive: It comes to wonder if they feel compassion for their own families. I would say not, not in a true way. What they feel, I would think, would be conditional feeling, and if members of the family started to behave in a way that was not pleasing, not gratifying, then ‘affection’ towards them would cease.

This perhaps is not too pertinent to your question. But it is clear that love (compassion) cannot be conditional.

Nor do I. What is it that stands in the way of our seeing and feeling the 'other' as ourself? Why this 'self-centered' view of the world?

Clive: You are basically asking, are you not, “why does the self exist?”?

Intellectually it isn't a problem to understand:

Clive: I am not sure what you saying here. If I had to give an explanation, I would say something along these lines – the protection of the physical body is a fact common to all life, perhaps even the humble bacteria. It is “natural”, it is built into life itself. It is biological conditioning. Any creature that did not show this trait would disappear from the evolutionary competition.

It was there in man and his ancestors. But then thought came along. Thought worked by creating models of the world in thought. And it created a model, an image of the body, the physical existence, in thought, in the mind. This was the "me". Thought created the whole psychological world in this way. This was some sort of drastic mistake. But it seemed to “work” in a limited way, as far as survival in the world went, and as far as passing on the genes to one’s progeny. But I would say we are reaching the ending of the line now as far as workability goes.

So that is a limited, possible explanation. I’m not saying it is true, or that it gets us very far with the problem.

there is one brain the human brain and our conditioned sense of 'individuality' is an illusion. (The 'me' and the 'mine')

Clive: But this is not how most people would see it, is it? Most people (including me some of the time) see themselves very much as individuals. The whole of society is based on the notion of a separate individual. And this is the conditioning that is passed on from generation to generation. The only place for love, compassion, seeing the other as oneself, is as some vague ideal, which is really impossible to realise without true understanding of the human mind.

In this regard, K. has said "The ending of conflict is the bliss of compassion". It is the "me and the mine" that is the source of conflict, isn't it?

Clive: Yes, I think we can take that as a fact.

It is a 'limited' window through which I view the world and others. But that is what I am, how I see. There can never be peace it seems, if this does not change radically. Can it change (dissolve?) at this point or is it too 'established'?

Clive: The obvious answer is “I don’t know”. I certainly do not dismiss the possibility that it is too established now. And it seems that mankind has never solved this problem – except perhaps in very very few cases.

But it is the only problem really. The only problem worth considering, the only factor that could fundamentally change the world. So we cannot let the question go. Hopefully it is what this forum is about. Perhaps what our lives are about. I am not offering vague platitudes, I hope.

It is a strange use of the word 'bliss' isn't it, when 'compassion' implies the awareness of the others "suffering'?

Clive: I must say that I find it very strange.

Let us see what others have to say.

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Sat, 07 Jul 2018 #51
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
[Dan:] It is a strange use of the word 'bliss' isn't it, when 'compassion' implies the awareness of the others "suffering'?

Clive: I must say that I find it very strange.

Let us see what others have to say.

I said at #29 that I did not understand this phrase "the ending of sorrow is the bliss of compassion". It sounded like an inducement or carrot for being compassionate. What I have to say about it is that it is most likely a misquote.

I searched for "the bliss of compassion" on Google, and I found only one mention of K using this phrase. In "Fire in the Mind - Dialogues with J. Krishnamurti" (dialogue with Pupul Jayakar, The Unfolding of the Teaching, Brockwood Park 11 June 1978), K said this:

Let us say that the Buddha said to me, ‘The ending of sorrow is the bliss of compassion’.

I found no other incidence of "the bliss of compassion". However, in "The Way of Intelligence", Chapter 2, Part 2, 2nd Seminar, Madras 15th January 1981, K said this:

K: When sorrow has completely ended, then there is compassion.
J.U.: The perception that human existence is sorrow gives rise to compassion.
K: No.
(...)
J.U.: Is there bliss after ending sorrow? Will everyone be happy?
K: No. I never said that. I said the ending of sorrow is the beginning of compassion, not bliss.

.....which does make complete sense, to me at least, whereas "the bliss of compassion" does not at all. Then, in "The Only Revolution" (Europe Part 14), which is Part One of The Second Krishnamurti Reader, K says this about meditation:

Meditation is the awakening of bliss; it is both of the senses and transcending them. It has no continuity, for it is not of time. The happiness and the joy of relationship, the sight of a cloud carrying the earth, and the light of spring on the leaves, are the delight of the eye and of the mind. This delight can be cultivated by thought and given a duration in the space of memory, but it is not the bliss of meditation in which is included the intensity of the senses. The senses must be acute and in no way distorted by thought, by the discipline of conformity and social morality. The freedom of the senses is not the indulgence of them: the indulgence is the pleasure of thought. Thought is like the smoke of a fire and bliss is the fire without the cloud of smoke that brings tears to the eyes. Pleasure is one thing, and bliss another. Pleasure is the bondage of thought, and bliss is beyond and above thought. The foundation of meditation is the understanding of thought and of pleasure, with their morality and the discipline which gives comfort. The bliss of meditation is not of time or duration; it is beyond both and therefore not measurable. Its ecstasy is not in the eye of the beholder, nor is it an experience of the thinker.
Thought cannot touch it with its words and symbols and the confusion it breeds; it is not a word that can take root in thought and be shaped by it. This bliss comes out of complete silence.

So personally, I understand it this way that "the ending of sorrow is the beginning of compassion" and "meditation is the awakening of bliss". "The bliss of compassion" sounds like an oxymoron of sorts to me.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 07 Jul 2018.

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Sat, 07 Jul 2018 #52
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 959 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
K. "the ending of sorrow is the beginning of compassion"

Is there such a thing as 'right' or 'wrong' or is that a judgement based on cultural traditions or social norms only? The SS officer who was quoted as to why the children had to be killed as well as the adults said that they had "jewish blood" and could grow up to be a threat. The immigration agent removing the children from their parents seeking amnesty here in the US was on the one hand "only doing his job" but also may believe that these 'foreigners' were some sort of abstract threat to his 'whiteness', his 'country, his 'culture', the 'economy', to jobs etc. Whatever...but what wasn't being seen and felt was the pain and suffering that they, for whatever reason, were inflicting on the 'other'. So are these behaviors 'wrong' in some 'fundamental' objective way? Both of the examples above would say that what they were doing was right and necessary. They 'compartmentalize' their behavior toward the 'other's' children and their behavior toward their own and they can 'live' with themselves. These 'compartments' have to stay separated in their own minds. 'Compassion' then is the breaking down of all barriers between myself and the other? Not as Clive referred to it as a "vague ideal" but as a breakthrough from my imagined 'individuality'? I can't 'feel' the other's pain because I am too absorbed by my own, my own sorrow. So as the K. quote goes: the ending of sorrow is the beginning of compassion. Compassion as I see it is not a 'reward' for ending 'my' conflict, sorrow but more akin to the sunlight "when the dark clouds roll away".

Doesn't 'true' Compassion always have to say: "Forgive them, they don't know what they are doing"?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 07 Jul 2018.

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Sat, 07 Jul 2018 #53
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I can't 'feel' the other's pain because I am too absorbed by my own, my own sorrow. So as the K. quote goes: the ending of sorrow is the beginning of compassion. Compassion as I see it is not a 'reward' for ending 'my' conflict,

Yes, Dan. Where I'm attached to, absorbed by, centered on, "sensitive" only to my own pain and sorrow - which is "me" - there is no sensitivity to others, to everything. Without sensitivity, there can be no compassion, as I see it. So the ending of the "me" is the ending of sorrow, which is the beginning of compassion, as we have said. In that, there is no pursuit of a reward. Sensitivity which does not stop at the borders of the self cannot be forced or practiced.

Even though the self-image stirs within at times, in moments of sanity, this is understood.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 07 Jul 2018.

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Sun, 08 Jul 2018 #54
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Both of the examples above would say that what they were doing was right and necessary.

One can rationalise anything. And this is a great problem, because how can there be compassion when thought can convince itself (or at least find arguments for) about the rightness of anything? I was watching a documentary where a succession of Australian Prime Ministers argued that to keep refugees in indefinite detention in abject conditions on small isolated Pacific Islands, including babies, was “compassionate (they actually used that word) because it dissuaded future migrants from risking themselves at sea. And I was listening to Alexandr Solzhenitsyn‘s “The Gulag Archipelago”, yet another example of how “ordinary” citizens can turn themselves into brutal torturers of their fellow man and woman. Ideology is a wonderful rationalizer of cruelty, a most convenient way thought can excuse itself for it lack of compassion – although there are other factors at work, all of them of course manifestations of the self.

As has been said, sensitivity is the key – to see ourselves as we actually are, no excuses, no blame, no condemnation even. And if, when, we are insensitive, to SEE that we area insensitive. But people have insulated themselves from seeing what is, through a thousand cunning arguments and beliefs of thought.

Dan McDermott wrote:
I can't 'feel' the other's pain because I am too absorbed by my own, my own sorrow.

and fear, and the pursuit of pleasure, ambition and so on

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Sun, 08 Jul 2018 #55
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4536 posts in this forum Offline

Following the recent discussion on compassion, yesterday I paid special attention to my attitudes to other people. As I was on a forest walk, “other people” were mostly people I passed on the track, I did not know them. But even then, I found myself reacting to them, forming instant opinions as a result of quick observations. And so often these first inner responses were negative, critical, judgemental, condemning.

There was no question of “compassion”, these reactions were not a result of seeing the other as a fellow human being – although intellectually I would have agreed that they were. Intellectually one would recognise that what was going on in their minds was fundamentally the same as this mind, but emotionally it was a different story.

Interestingly, if one received some slightly friendly acknowledgement from the other, if there was any contact, an hello, a smile, giving way on the narrow path, watching a child’s actions together, then these negative reactions were replaced by positive ones – but still I would not call this the action of compassion, as the reactions were still conditional.

It is natural to ask why is there this basic negative attitude to each other – I say “each other” because I cannot belief that I am unique in this respect. Of course one can reply to this question in terms of the self aggrandisement of the self, but does this really explain things?

I am remembering K’s words that if one wants to understand anything, oneself, the other, then condemnation must cease.

It is interesting that as soon as one pays attention to this issue, as soon as one focuses on one’s reactions to others. examines things, then one feels a change begins to take place.

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