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

To understand the fact which we call emptiness, there must be no naming of that fact


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Mon, 03 Sep 2018 #31
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
Added: I might think that my naming and explaining a feeling shows that I understand "the thing". Because that is what I have learned - isn't it? - that naming and explaining are indicative of understanding. But "I" can name and explain till the end of eternity and still have no insight into the thing itself. Doesn't insight alone transform my relationship with "my" psychological pain? Where the nature of my relationship with pain is naming, explaining, condemning, bemoaning it, doesn't that sustain the division of "me" and "pain"?

There is another side to this, isn't there? One doesn't NEED to describe in order to understand. Yes, descriptions can be inhibitory factors to understanding. For every description/explanation by thought, there is another, different one possible. And so there is the possibility of conflict between them. But surely there is no conflict in true understanding?

Explanations can become a straight-jacket. But as K says, understanding comes with an empty mind.

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Tue, 04 Sep 2018 #32
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
In observing my mind, I observe my reaction of fear or hurt in reaction to an insult.

Clive Elwell wrote:
But we don’t do that, usually, do we? The usual reaction to an insult is to go through the process of being hurt, the image forming, the registration, the reaction, all that, yes. But we don’t normally say to ourselves “I have been hurt”, do we? At least not consciously. So is this process of “naming” actually happening, as I bought up previously? Sorry if I am hammering this too hard.

I can accept that some sort of recognition process has been set in motion, so we react to the insult as we have reacted to insult in the past. Is this “naming”? Am I perhaps taking this word too literally?

I might or might not consciously say the words “I'm angry”, “I’m afraid” or “I'm hurt” but either way the feeling is immediately recognized and identified, isn’t it? Without saying the word, I'm looking for a way to retaliate or avoid confrontation, or justifying my response to myself or others, condemning “you” who has treated me badly or condemning myself for being angry, and so on. I KNOW I’m angry, afraid or hurt, without saying the word. If I did not identify the feeling as anger on some level, I would not try to retaliate, I would not condemn, I would not register it as an experience to be carried forward, etc.

Similarly, if I wake up in the middle of the night and see my spouse asleep beside me, I don't consciously name him, but I recognize him and that recognition is indicative of an unconscious mental movement, isn't it? But if I wake up and see a stranger in the bed, or a stranger in my child's bed.....

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Tue, 04 Sep 2018 #33
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Fear, anger, hurt, pleasure, and so on, indicate the momentum or continuity of time and knowledge. There can be no momentum, compulsion or continuity of a thing which has not been stored, registered, recorded as knowledge. The thing and all its accoutrements - condemnation, self-condemnation, shame, guilt, desire, and so on. In a flash, I am angry. That anger has been shaped, registered, accumulated, reinforced through time. The totality of this registration is the stuff that self is made of.

The moment I am angry, the naming or identification has taken place, the momentum is set in motion and I “go with” the momentum or compulsion of anger, fear, condemnation, effort. We see that compulsion here on the forum, we see it within and we see it all around us.

No?

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Tue, 04 Sep 2018 #34
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Regarding the issue of naming things, when it is not necessary to do so. The following is from a question put to K after the 5th talk in Paris 1950:

“To understand the fact which we call emptiness, there must be no condemnation, no naming of that fact. After all, the recognition of the fact creates the centre of the ‘me’; and the ‘me’ is empty, the ‘me’ is only words. When I do not name the fact, give it a term, when I do not recognise it as this or that, is there loneliness?”

When K says “there must be no condemnation, no naming”, my understanding of what he’s saying is not that there “should be” no condemnation and no naming. Everything that K has said indicates that he does not advocate any form of effort, and one sees for oneself that effort is division and conflict, that effort does not bring about understanding. Effort is engendered by “should be”. My understanding of “there must be no condemnation” is that, for understanding to flower, it is vital to understand the significance of condemnation. It is a statement of fact as K sees it, not a guideline.

To understand anything - math or the human being - there must be no resistance to the thing, no condemnation of the thing. So “must be” speaks to the nature of understanding. It is not a moral opinion on what should be done to “get there”. Where there is the understanding that condemnation and resistance prevent understanding, then it is follows that it necessary to delve into - to be aware of - what it is, how condemnation arises, where it comes from since clearly effort cannot end condemnation and naming.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Tue, 04 Sep 2018.

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Tue, 04 Sep 2018 #35
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
I might or might not consciously say the words “I'm angry”, “I’m afraid” or “I'm hurt” but either way the feeling is immediately recognized and identified, isn’t it?

Yes, thanks Huguette, I see now that I was taking the term "naming" too literally. The essence of the issue is the process of recognition - recognition that sets into motion a chain of association in the mind, that is essentially the past, the known.

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Wed, 05 Sep 2018 #36
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
In a flash, I am angry.

Yes, due to this process of association that seems to go on more or less continually in the brain cells. I am angry because I have been angry before, in similar circumstances.

So can this process of association be changed, mitigated in anyway? Even ended? Seems to me this question is related to the slowing down of thought, that we have been inquiring into on the other thread.

One sees that in some areas the process of association of knowledge is essential. It seems to be how the brain organises its knowledge. Yet in the psychological field one sees it is most destructive. Having once registered an image about another, or oneself, having formed an opinion, that will keep reoccurring - as you have brought up previously in this thread, Huguette.

I know of no way the chain of association can be deliberately broken - only modified perhaps, one association being replaced by another. This process might be described as "re-conditioning", but it is not freedom from conditioning.

But can there be a space, spaces, in this chain of association? A space where the activity of the brain can be seen for what it is? It seems that such a space actually IS there, no? Can this space be widened, deepened? Not by any effort of will, not through desire, obviously. But does attention, awareness of the outer and inner world, expand this space between thoughts?

Huguette . wrote:
The totality of this registration is the stuff that self is made of.

Yes, it is. So if there is to be an ending of self, or at least a diminution, it has to start with the process of registration. The registration of both pain and pleasure, like and dislike. And surely, the only possibility of it happening lies in choiceless awareness?

Huguette . wrote:
and I “go with” the momentum or compulsion of anger, fear, condemnation, effort. We see that compulsion here on the forum, we see it within and we see it all around us.

No?

Or I react to the anger, the fear, etc. But that reaction still has its roots in the qualities, and so is still a "going with it", in essence.

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Wed, 05 Sep 2018 #37
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
it is a statement of fact as K sees it, not a guideline.

Yes, understood, Huguette.

You have talked quite a lot about registration in this thread, Huguette – and rightly so, since it is registration that is the essence of the self.

Something came very stronglyto me yesterday, while interacting with someone, with feelings very awake. What is important is to act fully, completely. The outcome of that act is in a way (in the outer world I mean) immaterial. But if one has responded fully to a challenge, then it does not register, it leaves no mark that would form “future me’s”.

It is incomplete action that leaves the mark that creates the self.

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Thu, 06 Sep 2018 #38
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The outcome of that act is in a way (in the outer world I mean) immaterial.

Yes. Man (woman) is destroying everything with his preoccupation with outcome, with his desire to make things supposedly safer for himself. This desire or demand for security is rooted in fear, isn't it? So there is no morality in the true sense... but there is plenty of talk about morality.

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Thu, 06 Sep 2018 #39
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

I was looking out of a large window on waking a few days ago. not my accustomed view. Rejoicing in my new, clearer, brighter vision, after a cataract operation recently There are extensive views over a wide gulley, in which hawks soar, hardly a building to be seen to the tree-lined horizon. Closer, a majestic gum tree at the edge of a mown grassy area that extends from the deck. And in the grass there was a survival battle going on - a blackbird tugging at a worm, that must have been resisting fiercely underground. But the blackbird was eventually victorious, and he started to devour his pray – it was a large. juicy-looking worm. But suddenly there was flash, an explosion, of brilliant blues, and a great confusion of fluttering, of wings. A kingfisher had swooped down and, I think, snatched and carried off the remains of the worm.

Then I suddenly realised that while I had been watching this scene unfold, the mind had been creating a running commentary on it, composing a verbal description. I really don’t know if this is the norm or not?

And the question arose, is it this running commentary that enables me to communicate the scene now? Is this how experiences get recorded by the brain? And so is this how communication of those experiences are possible?

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Sun, 09 Sep 2018 #40
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

In the quotation below, which is not from K, the term “warrior” does not indicate a battle field, rather someone who has taken responsibility for his own life:

You must stop talking to yourself. We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. This internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, but only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such or so and so. If we stop telling ourselves that the world is so-and-so, the world will stop being so-and-so. You must start slowly to undo the world.

We also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk to free the energy from this continual reinforcement for other perceptions and other choices. You have to know this if you want to live like a warrior.

The quote is from “A separate reality” by Carlos Castaneda. I am not recommending it or anything, especially the ‘striving’, but the words above seem to contain a profound, and rather obvious, truth.

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Sun, 09 Sep 2018 #41
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Wonderful, Clive. So clearly expressed.

P.S.

I've always avoided Carlos Castenada because I understood his insights to have come from drugs, "natural" or not. But I really don't know if this is true.

However this insight came about, the underlying fact of what he says here looks solid and true.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sun, 09 Sep 2018.

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Mon, 10 Sep 2018 #42
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
However this insight came about, the underlying fact of what he says here looks solid and true.

The words, of course, are of Don Juan himself, rather than the author Castanede. That is, if one accepts that the books are a true representation of what happened and what was said, which some doubt.

Apart from that, I feel sure that I am living largely in a 'self-created world'. No, I will use a different phrase, I, we, live in a world, a reality, largely created by human consciousness. Thousands of years of human consciousness. But to what extent this is so, I cannot say, I am not in a position to judge, being held in that reality.

Surely, to discover what is true - if there is truth above the many possible realities, then the mind must cease in its projections?

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Tue, 11 Sep 2018 #43
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 755 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette and Clive,

sometimes it is clear that you only have to follow a conversation and not participate.

This was such a conversation .... Thanks

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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Tue, 11 Sep 2018 #44
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Don Juan, the Yaqui Indian, said:
You must stop talking to yourself. We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. (cut) ........ We also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk to free the energy from this continual reinforcement for other perceptions and other choices. You have to know this if you want to live like a warrior.

I feel a bit embarrassed about using the word “warrior”, but I will let is be, as I want to look further at Don Juan’s words. And I feel certain K has said similar things - although perhaps he did not talk of "striving".

As one observes the mind, one of the most noticeable things about it is this movement described above. The mind demands to keep itself occupied, keep itself busy. It may be that is exactly what I am doing by writing this post. There is something clearly compulsive about this movement. And one sees that this movement, reflected in the outer world, has created a society that is overwhelmingly drawn to entertainment. As soon as a person has obtained the necessities of life, he turns to entertainment of various sorts. And technology has satisfied this demand, this obsession, in increasingly sophisticated ways – 'virtual reality' is a phrase that springs to mind.

This may be a tangent, but just mentioning it as it occurs to me - as I look at of the window at the lovely fresh morning, one might say there are two ways of occupying the mind – by watching the world around one, and by being ‘lost in thought’. The “internal talk” as Don Juan describes. The mind seems to very much prefer the later. It prefers its own projections. Why? Is this its way of trying to find security?

We seem to afraid to be without this incessant internal dialogue. What exactly are we afraid of? – the fear of the mind is always of its own projections, of what it imagines, is it not? What is the mind imagining will happen if this internal dialogue ceases? The words “being alone” come to me, but I will stop for now, and perhaps more will come in the course of the day.

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Wed, 12 Sep 2018 #45
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 976 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
We seem to afraid to be without this incessant internal dialogue. What exactly are we afraid of?

Of being "nothing"? Thought can't get its 'head' around that. So even if 'intellectually' it thinks that it understands "being nothing", it can't grasp it because...thought is something and 'some-thing' can't understand 'no-thing'? Like Peter posted, a two dimensional being can't imagine a third dimension.

John R's post today speaks head on to this important question. The brain needs 'order' to function and every 'new' challenge it faces must be immediately stored with the constantly upgraded "conclusions" of the past. About who you are about who I am etc...it finds 'safety' in this store of knowledge which does have its place. Thought is absolutely useful in the practical field with its conclusions, i.e. how much water to take on a trek so as not to die of thirst, etc. but in the psychological, it is "divisive" where the thinker apart from the thought is created, the observer apart from the observed...and this divisiveness has to be seen and understood by the brain itself, effortlessly. That there can never be 'freedom' in the process of bringing the past into the present?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 12 Sep 2018.

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Wed, 12 Sep 2018 #46
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Dan McDermott wrote:
The brain needs 'order' to function and every 'new' challenge it faces must be immediately stored with the constantly upgraded "conclusions" of the past. About who you are about who I am etc...it finds 'safety' in this store of knowledge which does have its place

But it actually doesn’t, does it? The mind has never found “safety”, or order, really, has it? It imagines that it has, for a limited time, but sooner or later (often very soon!) life knocks on the door. Life with all its uncertainty.

We have to live with this uncertainty, because uncertainty is a fact, not with illusions of certainty. This is a very real challenge, I find.

You suggest, Dan, that the mind is afraid of “being nothing”, and that is why it keeps up this incessant internal dialogue. Or has the radio on all day, and fills itself with the incessant chatter of other minds. Gossip, music, with all its images. I am asking myself if this is a real fear, or an imagined fear?

Thought has created – keeps on creating – the thinker precisely so that it has continuity, no? Thought in itself has no continuity, is transient, impermanent, and as a reaction it pretends there is a thinker, a permanent entity. But this is not true, and if one is at all aware, at all willing to investigate thought, the mind, one comes up against this transience of thought as being the true state of affairs. I don’t think there is any doubt about this, it is easily observable at any time.

So the (possibility of) ending of certainty, the certainty of psychological knowledge, is always facing us, if we are somewhat aware, sensitive. And you are suggesting, Dan, that the mind will do anything to avoid coming face to face with this ending, are you not? And “anything” includes the incessant internal dialogue, includes our acquisitiveness, our attachments, our identifications; - with the destructiveness of all these movements. And a lifetime of attempted “becomings” with the attendant frustrations and sorrows. All this rather than face the truth that “this too will pass”. Surely it is better to face the emptiness? I am not suggesting that there is a choice to do that, but when we see that emptiness, dying to the known, is actually an essential part of life, then will not the mind willingly do this, or at least investigate into it?

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Thu, 13 Sep 2018 #47
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
We seem to afraid to be without this incessant internal dialogue. What exactly are we afraid of?

Is it necessary to ask “what” I’m afraid of or “what” keeps this incessant internal dialogue going? Isn't finding the answer to these questions beyond the scope - the limits, the abilities - of thought and reason? Isn’t seeking an answer to such existential questions through thought and reason a movement away from actual fear?

Does the "what" matter? It is seen that fear arises as soon as the mind is not occupied, and the mind at once asks, “what am I afraid of exactly?”. This question is the movement away from the fear, isn’t it? Thinking ABOUT the causes of fear, analyzing it, describing it, condemning it, desiring an end to it - keeps the mind occupied but does not end fear. Fear itself is avoided by pursuing the "what". Isn’t that what happens? To stay with the fear is the only way to find out about, learn about, understand the fear.

The effort to answer the questions is the naming and condemnation that K talks about in posts #1 and #3, isn't it?

From today’s quote:

But there is a reason which is integration, maturity, which is completeness. Reason must go beyond itself to find reality. To put it differently, as long as there is thinking there cannot be the real, because thinking is the product of the past, thinking is of time, the response to time, therefore thinking can never be the timeless. Thinking must come to an end. Then only can the timeless be. But the thinking process cannot be violated, suppressed, disciplined; the mind must understand itself as being the result of emotions, of memory, of the past. The mind must be aware of itself and its activities. When the mind is aware of its being, you will find that there comes an extraordinary silence, a stillness, when that which is the result of the past no longer functions, in conjunction with the present. Then there is only silence, not a hypnotic silence, but the silence which is stillness. It is in this state that creativeness can take place, and it is the real. To find this stillness, reason must transcend itself. Mere intellectuality which has no significance, has nothing to do with reality and a man who is merely logical, reasonable, who uses intellect very carefully, can never find that which is. A man who is integrated has a different kind of reasoning process, which is intelligence yet even his intelligence, his reasoning must transcend itself.

[Public Talk 30th November, 1947 | Madras, India - quoted on September 12, 2018]

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Thu, 13 Sep 2018 #48
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 976 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
but when we see that emptiness, dying to the known, is actually an essential part of life, then will not the mind willingly do this, or at least investigate into it?

It is, here, isn't it? Each in its own way.

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Thu, 13 Sep 2018 #49
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 976 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
K.(...) The mind must be aware of itself and its activities.

First and last step?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 13 Sep 2018.

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Thu, 13 Sep 2018 #50
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Yes.

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Fri, 14 Sep 2018 #51
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
Is it necessary to ask “what” I’m afraid of or “what” keeps this incessant internal dialogue going? Isn't finding the answer to these questions beyond the scope - the limits, the abilities - of thought and reason? Isn’t seeking an answer to such existential questions through thought and reason a movement away from actual fear?

C: I think it depends on what we actually mean by asking. There is the seeking of an answer, which is an affair of the intellect, or there is an asking which is actually an openness, a lying fallow. It is hard to explain what I mean, but a question may lie dormant, or apparently dormant, in silence, in the mind, and from silence a response may come – such a response often being another question, a deeper question.

I have found this to be the case since yesterday, when asking “what exactly is the emptiness that the mind seems to be trying to avoid?” Can the mind actually experience emptiness? Can it touch it? Does the mind only have an image of emptiness, and is responding to that image?

H: Isn't finding the answer to these questions beyond the scope - the limits, the abilities - of thought and reason?

C: But realising that that is the case – that it IS beyond the limits of thought - is a tremendous thing, isn’t it? Doesn’t it have tremendous significance? Isn’t it “an answer” in itself?

H: Isn’t seeking an answer to such existential questions through thought and reason a movement away from actual fear?

C: If the seeking is entirely a matter of thought, then yes, it is a sort of avoidance. But as I have indicated above, I find there is another meaning to ‘seeking’. I think K has referred to it as “The state of search”.

H: Does the "what" matter? It is seen that fear arises as soon as the mind is not occupied,

C: Is it? Or does fear arise when thought IMAGINES this state of having no occupation?

H: and the mind at once asks, “what am I afraid of exactly?”. This question is the movement away from the fear, isn’t it? Thinking ABOUT the causes of fear, analyzing it, describing it, condemning it, desiring an end to it - keeps the mind occupied but does not end fear. Fear itself is avoided by pursuing the "what". Isn’t that what happens? To stay with the fear is the only way to find out about, learn about, understand the fear.

C: Yes. To be aware throughout the day, that my principal concern is that the mind is occupied with something, is essential. How this fear drives me.

H: The effort to answer the questions is the naming and condemnation that K talks about in posts #1 and #3, isn't it?

C: In terms you used of “Thinking ABOUT the causes of fear, analyzing it, describing it, condemning it, desiring an end to it" then yes, such effort lies in this field.

It seems to me that thought cannot touch this state of emptiness that it spends most of its time avoiding. “Emptiness” (void, insufficiency ….) is just a word, is it not? Here is the K quote with which I started this thread:

“But when we understand the process of isolation, we shall see that emptiness is merely a thing of words, mere recognition; and the moment there is no recognition, no naming of it, and hence no fear, emptiness becomes something else, it goes beyond itself. Then it is not emptiness, it is aloneness - something much vaster than the process of isolation”.

& & &

Looking at this “emptiness” in bed on awakening, these words of K came to me:

“Thought shattering itself against its own nothingness is the explosion of meditation”

But is this the same ‘nothingness’ as the emptiness? Does the emptiness have its own existence? Is it a thing in itself?

Does the quote above mean:
“Thought shattering itself against the realisation of its own insufficiency, its own lack of meaning, is the explosion of meditation” ?

In this there is no separate state of nothingness necessarily implied, is there? I don’t know if I am being intelligible?

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Fri, 14 Sep 2018.

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Fri, 14 Sep 2018 #52
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
H: Does the "what" matter? It is seen that fear arises as soon as the mind is not occupied,

C: Is it? Or does fear arise when thought IMAGINES this state of having no occupation?

Yes, thanks, that’s it. It’s important to realize that the physical feeling of fear is caused by memory, time, thought, idea, image, division - conscious or subconscious.

But does “facing fear” mean making an effort to connect the dots between the physical feeling of fear that arises and every single idea or image in the depths of consciousness which produces the feeling? Isn’t this digging to uncover or recover the source of fear analysis? In analysis, “I” am seemingly separate from the thing I am analyzing. Furthermore, as K pointed out and as can be seen, analysis is forever incomplete.

Does uncovering what idea or image is underlying a particular fear end that fear? And as one fear is uncovered, isn’t there always another fear around the corner? Where there is understanding of the process of fear, the whole of fear can be faced. Isn't the whole of fear is contained in the physical feeling? Doesn't "facing fear" mean that the feeling itself is faced, stayed with, not the idea or image which causes it?

Clive Elwell wrote:
Looking at this “emptiness” in bed on awakening, these words of K came to me:

“Thought shattering itself against its own nothingness is the explosion of meditation”

But is this the same ‘nothingness’ as the emptiness? Does the emptiness have its own existence? Is it a thing in itself?

The sensation of “emptiness” is part of the illusion of self, isn’t it? There is no actual self as a separate thing, therefore no emptiness. Self is nothing, and nothing is not a state, is it? There can be no “state” of a thing if there is no thing.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Fri, 14 Sep 2018.

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Sat, 15 Sep 2018 #53
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
It’s important to realize that the physical feeling of fear is caused by memory, time, thought, idea, image, division - conscious or subconscious.

C: Yes, most important. And this is true for all feelings, is it not? It is important to see them for “what they are”. Not to deny them – on the contrary, to live through them fully, without any movement of escape – but to see that they have their limits – they are born and they die. And so with fear.

But does “facing fear” mean making an effort to connect the dots between the physical feeling of fear that arises and every single idea or image in the depths of consciousness which produces the feeling? Isn’t this digging to uncover or recover the source of fear analysis? In analysis, “I” am seemingly separate from the thing I am analyzing. Furthermore, as K pointed out and as can be seen, analysis is forever incomplete.

C: Facing a feeling is not the same as analysing the feeling, no. And the separation implied in that phrase is a myth – there is no entity separate from the fear to do the facing.

Does uncovering what idea or image is underlying a particular fear end that fear?

C: It is my repeated observation that having an intellectual understanding of something, of a problem, does not bring about complete understanding, and so the dissolution of the problem, no.

And as one fear is uncovered, isn’t there always another fear around the corner?

C: An infinite reservoir, it seems. The existence of a self MUST bring about fear, it seems to me - because of its non-existence :-)

Where there is understanding of the process of fear, the whole of fear can be faced. Isn't the whole of fear is contained in the physical feeling?

C: That is very interesting, I haven’t quite looked at it in quite that way. I feel I need to live with that, look at it. But no, I don’t know where else fear might manifest.

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Sun, 16 Sep 2018 #54
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Whether it is the explosion of meditation or not, when the mind is not occupied with any particular task, when it is not trying to attain or become, there is often a sense here of “thought shattering itself against its own nothingness”. And this can make making coherent posts difficult. Thought jumps all over the place in its effort to continue its own existence. And I am sorry if I repeat myself – that is just what thought does.

I find for myself at the moment the inquiry has shifted somewhat, or widened, from the original posts in this thread. The questions most with me are more like: Why does thought ‘keep continuing’? Why does it have such a huge momentum? Why do ‘new’ (they are not really new) thoughts keep appearing, and interfering with the existing thought? Why is the thought process so insistent on its own existence? And so on. This does seem like variations on a rather fundamental question.

I am not asking ‘how to end thought?’. Many people have tried that, apparently, through the ages, and there is not much evidence that anyone has succeeded. In any case, we would be imbeciles without thought, unable to function in society.

Various explanations on why thought is so insistent on continuing have been suggested, and others come to mind. But also it has been suggested that merely to have an explanation, merely to describe, gets nowhere. Explanations imply an explainer, a fundamentally wrong stance to understand the psychological process.

The will to continue – the will for psychological thought to continue – must be enormously strong, powerful. Rationally one sees the falseness of the process. Each time a thinker arises, it carries the assumption that it is able to solve the problem, but the problems continue, as they are contained in the continuance of thought. To try to understand with thought is like the rock garden at Ryoan-ji Temple, Japan:

“Enclosed by an earthen wall, fifteen carefully placed rocks seem to drift in a sea of raked white gravel. A viewing platform right above the garden gives visitors an unimpeded view, although from whatever angle you view the garden, you can never see all fifteen stones”.

Thought is entirely the wrong approach to life, but it won't stop trying.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Sun, 16 Sep 2018.

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Mon, 17 Sep 2018 #55
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 634 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Thought is entirely the wrong approach to life, but it won't stop trying.

It is clearly seen that thought is entirely the wrong approach to life, it is clearly seen that any movement of thought is time, it is clearly seen that self is an illusion, and it is also clearly seen that thought (self) won’t stop intervening where it is not necessary - trying to achieve, to solve, to control, to change, to do all the things it habitually has done and does. That is, the brain/mind/thought sees the momentum of thought, its own momentum. Not I am seeing it, the brain is seeing it. I am not trying to solve problems - there is only the perception of thought’s mechanical movements of desire towards or fear away from.

Is that momentum a problem? Am I “moving the goalposts” by asking this? That is, the mind clearly sees that thought is the wrong approach to life’s problems and so the mind longs for the ending of time and thought, for its own ending. Yet thought’s momentum keeps it going.

So I’m suggesting that this too can be observed without resistance. In observation there is no revolt or desire. What is observed is what is. The nature of “what is” is understood, so there is no “me” in the observation, no “me” observing. And there is simply nothing I can do about it - that is part of the understanding and observation. The truth is seen from moment to moment and there is no goal. It may be that the mind is naturally and spontaneously bringing order about. It may be that “this is all there is”. But isn’t there a huge and fundamental change in the present state of understanding, as incomplete as it may be?

Doesn’t understanding the nature of self and time and the realization that there is NOTHING that “I” - who have struggled all my life - can do to transorm my life - doesn't that understanding in fact transform my approach, even if the momentum of thought mechanically continues? Have I moved the goalposts? Am I rationalizing and justifying? As I see it, feel it, live it, understand it, sense it in every way - for all that thought automatically continues its age-old activities - there is a new quality, approach and movement to life. There is a fundamental shift in perception.

Am I fooling myself? I don’t know.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Mon, 17 Sep 2018.

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 #56
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Today's QOTD is so apposite to this thread, I am going to include it. Also, it brings together several aspects of the mind.

Is it possible to look at that void without giving it a name, without any form of description? Merely labelling a state does not mean that we understand it; on the contrary, it is a hindrance to understanding.

Q: "I see what you mean but I cannot help labelling it; it is practically an instantaneous reaction."

Feeling and naming are almost simultaneous, are they not? Can they be separated? Can there be a gap between a feeling and the naming of it? If this gap is really experienced, it will be found that the thinker ceases as an entity separate and distinct from thought. The verbalizing process is part of the self, the `me', the entity who is jealous and who attempts to get over his jealousy. If you really understand the truth of this, then fear ceases. Naming has a physiological as well as a psychological effect. When there is no naming, only then is it possible to be fully aware of that which is called the void of loneliness. Then the mind does not separate itself from that which is.

Commentaries on Living, Vol. II | "Envy And Loneliness"
?

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 #57
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Huguette . wrote:
It is clearly seen that thought is entirely the wrong approach to life, it is clearly seen that any movement of thought is time, it is clearly seen that self is an illusion, and it is also clearly seen that thought (self) won’t stop intervening where it is not necessary - trying to achieve, to solve, to control, to change, to do all the things it habitually has done and does.

C: Yes, we completely share these perceptions. These are facts.

That is, the brain/mind/thought sees the momentum of thought, its own momentum. Not I am seeing it, the brain is seeing it. I am not trying to solve problems - there is only the perception of thought’s mechanical movements of desire towards or fear away from.

C: Yes, this encapsulates most of the everyday movements of the mind.

Is that momentum a problem? Am I “moving the goalposts” by asking this? That is, the mind clearly sees that thought is the wrong approach to life’s problems and so the mind longs for the ending of time and thought, for its own ending.

And yet the mind is strongly drawn towards surviving and security. But I am not sure, Huguette, how you are differentiating between these terms “mind”, “brain”, and “thought”. Can you say?

Yet thought’s momentum keeps it going.
So I’m suggesting that this too can be observed without resistance. In observation there is no revolt or desire. What is observed is what is. The nature of “what is” is understood, so there is no “me” in the observation, no “me” observing.

C: Yes, this seems to be the issue. All my life observation has been through an observer, but that is not true or pure observing, it is ……. well, you know what it is. This trick of thought, this action of the past, recognition.

And there is simply nothing I can do about it

C: This perhaps is the most important realisation of all. All my life I have been conditioned to think in terms of “doing something about it” - it being psychological, emotional issues. To see through that myth is freedom.

- that is part of the understanding and observation. The truth is seen from moment to moment and there is no goal. It may be that the mind is naturally and spontaneously bringing order about

C: Yes, it feels that way. Order lies in ceasing to create more disorder.

It may be that “this is all there is”. But isn’t there a huge and fundamental change in the present state of understanding, as incomplete as it may be?
Doesn’t understanding the nature of self and time and the realization that there is NOTHING that “I” - who have struggled all my life - can do to transform my life - doesn't that understanding in fact transform my approach, even if the momentum of thought mechanically continues? Have I moved the goalposts? Am I rationalizing and justifying? As I see it, feel it, live it, understand it, sense it in every way - for all that thought automatically continues its age-old activities - there is a new quality, approach and movement to life. There is a fundamental shift in perception.

C: There is the growing space between thought. Thought still comes, appears, but it does not take hold. It does not create some absolute reality on which one bases one’s life. Thought is seen for what it is. This seeing is not based in time, it is from moment to moment. And rather than shifting the goal posts, I would say it dynamites them to smithereens :-)

Am I fooling myself? I don’t know.

C: It is precisely this quality of not knowing, of being uncertain – or perhaps of recognising that life in itself is uncertain – that seems to me to be at the root of the transformative process. Yes, I don’t know. Perhaps years ago I “knew”, but now I don’t know. What used to be known is now seen as only conditioned thought.

Given this constant dying to the known, it is perhaps surprising we find so much to write about on the forum :-)

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 #58
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

As I remember, Krishnamurti once said:

“Tell a child the name of something, and he will never look at that thing again”

Actually when I look these words up to check their accuracy, I come across this quote instead:

“The day you teach the child the name of the bird, the child will never see that bird again”

I have always thought this to be somewhat of an exaggeration, but after my experiences yesterday I am not so sure.

I was walking along the river. Growing along the bank I noticed a plant I did not recognise; I had not, to my knowledge, seen before. I looked at it for a time, interested. The plants around it I recognised – the blue forget-me-nots, the yellow buttercups, the daises, the wandering jew, and so on. Then suddenly I realised with these known plants I only gave a cursory glance. Just enough to recognise, in fact (the brain is very good at recognising). They did not interest me further. But the unknown unrecognised plant held my interest, and I was really looking at its details.
No doubt if I had gone through the process of identifying the plant, it would eventually have been put into the brain’s category of “what I know”, and I would cease to really look at it.

As I walked on, I realised this was not an isolated incident, the brain is mostly doing this. NZ has a great abundance of flowers, blossom, at this time of year especially, early Spring, but in the wild, unkempt area I spotted it spotted itself really - a tree with small white flowers which I instantly saw as different from all the other small white flowers, like almond, plum, jasmine …… – although I would be very hard-put to pin-point the difference. Again, not recognising the flower, one looked at it intently.

I present this as related to “no naming of the fact”

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Wed, 26 Sep 2018 #59
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4578 posts in this forum Online

Morefrom K on naming and emptiness:

I feel guilt, why do I name it? I name it instantly. The naming of it is the recognition of it, therefore I have had that feeling before. Right? And having had it before I recognize it now. Through recognition I strengthen what has happened before. Right? You are following this? No? I have strengthened the memory of the previous guilt by saying, "I feel guilty". So see what has happened. Every form of recognition strengthens the past. And recognition takes place through naming. So by and through recognition I strengthen the past. Why does the mind do this? Don't answer me please. Why does the mind do this, why does it always strengthen the past by saying, "I have been guilty, I am guilty, it is terrible to be guilty, how am I to get rid of this guilt" - why does it do it? Does it do it because the mind needs to be occupied with something? You understand? It needs to be occupied, whether with god, with smoke, with sex, with something, it has to be occupied, therefore it is afraid not to be occupied. Right? And in occupation with the feeling of guilt, in that feeling there is certain security. At least I have got that thing, I have nothing else but at least I have got that feeling of being guilty.

So what is happening? Through recognition, which is the naming, the mind is strengthening a past feeling, which has happened before, and so the mind is constantly occupied with that feeling of guilt. That gives it a certain occupation, a certain sense of security, a certain action from that which becomes neurotic. So what takes place? Can I, when the feeling arises, observe it without naming it?

So I find when I do not name, the thing no longer exists. And I am afraid - listen to this carefully - the mind is afraid of living in a state of nothingness. Right? Therefore it has to have a word. The word has become tremendously important - my country, my god, my Jesus, my Krishna - the word. So the word - listen to this - the word is the past, the word is the memory, the word is the thought. So thought divides. Now I am getting too complicated. You see this?

Q: Is it more and more difficult when the word strengthens the past?

K: Yes, after so many years - I have felt guilty for years. And I realize now what I have done. Now does that take a lot of time to get rid of? Is that the question sir? Does a well-established habit take time? This is a well-established habit of feeling guilty all the time.

Q: Even animals have memories. Why should we get rid of memories?

K: I never said we must get rid of memories, madam. Look, I must have memory in order to go to my house. I must have memory to talk English. I must have memory to come here and sit on this platform. I must have memory for the language that I use. I have memory of riding a bicycle, or driving a car. So memory is absolutely essential, otherwise I couldn't function. Memory is knowledge, we must have knowledge. And that knowledge - listen to this, what takes place - that knowledge is words. Right? Now I have had the knowledge of previous guilt. When I call the present feeling guilt, I have strengthened the previous knowledge. And that knowledge is the observer. So the observer looks at that feeling which I have now and calls it guilt. And therefore in calling it guilt the knowledge of the past is strengthened. It is fairly simple and clear.

Saanen 1973 Discussion 1

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