Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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All one inquiry


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Sat, 29 Sep 2018 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

With a new question, I thought I would start a new thread. But also I am finding the division of inquiry into separate threads, each with their own subject, increasingly artificial. It is interesting to see how different threads come together as they progress – and surely this must be so, as we penetrate deeper into a question, and arrive at the same fundamental issues.

Anyway, at the moment I think I will stick to one thread, hence the generic title “All one inquiry”. However, I am not too consistent, and we will see how things develop. Also, I am not dictating to anyone else – if anyone wishes to start a new thread, they are very welcome to do so.

Anyway, my question. Can anyone help with the understanding of K’s commonly used phrase:

The first step is the last step

I do not seem able to grasp it at all.

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Sun, 30 Sep 2018 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

I was walking through a local park yesterday when I stopped to watch a group of local men playing a game of cricket. It struck me how completely absorbed they were in their sport. They would frequently become very emotionally involved in the play, excited by success, dejected by failure. I think the game was their whole world for a time. And I wondered if this was a necessary phenomena of the brain, the ability to put aside much of what the world presents to one’s senses, to be impervious to it, and instead selectively focus on a small fragment.

And I wondered if this narrowing down was a useful, even necessary thing, or a dangerous thing. After all, while these men where absorbed in their activity, no doubt there was much outside the game that really needed their attention. Their children no doubt really needed a different sort of education. While they were aghast at a missed catch, the whole world was collapsing around them.

And in a more fundamental sense, how can we “see the whole” if we are everlastingly caught up in a part, in a fragment? I find this a very real, urgent question in my life.

And this morning I dipped into the book of dialogues with K “Tradition and Revolution”. Here is an excerpt:

What is it that prevents the total
perception of this vast, complex field
of existence? Have you an answer? Find
out. (pause) Look, when I enter a
room, one object, a lovely bedspread,
catches my eye. I look only casually at
the other things in the room. I say
that the colours and the design of the
bedspread are beautiful; they give me
great pleasure. What has happened? The
eye catches one thing in this whole
field. What is it that prevents my
seeing other things? What is it that
makes them shadowy and distant? Just
listen.

R:The observer. K:Go slowly. That
one thing is beautiful, but my
observation of everything else is
vague; I catch one thing, the rest
recedes. Why is it that one thing
becomes important? Or, why has
perception focussed merely on it? Why
is the eye attracted to this only?

R: Because it is pleasant.

K:What does this element of pleasure
mean—that in this whole field only one
thing attracts me? It means that I
translate the field into pleasure. In
this vast field of existence, the one
thing I seek is the maintenance of
pleasure.

(The whole book is available here: https://krishnamurti-teachings.info/ebooks/en/p...)

The seeing of the whole may be the key to mankind’s obsession with thought. I observe that when thought absorbs me (basically in its search for pleasure/security), awareness of my senses fades, I no longer see, hear, smell, taste, feel the body. And the corollary seems true, when I am so aware (what has been called Unitary Perception) then thought cannot be active.

Another excerpt from the chapter:

K: (pointing to the carpet) There is this little bit of carpet which is a part of the whole carpet. I have been seeing only this fragment, and you say that this fragment could not exist without the whole carpet. My life is spent observing the fragment. Then you come along and say: This is part of the whole, this would not exist if the other did not exist. But I cannot take my eyes off this fragment. I agree that this can only exist because of the whole carpet, but I have never, never looked at the whole carpet. I have never moved away from this. My attention has been fixed on this little bit, and I do not know how to remove my eyes and look at the whole. If I could look at the whole, I would see that there is no duality, no contradiction. But if I say that I must suppress the fragment in order to see the whole, there is duality.

And here:

Krishnamurti: That is right. If you are prepared to let go, then what takes place? Which means, you let go the talent, the fulfilment, the perpetuation of the "me". Now when does this mutation in the brain cells through energy take place?

You see, where energy is being dissipated through talent and through other channels, energy is not completely held. When this energy has no movement at all, then I think something happens, then it must explode.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Mon, 01 Oct 2018.

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Tue, 02 Oct 2018 #3
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 639 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The first step is the last step

The enquiry begins with the flame of discontent or unhappiness, doesn’t it? At first, one might be unhappy because of a particular thing whereby I attribute my discontent to a cause. I might think that if someone loved me, if I found God, if I had riches, beauty, admiration, power, and so on, then I could be happy. Or my discontent might be unspecified but even deeper, more pervasive. Either way, if not for the flame of discontent, there would be no enquiry, no questioning. So discontent is banging on my door and it gets my attention.

So I begin asking myself what I should do and in the course of looking, listening, questioning, I do get some insight into sorrow. The enquiry is no longer about “me” personally; it is about the human mind where suffering takes place. I realize that the mind, self, thought, effort, time, fear, and so on, are not what I understood or assumed them to be. Without going into the details here, there is insight into the nature and processes of thought, self and time and so on.

I thought that “I” CAN, MUST or SHOULD do something to change my state of unhappiness. Now I SEE that being compelled to keep trying to find the solution is man’s conditioning. I see that to live in relationship, effort is not necessary. So that is the first step - understanding that thought cannot end discontent. However it is arrived at, this first step must be “taken”. What happens “after” the first step cannot be planned, foreseen or known. But no matter what does happen, isn’t this understanding a great unburdening?

And if I actually understand that there is NOTHING that I can DO, no effort that I can make, no action that I can deliberately take - which is the first step - then the first step IS also the last step.

I’m not saying it is so. I’m not trying to convince. This is how I see it.

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Tue, 02 Oct 2018 #4
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 248 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
And if I actually understand that there is NOTHING that I can DO, no effort that I can make, no action that I can deliberately take - which is the first step - then the first step IS also the last step.

Mina: Yes, this is how it is seen here also. The inaction of the mind/thought is the first and last step, a step with no other steps as its continuation because it is a timeless, beginningless and endless step...Thought/time does not take it. It is an action in Love.

This post was last updated by Mina Martini Tue, 02 Oct 2018.

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Wed, 03 Oct 2018 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Thank you, Huguette and Mina, for your response to my question, my quest for understanding.

Huguette . wrote:
The enquiry begins with the flame of discontent or unhappiness, doesn’t it?

Yes. In one form or another, it must. That is a lovely phrase: “The flame of discontent”. Yet (as an aside) practically everyone is unhappy, and this does not seem to lead to enquiry. “Discontent”, certainly goes deeper than unhappiness – and is easily smothered if it does not go deep enough.

Reading your posts again. Can we say that there is only one step, and that step sees, in essence, that there are no steps to be taken. No more steps, no more climbing psychologically, no more striving.

But actually, was there ever a step that was taken? “Step” seems to suggest a certain effort, a sense of purpose. Is it not seeing that brings about change, and is seeing a step to be taken? There is seeing that there is no one who can take a step, only the illusion of such a one – and also the illusion that there ARE steps to be taken.

But I don’t want to merely play with words, whether we define something as a step or not a step. SOMETHING must have moved inside us, at some point.

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Thu, 04 Oct 2018 #6
Thumb_open-uri20180717-8420-135f99u-0 Mina Martini Finland 248 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But actually, was there ever a step that was taken? “Step” seems to suggest a certain effort, a sense of purpose. Is it not seeing that brings about change, and is seeing a step to be taken? There is seeing that there is no one who can take a step, only the illusion of such a one – and also the illusion that there ARE steps to be taken.

Mina: 'First step is the last step' is a way of words to describe no step, no time, no continuation at all. The energy that 'takes the first/last step=no step, is the pure energy that is pointed to in the thread on 'representing K's teaching'. For this person, the words intelligence or awareness describe the same quality.

This pure energy you can only BE, never think about or even turn to look at, because there is no separate witness/observer of it. So you cannot even say 'if you live the teaching or not', (you were wondering about this) that already is in the realm of yes OR no, :-), in the realm of duality/thought. Being what you already are is the same as NOT taking steps in duality, other than practical ones. :-) -And THAT, for one, is the living of the teaching.

Love

This post was last updated by Mina Martini Thu, 04 Oct 2018.

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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Something came to me, “out of the blue”. That I have always fundamentally misunderstood the meaning of ‘freedom’. I think there has always been an assumption that to become free from something meant that that something no longer existed. For example, there was the assumption freedom from thought meant the absence of thought. Now I am questioning this.

I don’t think I have anything more to express on the matter at the moment, except to say it seems something one needs to be fundamentally clear about.

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Sun, 28 Oct 2018 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

The bad is increasing

I have several times referred to K’s statement that human consciousness is deteriorating. It seems to me that this is so, and is evidenced by the deteriorating state of the world, where just about everything is collapsing around us. There are great and increasing crises.

Yet I know that a common response to this is to say mankind has always been the way he is, selfish, aggressive, competitive ….. Which is true, in essence. But the following passage by K supports the idea of on-going deterioration:

“So I would like to begin with compassion. To understand the whole meaning and the depth of that word one has to investigate the movement of our consciousness, of our consciousness - yours. Which means you are the world, and the world is you. That is an obvious fact, one must go into it a little bit, which is: wherever you go in the world, east or west, north or south, psychologically human beings have great anxiety, uncertainty, are always seeking security in some form or another - physiologically or psychologically. They are full of violence, right through the world. This is an extraordinary phenomenon when you watch it - violence, greed, envy, hatred and in our consciousness there is the good and the bad. We will use those simple words to convey a great deal. So that is our consciousness, in which there is religious beliefs, political adherence to a particular party and so on, so on, so on. All that is our consciousness, which is the consciousness of the whole of humanity. Right?

So in investigating one's consciousness, which is the global consciousness, not your consciousness, because you are the result of all the culture, the social structure, education, the religious assertions, two thousand or ten thousand years of propaganda, you are the result of all that. And in investigating the good and the bad we'll find the bad is increasing (laughs). Right? You understand the word 'bad' - we are using it very simply. The bad is increasing because the good has become static, the good is not flowering. It is accepting the patterns and living according to those patterns, or ideals and so on, therefore instead of flowering it is withering, therefore giving strength to the bad. I don't know if you notice all this. There is more violence, more hatred, national divisions, religious divisions, every form of antagonism, right through the world, racial, communism, and so on, so on. That is on the increase because the good is not flowering. Right? Now to be aware of this fact without any effort - please the moment we make effort we are giving importance to the self, which is the bad (laughs). Right? So to observe the actual fact of the bad without any effort, just to observe it without any choice - because choice is a distorting factor. So to observe the world with all its violence, brutality, all that is going on, the political nastiness, all that, without any choice, but to observe it freely. And when you observe it so openly, so freely, then the good begins to flower. Not that you pursue the good, and thereby give it strength to flower but when the bad, the evil, the ugly is understood completely the other naturally flowers”.

This is from Brockwood Park 1971 talk 1

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Mon, 29 Oct 2018 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
And when you observe it so openly, so freely, then the good begins to flower.

Why is this? Why should observing the bad, freely, openly, bring about the flowering of the good?

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Tue, 30 Oct 2018 #10
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 755 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Why is this? Why should observing the bad, freely, openly, bring about the flowering of the go

Hi Clive,

One sentence in this quote is pointing to a ( possible ) explanation:

we are giving importance to the self, which is the bad (laughs)

laughing listeners are the bad thing because they did not understand the implications of what was said, seeing this obstruction is that not the flowering of the good ?

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.

This post was last updated by Wim Opdam Tue, 30 Oct 2018.

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Wed, 31 Oct 2018 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
aughing listeners are the bad thing because they did not understand the implications of what was said

Actually, Wim, the way it is written suggests that it is K who is laughing. When it is the audience it is usually represented as (laughter).

However, this is a not-very important detail. Sometimes the audience does laugh (or titters) most inappropriately during K's talks (and sometimes K makes jokes)

But to return to my question

Wim Opdam wrote:
seeing this obstruction is that not the flowering of the good ?

I am asking how this is so; it is not perfectly clear to me. Of course it is obvious that "the bad" must be seen for what it is, naturally. And this seeing must have its effect.

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Wed, 31 Oct 2018 #12
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 755 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am asking how this is so; it is not perfectly clear to me. Of course it is obvious that "the bad" must be seen for what it is, naturally. And this seeing must have its effect.

If one observes that thought is coming up in your mind and disregard that information as usefully is that not giving space to what is ?

I recently came upon this from K.

On Education | Talk to Teachers, Chapter 4

How does one deny? Does one deny the known, not in great dramatic incidents but in little incidents? Do I deny when I am shaving and I remember the lovely time I had in Switzerland? Does one deny the remembrance of a pleasant time? Does one grow aware of it, and deny it? That is not dramatic, it is not spectacular, nobody knows about it. Still this constant denial of little things, the little wiping's, the little rubbing's off, not just one great big wiping away, is essential. It is essential to deny thought as remembrance, pleasant or unpleasant, every minute of the day as it arises. One is doing it not for any motive, not in order to enter into the extraordinary state of the unknown. You live in Rishi Valley and think of Bombay or Rome. This creates a conflict, makes the mind dull, a divided thing. Can you see this and wipe it away? Can you keep on wiping away not because you want to enter into the unknown? You can never know what the unknown is because the moment you recognise it as the unknown you are back in the known.

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, 01 Nov 2018 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote, quoting K:
How does one deny? Does one deny the known, not in great dramatic incidents but in little incidents?

Yes, Wim, I have come across this quote before, and find it revealing. And in the denying of all the "Little incidents", they have their importance, and cannot be called "little" :-).

Looking at what I wrote about "coming across the quote before", that never matters, does it? In observing oneself (perhaps with the impetus of K's words) there is no "before". It is always fresh, and that is the beauty of self-observation.

Wim Opdam wrote, quoting K:
You can never know what the unknown is because the moment you recognise it as the unknown you are back in the known.

Yes, indeed. And so there is nothing to be accumulated in self-learning, and that is why it is always fresh.

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Thu, 01 Nov 2018 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

No Rush, No Dawdle: The Secret Of Proper Timing

by Tom Maxwell

Clive:I think this might be the only piece of writing I have ever read, apart from by K, with which I feel complete harmony:

The present is truly the only place we exist. What we call the past is a construct of memory, the recollection of which constitutes a present experience. According to author Alan Watts, the future is likewise a construct, “and cannot become a part of experienced reality until it is present.” [...]

So, to know happiness in the future, we must be happy now. Delaying enjoyment of your life is to always live in Christmas Eve, with the many gifts around you staying securely wrapped.

Moreover, to participate in the moment — to be fully aware, is to be unified with the experience, and free from the separating identity of being the experiencer.

[Watts:] "To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, 'I am listening to this music,' you are not listening. To understand joy or fear, you must be wholly and undividedly aware of it. So long as you are calling it names and saying, 'I am happy,' or 'I am afraid,”' you are not being aware of it."

Not only are you not being aware of it, you are creating the “I” who is afraid, and thus, by this separation, guaranteeing fear’s constant threat.

“This is not a psychological or spiritual discipline for self-improvement,” Watts writes. “It is simply being aware of this present experience, and realizing that you can neither define it nor divide yourself from it. There is no rule but ‘Look!’”

Centuries of Occidental society and culture have made grasping, much less embodying, this revolution in thinking very difficult. We are hardened materialists, fully beholden to identity and addicted to distraction. We evade pain and crave security, and doing so assures us painful, insecure lives. The imminent unknown is not to be avoided, but embraced. Our resilience, our adaptability, is reliant upon us being completely sensitive to the moment, and understanding it as being a new, unique experience. We live in a series of infinite nows, which are always dying, and always being reborn. To be immersed in this reality is to be transformed, for it is there that eternity is available.

“For the perfect accomplishment of any art,” Watts tells us, “you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing. No rush. No dawdle. Just the sense of flowing with the course of events in the same way that you dance to music, neither trying to outpace it nor lagging behind. Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.”

About the Author: Tom Maxwell is a writer and musician. He likes how one informs the other. Excerpt from article.

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Fri, 02 Nov 2018 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Maxwell wrote:

We live in a series of infinite nows, which are always dying, and always being reborn. To be immersed in this reality is to be transformed, for it is there that eternity is available.

Just drawing attention to these words, which seem to me to be the simple truth. But this truth is denied by society, by the world, with its never-ending emphasis on continuity.

Of course in practical matters continuity is necessary, but psychologically continuity is the very root of the self, is it not?

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Wed, 07 Nov 2018 #16
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnamurti on FAITH

And as we grow older with more and more experience, more and more living a life of frustration, we find, do we not?, that we are losing the essential thing in us, which is faith. What I mean by faith is not what you have been used to, namely the faith in the leader, faith in the guru, faith in the book, faith in your own particular experience. You may not believe in anything and it is quite right not to believe; if you do not believe, there is a possibility of discovering. But unfortunately, to be without faith leads to cynicism, leads to scepticism, to a life of superficial enjoyment, superficial activities, to doing good superficially. If we do not turn into cynics, we are active, doing good; but that fire which is so essential for creative thinking is denied, is destroyed. I think it is that thing, that fire, that we must find - not the answer to any particular problem, because answers to problems are comparatively easy.

If you are intelligent, if you have the capacity, if you have energy, then it is comparatively simple to study the problem. The perfect studying of the problem is the answer itself; the answer is not away from the problem. But to study, to find out the truth of the problem, you need energy, you need vitality; and that vitality and that energy is destroyed, when you are following somebody, when you are following your guru, when you are following your political leader or an economic system. All your creative energy is gone in following something; in disciplining your mind to a particular pattern of action. When the leader fails, when the leader dies, when something happens, you are left alone.

So it is possible to have that creative faith - if I can use that word - without identifying it with a particular pattern of thought? I am not referring here to the faith in a guru, in a book or in your experience, but to that faith that comes, that confidence which you have, through your own direct experiencing - not the experience of tradition, not the experience of your teachers, but your own direct understanding of the problem, your dealing with the problem energetically, and therefore having that extraordinary confidence, that capacity to discover the Truth of a particular problem. Surely that is the answer, is it not? Because without that we are not creative human beings. And that is what is necessary in the world at the present times - not leaders, not systems, not innumerable multiplication of gurus, but the capacity on the part of the individual to discover what is Truth for himself.

Truth is not yours or mine. It is not personal. It is something that comes into being when the mind is very clear, simple, direct and silent. It can only come in that state. You cannot pursue it. You try to pursue it when you are crippled with the anxiety to find an answer to a particular problem.

So, what we now need is the confidence or the faith in the discovery of what is Truth. We cannot discover what is Truth if our minds are conditioned. After all, the window through which we look at life is conditioned. We are conditioned as a Hindu, as a Mussulman, as a Christian, as a Buddhist - that is, we are conditioned to think in a particular way. The behaviour, the pattern of action, is already inculcated in us from childhood. So when we grow up, as we begin to experience, we experience through that screen of conditioning; this is an obvious psychological effect whether we like it or not.

From the first talk at Poona in 1953

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Fri, 09 Nov 2018 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

From Poona 1953, talk 2, in response to a question:

(cut) “ ….. we think the whole is the State, the Community, the nation or an ideal. The whole is none of these things, because they are projections of thought, and thought is always conditioned. That is why, through religion or books, you cannot see the whole.

The discovery of the experience of the whole can only be understood and experienced when the mind is completely assured that it is conditioned. Then the mind which is the centre of the `me' everlastingly seeking fulfilment and therefore escaping through enthusiasm, realizes that it is incapable of movement in any direction, and becomes still; then in that stillness there is an activity which is not merely producing, inventing, but which is creative. That creativity is essential in each of us to break the source of mischief, of misery and destructivity. You and I are ordinary human beings; but if we discover this creativity, then this world will be our world, you and I building it together, you and I acting together, creating a world in which sorrow, pain and starvation have come to an end. But without that Creative Reality, all other creation is merely progression in misery, progression of conditioned thought”.

I have added the emphasis. It seems to me that this is the very essence of understanding, and so living in a different dimension.

It is not an idea, although of course the mind can turn any perception into an idea. The mind IS conditioned. In fact it is more accurate to say the mind IS CONDITIONING. There can be no ‘unconditioned (human) mind’. There is no such thing as a free mind.
It is the perception of this fact that is crucial. Generally speaking, the human mind has refused to see it. The mind has always thought that it can somehow find ‘ a way out’ of its predicament, the predicament of suffering, conflict, confusion. It has assumed that it can know the truth, and to this end has created various beliefs, and clung to those beliefs with amazing obstinacy and intransigence. I think it is fair to say that mind has never completely recognised its own, intrinsic, limitations.

When it begins to do so, that is a ‘game-changer’. The realisation that whatever it does, whatever it thinks, is merely the action of its own conditioning, sweeps the rug from under its feet, it then has nowhere to stand.

I’m sorry, K’s words do not really need any commentary from me; better to be silent and let the full impact of the words, the full implications, strike one.

The discovery of the experience of the whole can only be understood and experienced when the mind is completely assured that it is conditioned. Then the mind which is the centre of the `me' everlastingly seeking fulfilment and therefore escaping through enthusiasm, realizes that it is incapable of movement in any direction, and becomes still; then in that stillness there is an activity which is not merely producing, inventing, but which is creative.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Fri, 09 Nov 2018.

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Thu, 15 Nov 2018 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

It seems to me that the perception, the realisation, that thought is limited – limited absolutely – that thought is 100 % conditioned is cerntral to Krishnamurti’s ‘teachings’, and in fact it binds together all that he has to say about human problems and the various proocesses of the mind.
And I feel, I see, that one cannot see the fact that the mind is completely conditioned and still remain unchanged by the perception. It MUST have a profound effect on one. An on-going effect from the realisation that thought cannot act to solve any problem of the psyche (although it can act to solve physical problems)

This is from K towards the end of “A dialogue with death” with Pupul Jayakar:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDRx6MyRCVk&amp...

“The mind that says ‘I cannot do
anything’ is motionless.

It's only the mind that says I can do
something that is active.

It's only
the mind that says I cannot do
anything therefore it is absolutely
quiet”

Would you, anyone, say that “to be motionless” means having stepped out of the stream of human consciousness?

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Sat, 17 Nov 2018 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Can we allow a revolution to take place at the unconscious level?

As we were saying last Sunday, the conscious effort made to bring about alteration in one's attitude to values or ideals does not fundamentally or radically bring about a change. I may have to go deeply into that problem because I feel it is very important that we understand this question of how to bring about a fundamental change, what is the process and how it can come about. Most of us consciously endeavour, in one way or another, to conform to a certain pattern of action - political, religious or so-called spiritual. Consciously we make an effort with deliberate intention to bring about a certain change, either within oneself or within society, economically or culturally. We make every kind of effort, consciously, at the upper level of our mind, to bring about what we call a change. Is such a change a radical revolution: Or does it merely bring about a temporary effect at the superficial level - which is not fundamental transformation. The more we see, the more we observe in the world and in ourselves this superficial change, we see that it only produces more problems, not only within ourselves but in our relationships, in society.

I think it is fairly obvious, if you think it out a little more deeply, that the more we make an effort consciously to change, to bring about a transformation within ourselves, the more problems we have. That is, I want to change: I am angry or I am greedy or what you will. I make a conscious effort to change; and in the process of that change there are various forms of resistances, of suppressions and sublimations; there is constant effort made, and thereby there are more problems involved in the very desire to bring about a change in myself.

I do not know if you have noticed that the more we make an effort the more the complications, the more the problems. So perhaps there is a different form of approach to this question. However much the conditioned mind may make an effort to change itself, does it not produce further conditions, responses and activities which further increase our problems? So, if we realize that, there must be a different approach to this problem of change, a radical transformation within ourselves. I suggested last Sunday that this transformation, this revolution can only be at the unconscious level, not at the conscious level at all; because all effort is a process of imitation, and therefore there is no fundamental change.

There is only fundamental change, radical transformation, when the conscious mind has ceased to make all effort, which means really that there is understanding at the unconscious level. That is why I said that it is very important how we listen to everything about us, not only to what I am saying but to every incident, to every thought, to the sounds about you, to the voice of the bird, to the noise of the sea, so that as you listen you begin to understand without any conscious effort. The moment you make a conscious effort, the process of imitation is set going, the imitation being conformity to the pattern which is already being established through the experience, through the ideal, through the desire to achieve a result. If we really comprehend this, I think there will be a fundamental revolution in ourselves. If we comprehend that all psychological effort, in any form, leads to imitation, to conformity, we see that when we desire to be efficient, directive, purposeful in our effort, there must be a process of imitation, conformity; and so, there is no change at all; there is only a change of the pattern of action, from one pattern to another, from one reaction to another; and therefore we only increase our problems.

Is it possible to bring about a revolution outwardly as well as inwardly, without effort? Please, this is not a cynical question to be brushed off easily. We see that every effort we have made has not produced the thing we have searched out and longed for, worked for - politically, religiously or economically. Therefore that approach must be utterly wrong. If that is not the right approach, there must be a different approach to all our problems.

Can the mind which is the result of time, of imitation, of the desire to seek security and conformity, can such a conditioned mind ever - however much it may make an effort - bring about a change? Can such a mind bring about a revolution within itself? That is, to put the question differently, will conscious effort, the action of will, bring about a change? We are used to the action of will - "I must or I must not;I shall be or I shall not be; there must be good'.there must be bad; there must be a different state of society, a different pattern of action;I am violent, and I must be non-violent; and so on and on. This is the conscious effort made by will. In that very process of must be' and"must not be', there are innumerable problems of control and of suppression, various forms of psychological desires that arise from suppression and from control, various efforts made, and the struggles, failures, frustrations in the process of achieving that which you think is truth. If you have at all thought about it, if you are aware of it, this is our problem, not only individually, but collectively, socially in the world. How is a serious person whose intention is to bring about a change fundamentally within himself, to bring about the change? Through conscious effort or by listening to the truth of the falseness of effort?

Seeing the truth of the whole implication of effort, can you just listen without translation, without interpretation, to what is being said? All effort is a process of imitation, imitation is always conditioning, and the conditioned mind can never find the truth of any problem. Can I, can you, listen to that without any interpretation, without any judgment? Can I look, see, hear the truth of it? That can only be done, not at the conscious level but at the unconscious level, when the mind is not struggling to understand, when the mind is not making an effort to imitate. That can only happen when the conscious mind, the mind which is so active all day and all night, ceaselessly building, destroying, altering shaping, when that mind is quiet for a few seconds and hears what is Truth. I think that is our problem, and not what to do, how to feed the poor or how to bring about an economic revolution or what kind of gods and rituals we should have.

Fundamentally our problem is to bring about a revolution in our ways of thinking psychologically, fundamentally. Such a change cannot be brought about by any conscious effort because, as I said, the conscious mind is built around tradition, by experiences which are the outcome of conditioned action. So, a mind that is thinking out, planning out, and acts according to that plan, through compulsion, through conformity, through imitation, such a mind cannot find an answer to all our problems. We have been brought up from our childhood to cultivate our memories. Memory is essential at a certain level of our existence; but memory does not give the true answer to any problem; it can only translate the problem according to its condition, its experience. After all, if you, as a Hindu, experience something, you will translate it according to your conditioned mind; or if you are a Communist, you will meet the experience or translate the experience in terms of dialectical materialism or what you will. So you are never meeting the experience without a conditional mind; and the conditioned mind creating a pattern, an action, only further creates more problems, more sufferings, more misery. That is what we have to realize. I think it is very important to see that effort in any form, inwardly, is a process of imitation; effort is imitation, conformity; and through conformity there can be no radical transformation.

Now, is it possible for me to hear a statement of that kind and to see the truth of that? I say life is a process of imitation. The very language which I am using is the result of imitation, the cultivation of memory, knowledge. The acquisition of information is a process of imitation. The very desire to be good is the result of fear which urges me to conform. I see that memory, experience, knowledge are essential at certain levels of our existence; because, if I did not know how to use language, I would not be able to communicate. But when I make effort to bring about a change psychologically, inwardly to be different, the very process of becoming different creates other problems. So I am caught in a net of innumerable problems, and there is no release. But there is a release at the unconscious level if I can hear without translation or without interpretation, the truth of anything that is being said. You can experiment with this yourself and you will find the truth of this.

Here is a very difficult problem; the mind has cultivated memory for centuries upon centuries, and that is the only instrument we have; and we have used that instrument to solve our problems; we worship intellect - which does not mean that we must become sentimental or devotional or sloppy. It is very difficult to see the limitations of the mind. It is very difficult to see that our problems cannot have an answer through the mind, through the application of the process of thought, because thought is always conditioned. There is no freedom of thought, because thought which is memory, which is the result of various past experiences, is conditioned, is limited; and such a thought when used to solve our problems can only increase the problems further, add more problems. Can I realize the truth of that thought, and allow a revolution to take place at the unconscious level? Because, in the unconscious level, there is no limitation, there is no conformity, because the mind there is not interfering to search for a result; there, the mind is not trying to suppress or to be anything; it is only there; the mind can understand what is Truth. Truth is not the process of analysis, nor the mere observation of knowledge. What is Truth can only be understood at the unconscious level. when the mind is very quiet, non-interfering, non-translating. If we once realize this fundamentally, we will see there is a radical change in our ways of thought. But, as I said, the mind is trained to interfere, to constantly seek a result in action. It is only at the unconscious level there can be love. And it is love that can alone bring about revolution.

Bombay 1953 Public talk 2

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Mon, 19 Nov 2018 #20
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 639 posts in this forum Offline

Thanks very much for #19, Clive.

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Fri, 23 Nov 2018 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

After some rather sleepless nights, and much thought-watching, this question has arisen for me:

“Is there actually any movement of the mind, in the mind, or is there only the illusion of movement created by thought?”

It might seem that this is easily answered by simple observation, but I can’t seem to arrive at a definite conclusion

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Fri, 23 Nov 2018 #22
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Thanks very much for #19, Clive.

Hi Huguette, it has been on my mind to return to this excerpt on the importance of the unconscious mind.

“The moment you make a conscious
effort, the process of imitation is
set going, the imitation being
conformity to the pattern which is
already being established through the
experience, through the ideal, through
the desire to achieve a result”.

I think I see this. If we are making any sort of effort to change, then we must know what we are trying to change into, we must have an idea of the nature of the change. And so “change” is really a matter of trying to conform to this idea. But can confromity bring about fundamental change? Imitation can merely produce a copy, and a copy is never new.

But then K says:

“If we really comprehend this, I think
there will be a fundamental revolution
in ourselves”

Is he saying that the simple perception that all effort psychologically is meaningless brings about fundamental change? My understanding of ‘fundamental change’ is COMPLETE change, TOTAL change, I may be wrong.

Looking at this. Is it that a mind that sees the futility of effort, psychologically, is no longer in duality, and so no longer has any conflict?

Anyway, K goes on to say that it is in the unconscious that transformation is possible:

“Because, in the unconscious level,
there is no limitation, there is no
conformity, because the mind there is
not interfering to search for a
result; there, the mind is not trying
to suppress or to be anything; it is
only there; the mind can understand
what is Truth”.

But this is a far cry from what he has often said about the unconscious. For example, in 1965-66 2nd Public Talk, Madras:

“When we observe - without reading
psychologists, the Freuds, the Jungs,
and all the rest of the modern
philosophers and psychologists - we
know what the unconscious is: the
racial residue, the experience of the
race, the social conditions, the
environment, the tradition, the
culture - culture being political,
religious, educational - which are all
deeply embedded in the unconscious”

Looking at the unconscious mind in this way, it does not seem that it could bring about the transformation K talks about, it does not even seem that it could listen as K describes. Have you any comments on this apparent contradiction, Huguette, or anyone?

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Fri, 23 Nov 2018 #23
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 639 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
After some rather sleepless nights, and much thought-watching, this question has arisen for me:

“Is there actually any movement of the mind, in the mind, or is there only the illusion of movement created by thought?”

It might seem that this is easily answered by simple observation, but I can’t seem to arrive at a definite conclusion

Clive,

In order for movement to BE or to be produced, some THING has to move, doesn’t it? If a movement is observed, “something” is happening on some material level, not necessarily on the level where it is observed. If there is “nothing”, no THING or matter, can there BE movement?

On the one hand, there is thought - “a” thought, 1000 thoughts, an idea, a belief, a recollection, an emotion, an intimation of thought or emotion. And distinct from that, there is the PROCESS which produces gross and subtle thoughts and emotions. A process demands matter. There can’t be a process without matter, can there?

So, as I see it, where “a” thought, emotion or an intimation of them is observed, there is necessarily material movement in the brain. Where there is “a” thought depicting movement - let’s say the memory or idea of a bird flying or a child running - THAT movement - the mental image and its movement - is illusory. But there IS actual movement in the brain which produces those illusory images and their movements. There are actual electrical, hormonal, neuronal and “I don’t know what else” movements in the brain.

I’m not a scientist so I’m speaking as an ordinary, lay human being, but I think that specialized scientific knowledge is not necessary to see what I’m saying. I think that what I’m saying here is directly observable by any human being. I could be wrong.

As I see it, the PROCESS of thought or thinking produces thoughts, images, ideas, emotions, and those accumulated thoughts, emotions, intimations, beliefs, ideas, ideals, constitute the content of consciousness out of which self is forged. And within consciousness, there is the part that is easily visible - the conscious - and the part that is mostly invisible - the unconscious.

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Fri, 23 Nov 2018 #24
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 639 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is he saying that the simple perception that all effort psychologically is meaningless brings about fundamental change? My understanding of ‘fundamental change’ is COMPLETE change, TOTAL change, I may be wrong.

Isn’t the “simple perception that all effort psychologically is meaningless” necessarily a fundamental change? Isn’t my whole life - the life of each of us - based on the ages-old, traditional propaganda that I can be anything I want to be, that I’m in charge of my own destiny if I only try hard enough? As I see it, that’s not a "simple" perception, if by “simple” you mean inconsequential or minor. There may still be conflict but conflict is now seen in the light of this understanding. And is conflict seen in the light of this understanding still conflict? Conflict being the battle, the effort to overcome or change.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Looking at the unconscious mind in this way, it does not seem that it could bring about the transformation K talks about, it does not even seem that it could listen as K describes. Have you any comments on this apparent contradiction, Huguette, or anyone?

Consciousness is like an iceberg in that there is a visible part and an invisible part. In consciousness, the part beneath the surface is the unconscious. Obviously, the conscious mind is made up of the conscious memories, thoughts, emotions and knowledge of which “I” am clearly aware - what I’m thinking and feeling consciously. And I’m mostly or at least partly unaware of the unconscious thoughts, emotions and knowledge, except through intimations, vague feelings. But for the most part, I don’t bother with those intimations because - consciously - I don’t understand their relevance or significance. Consciously, I think it doesn’t matter what goes on in the unconscious because the conscious seemingly makes all the decisions and choices and the unconscious is merely a kind of irrelevant annoyance. Consciously, I believe (the mind believes) in the actuality, independence and intelligence of the self-image it has produced. But if, for whatever reason, I am attentive to the intimations, it is clear that the unconscious actually determines what I think are my conscious actions.

So, consciously, I may believe that I’m a fearless tough guy. Any intimations to the contrary are not given any credence or significance by the conscious. My conscious “truth” is the self-image of toughness, but the unconscious mind is not subject to this “truth”. I may consciously believe that I’m tough, but unconsciously, belief does not rule - there is fear and uncertainty and unconsciously, I’m a scared baby. Consciously, I set out to prove how tough I am. That's an example of the unconscious determining conscious actions without the conscious realizing it.

Similarly, consciously, I may believe that I’m a kind, considerate person but, again, the unconscious is not taken in by that "truth" of propaganda. There is rage or fear in the unconscious which are in stark contradiction to the self-image, and that rage and fear necessarily comes through in relationship, without the conscious mind realizing it.

So the conscious mind has no power to eradicate the “undesirable” contents of the unconscious. The conscious mind is a slave to the movements of the unconscious. And the human being is a slave to the whole of consciousness. The human being is a slave to the belief that self is in charge, or should be in charge, of action.

The unconscious thoughts, memories and feelings act in relationship, even though “I” (separate from consciousness) believe that “I” act. It can be seen and understood that there is no such overseeing entity which is separate from consciousness, no such entity who can choose the best, the moral, the right, the most intelligent, the creative course of action. We go along - the human mind goes along - with this state of affairs or tradition because it is our conditioning. But actually, whatever “the entity” thinks is best, moral, right, intelligent, creative action is determined by conditioning, NOT by the fictional “me”.

There is no “me” but there is awareness. Awareness is not “me”. Life is not “me”. There is intelligence, beauty and love which are not “me”. Awareness, life, intelligence, beauty, love, compassion, are not engendered by “me”. There is action which is not engendered by “me”. So, in my understanding, it is not that the unconscious frees me or brings about transformation. It is the understanding that the unconscious is not insignificant, the understanding that the unconscious acts when “I” think that “I” am acting, the understanding of the role of the unconscious in action which liberates.

All said tentatively.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Sat, 24 Nov 2018.

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Sat, 24 Nov 2018 #25
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 999 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The first step is the last step

We're not trying to 'escape' from conflict, anxiety, despair etc, but to understand it. Because any approach or movement toward these 'states' other than understanding is an 'effort' to bring about a change in them i.e. to end them or to extend them (in the case of 'pleasure')... Any approach to the states in us other than an awareness of them without choice or condemnation, or like or dislike is an action of the illusory 'me', the thinker, the experiencer, the 'censor' and in that duality situation there is the inevitability of resistance or friction or conflict..i.e. 'effort'. So what does it mean when in place of the 'me' overseeing the processes within , that the 'me', the effort maker, is included in the light of awareness? Now 'I' am part of the scene, the landscape, rather than imagining 'myself' outside of it (as an individual) where 'I' believe 'I' can act in some way upon what is seen. (as well as react to it).... When and if that 'step' is taken, what other step would or could be necessary?

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Sat, 24 Nov 2018 #26
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Isn’t the “simple perception that all effort psychologically is meaningless” necessarily a fundamental change?

It's certainly a huge change to one's life.

Huguette . wrote:
Isn’t my whole life - the life of each of us - based on the ages-old, traditional propaganda that I can be anything I want to be, that I’m in charge of my own destiny if I only try hard enough?

Yes, that is certainly the prevalent myth.

Huguette . wrote:
As I see it, that’s not a "simple" perception, if by “simple” you mean inconsequential or minor.

No, I didn't mean inconsequential. By "simple" I was trying to convey that it is so, it is incontrovertible. A simple truth.

Huguette . wrote:
There may still be conflict but conflict is now seen in the light of this understanding. And is conflict seen in the light of this understanding still conflict? Conflict being the battle, the effort to overcome or change.

Not sure what you are meaning by this, Huguette.

Huguette . wrote:
But if, for whatever reason, I am attentive to the intimations, it is clear that the unconscious actually determines what I think are my conscious actions.

Yes, I do have a sense of this. It is very interesting. Sometimes, when I come to the point of doing something that "I had decided to do" (consciously) I find myself 'veering away' from that action, it just drops away. There is a realisation that "I" (what a simple word to convey such complexity, such multiplicity) did not "really" want to do that thing. This all happens very smoothly, it is not thought-out, there is no conflict in the change of action. It can feel quite comical actuality, how instantly it happens, the speed and smoothness of the change.

When this happens, I take it that the unconscious mind has suddenly assumed dominance over the conscious.

Huguette . wrote:
That's an example of the unconscious determining conscious actions without the conscious realizing it.

Yes, very interesting. In fact I am asking if the conscious mind EVER acts independently of the unconscious?

Huguette . wrote:
There is rage or fear in the unconscious which are in stark contradiction to the self-image, and that rage and fear necessarily comes through in relationship, without the conscious mind realizing it.

Do you mean, Huguette, that the conscious mind does not realise what it is doing, or that it does not realise that it is being influenced by the unconscious?

Huguette . wrote:
So the conscious mind has no power to eradicate the “undesirable” contents of the unconscious. The conscious mind is a slave to the movements of the unconscious. And the human being is a slave to the whole of consciousness. The human being is a slave to the belief that self is in charge, or should be in charge, of action.

Yes

Huguette . wrote:
The unconscious thoughts, memories and feelings act in relationship, even though “I” (separate from consciousness) believe that “I” act. It can be seen and understood that there is no such overseeing entity which is separate from consciousness, no such entity who can choose the best, the moral, the right, the most intelligent, the creative course of action. We go along - the human mind goes along - with this state of affairs or tradition because it is our conditioning. But actually, whatever “the entity” thinks is best, moral, right, intelligent, creative action is determined by conditioning, NOT by the fictional “me”.

This very much seems to be true, to me. And throughout the day, more or less, there is the on-going realisation, on-going discovery of its truth. Moment by moment, what was assumed (unconsciously assumed) to be the truth, to be absolute, is revealed to be "only thought", only conditioning.

How is this realised? And is it "me" that realises it? It seems to be realised in the ending of each thought, in the space revealed by such ending. Would you go along with that, Huguette?

One more question. Is the unconscious the same as "The river of human consciousness", "The common stream", that K talks of? That he asks if we can step out of?

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Sat, 24 Nov 2018 #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:

Clive Elwell wrote:

The first step is the last step

Can you put this quote of my words in context, Dan? Which thread, and which thread number, was this taken from?

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Sat, 24 Nov 2018 #28
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 999 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Anyway, my question. Can anyone help with the understanding of K’s commonly used phrase: The first step is the last step

(All one inquiry) #1

We're not trying to 'escape' from conflict, anxiety, despair etc, but to understand it. Because any approach or movement toward these 'states' other than understanding, is an 'effort' to bring about a change in them i.e. to end them or to extend them (in the case of 'pleasure')... Any approach to the states in us other than an awareness of them, without choice or condemnation, like or dislike is an action of the illusory 'me', the thinker, the experiencer, the 'censor' and in that duality situation of 'me' separate from them, there is the inevitability of resistance or friction or conflict..i.e. 'effort'. So what does it mean when in place of the 'me' overseeing the processes within , that the 'me', the effort maker, is included in the light of awareness? Then 'I' am part of the scene, part of the landscape, rather than imagining 'myself' outside of it (as an individual) where 'I' believe 'I' can act in some way upon what is seen. (as well as react to it).... When and if that 'step' is taken, what other step would or could be necessary?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 25 Nov 2018.

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Sun, 25 Nov 2018 #29
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4638 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
So what does it mean when in place of the 'me' overseeing the processes within , that the 'me', the effort maker, is included in the light of awareness?

I think I understand all that you are saying, Dan. I could be wrong in assuming this, of course. There are two modes of being, one – which seems to be the common human situation – where the thinker, the censor, appears to be a separate entity, separate from thought – and so thinks it can act upon thought - and this is the root of all human conflict, inner and outer. And perhaps all human suffering.

Then there is the state – I hesitate to call it a state, better call it a realisation – when the illusory nature of this separation is seen. This is a profound transformation in consciousness, this is the answer to the age-old problem of duality of the mind.

Hmm, the problem with using the word “state” here is that the mind conceives of moving from the one state to another. But the very idea of moving comes from the divided mind. It implies effort, the problems of which have frequently been discussed. The same with the phrase “making a step”. But then to my knowledge K has never used these words, he has simply stated that “The first step in the last step”. This does not imply a “stepper”, one who makes a step.

Dying, ending to the known, is not a step that can be taken. The light of awareness is not something into which a step can be taken, surely. But probably I am putting too much focus on that word “step”. In the end all words are the product of thought, and so are limited.

It is only the seeing of this limitation, and the seeing of the false duality of the thinker/thought, that has significance.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Sun, 25 Nov 2018.

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Mon, 26 Nov 2018 #30
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 35 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
And this morning I dipped into the book of dialogues with K “Tradition and Revolution”. Here is an excerpt:

Very interesting! In what chapter is it?

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