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

Do you give 100% of your energy to change?


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Sun, 07 Oct 2018 #1
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 35 posts in this forum Offline

K said one should give 100% of one's energy in order to change.

The question is: what is the real driver of our energy?

I can see in myself that my real drive is the search for psychological security, comfort and pleasure.

Obviously, the real drive needs no stimulation, we, effortlessly will dedicate all our attention to that. This is exactly what K replied to Scott Forbes when he asked why he did not change: "you do not pay attention".

In Brockwood I have asked the topic question to two persons I consider deeply involved with the teachings. I got two completely different answers.

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Sun, 07 Oct 2018 #2
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1011 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
The question is: what is the real driver of our energy?

I can see in myself that my real drive is the search for psychological security, comfort and pleasure.

Hello Jose

I don't think that it is basically different for any of us, whether the 'search' is for more money, power, or more 'spirituality'. It all has the element of greed underlying it. K. has also said as much, that there is no change because we prefer our problems to the alternative, which, as I understand him to say, is to, "be as no-thing". I want to 'change', I even attempt to form an image of what the change might be. Which is to say, attempting to form an image of nothing. Futile. To me it seems that I am ready to give up almost anything except myself. And that makes sense; I've been taught that if you go after something long enough and seriously enough and with enough effort, you will eventually reach your goal (more or less!) But here none of that applies, does it? How do you make an effort to be nothing? What direction do you go in order to reach nothing?...All of that struggle and desire and hope and effort all belongs in the basket of the 'self' who wants only one thing, as you say, to be psychologically safe and untroubled. The 'self'/me wants to 'reach the other shore' but only if it can keep one foot firmly placed on this one. Not possible.

Doesn't this from today's quote speak right to this? (bold is mine)

K...."But the mind unoccupied can receive that which is not known, which is the unknown. This is not an extraordinary state of some yogi, some saint. Just observe your own mind; how direct and simple it is. See how your mind is occupied. And the answer, with what the mind is occupied, will give you the understanding of the past, and therefore the freedom from the past.

You cannot brush the past aside. It is there."

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 07 Oct 2018.

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Mon, 08 Oct 2018 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
K said one should give 100% of one's energy in order to change.

Yes. What can one do to at least accentuate the possibility of changing? I am not assuming there is nothing to do, I want to examine the question.

If I was a Christian, and I felt the urge to apply myself “100%” to ‘become more Christian’, to ‘realise God’ in some way, to increase my chance of getting into heaven, then there WOULD be things I could do. Things I could PRACTISE (a very significant, telling word in this context). I could go to Church more often. I could spend more time in prayer. I give more in charity. I could practise Jesus's precepts, or what are taken to be precepts – turn the other cheek, love my neighbour (or give the appearance of that). And so on.

If I was a Buddhist, and wanted to apply myself more (in becoming enlightened, or getting off the wheel of Karma) I could spend more time practising (that word again) meditation, worshipping at some shrine of a Buddha, burn more incense ….. and so on.

If I was a Muslim, I could take the Haj more often, observe the precepts of the Koran more strictly (interesting application of the word “observe” there) …. and so on.

But if I do not follow any organised religion, if I do not accept the authority of any so-called sacred book, or any person, what do I DO to change? Although the question raised, involving the idea of “100%”, seems to imply what MORE can I do? A very interesting question. Is there anything to get my teeth into? Anything to PRACTISE? All the religious practises including the ones I mention above seem superficial, a mere pretence, I doubt very much that they bring about fundamental change in oneself, except to make oneself more mechanical and dull.

And since, Jose, you say: “K said one should give 100% of one's energy in order to change”, what do you think K was suggesting one should actually DO? Perhaps it would be helpful if you could give an exact citation. Especially as I think K very rarely used the word “should”.

I know I am only considering one part of your basic question, Jose.

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Mon, 08 Oct 2018 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It all has the element of greed underlying it.

Yes, the deliberate pursuit of change, always seems to imply seeking a reward, material or spiritual. So this continues the self, and so is no change at all.

On the other hand, if one sees the NECESSITY of change – because one feels the chaos in the world and in oneself, that seems to me to be a different matter. But still, does this feeling, this perception, tell us WHAT TO DO?

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Mon, 08 Oct 2018 #5
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 765 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
K said one should give 100% of one's energy in order to change.

Hi Jose,
Is this a quote or your understanding of what K. meant ?

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
The question is: what is the real driver of our energy?

I can see in myself that my real drive is the search for psychological security, comfort and pleasure.

I can only say that my real drive is to UNDERSTAND the situation I'm in and by understanding change take place and by not understanding I think change took place.

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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Mon, 08 Oct 2018 #6
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1011 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
if one sees the NECESSITY of change – because one feels the chaos in the world and in oneself, that seems to me to be a different matter. But still, does this feeling, this perception, tell us WHAT TO DO?

To look at it really 'simply' as K. says it is, then attention is paid to what we do, how we act, what we feel, say, think etc. If the quote above is accurate, that means 100% attention to each moment. But we may not understand how simple that is to 'do' because we are so complicated. Attention can only be paid in the immediate present and it is being paid to 'us' (the past) whatever we think or feel. How 'delicate' or 'weightless this approach is may not be understood because of the way we have been educated to understand 'approach'. He said that the beauty of it is in its simplicity. To see our, the brain's occupation as it is now, only now, is to be free of the occupation...but it can only be truly seen, choicelessly. absolutely free of judgement. And there is no effort if it's done 'simply'. This is the way it is appearing to me, I don't know if it's right or wrong. But it is from observation.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Tue, 09 Oct 2018.

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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
K said one should give 100% of one's energy in order to change.

Jose, are you going to come in on this discussion? And can you supply us with the citation for the words you started the thread with? Or perhaps they were not an exact quote, rather your own representation of something you felt K was trying to get across to us? Please say.

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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
but it can only be truly seen, choicelessly. absolutely free of judgement.

Yes, this looking without judgment seems absolutely crucial for change to come about. In fact if there is judgment there is no looking, is there, only measurement, interpretation?

Dan McDermott wrote:
And there is no effort if it's done 'simply'

yes, effort is always to continue what already exists, so it can never bring about fundamental change.

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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 #9
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 35 posts in this forum Offline

Clive, I tried to reply yesterday but there was a software problem. This is a test.

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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 #10
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 35 posts in this forum Offline

This is my understanding of what K meant. Probably, those are not his very words. However, he often mentioned that one has to give all energy, that one should be willing to give everything for it. Obviously he was not speaking about giving the energy in order to get a result, as the word change would imply.

I will try to find the quote(s).

But more important than the quote is our personal experience on this subject.

I am in Mallorca now. I remembered that I was here 25 years ago and while driving in a narrow two lane road,I saw a car preparing to exit a gas station. To my surprise, the car just crossed, slowly, the road in front of my car as if he had not seen me.

Instantaneously, I saw the danger of it and, naturally and effortlessly, I gave 100 % of my energy and ALL my attention to that situation. All my body and mind were there in that moment. In a fraction of a second I made a unusual decision that may have saved the life of my family and the other car passengers.

I was living in the present, there was no conflict at all. There was fear but only the healthy fear, necessary for survival. Actually, I wonder if that can be called fear.

There was an intelligent action that the 'me" could not possibly have done. That intelligence obviously used all my driving skills that my brain learned over the past 15 years.

It happened exactly what K used to say: if one really sees the danger, an immediate and intelligent action will occur.

Coincidentally, after writing this, yesterday I was driving through Mallorca mountais, when a goat just materialized in front of my car. Again, all my attention was there and I managed to break quickly enough to avoid the collision.  At that very moment, there was only the goat and the road in front of me. The "me" was not there, nor any conflict and yet something managed to act in an intelligent manner. Definetely, I gave 100% of my energy.  

I have the impression that we are in a colision course and do not realise that.

Do we give 100% of our energy to see where we are going to, in order to change the course? Maybe this is the right question.

Why does it take all attention to see that?

Is there partial attention or only inatention?

Why almost all my attention is self centered?

The examples that Clive mentioned are very interesting. Similarly, one could watch 3 K DVDs every day, participate of forums like this on a daily basis, pay attention to every single thought, etc. This maybe necessary, but all this may not be effortlessly, if this is really not our main interest in life.

So, I would add the word effortlessly to the question.

 Do we give 100% of our energy, effortlessly, to see where we are going to, in order to change the course?

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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 #11
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1011 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
 Do we give 100% of our energy, effortlessly, to see where we are going to, in order to change the course?

It occurs to me that 'we' cannot not make an 'effort'. Whatever we try to do psychologically will be an 'effort'. Behind it will always be a goal, an aim, a direction, and no matter how thought tries to pretend that its only interest is in 'seeing', 'understanding' etc.,it is 'masking' its effort to 'become' something. That is the truth as I see it and only 'Attention' can reveal that, effortlessly, moment to moment, without judgement', condemnation, like or dislike,etc...Isn't that the 'simple' truth?

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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 #12
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 645 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
K said one should give 100% of one's energy in order to change.

K did point out in different ways that we don't give our all to understanding these matters. The point as I see it is to be aware that one is NOT giving 100%, not that one "should". Isn't it seen that when it comes to the effort to avenge, to punish or retaliate, to achieve one's desires, to solve one's problems, one does give 100% of one's energy, one has passion?

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Wed, 10 Oct 2018 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Isn't it seen that when it comes to the effort to avenge, to punish or retaliate, to achieve one's desires, to solve one's problems, one does give 100% of one's energy, one has passion?

That is very true, Huguette

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Wed, 10 Oct 2018 #14
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 765 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
However, he often mentioned that one has to give all energy, that one should be willing to give everything for it. Obviously he was not speaking about giving the energy in order to get a result, as the word change would imply.

Hi Jose,

those examples you have i also can recall and they are in a specific actual situation, so why don't we see the current actual situation as life threatening ?

is it because we still ignore the danger of not realizing how our mind is working ? is it still not acute for humanity ?

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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Wed, 10 Oct 2018 #15
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1011 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
so why don't we see the current actual situation as life threatening ?

is it because we still ignore the danger of not realizing how our mind is working ? is it still not acute for humanity ?

K. brought us the question: can the brain/thought be quiet? But not through any form of self-hypnosis...It's quite a radical question. Until that question was asked, it was not a matter of a "quiet" brain that concerned us, but a more or less 'happy' brain. As long as things weren't 'too' bad, we went along. But his question, questioned the actual working of the brain; that with its dependance on memory, its proclivity to 'belief', its accumulations and attachments for a sense of safety, its mechanical 'naming' of what comes through the senses...that all this and more meant that as long as thought/time functioned in this 'traditional' way, there could never be a true 'peace' for us.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 10 Oct 2018.

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Thu, 11 Oct 2018 #16
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 765 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
But his question, questioned the actual working of the brain; that with its dependance on memory, its proclivity to 'belief', its accumulations and attachments for a sense of safety, its mechanical 'naming' of what comes through the senses...that all this and more meant that as long as thought/time functioned in this 'traditional' way, there could never be a true 'peace' for us.

But Dan,

The brain does so much more than all the things you mentioned.
The examples that jose has mentioned and that I can also remember - and probably you also indicate that in those situations is dealt with adequately without the disturbing effect of memory - the past - without personal gain - the ego - so what is the factor that in some cases those disturbing elements completely are disabled?

so it appeared that all the capacity to handle rightly, adequatly are present but mostly not active, why for heaven sake ?

we now know so much more since the question is asked and talked over by K. is this the hindrance or just the reason for constant self-examination ?

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 Thu, 11 Oct 2018.

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Thu, 11 Oct 2018 #17
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1011 posts in this forum Offline

Wim Opdam wrote:
so what is the factor that in some cases those disturbing elements completely are disabled?

It can happen in a crisis situation...the brain bypasses the half-conscious, dreaming self and takes charge. Also a drug like LSD can blow the self out the door for a few hours but we can't walk around in crisis mode even though more and more as we learn about what is going on in the world of humanity, our effect on nature etc.., we perhaps should be in such a mode but we aren't really, are we? The 'self/ego/I/me is in charge. And the brain with its 'infinite' capacity has been 'conditioned' (reduced) to accept the absurdities of religion, nationalism, seeking recognition, great wealth, our sense of individuality, the supremacy of the intellect, more and more diverse entertainment, etc., it doesn't 'care' about the (disastrous?) effects these patterns have ultimately for itself and for others as long it has it can keep its immediate sense of safety and security. When it comes to psychological matters it seems that by allowing these patterns of thought to continue in light of the misery that they have and are creating in the world that the brain for all its technical brilliance, is rather blind. And selfish. Looking around, obviously the brain has not yet realized that its creation and perpetuation of the self as a means of protection, permanence and continuity, is a 'dead end' road.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 11 Oct 2018.

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Thu, 11 Oct 2018 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

We are animals. At least, we have developed from the animal, and it is very obvious that animal instincts still govern our behavior,especially when the thin veneer of civilisation falls away, or is stripped away. It may be that those animal instincts, coupled with the technology the development of the frontal cortex has brought about, will destroy us, and much of life on earth.

It may be, I say. But we do not know. And it may be that we live in a time on human history that is finally going to decide that question. Either we transform the working of the brain (I was going to use the word “evolve”, but it is not the right one, transform is better) very soon, or never. It may look at times that we have failed to make the necessary leap, but the challenge is still there before us, before each one of us. And after all, k has said, the human brain is infinite. But the human self is very strong, very persistent, as we all know, I am sure.

And at least one religious ‘teacher’, K, spent his life pointing out the necessity of this transformation. I hesitate to you use the phrase “he urged us”. But he pointed out, to those willing to listen somewhat, the false things that have become established in the human mind. And he asked, with great passion, didn’t we CARE about the human situation, didn’t we care what happened to our children. Over and over throughout his life he asked us “Why don’t you change?”

Jose asks something similar, why don’t we devote ourselves ‘more’ to the business of transformation (putting aside the matter of “100%). And he points out that “the real drive is the search for psychological security, comfort and pleasure”. Which I am we all recognise; this is part of the animal instinct I mentioned.

Perhaps the uniqueness of K’s message was that while we think we are applying ourselves to transformation, we are actually still acting in that domain of searching for , comfort and pleasure. And I think we all agree that any sort of effort, no matter how well intentioned, does not meet the problem. Applying effort, in fact, may dissipate a sense of intensity. Is that intensity related to the energy of discontent that has been mentioned recently?

Is it perhaps that allowing that flame of discontent to grow is the real key to this issue?

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Sat, 13 Oct 2018 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

I have been pondering, in the course of daily life, this issue of giving ‘more’ energy to change. It seems it is not a right question, and all of the replies on the thread seem to have expressed a similar doubt. At least in terms of the conventional ways of “giving more energy” to issues, in wanting to bring about specific change to some aspect of our life – exercise more, eat more healthily, have more solitude, etc.

And yet just because I do not see a way forward, because the need for fundamental change is so obvious, so insistent. I do not push the question aside. And this seems important. As we recognise that all positive approaches are “wrong”, contradictory, only ways of strengthening the ego, does not the energy that would have been expended in pursuing such ways appear in …….. here I am stuck for the right words. I cannot say “the negative approach” as it is definitely not an approach. Can we say that the energy builds up in the process of negation? To use K’s phrase, which I referred to in my previous mail, does not this unexpended energy nourish the flame of discontent?

Jose, you mentioned sharing the question with two people at Brockwood. Would you share with us the substance of their replies?

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Sat, 13 Oct 2018 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2349 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Can we say that the energy builds up in the process of negation? To use K’s phrase, which I referred to in my previous mail, does not this unexpended energy nourish the flame of discontent?

In reading over your recent posts, Clive, I have to say that I don't find any evidence for what you are saying here in my own experience. I see it differently. When energy is not wasted in trying to change 'what is' or in a so called 'positive approach' to change, then 'what is' can flower....'what is' is more free to express itself. It could be the anger or fear or "discontent" that I'm feeling...or it could be the fullness of desire or attachment. But if there's no effort to oppose or change these feelings (what is....what we are), there's more chance for them to flower or express themselves freely. And perhaps there is the opportunity to actually observe 'what is' when we're not trying to change it or get rid of it. I may be off base, and perhaps I'm not fully understanding your points....but that's how I'm seeing it.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 13 Oct 2018.

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Sat, 13 Oct 2018 #21
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 645 posts in this forum Offline

Re: 18, 19 and 20

Clive,

Why is the negative approach not an approach? We’re not talking about “moving toward” something here, as in “How do I approach - move toward - a runaway dog?”, for example; or, “How do I approach making a budget?”

“Why don’t I change?” How do I deal with - approach - this question? There are 2 fundamentally different approaches that I can see.

It can be approached through the intellect “looking” to the known or the past to put together an answer, to shape the known “facts” into a conclusion, into an ostensibly “new” pattern. That’s the positive approach, the “classic” approach, isn’t it? It is “positive” in its assertiveness. I start with “known facts” and expand on that through reasoning - also based on the past - and move towards a conclusion, explanation, an answer, a “new” pattern or blueprint, at the end of it, “consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of features or qualities rather than their absence” (Google dictionary).

Or do I approach it completely and fundamentally differently, through observation or awareness alone? “Negatively” meaning with a look, a perception or an observation that is completely devoid of the past and knowledge, “consisting in or characterized by the absence rather than the presence of distinguishing features” (Google dictionary). Negatively, I start with no known “facts”, observation is devoid of knowledge. So the negative approach cannot be a “process” (process: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end - Google dictionary). And then, as Tom says, in the negative approach, energy is not wasted or broken up by contradictory thought, so that the total energy is in the observation. Not exactly what you said, Tom, but not in opposition to it I think.

There ARE also practical questions requiring practical answers on which I can act. For example: I have 3 things in the fridge and I wonder what meal I can make with those 3 ingredients. Or I have missed the last bus home after working late and I have no money, so I ask myself how will I get home tonight, what will I do. The intellect can come up with an intellectual solution by looking to the past, to knowledge. There is no contradiction, division or conflict in this - no problem.

But the question, “why don’t you/I change” is not a practical question needing a practical answer, a blueprint, a plan of action or a pattern to be followed or conformed to. So how can the mind approach the question? Can the intellect "find" the answer through time or knowledge? There is NO satisfactory or helpful intellectual answer for it, is there? An intellectual answer is not what is needed here. An intellectual solution is a mere re-arranging of the past. The human being has been going down that intellectual path forever in its approach to problems of right action or relationship.

The question “why don’t I change” is not that kind of practical question. It is a question of a different order, isn’t it? If the question is approached like the 3-ingredient meal or getting home after work - through knowledge and time - does that mean that the intellect can actually solve our existential challenges as well as our practical challenges? We see that it cannot,don't we?

Where desire, fear, time, self, attachment, and so on, are understood, can I simply ask "the question" and then silently observe the movements of the mind - observing as it rebels against inoccupation, as it resists abandoning the known, as it clings to the known, as it seeks pleasure or a break, and so on, and as it condemns itself for its compulsion, resistance and fear? The “answer” to why I don’t change IS these ancient movements of thought and emotion, of time and knowledge, isn’t it? Isn’t that what you meant, Clive, by “while we think we are applying ourselves to transformation, we are actually still acting in that domain of searching for comfort and pleasure”?

As long as I approach the question (“why don’t I change”) through the ideal that “I should” or “I shouldn’t”, through the condemnation of my or your actions, then I am approaching the problem THROUGH the problem, aren’t I? As long as I ask “why” WHILE condemning my escapes, desires, fears and efforts, that condemnation is the problem. Isn’t it? Condemning myself, having ideals - “I don’t DO something that I should do, or NOT DO something that I do do, or I should BE something that I’m not” - is contradiction and causes discontent or pain, doesn't it?

Doesn’t the question “why don’t I change” require an alert silent mind? Isn’t it the alert mind alone which can observe and understand? The intellect, as it seeks, moves away from what ultimatly drives the question, as you have mentioned - discontent. And the intellect can come up with tons of false and complex “answers” ... but we see it cannot end discontent, pain, suffering.

The simple “answer”, I think, is that I don’t change because I cannot. I am conditioned. I am the conditioning. I cannot change that. I am that. Condemnation cannot change it. Effort cannot change it. Condemnation and effort are also conditioning. Conditioning cannot change conditioning.

But with the perception - and so understanding - of time, division, conflict, self, fear, anger, attachment, effort, ideals, effort, belief, condemnation, deceit, discontent, pleasure, desire, conceit, and so on - which is the first and last step - can’t there be silent, alert observation of the whole movement of conditioning as it unfolds? Just observation. And isn’t alert silent observation the soil in which understanding or learning flowers?

So the freedom to observe the whole movement of thought and emotion as it unfolds - without feeling constrained or bound by the ideal or belief that "I should” condemn myself or others or that "I should” make an effort to change myself or others - is the first and last step to changing it. Is it?

Of course, I’m not sure about all of this and I also don’t know if I’m clear at all.

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Sat, 13 Oct 2018 #22
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 35 posts in this forum Offline

Actually, I was not refering to give "more" energy. Of course I may be wrong but I have the impression that it is either on or off. It has to be 100% of our energy. 99,99% is not enough.

It is like pregnancy, a woman is either pregnant or not.

Likewise, we are either in the present moment or not.

According to K, the brain is desperately looking for security and order. But, somehow, it tries "wrong places" such as nationalism, religion and even on neurosis. I understood it is like a starving person. The body will then naturally give all energy to find food because there is a real danger of death. So, I think, our real drive is set by a brain hungry for order.

Of course K may be wrong on this matter, but the more I observe myself the more I tend to agree with him. 

This would explain why "intelligent" people believe in absurd ideas when religion is involved. 

There are four  things that I know that can make the desperate conditioned brain to be in the present or face "what is":

1) a sudden real danger like the risk of car collision.

2) a stunned mind when it sees a beautiful mountain or similar.  K said he was not speaking about a stunned mind.

3)  An insight. Maybe everyone really interested in K has had one or more insight. Someone told me that K said this, during a talk, refering to the audience. Sorry, I do not have the reference. :-)

4) Curiosity

To me, number 4 is the key one. The only time in my life that I looked at fear with curiosity it disappeared, exactly as K said.

We can only be curious about something new, unknown.

We almost never look at suffering with curiosity.  Why not?

Clive, the first person I asked the question of 100% of energy, in Brockwood watches 3 K DVDs every day and has watched, listened or read everything available about K.  The answer to the question was a prompt YES! I then immediatelly asked why a change did not occur? I did not quite understand the answer.

The other person met K. The not so prompt answer was NO. This person said K was very curious.

Both are good friends that I consider deeply involved with the teachings and really have dedicated their lives to it.

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Sun, 14 Oct 2018 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2349 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
It is like pregnancy, a woman is either pregnant or not.

Likewise, we are either in the present moment or not.

And how does this relate to giving 100% of one’s energy? Is this something one can ‘do’? Or is it spontaneous....like when one faces a gun in a robbery, one may be totally focused and ‘in the moment’. But one can be totally present while walking ‘in nature’. That in my experience happens spontaneously....not as a result of any ‘giving 100% of one’s energy’. So in understanding ourselves, learning about oneself, does energy become focused in the present? And is this something one can do? Or can one only be aware how one’s attention is fragmented or divided....be aware that one is making an effort to achieve or reach for some result?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 14 Oct 2018.

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Mon, 15 Oct 2018 #24
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I may be off base, and perhaps I'm not fully understanding your points....but that's how I'm seeing it.

Hi Tom, Reading through my words, perhaps I did not express what I meant very well. I certainly don't see see the words as being in opposition at all to what you have posted.

I think I was saying that this "100%" may suggest a process of achievement, and energy is wasted in that "becoming". If the energy is not so dissipated, what might become of it? If the steam has no outlet, then the pressure builds up, does it not?

There seems something flawed in the idea of "me" giving more energy, more time, to the teachings. But seeing this doesn't mean I "give up", that I wash my hands of the whole business. But wait, perhaps, in one sense, "giving up" is precisely what is needed.

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Mon, 15 Oct 2018 #25
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Why is the negative approach not an approach? We’re not talking about “moving toward” something here, as in “How do I approach - move toward - a runaway dog?”, for example; or, “How do I approach making a budget?”

I think I was using the word "approach" in the sense of "direction", which is misleading, and which you rightly question, Huguette. Actually approach is a very interesting word - to become closer to something.

I am very much involved with other people at the moment, and do not find the leisure to involve myself deeply with the forum. This should change in a few days, when in fact I am going to spend a week pretty much on my own.

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Mon, 15 Oct 2018 #26
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2349 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I think I was saying that this "100%" may suggest a process of achievement, and energy is wasted in that "becoming". If the energy is not so dissipated, what might become of it? If the steam has no outlet, then the pressure builds up, does it not?

But the 'me' is desire, isn't it? If I don't get caught up in trying to achieve 'inwardly', then the energy not dissipated there will turn to achieving something external....trying to achieve in my career...cooking a special dinner...working on my golf game...or something like that. What do you say? This 'becoming' is related to desire and thought, isn't it? Just questioning. Here's an interesting excerpt from K. that Dev put up as the QOTD today. Part in bold is my own emphasis :

"When we consider growth or evolution as a series of achievements, naturally our actions are never complete; they are always growing from the lower to the higher, always climbing, advancing. Therefore, if we live under that conception, our action enslaves us; our action is a constant, ceaseless, infinite effort, and that effort is always turned toward a security. Naturally, when there is this search for security, there is fear, and this fear creates the continual consciousness of what we call the 'I'. Isn't that so? The minds of most of us are caught up in this idea of achievement, attainment, climbing higher and higher, that is, in the idea of choosing between the essential and the unessential. And since this choice, this advancement which we call action, is but a ceaseless struggle, a continual effort, our lives are also a ceaseless effort and not a free, spontaneous flow of action."

Let it Be

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
Actually, I was not refering to give "more" energy. Of course I may be wrong but I have the impression that it is either on or off. It has to be 100% of our energy. 99,99% is not enough.

It is like pregnancy, a woman is either pregnant or not.

Likewise, we are either in the present moment or not.

C: Are we using time as a measure for this 100%? Are we looking for complete attention all of the time? If so, I doubt this is possible. K says it is not possible, in fact. Or are we looking for complete attention in the moment? Did not K say that there are no degrees of attention – either one attends or not. As you suggest, Jose.

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
According to K, the brain is desperately looking for security and order.

C: In my observations, there is no question about this – it IS desperately searching. But also continually frustrated, since it is searching for security (continuity) in thought, and there is none to be found there – only its illusion.

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
This would explain why "intelligent" people believe in absurd ideas when religion is involved.

C: Yes. It seems in the brain’s search for security, it does not mind if it “finds it” actually, or in illusion.

There are four things that I know that can make the desperate conditioned brain to be in the present or face "what is":

1) a sudden real danger like the risk of car collision.

2) a stunned mind when it sees a beautiful mountain or similar. K said he was not speaking about a stunned mind.

3) An insight. Maybe everyone really interested in K has had one or more insight. Someone told me that K said this, during a talk, refering to the audience. Sorry, I do not have the reference. :-)

4) Curiosity

To me, number 4 is the key one. The only time in my life that I looked at fear with curiosity it disappeared, exactly as K said.

We can only be curious about something new, unknown.

We almost never look at suffering with curiosity. Why not?

C: I would add another to your list, and to me it is the significant one. All the things you list do have a certain effect, but do they not fade? But to see the limitation of thought/feeling, the absolute limitation, once seen is always there, is it not? I guess this could be included under “insight”. Not only “always there” ( which may not be the right phrase) but growing, expanding, like that flame of discontent we have mentioned. It is inescapable, an absolute fact from which we cannot escape.

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
Clive, the first person I asked the question of 100% of energy, in Brockwood watches 3 K DVDs every day and has watched, listened or read everything available about K. The answer to the question was a prompt YES! I then immediatelly asked why a change did not occur? I did not quite understand the answer.

C: Sorry, but does this count as some sort of qualification? Does this mean he is some sort of authority? And is there a suggestion that we should imitate this behavour?

This came to me recently, when mulling over your question: “is there ANY sort of action that guarantees to bring about transformation? About which we can say that will definitely contribute to transformation?”. Surely the answer is “no”. If there was, then transformation would be a mechanical affair, no?

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
The other person met K. The not so prompt answer was NO. This person said K was very curious.

Both are good friends that I consider deeply involved with the teachings and really have dedicated their lives to it.

After a certain amount of relative silence – a silence which I feel is ultimately more important that reading K – I still feel strongly as I have said in previous posts – that there is no step that can take towards transformation. Such a step would be a thing of knowledge only, and would have a motive. We cannot accumulate understanding. To think in terms of taking steps indicates a lack of understanding.

Such a statement (which can be questioned of course) should not be taken as an indication of despair in any way. Not at all. Such a realisation is profound, and has a profound effect.

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 #28
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
But the 'me' is desire, isn't it? If I don't get caught up in trying to achieve 'inwardly', then the energy not dissipated there will turn to achieving something external....trying to achieve in my career...cooking a special dinner...working on my golf game...or something like that. What do you say?

Well, this may and does happen. One sees that the majority of people are definitely caught up in some achievement or another, no matter how trivial. Improving their game of golf until they collapse from a heart attack on the course. It seems that achievement in any form acts as an escape.

But if one sees this, then that seeing has its own effect, does it not?

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 #29
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4661 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Clive,

Why is the negative approach not an approach?

C: There is a state of seeing where it is seen that that all “approaches” are the action of thought, of the past trying to continue into the future. It is a state of negation (tempted to say “complete negation”, but maybe not) and I would not describe this absence of all direction as an approach. It is not thought out, not following a method.

We’re not talking about “moving toward” something here, as in “How do I approach - move toward - a runaway dog?”, for example; or, “How do I approach making a budget?”
“Why don’t I change?” How do I deal with - approach - this question? There are 2 fundamentally different approaches that I can see.

It can be approached through the intellect “looking” to the known or the past to put together an answer, to shape the known “facts” into a conclusion, into an ostensibly “new” pattern. That’s the positive approach, the “classic” approach, isn’t it? It is “positive” in its assertiveness. I start with “known facts” and expand on that through reasoning - also based on the past - and move towards a conclusion, explanation, an answer, a “new” pattern or blueprint, at the end of it, “consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of features or qualities rather than their absence” (Google dictionary).
Or do I approach it completely and fundamentally differently, through observation or awareness alone? “Negatively” meaning with a look, a perception or an observation that is completely devoid of the past and knowledge, “consisting in or characterized by the absence rather than the presence of distinguishing features” (Google dictionary). Negatively, I start with no known “facts”, observation is devoid of knowledge. So the negative approach cannot be a “process” (process: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end - Google dictionary). And then, as Tom says, in the negative approach, energy is not wasted or broken up by contradictory thought, so that the total energy is in the observation. Not exactly what you said, Tom, but not in opposition to it I think.

There ARE also practical questions requiring practical answers on which I can act. For example: I have 3 things in the fridge and I wonder what meal I can make with those 3 ingredients. Or I have missed the last bus home after working late and I have no money, so I ask myself how will I get home tonight, what will I do. The intellect can come up with an intellectual solution by looking to the past, to knowledge. There is no contradiction, division or conflict in this - no problem.

But the question, “why don’t you/I change” is not a practical question needing a practical answer, a blueprint, a plan of action or a pattern to be followed or conformed to. So how can the mind approach the question? Can the intellect "find" the answer through time or knowledge? There is NO satisfactory or helpful intellectual answer for it, is there? An intellectual answer is not what is needed here. An intellectual solution is a mere re-arranging of the past. The human being has been going down that intellectual path forever in its approach to problems of right action or relationship.

The question “why don’t I change” is not that kind of practical question. It is a question of a different order, isn’t it? If the question is approached like the 3-ingredient meal or getting home after work - through knowledge and time - does that mean that the intellect can actually solve our existential challenges as well as our practical challenges? We see that it cannot,don't we?

C: Seeing this, that the intellect is futile in this area, as a fact, an absolute fact, constitutes fundamental change in itself, does it not, Huguette? Is this not ‘the doorway’ for fundamental change? And yes, as you describe, when thought is taken away as a means of change, then we are left only with observation.

That observation is a living, active force, is it not?

Where desire, fear, time, self, attachment, and so on, are understood, can I simply ask "the question" and then silently observe the movements of the mind - observing as it rebels against inoccupation, as it resists abandoning the known, as it clings to the known, as it seeks pleasure or a break, and so on, and as it condemns itself for its compulsion, resistance and fear? The “answer” to why I don’t change IS these ancient movements of thought and emotion, of time and knowledge, isn’t it?

C: Indeed, Huguette.

Isn’t that what you meant, Clive, by “while we think we are applying ourselves to transformation, we are actually still acting in that domain of searching for comfort and pleasure”?
As long as I approach the question (“why don’t I change”) through the ideal that “I should” or “I shouldn’t”, through the condemnation of my or your actions, then I am approaching the problem THROUGH the problem, aren’t I? As long as I ask “why” WHILE condemning my escapes, desires, fears and efforts, that condemnation is the problem. Isn’t it? Condemning myself, having ideals - “I don’t DO something that I should do, or NOT DO something that I do do, or I should BE something that I’m not” - is contradiction and causes discontent or pain, doesn't it?

C: All that you say is so, it seems to me.

Doesn’t the question “why don’t I change” require an alert silent mind? Isn’t it the alert mind alone which can observe and understand? The intellect, as it seeks, moves away from what ultimatly drives the question, as you have mentioned - discontent. And the intellect can come up with tons of false and complex “answers” ... but we see it cannot end discontent, pain, suffering.

The simple “answer”, I think, is that I don’t change because I cannot. I am conditioned. I am the conditioning. I cannot change that. I am that. Condemnation cannot change it. Effort cannot change it. Condemnation and effort are also conditioning. Conditioning cannot change conditioning.

C: Yes. Perhaps it is as simple as that. And perhaps our deepest conditioning is the idea that it is the “I” that must bring about change. And when people fail to do that, fail to resolve their problems, their unhappiness, their depression, they are generally advised they must try harder; they must develop a stronger “I”.

But with the perception - and so understanding - of time, division, conflict, self, fear, anger, attachment, effort, ideals, effort, belief, condemnation, deceit, discontent, pleasure, desire, conceit, and so on - which is the first and last step - can’t there be silent, alert observation of the whole movement of conditioning as it unfolds? Just observation. And isn’t alert silent observation the soil in which understanding or learning flowers?

So the freedom to observe the whole movement of thought and emotion as it unfolds - without feeling constrained or bound by the ideal or belief that "I should” condemn myself or others or that "I should” make an effort to change myself or others - is the first and last step to changing it. Is it?

C: Yes. I am still taking that step, it seems.

The issue is: how do I observe? With an observer? Or pure observation without such division.

Surely that silence is the only key, the only doorway. And the doorway must be entered with no knowledge of what is on the other side.

Huguette . wrote:
Of course, I’m not sure about all of this and I also don’t know if I’m clear at all.

C: At the moment, from a certain silence, it is very clear.

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 #30
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2349 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Improving their game of golf until they collapse from a heart attack on the course.

Yes, that kind of thing is the fate of most of us....figuratively speaking. It was the same with my music, which was often used as an escape from facing very challenging inner and outer conflicts in my own life. Football or basketball may be an escape for another. One’s whole life will center around his athletic career until injury or sickness prevents his participation.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Achievement in any form acts as an escape. Seeing this has its own effect, does it not?

Not sure about this. When the inner/outer conflicts are severe, the allure of the escape increases in proportion to the degree of the suffering. And even when one is aware that one is escaping...trying to achieve...one may very well continue along that road until illness or injury intervenes. That’s kind of what happened with my musical career. Health issues (my own and those of a loved one) were partly what prevented me from continuing along that road. Only when one’s escape routes are blocked does one come face to face with the deep conflict that’s present underneath all the attachments.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 19 Oct 2018.

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