Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What is the ‘self’?


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Wed, 05 Dec 2018 #1
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2459 posts in this forum Offline

We’ve been discussing this on another thread, so I thought I’d give this important question a thread of its own. Dev has helped us out today with a very pertinent QOTD, so I’ll start the thread with that. Here’s K. Feel free to share any thoughts, questions, comments...

Ojai, California | 7th Talk in the Oak Grove 17th May, 1936

“Life is every moment in a state of being born, arising, coming into being. In this arising, coming into being, in this itself there is no continuity, nothing that can be identified as permanent. Life is in constant movement, action; each moment of this action has never been before, and will never be again. But each new moment forms a continuity of movement.

Now, consciousness forms its own continuity as an individuality, through the action of ignorance, and clings, with desperate craving, to this identification. What is that something to which each one clings, hoping that it may be immortal, or that it may conceal the permanent, or that beyond it may lie the eternal?

This something that each one clings to is the consciousness of individuality. This consciousness is composed of many layers of memories, which come into being, or remain present, where there is ignorance, craving, want. Craving, want, tendency in any form, must create conflict between itself and that which provokes it, that is, the object of want; this conflict between craving and the object craved appears in consciousness as individuality. So it is this friction, really, that seeks to perpetuate itself. What we intensely desire to have continue is nothing but this friction, this tension between the various forms of craving and their provoking agents. This friction, this tension, is that consciousness which sustains individuality.“

Let it Be

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Thu, 06 Dec 2018 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
“Life is every moment in a state of being born, arising, coming into being.

I have a slight sense of this, sometimes. I don't see that it can be discussed intellectually, either one senses it or one doesn't.

In this arising, coming into being, in this itself there is no continuity, nothing that can be identified as permanent. Life is in constant movement, action; each moment of this action has never been before, and will never be again. But each new moment forms a continuity of movement.

No, I don't grasp the last sentence. How is "a continuity of movement" formed from the continually birth of life? That continual birth must be accompanied by its death also, does it not? Yet obviously there IS continuity. Looking out the window the trees "are still there".

i will not attempt to go further into this quote at the moment.

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Thu, 06 Dec 2018 #3
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2459 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
"But each new moment forms a continuity of movement."

No, I don't grasp the last sentence.

I don't either Clive, but the paragraph that follows might be a continuation of that thought by K: "Now, consciousness forms its own continuity as an individuality, through the action of ignorance, and clings, with desperate craving, to this identification. " So the continuity is caused by the 'self'. Perhaps that's what K means....not sure.

Let it Be

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Thu, 06 Dec 2018 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
" So the continuity is caused by the 'self'. Perhaps that's what K means....not sure.

Thinking it over yesterday, this is what I came to also. In fact it seems very likely that the self was 'created' by thought in order to provide continuity. Or the semblance of continuity. It is interesting, isn't it, that a thing that has no actual existence can provide continuity?

Certainly thought has no continuity of its own. Thoughts just come and go, come and go.

I am asking the question exactly how does thought's projection of an imaginary entity (the self) bring about a sense of continuity. And to what extent, if any, is this continuity 'real' (a difficult word in itself). It seems to answer these questions, we have to understand psychological time.

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Thu, 06 Dec 2018 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
“Life is every moment in a state of being born, arising, coming into being. In this arising, coming into being, in this itself there is no continuity, nothing that can be identified as permanent. Life is in constant movement, action; each moment of this action has never been before, and will never be again. But each new moment forms a continuity of movement.

How? If "each moment of this action has never been before", where is the 'memory', if that word can be used, that can create a continuity?

I am not really expecting any answers to this question, perhaps it is part of the mystery of the universe, which knowledge, or even human perception, can never capture.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Thu, 06 Dec 2018.

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Fri, 07 Dec 2018 #6
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am asking the question exactly how does thought's projection of an imaginary entity (the self) bring about a sense of continuity.

Hi Clive

If you look at yourself the answer is there, no?

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Fri, 07 Dec 2018 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
If you look at yourself the answer is there, no?

If the answer is not there, then I don't know where it would be!

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Fri, 04 Jan 2019 #8
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 668 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote, quoting K:
"But each new moment forms a continuity of movement."

Clive Elwell wrote:

No, I don't grasp the last sentence.

Tom Paine wrote:

I don't either Clive

As I see it, this is the mystery of time which is not the product of thought, the mystery of creation, the mystery of eternity if I can put it that way.

When I move my hand for example, there is NO continuity and "at the same time" there IS a continuity. The flowing MOVEMENT is seen, not separate images of each fleeting moment. The MOVEMENT is seen even though the previous position of the hand at each present moment disappears. So it is with the movement of the whole universe, life, planets, galaxies, and so on.


OZYMANDIAS of EGYPT (by Percy Bysshe Shelley)

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Tom Paine wrote further quoting K:
Now, consciousness forms its own continuity as an individuality, through the action of ignorance, and clings, with desperate craving, to this identification. What is that something to which each one clings, hoping that it may be immortal, or that it may conceal the permanent, or that beyond it may lie the eternal?

This something that each one clings to is the consciousness of individuality. This consciousness is composed of many layers of memories, which come into being, or remain present, where there is ignorance, craving, want. Craving, want, tendency in any form, must create conflict between itself and that which provokes it, that is, the object of want; this conflict between craving and the object craved appears in consciousness as individuality. So it is this friction, really, that seeks to perpetuate itself. What we intensely desire to have continue is nothing but this friction, this tension between the various forms of craving and their provoking agents. This friction, this tension, is that consciousness which sustains individuality.“

This post was last updated by Huguette . Fri, 04 Jan 2019.

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Sun, 06 Jan 2019 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
When I move my hand for example, there is NO continuity and "at the same time" there IS a continuity. The flowing MOVEMENT is seen, not separate images of each fleeting moment.

I find this a useful analogy. But what is a "fleeting moment", Huguette? The concept of "a moment" seems in contradiction to "continuity".

As far as I know, science cannot give a single example of anything static, stationary, still, in the Universe. I may be wrong, but I think there is only change, flow.

Are you suggesting, Huguette, that the brain has evolved to give the impression of flowing movement in its perceptions, or that this is intrinsic to the universe itself?

Huguette . wrote:
The MOVEMENT is seen even though the previous position of the hand at each present moment disappears.

This is truly fascinating. This disappearance is NECESSARY to perception, isn't it? Which would be an example of how dying in an intrinsic part of living?

Feeling the touch of this.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Sun, 06 Jan 2019.

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #10
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 668 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The concept of "a moment" seems in contradiction to "continuity".

That’s why I spoke of the mystery of time which is not thought. There IS the continuity in the time we know, time which is put together by memory/thought. And there is NO continuity in the life which is “every moment arising, coming into being [...] in this itself there is no continuity”. At the same time, although “each moment of this action has never been before, and will never be again [...] each new moment forms a continuity of movement.” That is, each new moment is not unrelated to the previous and following moments, even though each new moment is the only actual moment. The Earth moves around the Sun, day follows night. The child moves through birth. The bird flies across the sky. The lion chases the antelope. And so on. So we are left with the mystery of it all. Here thought can understand that it is limited.

There are all the remembered moments but the new moment, is not memory. The living moment is fleeting, ungraspable by the mind as water is ungraspable by the hand. It is not measurable in terms of time. We can’t say that the new moment lasts an hour, a second, a millisecond, a jiffy, etc.

And memory has its place, memory assembles the living moments into the necessary illusion of a continuous movement of time which allows us to live, act, relate. Without memory, we would be in a state of dementia, wouldn’t we? But out of necessary memory, "consciousness forms its own continuity as an individuality, through the action of ignorance, and clings, with desperate craving, to this identification." To me, all this is part of self-understanding.

Isn’t “every moment arising, coming into being” what eternity and creation mean? We know all too well the temporal life of ignorance, disorder and conflict. And “at the same time” there is this “thing” we call eternity. Can we turn our faces not only to the temporal in which we must live, act and relate but also, as K said, towards eternity?

Looking again at the full quote at #1, isn’t K pointing to the process by which the movement of memory forms the necessary illusion of continuity in time? So it is seen that memory in itself is not a problem, not divisive. Isn’t it where thought then takes the necessary illusion as actual reality, where thought then gives pre-eminence to itself out of "ignorance, craving, want" - isn’t that the process by which thought/memory “forms its own continuity as an individuality”?

Clive Elwell wrote:
This disappearance is NECESSARY to perception, isn't it? Which would be an example of how dying in an intrinsic part of living?

This is interesting. I hadn’t thought of that.


Here is the quote from #1 again for convenience:

“Life is every moment in a state of being born, arising, coming into being. In this arising, coming into being, in this itself there is no continuity, nothing that can be identified as permanent. Life is in constant movement, action; each moment of this action has never been before, and will never be again. But each new moment forms a continuity of movement.

Now, consciousness forms its own continuity as an individuality, through the action of ignorance, and clings, with desperate craving, to this identification. What is that something to which each one clings, hoping that it may be immortal, or that it may conceal the permanent, or that beyond it may lie the eternal?

This something that each one clings to is the consciousness of individuality. This consciousness is composed of many layers of memories, which come into being, or remain present, where there is ignorance, craving, want. Craving, want, tendency in any form, must create conflict between itself and that which provokes it, that is, the object of want; this conflict between craving and the object craved appears in consciousness as individuality. So it is this friction, really, that seeks to perpetuate itself. What we intensely desire to have continue is nothing but this friction, this tension between the various forms of craving and their provoking agents. This friction, this tension, is that consciousness which sustains individuality.“

This post was last updated by Huguette . Mon, 07 Jan 2019.

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #11
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 668 posts in this forum Offline

Clve wrote:
This disappearance is NECESSARY to perception, isn't it? Which would be an example of how dying in an intrinsic part of living?

Huguette . wrote:
This is interesting. I hadn’t thought of that.

interesting .... dumbfounding, striking, startling .....

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #12
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 804 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
So it is seen that memory in itself is not a problem, not divisive. Isn’t it where thought then takes the necessary illusion as actual reality, where thought then gives pre-eminence to itself out of "ignorance, craving, want" - isn’t that the process by which thought/memory “forms its own continuity as an individuality”?

Clive Elwell wrote:

This disappearance is NECESSARY to perception, isn't it? Which would be an example of how dying in an intrinsic part of living?

This is interesting. I hadn’t thought of that.

Huguette . wrote:
interesting .... dumbfounding, striking, startling .....

Yes! New light on an everlasting presence.

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, 07 Jan 2019 #13
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Do we just assume that there is some kind of 'goodness' behind all this 'existence'? Like some unquestioned hope that we're not just 'lambs' being fattened for some cosmic 'slaughter'?... What do we think K. meant when he said "the house is burning"?

I suppose one interpretation is, that the house is burning and if we don't get out, we'll perish...

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 07 Jan 2019.

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

I have a strong feeling that life is as you describe in the movement of the hand, Huguette. It does not actually go through a series of static states, there is actually only constant change. So it is wrong to do as thought does, reduce this movement to a series of images.

"Constant change" implies constant rebirth.

What do I mean by “life”? My perceptions really. Watching the tall birch tree outside, through the window. Because of the breeze, its movement is obvious. While the glass on the table seems immovable, static, and only my knowledge tells me its molecules are in constant rapid vibration. But if I waited long enough, change would come to it eventually. And in fact both it and myself are engaged in a complex series of motions, relative to the plants, the stars, the galaxies……..

Does the mind NEED, in some circumstances, to reduce all this movement to the apparently, relative, static?

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I suppose one interpretation is, that the house is burning and if we don't get out, we'll perish...

This reminds me of something Eckhart Tolle said;

"Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don't get off, you will go down with it"

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #16
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
This reminds me of something Eckhart Tolle said;

What do you think Clive the consequences of the 'house is burning' will be? I don't know Eckhart Tolle aside from the name.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Mon, 07 Jan 2019.

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Do we just assume that there is some kind of 'goodness' behind all this 'existence'?

I suppose that assumption is there in me, rightly or wrongly. It can be questioned.

Dan McDermott wrote:
What do we think K. meant when he said "the house is burning"?

I take that to mean that society is collapsing all around us. it seems truer now than when K used to say it, many decades ago. Of course what he was really getting at was the human mind is collapsing, deteriorating.

Dan McDermott wrote:
I suppose one interpretation is, that the house is burning and if we don't get out, we'll perish...

This reminds me of something Eckhart Tolle said;

"Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don't get off, you will go down with it"

Does "getting off" or "getting out" give some sort of guarantee that we won't be affected by the destructive forces of the human world? I doubt it. No guarantee we won't starve, be injured, killed, etc. So what DOES it mean, what are the consequences of "getting off" - which i take to be the same as "stepping out of the stream of human consciousness"

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 #18
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
So what DOES it mean, what are the consequences of "getting off" - which i take to be the same as "stepping out of the stream of human consciousness"

I have been all day, for whatever reason, with the question of why we are here (on earth). What is the function, if any, that we 'serve'? Are we necessary in some way that we don't understand...energy wise? It led me to ask myself about this whole 'setup' here...who or what could come up with something as bizarre and seemingly cruel, where animated creatures tear each other apart in order to eat each other... We are on this forum reasonable, seemingly decent people, would any one here come up with what we find ourselves in? This 'predator/prey' arrangement? This was the best that whatever or whoever could come up with?..And along comes K and a few others telling us that behind all this millennia of bloodshed and pain is actually Love (with a capital L), Compassion and Intelligence...Doesn't it give one pause?

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Tue, 08 Jan 2019 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I have been all day, for whatever reason, with the question of why we are here (on earth). What is the function, if any, that we 'serve'? Are we necessary in some way that we don't understand...energy wise?

How about the answer by Carl Sagon?:

"We are a way for the cosmos to know itself"

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Tue, 08 Jan 2019 #20
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
"We are a way for the cosmos to know itself"

I hope it's that benign.

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Tue, 08 Jan 2019 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I hope it's that benign.

Dan, this seems to me rather a cryptic and dark comment. Would you say what is on your mind, if it still is?

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Tue, 08 Jan 2019 #22
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote #18:
What is the function, if any, that we 'serve'?

K is very clear on that.

"Surely freedom from the self is the true function of man"

But it comes to me that tying this in with "the wrong turn", is then the function merely to undo a mistake that once occurred?

Perhaps it is, at least that is the immediate function. Other functions might become clear in the unlikely event that we make this correction.

Dan McDermott wrote:
It led me to ask myself about this whole 'setup' here...who or what could come up with something as bizarre and seemingly cruel, where animated creatures tear each other apart in order to eat each other..

Dan, this brutality, violence, conflict that you describe - does it only appear when the perspective is fragmented? I am at the moment referring to animal behaviour.

From the perspective of life as a whole, how does it appear? Hmm, I don't think I am conveying what I mean, and I'm trying to find an analogy, but failing.

Is predation just energy being absorbed into energy, by energy?

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Tue, 08 Jan 2019 #23
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
What do you think Clive the consequences of the 'house is burning' will be?

Gosh Dan, I am not the Delphic Oracle, as K used to say :-). But there is very little reason to smile, things look very dark, very dire, indeed. By 'things' I mean the present and the future. Not that our past has not been dark!

K was essentially referring to the human mind, was he not? That is where the true crisis lies, that is the continual tinder for the external fires. To me, the human mind looks to be in a terrible state. This statement can be backed up statistically, but also, with more impact, in so many people that I come into non-trivial contact with. There is so much unhappiness, so much depression, so much confusion. These things are like an infinite well. And this abject deterioration of the mind is becoming apparent at younger and younger ages. Suicidal thoughts in very young children. An earlier and earlier realisation that there is no meaning in the world we have created. All attempts to create meaning are hollow, and are failing.

Where are we heading, what will the consequences be, you ask? More and more fragmentation, both inner (if more is possible) and outer. Amazingly, nationalism flourishes more and more. More authoritarian leaders appearing. More "mental illness", so called, with more and more people being unable to even function without help in society.. The slow, or sudden collapse of society, civilization. The unpredictable effects of new and uncontrolled technology. There are so many crises it is hard to predict which will hit us hard the first.

I cannot see any reasonable basis for any sort of optimism. Yet we have to live in this world, we have to face its challenges, without burying our head in the sand, as most people are doing.

You know what K said, if there is any hope, it lies in the transformation of a few individuals.

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Wed, 09 Jan 2019 #24
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Dan, this brutality, violence, conflict that you describe - does it only appear when the perspective is fragmented? I am at the moment referring to animal behavior.

I know what you mean, sort of an exchange of energy but we see it as this bloody violence...but couldn't this 'energy exchange' been done differently rather than 'tooth and claw'?...couldn't the vanquishing be done with a kiss or a soft stroke of the hand (or paw) why all this incredible violence, bloodshed and pain...if you see what I mean. Is there 'intelligence' behind the world we were born into? It seems like a sort of crazy house. I mean back before we even showed up there were these massive creatures doing violence, fighting against one another, big teeth, armor plating etc. My question is simple: what's going on here and why are we involved?

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Wed, 09 Jan 2019 #25
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 668 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
couldn't this 'energy exchange' been done differently rather than 'tooth and claw'?...couldn't the vanquishing be done with a kiss or a soft stroke of the hand (or paw) why all this incredible violence, bloodshed and pain...if you see what I mean. Is there 'intelligence' behind the world we were born into?

I understand how you feel, Dan. I also cannot be indifferent or nonchalant when I see photos of wildlife killing their prey … or of a starving or mortally wounded lion or other predator slowly and painfully dying. Of course, we human beings also are prey not only to natural predators but to the brutal animals that human beings can be. Some of that human brutality is raw and obvious, and some is done under cover of wealth, sophistication, deceit, law-and-order, and so on. We are also “prey” to the brutality of earthquakes, tsunamis, and so on, about which we also can do nothing. And we are not indifferent or nonchalant about any of it.

Nonetheless, I see order in the universe - from the smallest particles and forms of life to the largest. This is not meant as a “comfort” or a “justification” for the suffering we witness. It is a fact (to me) that there IS order and, within that order, there is disorder and terrible suffering. And order is the outcome of intelligence, and intelligence is also love. The mind cannot reconcile it. The mind cannot accept it. The mind rebels against it.

So this “predator/prey arrangement” - this natural order in nature - is one more thing that mind cannot comprehend. It is another source of pain - as is too self's inability to “become” something else, to change myself or others.

And I think all suffering, fear, sorrow, pain, discontent, “must” be approached “through” awareness, alertness, attention.

By “must be approached”, I don’t mean “should”, I don't mean a legal or moral obligation. I mean “must” as part of the natural order, as in “what goes up must come down”. Awareness is part of the natural order of intelligence that is beyond the intellect.

And by “through awareness”, I don’t mean using awareness as a method, a means or a technique. I mean that right action requires awareness, and wrong action comes "through" effort or desire. Awareness is the natural order acting; and effort and desire are a corruption of the natural order. As I see it.

So to stay with the pain of life - whatever it is - BE WITH it, not turn away from it, not make efforts to escape, explain or analyze it … is all one can “do” where the intellect (me, you, they) - being limited - cannot answer it. The intellect itself sees that it is limited. The limitation is SEEN in the fact that NONE of our efforts, escapes and explanations have until now been capable of ending the endless suffering, pain and discontent. Over and over, the intellect fails. And over and over, the intellect repeats its useless, ineffective actions. To face the pain means awareness and awareness IS complete action without effort.

I don’t know if this makes sense.

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Wed, 09 Jan 2019 #26
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Over and over, the intellect fails. And over and over, the intellect repeats its useless, ineffective actions. To face the pain means awareness and awareness IS complete action without effort.

Thanks for your response. It is strange to realize that one does not know what is going on here! And that one can't know. The limitation of how far the intellect can reach is a fact. Not in the manipulation of the realm of the material, there it seems to have no bounds but in the psychological, it cannot answer the questions: "where did I come from, why am I here, where am I going?" etc. There is a freedom in realizing that fact. Only theorizing is possible but not 'knowing'. If that is understood then the 'search' for those answers can end. And then you look around and see what the power of 'belief' and opinion is, how it fills in what should be a vacuum, creating myths of 'afterlives', karma, etc. to satisfy this need to 'know'. So my question of what force or forces in the universe had a part in creating the 'arrangement' that we see around us, what reason there is (if any) that is behind this 'appearance' of pain and suffering cannot be answered. We don't and can't see the whole 'picture'. Only the 'part' that we are...

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Wed, 09 Jan 2019 #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
There is a freedom in realizing that fact.

Yes, there is great freedom in realising that the mind simply cannot answer many of the questions that it is struggling with.
And this extends to all the religious, political, social, economic efforts that are being made to resolve the human problems. in fact, might it be true to say that all this effort IS the problem? All effort generally boils down to conforming some pattern, doesn't it?

This realisation, of the limitation of the mind, and when its activity is simply not appropriate, is an essential part of self-understanding, is it not?

I would like to present the following excerpt:

Throughout the world there is immense poverty, as in Asia, and enormous wealth, as in this country; there is cruelty, suffering, injustice, a sense of living in which there is no love. Seeing all this, what is one to do? What is the true approach to these innumerable problems? Religions everywhere have emphasized self-improvement, the cultivation of virtue, the acceptance of authority, the following of certain dogmas, beliefs, the making of great effort to conform. Not only religiously, but also socially and politically, there is the constant urge of self-improvement: I must be more noble, more gentle, more considerate, less violent. Society, with the help of religion, has brought about a culture of self-improvement in the widest sense of that word. That is what each one of us is trying to do all the time: we are trying to improve ourselves, which implies effort, discipline, conformity, competition, acceptance of authority, a sense of security, the justification of ambition. And self-improvement does produce certain obvious results, it makes one more socially inclined; it has social significance and no more, for self-improvement does not reveal the ultimate reality. I think it is very important to understand this.
The religions that we have do not help us to understand that which is the real, because they are essentially based, not on the abandonment of the self, but on the improvement, the refinement of the self, which is the continuity of the self in different forms. It is only the very few who break away from society, not the outward trappings of society, but from all the implications of a society which is based on acquisitiveness, on envy, on comparison, competition. This society conditions the mind to a particular pattern of thought, the pattern of self-improvement, self-adjustment, self-sacrifice, and only those who are capable of breaking away from all conditioning can discover that which is not measurable by the mind.
Now, what do we mean by effort? We are all making effort, our social pattern is based on the effort to acquire, to understand more, to have more knowledge, and from that background of knowledge, to act. There is always an effort of self-improvement, of self-adjustment, of correction, this drive to fulfil, with its frustrations, fears and miseries. According to this pattern, which we all know and of which we are a part, it is perfectly justified to be ambitious, to compete, to be envious, to pursue a particular result; and our society, whether in America, in Europe, or in India, is essentially based on that.
So does society, does culture in this widest sense, help the individual to find truth? Or is society detrimental to man, preventing him from discovering that which is truth? Surely, society as we know it, this culture in which we live and function, helps man to conform to a particular pattern, to be respectable, and it is the product of many wills. We have created this society, it has not come into being by itself. And does this society help the individual to find that which is truth, God - what name you will, the words do not matter - , or must the individual set aside totally the culture, the values of society, to find that which is truth? Which does not mean - please let us remember this very clearly - that he becomes antisocial, does what he likes. On the contrary.
The present social structure is based on envy, on acquisitiveness, in which is implied conformity, acceptance of authority, the perpetual fulfilment of ambition, which is essentially the self, the me' striving to become something. Out of this stuff society is made, and its culture - the pleasant and the unpleasant, the beautiful and the ugly, the whole field of social endeavour - conditions the mind. You are the result of society. If you were born and trained in Russia through their particular form of education, you would deny God, you would accept certain patterns, as here you accept certain other patterns. Here you believe in God, you would be horrified if you did not; you would not be respectable.
So everywhere society is conditioning the individual, and this conditioning takes the form of self-improvement, which is really the perpetuation of the
me', the ego, in different forms. Self-improvement may be gross, or it may be very very refined, when it becomes the practice of virtue, goodness, the so-called love of one's neighbour, but essentially it is the continuance of the `me', which is a product of the conditioning influences of society. All your endeavour has gone into becoming something, either here, if you can make it, or if not, in another world; but it is the same urge, the same drive to maintain and continue the self.

From Ojai 1955 talk 2

http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/1955/1955-08-07-jiddu-krishnamurti-2nd-public-talk

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Fri, 11 Jan 2019 #28
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I know what you mean, sort of an exchange of energy but we see it as this bloody violence...but couldn't this 'energy exchange' been done differently rather than 'tooth and claw'?..

Dan
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/climate-change-could-be-breaking-a-natural-coral-reef-thermostat/

This is a wonderful acount of how coral reefs, when they get too warm, release a gas (DMS) which:

1) creates an aeroosol layer just above the water which scatters sunlight
2)helps to form low clouds that shade the water
both effects cooling the water around the reef.

I see this as a beautiful example of the order of nature (which of course man is disrupting, as the article describes). And it came to me, the individual coral creatures , although they play a part in the process, are not important at all in the whole picture. So perhaps an answer to your question, Dan (although I know you wrote you are not longer looking for an answer with the mind) is that the individual of any species has no importance?

Perhaps mentally the individual does not even exist?

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Sat, 12 Jan 2019 #29
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1164 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Perhaps mentally the individual does not even exist?

Yes. Maybe only in our own mind...

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Sat, 12 Jan 2019 #30
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 4902 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
It is a fact (to me) that there IS order and, within that order, there is disorder and terrible suffering. And order is the outcome of intelligence, and intelligence is also love. The mind cannot reconcile it. The mind cannot accept it. The mind rebels against it.

But I still do not understand how disorder can be contained in order. Although I see it as a fact - the most obvious example is this terrible disorder of mankind in such a beautifully orderly universe. It is tempting to say that disorder must be in the process of becoming order, but that does not seem right. How can disorder become order, any more than confusion can become clarity?

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