Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What are actually the K-Teachings ?


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Tue, 20 Jun 2017 #631
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

MEDITATION AND SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS

He was a 'sannyasi', a wandering monk, but not of any particular order, and he spoke of himself as of a third person. While he was still young he had renounced the world and its ways and had wandered all over the country, staying with some of the well known religious teachers, talking with them and following their peculiar disciplines and rituals. He had fasted for many a day, lived in solitude among the mountains, and done most of the things that sannyasis are supposed to do. Then one day he had decided to abandon all these practices, rituals and disciplines as being vain and without much significance, and had gone off into some faraway mountain village, where he had spent many years in deep contemplation. The usual thing had happened, he said with a smile, and he in his turn had become well known and had had a large following of disciples to whom he taught simple things. He had read the ancient Sanskrit literature, and now that too he had put away. Although it was necessary to describe briefly what his life had been, he added, that was not the main thing for which he had come.

*

Q: Above all virtue, self-sacrifice, and the action of dispassionate help, is meditation. Without meditation, knowledge and action become a wearisome burden with very little meaning; but few know what meditation is. If you are willing, we must talk this over. In meditation it has been the experience of the speaker to reach different states of consciousness; he has had the experiences that all aspiring human beings sooner or later go through, the visions embodying Krishna, Christ, Buddha. They are the outcome of one’s own thought and education, and of what maybe called one’s cultural (background) . There are visions, experiences and powers of many different varieties. Unfortunately, most seekers are caught in the net of their own thought and desire, even some of the greatest exponents of truth. Having the power of healing and the gift of words, they become prisoners to their own capacities and experiences. The speaker himself has passed through these experiences and to the best of his ability has understood and gone beyond them - at least, let us hope so. What then is meditation?

K: Surely, in considering meditation, (the mental) effort ( to concentrate ?) and the 'maker of effort' must be understood. 'Good' effort and 'wrong' effort are both (time ?) binding, and ( the action of ?) meditation is the breaking of all bondage; it is a state of freedom, but not from anything. Meditation is allso the breaking down of the 'experiencer' (mental entity ?) , which cannot be done consciously. If the experiencer is broken down consciously, then there is a strengthening of the will, which is also a part of (self-) consciousness. Our problem, then, is concerned with the whole process of consciousness, and not with one part of it, small or great, dominant or subservient.

Q: What you say seems to be true. The ways of ( the self-centred ) consciousness are profound, deceptive and contradictory. It is only through dispassionate observation and careful study that this tangle can be unravelled and order can prevail. But if one may inquire, what is it that will bring peace, stillness to this consciousness?

K: Nothing (Not-a-thing ?) . Surely, the (self-centred ) mind is an instrument that has been put together, it is the fabric of time, and it can only think in terms of result, of achievement, of something to be gained or avoided.

Q: That is so. It is being stated that as long as this mind is active, choosing, seeking, experiencing, there must be the maker of effort who creates his own (self-) image, calling it by different names, and this is the net in which thought is caught.

K: ( The self-centred process of ?) thought itself is the maker of the net; thought is the net. Thought is (time) binding; and can only lead to the vast expanse of time, the field in which knowledge, action, virtue, have importance. However refined or simplified, thinking cannot breakdown all (self-centred) thought. ( Self-) consciousness as the 'experiencer', the 'observer', the 'chooser', or 'the will', must come to an end (in meditation ?) , voluntarily and happily, without any hope of reward. The 'seeker' (self-conscious entity ) ceases (to exist ?) in meditation. Silence of the mind cannot be brought about through the action of will. There is silence when 'will' ceases. This is (also part of ?) meditation. ( The unfolding of ?) Reality cannot be sought after; it 'is' ( happening ?) when the 'seeker' is not.

( In a nutshell:) ( The self-centred ?) mind is (the result of ?) time, and (its temporal ) thinking cannot uncover the Measureless.

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Tue, 20 Jun 2017 #632
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
Now, about what you mention Krishnamurti said when he was about to die, I think he said it when S Forbes was there recording or something

Actually, Jess, K dictated it word for word to Mary Cadogan a few days before his passing. And he was fair enough to mention that he was talking about people he met personally. As for the 'Forbes' character K made him take an oath ( a few months before) that he will not change or interpret the Teachings. Serves him well !

This post was last updated by John Raica Tue, 20 Jun 2017.

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #633
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

PSYCHANALYSIS AND THE ( HOLISTIC SOLUTION OF THE) HUMAN PROBLEM

As a professional psychiatrist and psychanalyst he had been in practice for a number of years and had many cures to his credit. He worked in a hospital as well as in his private office. His prosperous patients had made him prosperous too, with expensive cars, a country house, and all the rest of it. He had studied mesmerism, and tentatively practiced hypnosis on some of his patients.

*

Q: It is a very curious thing how, during the hypnotic state, people will freely and easily speak of their hidden compulsions and responses, and every time a patient is put under hypnosis I feel the strangeness of it. Hypnosis may or may not be a short cut, and I don’t feel it is justified except in certain stubborn cases. It takes a long period to cure a patient, generally several months, and it is a pretty tiring business. Some time ago, a patient of mine whom I had been treating for a number of months came to see me. By no means a stupid woman, she was well read and had wide interests; and with considerable excitement and a smile which I had not seen for a long time, she told me that she had been persuaded by a friend to attend some of your talks. It appeared that during the talks she felt herself being released from her depressions, which were rather serious. She said that the first talk had quite bewildered her. The thoughts and the words were new to her and seemed contradictory, and she did not want to attend the second talk; but her friend explained that this often happened, and that she should listen to several talks before making up her mind. She finally went to all of them, and as I say, she felt a sense of release. What you said seemed to touch ( or activate ?) certain points in her consciousness, and without making any effort to be free from her frustrations and depressions, she found that they were gone; they had simply ceased to exist. This was some months ago. I saw her again the other day, and those depressions have certainly cleared up; she is normal and happy, especially in her relationship with her family, and things seem to be all right.

Thanks to this patient, I have read some of your teachings, and what I really want to talk over with you is this: is there a way or a method by which we can quickly get at the root of all this human misery? Our present techniques take ( a lot of) time and patient investigation.

K: Sir, if one may ask, what is it that you are trying to do with your patients

Q: Stated simply, we try to help them to overcome their difficulties, depressions, and so on, in order that they may fit into society.

K: Do you think it is very important to help people to fit into this (psychologically ?) corrupt mentality ?

Q: The reformation of society is not our business. Our business is to help the patient to adjust himself to his existing surrounding and be a more happy and useful citizen. We are not trying to create 'super-normal' people. I don’t think that is our function.

K: If I may ask, is it not also (implied in the 'holistic' requirements of ) your function to bring about a totally new order (within human consciousness ?) , a (better) world in which there will be no wars, no antagonism, no urge to compete, and so on? Do not all these ( materialistic ) urges and compulsions bring about a social environment which develops (psychologically disturbed or ?) 'abnormal' people? If one is concerned only with 'helping' individuals conform to the existing social pattern, is one not maintaining the very causes that make for frustration misery and destruction?

Q: There is certainly something in what you say but as psychanalists I don’t think we are prepared (or paid ?) to go so deeply into the whole causation of human misery.

K: Then it seems, sir, that you are concerned, not with the total development of man, but only with one particular part of his total consciousness. Healing that part may be necessary, but without understanding the total process of man, we may cause other forms of disease. Surely, this is an obvious fact that must be taken into consideration, not merely by ( the highly paid) specialists, but by each one of us.

Q: You are leading into very deep issues to which I am not accustomed, and I find myself beyond my depth. I have thought only vaguely about what we are actually trying to accomplish with our patients apart from the usual procedure. You see, most of us have neither the inclination nor the time to study all this; but I suppose we really ought to if we want to free ourselves and help our patients to be free from the (psychological) confusion and misery (generated by ) modern civilization.

K: The (psychological ?) problems of the individual are (reflected in) the world’s problems, they are not two separate processes. The total consciousness of man is concerned with God, with death, with leading a right and happy livelihood with children and their education, with war and peace. Without understanding all this, there can be no healing of (the human psyche ?)

Q: I think very few of us are capable of such wide and deep investigation. We are just trained to become specialists, technicians, which has its uses, but unfortunately that is the end of us. Whether his specialty is the heart or a more complex one , each specialist builds his own little heaven, and though he may occasionally read something on the side, he remains (stuck there ) till he dies. You are ( holistically) right, but there it is.

But (after this ethical detour ?) I would like to return to my initial question: is there a technique by which we can go directly to the root of our miseries, especially those of the patient and thereby eradicate them quickly?

K: Can ( the pursuit of any 'psycho-) technique' set man free, or is it merely ( 'formatting' his mind in order ?) to achieve a desired end? And this 'desired end', being the opposite of man’s anxieties, fears, frustrations, pressures, is itself the (idealised) outcome of these. The re-action of (pursuing) the 'opposite' (of what is) is not the 'true' action, either in the economic or the psychological world. But apart from (thought's) techniques or methods, there may be a (psychologically integrating ?) factor which will really help man.

Q: What is that?

K: Perhaps it is Love.

This post was last updated by John Raica Wed, 21 Jun 2017.

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Fri, 23 Jun 2017 #634
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

(TEMPORARILY) CLEANSED OF THE PAST

Those flowers were very beautiful, their colours rich and deep and they grew in extraordinary places, on rocks, in the crevices of broken walls, and in the courtyards. They had grown there, wild and free, for untold centuries, and it seemed a sacrilege to tread on them, for they crowded the path; it was their world, and we were strangers, but they did not make one feel that way. There was a peaceful enchantment, gentle and expansive; here you could live timelessly, without a past and a future, for you were one with this whole rapturous world. You were not a human being, a stranger from a different land, but you were those hills, those goats, and the goatherd. You were the sky and the blossoming earth; you were not apart from it, you were of it. But you were not ( self-) conscious that you were of it, any more than those flowers were. The 'you' who choose, compare, act and seek didn't exist ; you were (one ?) with everything.

*

We were sitting under a tree, and he was telling how, as a young and middle aged man, he had worked in different parts of Europe throughout the two world wars. During the last one he had no home, often went hungry, and was nearly shot for something or other by this or that conquering army. He had spent sleepless and tortured nights in prison, for in his wanderings he had lost his passport, and none would believe his simple statement as to where he was born and to what country he belonged. He spoke several languages, had been an engineer, then in some sort of business, and was now painting. He now had a passport, he said with a smile, and a place to live.

*

Q: There are many like me, people who were destroyed and have come back to life again; I don’t regret it, but somehow I have lost the intimate contact with what one calls (social) 'life'. I am a monk at heart, but outside the prison of a monastery. I am telling you all this to give you a sketch of my background, for in talking things over with you I may get to understand something which has become very vital to me: one day I set out for those hills with my painting things, for I had seen something over there which I wanted to paint. It was fairly early in the morning when I got to the place, and there were a few clouds in the sky. From where I was I could see across the valley to the bright sea. I was enchanted to be alone, and began to paint. I must have been painting for some time, and it was coming along beautifully when I became aware that something was taking place 'inside my head'. I could not go on with my painting, and I sat very still. Sitting there I was aware of an extraordinarily (inner) creative energy. It was something in me, something that was also in those ants and in that restless squirrel ; it was Creation, pure and simple, and the 'things' produced by the mind or by the hand were on the outer fringes of this (innermost source of ) Creation, with little significance. There was a sacredness about it, a benediction. It was the centre of Creation, something uncontaminated, unthought of, and tears were rolling down my cheeks; I was being washed clean of all my past. There was an astonishing silence - not the silence of the night when all things sleep, but a silence in which everything was awake. I must have sat there, motionless, for a very long time, for the sun was in the west; I was a little stiff, one leg had gone to sleep, and I could stand up only with difficulty. I am not exaggerating, sir, but time seemed to have stopped - or rather, there was no time. I had no watch, but several hours must have passed from the moment I put my brush down to the moment I got up. Picking up all my things and carefully putting them in my knapsack, I left, and in that extraordinary state I walked back to my house. All the noises of the small town did not in any way disturb that state, and it lasted for several hours after I got home. When I awoke the next morning, it was completely gone.** I looked at my painting; it was good, but nothing outstanding. Now I am not asking for an explanation, but how does this thing come into being? What are the circumstances necessary for it to be?

K:You are asking this question because you want to experience it again, are you not?

Q: I suppose that is the motive behind my question, but..

K: Please, let us go on from there. What is important (experientially) is that you should not go after it. Greed breeds arrogance, and what is necessary here is ( an authentic inner) humility; there should be innocence, freedom from the memory of past experience, good or bad, pleasant or painful.

Q: Good Lord, you are telling me to forget something which has become of total importance to me. I cannot forget it, nor do I want to

K: Yes, sir, that is the (experiential) difficulty. please listen with patience and insight. What have you now? A 'dead' memory. While it was happening it was a 'living thing' and there was no ‘me’, no clinging (to the psychological) memory of what had been. Your mind was then in a state of innocency, without seeking, asking, or holding; it was free. But now you are seeking and clinging to the dead past.

Oh, yes, it (the memory of it ?) is (as good as ?) 'dead'; your 'remembrance' has destroyed it and is creating the 'conflict of duality' - between 'what has been' and 'what you hope for'. Conflict is death, and you are living with darkness. 'That' thing does happen when the self (-consciousness ) is absent; but the craving for more, strengthens the self and prevents that living Reality.

Q: Then how am I to 'wipe away' this exciting memory?

K: Again, your very question indicates the (lingering) desire to recapture that state, does it not? You want to 'wipe away' (delete ?) the memory of that state in order to experience it further, so your craving still remains, though you are willing to forget what has been.

( In a nutshell:) Your craving for that extraordinary state is similar to that of a man who is addicted to drink or to a drug. What is all-important is that this craving should be (integrated & ) understood and should voluntarily dissolve without resistance, without the action of will.

Q: Do you mean that the very remembering of that state, and my intense urge to experience it again, are preventing something of a similar or perhaps a different nature from happening again ? Must I 'do nothing', consciously or unconsciously, to bring it about?

K: If you really understand (what this 'doing nothing') means in (terms of meditation ?) that is so.

Q: You are asking an almost 'impossible' thing, but one never knows...

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Sat, 24 Jun 2017 #635
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

'POSITIVE' AND 'NEGATIVE' TEACHING

Q: I have read and listened to some of your talks and to me, what you say appears very 'negative'; there is in it no directive, no 'positive' way of life. Your 'negative' attitude, and especially your insistence that there must be freedom from all thought, (can be) very misleading to us westerners, who are active and
industrious by temperament and necessity. What you are teaching is altogether contrary to our way
of life. Our (thoughtful) scientific knowledge, slowly developing since the days of ancient Greece, is now immense.

K: Civilizations may vary according to climate, environment, food and so on, but (the ethical requirements of any humane ) culture throughout the world are fundamentally the same: to be compassionate, to shun evil, to be generous not to be envious, to forgive, and so on. Without these any civilization will disintegrate or be destroyed.
Knowledge may be acquired by the so-called backward peoples, they can very soon learn the
‘knowhow’ of the West; they too can be warmongers, generals, lawyers, policemen, tyrants, with concentration camps and all the rest of it. But (a humanistic) culture is an entirely different matter and the Love of God and the freedom of man are not so easily come by and without these, any welfare (society) doesn’t have too much meaning.

Q: You are right in that, sir, but I wish you would consider what I said about your teachings being 'negative', since I really would like to understand them.

K: Most of us are used to 'being told what to do'. The giving and following of directions is considered to be 'positive' teaching. And to those who are conditioned to follow, the truth that (any psychological) "following is evil" seems negative, destructive. Truth is (seen through) the negation of the false, not (in following an idealised?) opposite of the false. ( The direct perception of ?) Truth is entirely different from the 'positive' and the 'negative' (verbal formulations) and a mind which thinks in terms of the opposites can never be aware of it.

Q: I am afraid I do not fully understand all this. Would you please explain a little more?

K: You see, sir, we are used to (follow other people's ) authority and guidance. This urge to be guided (by the herd instinct ?) springs from the desire to be materially secure and also from the desire to be successful. This is one of our deeper urges, is it not?

Q: I think it is, but without protection and security, man would...

K: Please let do not jump to (hasty) conclusions. In (following this) urge to be secure, not only as individuals, but as groups (of interest) and nations , have we not built a world in which (physical, economical or ideological) 'wars' have become the major concern?

Q: I know; my son was killed in a war across the seas.

K: Peace is (essentially ) a state of mind; it is (to be found in ?) the freedom from all ( thought projected) desire to be secure. The "mind & heart" that seeks
security must always live in the shadow of fear.
Our desire is not only for material security, but much
more for inner, psychological security, and it is this desire to be inwardly secure through beliefs , through a nation, that creates limiting and so conflicting groups and ideas. This ( subliminal) desire to be secure breeds the following of examples, the worship of success, the authority of leaders, saviours, Masters, gurus, all of which is called 'positive' teaching; but it is really 'thoughtlessness' (mental sloppiness ?) and imitation.

Q: I can see that; but is it not possible to direct or be directed without making oneself or another into your (spiritual ?) authority ?

K: We are ( for the moment) trying to understand (the psychological origins of ?) this urge to be directed, are we not? Is it not the outcome of fear ? Being (psychologically self-enclosed and therefore ?) insecure, and seeing ( a lot of physical) impermanency about one, there is the (instinctive ?) urge to find something secure, permanent. Instead
of ( taking some quality time for ?) understanding what the origin of this ?) fear is, we 'run away' from it into the 'known' - in the comforting formulas of religious teachers the reassurances of priests, and so on. So the problem is (safely passed ?) from one generation to another.

Now, if one would (decide to finally ?) solve this (ages old cultural ) 'problem', one must explore and understand the root of it. While the so-called 'positive' teachings, the 'what-to-think' of all religions, including Communism, gives continuity to fear; so (in this area the ?) 'positive' teaching is (psychologically unproductive ?)

Q: I am beginning to see what your approach is...

K: It is not a 'personal' approach; there is no personal approach to ( the perception of ?) truth, any more than there is to the discovery of scientific 'facts'.

Q: I see, but I would like to go back to the point
which I raised earlier. Since most of us have been educated ( programmed ?) 'what to think' , will it not add more confusion what you keep on saying that all thought is conditioned and that one must go beyond all thought?

K: To most of us, 'thinking' is extraordinarily important; but (transformationally-wise ?) is it? Thought is the result of (what has been already) 'known', therefore it cannot fathom the Unknown, the Unknowable. Is not thought (originating in our) desire for material necessities, or for the highest spiritual goal? We are talking about (the self-centred ?) thinking as it operates in our daily life, in our everyday contacts and responses. To survive, we are forced to 'think'. Thinking is a process of (temporal) survival, whether of the individual or of a nation.

( In a nutshell: ) Our everyday thinking, which is desire in both its lowest and its highest form, must ever be self-enclosing, and conditioning.

Q: In this (basic ?) sense you are giving to the word ‘thinking’, I suppose it is. But cannot not (a thinking based on objective ) knowledge help to break down this conditioning ?

K: Does it (inwardly ) ? We have accumulated (tons of ?) 'knowledge' about so many aspects of life - medicine, war, law, science - and there is at least some knowledge of ourselves, of the workings of our own consciousness. With all this vast store of information, are we (as of now ?) free from sorrow, war, hate? Can our 'centre' (of self-interest ?) which breeds antagonism, and conflicts be radically transformed through ( the usual process of ?) knowledge?
If through ( the rational activity of ?) knowledge our (self-centredness ?) is changed into 'love', then it is not Love. Such change is merely another form of self-protective (mental ?) convenience.

Q: I don’t follow this at all, if I may say so.

K: ( To recap:) (The usual activity of ) thought is the response of 'what has been' (of the 'known' ?) , the response of our ( personal & collective ?) memory - our traditions, experiences, and the (mental) reaction to any new experience is the outcome of the past; so ( any new ?) experience is always strengthening the past. The (thinking) mind is the result of the past, of time; thought is the product
of many 'yesterdays'. When thought seeks to change itself, trying to 'be this' or 'not to be that', it
merely perpetuates itself under a different name.

Being the product of the 'known', thought can never
experience the unknown; being the result of ( all our evolution in ?) time, it can never understand the Timeless (dimension of Reality ?) , the Eternal.
( In the context of a time-free Meditation ?) thought must cease for the Real to be.

(In a nutshell:) We are so (subliminally ?) afraid to lose 'what we think we have' , that we never go into these things very deeply. We look at the surface of ourselves and repeat words and phrases that have very little significance; so we remain petty, and breed antagonism as thoughtlessly as we breed children.

Q: As you said, we are thoughtless in our seeming thoughtfulness. I shall come again if I may.

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Sat, 24 Jun 2017 #636
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
I would say that compassion has to do with ethics and aesthetics has to do with beauty.

Hi Jess,

When 'compassion for all' is understood by the 'self', it becomes 'compassion for the select' (or none). When 'beauty of all things' is filtered through the 'self', it narrows it down to 'individual', cultural, 'taste'? The 'origins' of compassion can be seen among the animals and their familial relations. "Beauty' as a concept, seems a particularly human idea, though in nature the colorful plumage, the dazzling flowers, the elaborate nest building etc, function as a means of 'attraction'.

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Sat, 24 Jun 2017 #637
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
it's definitely up to our 'less than select' generation to take charge - probably those very people for whom the Teachings were meant in the first place

Hi John

I can't say for sure but I can guess that having wealth, success, prominence in the society, etc. could be a possible 'impediment' to seeing yourself as "being as nothing' (no-thing)

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 24 Jun 2017.

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Sat, 24 Jun 2017 #638
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
but it doesn't mean that it isn't a human feature as well (compassion))

No it certainly is but you were asking about 'origins'. It is striking to watch animals caring, protecting their young and we have inherited that from them and our ancestors. But K. is saying I think, that it's not 'enough'. Compassion can't be limited only to our family and friends, it has turned out to be too destructive,too divisive. Real compassion has no limits nor does love, I think that is his 'message'.

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Sun, 25 Jun 2017 #639
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
if society becomes completely unethical is it bound to destroy itself? I think that's what Krishnamurti is suggesting here.

The 'individual' cannot be "ethical" until s/he is free of self-centered thought. So yes there is no way that a society created by such individuals can be anything but ultimately "destructive" and divisive and violent.

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Sun, 25 Jun 2017 #640
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I can't say for sure but I can guess that having wealth, success, prominence in the society, etc. could be a possible 'impediment' to seeing yourself as "being as nothing' (no-thing)

Well, Dan, I guess you've got a living proof for that no further than in your capital city : why be 'like nothing' when you can afford to be 'something'(Huuuge ?). Unfortunately, our modern sociey runs (psychologically speaking) on 'images'. If your personal 'image' is 'transparent' you're simply not part of the game.

With some hindsight we can see that even K benefited from the 'spiritual image' created for him by the wealthy & industrious "TS people" . And a lot of his mediatic success (in his times) was due to a long series of misunderstandings - people took that projected 'image' for the Representative of Truth himself, ignoring that it's within their own minds & hearts that it all happens (or...not)

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Sun, 25 Jun 2017 #641
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

( continuing to 'unzip' K's Commentaries on Living)

( WHERE DOES ONE GET THE ESSENTIAL 'SPIRITUAL' ) HELP

Is God to be found in churches, or in our hearts? The urge to be (personally ?) comforted breeds illusion; it is this urge which creates churches, temples and mosques. We get lost in them, and the unimportant becomes all-consuming. Truth ( or whatever you will call It ?) , cannot be found by the (self-centred ?) mind; thought cannot go after it; there is no 'path' to it; it cannot be bought through your worship, prayer or sacrifices. The desire for (psychological) comfort, for security, has the power to create every form of illusion. It is only when the ('personal' ?) mind is still that there is a possibility of the coming into (one's) being of the Real.

There were several of us (in the small group dialogue) and B. began by asking whether it is not necessary to have (some ) help if we are to understand this whole messy problem of life. Should there not be a Guide, an Illumined Being who can show us the true path?

*

S: Have we not sufficiently gone into all that during these many years? I for one am not seeking a guru or a teacher.

B: If you are really not seeking help, then why are you here? Do you mean to say that you have put away all desire for guidance?

S: I don’t think I have, and I would like to explore this (blind) urge to seek guidance or help. I do not now
go window-shopping, as it were, running to the various teachers, ancient and modem, as I once did;
but I do need some help, and I would like to know why. And will there ever be a time when I shall no longer
need help?

M: Personally I would not be here if there were no help available from anyone, I have been helped on previous occasions and that is why I am here now. Even though you have pointed out the evils of following, sir, I have been helped by you, and I shall continue to come to your talks and discussions often as I can.

K: Are we seeking evidence of whether we are being helped or not? A doctor, the smile of a child or of a passer-by, a relationship, a leaf blown by the wind, a change of climate, even a (decent ?) teacher or a Guru - all these things can help. There is 'help' (or spiritual support ?) everywhere for the man who is (inwardly awake and ?) alert; but many of us are asleep (unperceptive ?) to everything about us except to a particular Teacher or Book, and that is (part of) our problem. You do pay attention when I say something, do you not? You listen to one whom you
consider to be the (ultimate spiritual ?) authority, and are not alert when others speak.

M: Because I have found that what you say generally has significance, so I listen to you attentively. When another says something it is often a mere platitude, or perhaps I myself am dull. The point is, it helps me to listen to you, so why shouldn’t I? I shall still come as often as I can manage it.

K: Consciously or unconsciously you may give me your love, your compassion, you may help me to understand my problems; but why do I insist that you are the only source of help, the only Saviour?

I: You are not really saying that we should not seek help, but you are asking us why we give importance to the one who helps, making of him our authority. Isn’t that it?

K: I am also asking why you seek (spiritual) help (outwardly) . When one seeks help, what is the urge behind it? Is it really (the experiential) 'help', that one wants, or an (easy way of) escape, a consolation?
What is it that we are seeking?

B: There are many kinds of help. From the domestic servant to the most eminent surgeon,
from the high school teacher to the greatest scientist, they all give some kind of 'help'. In any
civilization help is necessary, not only of the ordinary kind, but also the guidance of a spiritual teacher
who has attained enlightenment and helps to bring order and peace to man.

K: Please let us put aside (these cultural ) generalities and consider what ( the spiritual) guidance or help means to each one of us. Does it not imply the resolving of our personal difficulties, pains, sorrows? If you are a 'spiritual' teacher, I come to you in order to be shown (how to create ) a happier way of life, or to be cured of some (karmic ?) disease.
We seek ( to be told how to achieve a peaceful ?) way of life from the 'enlightened' man, (as we expect some reliable ?) knowledge or information from the 'learned' (guy) .

We all want to 'achieve' (someting lasting?) , we want to be successful, we want to be ( care free and ?) 'happy' so we look for a ( certified ?) pattern of life which will help us to attain what we desire, sacred or profane. (And eventually ?) after trying many (worldly recipes & ) 'things' , we think of Truth as the supreme goal, the ultimate peace and happiness, and we want to attain It; so we are 'on the lookout' to find That which we desire.

But can ( the self-centred ?) desire ever make its way to Reality? Does not the desire for something, however noble breed (project its own ?) illusions? And as this (process of ?) desire acts, does it not set up (its own psychological -) structures (based on ?) accepting authority, imitation and fear? This is the actual 'psychological' process, is it not? And is
this 'help' , or self-deception?

B: I am having the greatest difficulty not to be persuaded by (the rationality of ?) what you say ! But I know you have actually helped me, and am I to deny that?

K: If someone has 'helped' you ( to see the truth about what you were doing mechanically ) and you make of him your (ultimate ?) 'authority', then are you not preventing all further help, not only from him, but from everything about you? Does not help lie (within and ?) about you everywhere?
Why look in only one direction? And when you are so ( authority ?) bound, can any (insightful ) help reach you?

When one is (inwardly & outwardly) open, there is unending 'help' (available ?) in all things, from the tiny blade of grass to the Immensity of the Heavens. But when you look to one (spiritually gifted ?) person as your authority, your Guide, your Saviour, the "poison of corruption" begins (to act subliminally ), isn't it so ?

I: I understand what you are saying, but my personal difficulty is that I have been a 'follower', a seeker of guidance for many years. So, when you point out the futility of such following, I may agree intellectually with you, but there is another part of me that rebels. Now, how can I integrate (or by-pass ?) this inward contradiction so that I shall no longer follow?

K: Two opposing desires or impulses (subliminal drives ?) cannot be 'integrated' when you introduce the (extraneous ?) desire for integration - you only complicate the (ongoing) problem (of inner conflict & fragmentation ?) , you do not resolve it. But ( if and ?) when you see the whole (psychological danger ?) of asking help or following ( a spiritual) authority, then (the direct action of ) that very perception puts an end to all (need for) 'following'.

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Tue, 27 Jun 2017 #642
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

SILENCE OF THE MIND

Beyond the distant haze were the white sands and the cool sea, but here it was insufferably hot, even under the trees and in the house. The sky was no longer blue, and the sun seemed to have absorbed every particle of moisture. The breeze from the sea had stopped, and the mountains behind, clear and close, were reflecting the burning rays of the sun. . There would be clear, sunny days, week after week, for many months and the hills, no longer green and soft with the spring rains, were burnt brown, the earth dry and hard. But there was beauty even now in these hills, shimmering beyond the green oak trees and the golden hay, with the barren rocks of the mountains above them. The path leading up through the hills to the high mountains was dusty, stony and rough. There were no streams, no sound of running waters. The heat was intense in these hills, but in the shade of some trees along the dry river bed it was bearable for here there was a slight breeze coming up the canyon from the valley. From this height the blue of the sea was visible many miles away. It was very quiet, even the birds were still, and a blue jay which had been noisy and quarrelsome was resting now. A brown deer was coming down the path, alert and watchful, making its way to a little pool of water in the otherwise dry bed of the stream; it moved so silently over the rocks, its large ears twitching and its great eyes watching every movement among the bushes. It drank its fill and would have lain down in the shade near the pool, but it must have been aware of the human presence it could not see, for it went uneasily down the path and disappeared. Across the path a mother quail was leading her newborn chicks, more than a dozen of them; she was softly encouraging, leading them to a thick bush. They were round, yellowish-grey balls of delicate feathers, so new to this dangerous world, but alive and enchanted. There under the bush several had climbed on top of the mother, but most of them were under her comforting wings, resting from the struggles of birth.

(He had come from a far distant land. Though he had had polio, the paralysing disease, he was now able to walk and drive car.)

Q: Like so many others in my condition, I have belonged to different churches and religious organizations, and none of them has given me any satisfaction. I think I am serious, but one of my diffi- culties is that I am 'envious'. I have tried building various types of resistance against this envy, but it is like water seeping through the roof, and before I know it, I find myself being more intensely envious than ever. I would like to ask how is one to extricate oneself from this turmoil of envy?

K: You must have found that with the desire not to be envious there comes the conflict of the opposites. The desire (or will) not to be this, but to be that, makes for this ( self-sustained ?) conflict. We generally consider it to be part of the natural process of life; but is it? This everlasting struggle (to overcome or optimise the ) 'what is' (in order to achieve the ) 'what should be' is considered noble; but the desire to be non-envious is (of the same nature) as ( the desire involved in) being envious, is it not? If one really understands this (mental split of desire ?) , then there is no (point for any further) battle between the opposites; the conflict of duality ceases. This ( subliminal psycho-) fact ( has ) to be seen immediately, and (experientially wise) this direct perception is the important thing, (rather than seeking ?) how to be free from envy. Freedom from envy comes with the (non-dualistic) understanding of 'what is'; but such understanding is not possible as long as the mind is concerned (obsessed ?) with changing 'what is'.

Q: But isn’t such a change necessary?

K: Can there be ( an authentic inner) change through an act of will? Is not 'will' a concentrated (form of) desire? Having bred envy (and finding it painful, the thoughtful process of ?) desire now seeks (to achieve) an state (of inner peace) in which there is no (disturbance of ) envy; but both states are the product of (the self-centred activity ) desire. ( In a nutshell:) Desire cannot bring about any fundamental change.

Q: Then what will?

K: ( Directly) perceiving the truth regarding 'what is'. As long as the (self-centred) mind, or 'desire', seeks to change itself from 'this' to 'that', all such change is superficial and trivial. The full significance of this fact must be 'felt' (experienced with ?) and understood, and only then is it possible for a radical (qualitative inner ?) transformation to take place. As long as the (self-centred) mind is comparing, judging, seeking a (self-projected) result there is no possibility of (a qualitative inner) change, but only a series of unending struggles which it calls 'living'.

Q: What you say seems so true, but even as I listen to you I find myself caught in the struggle to reach an end, to achieve a long lasting result.

K: The more one struggles against a ( mental or psycho-somatic) habit, however deep its roots, the more force one gives to it. But to become ( objectively) aware of one habit without choosing and cultivating another, is ( right approach for ?) the ending of habit.

Q: Then I must remain silently with 'what is', neither accepting nor rejecting it. This is an enormous (meditational ?) task, but I see that it is the only (experiential ?) way.

Now may I go on to another question? Does not the (condition of the psychosomatic) body affect the mind, and the mind in turn affect the body? I have especially noticed this in my own case: most of my thoughts are occupied with the memory of what I was - healthy, strong, quick of movement - what I hope to be again , as compared with (the handicaped state) I am now. I seem unable to accept my present condition. What am I to do?

K: This constant (subliminal ?) comparison of the 'present' with the 'past' and the 'future' ( the process of 'psychological time' ?) brings about (an additional) pain and on ( long term) the deterioration of the mind, does it not? It prevents you from considering the fact of your present state. The 'past' can never be again, and the 'future' is unpredictable, so (for all experiential purposes ?) you have only (what is going on in the ) 'present'. (However ) you can adequately deal with the 'present' only when the mind is free from the burden of the past memory and the future hope. When the (meditating ?) mind is (fully) attentive to the 'present' then there is a possibility of other (better ?) things happening.

Q: What do you mean by ‘other things’?

K: When the mind is preoccupied with its own pains, hopes and fears, there is no free inner space. The self-enclosing process of thought only 'cripples' the mind further, so a 'vicious circle' is set going.

Such (self-centred) preoccupation makes the mind trivial, petty, shallow, whether it is preoccupied with God, with the (cultivation of noble ?) virtues or with (the poor condition of one's ?) own body.

The 'self' (centred mind) , with its (self-created ?) preoccupations, brings about its own pains and problems, which in turn, affect the psychosomatic body; the constant concern over bodily ills only further hinders the ( condition of the psychosomatic) body. This does not mean that health should be neglected; but (an obsessive) preoccupation with health, like preoccupation with truth with ideas, only entrenches the mind in its own ( totally safe but limiting?) 'pettiness'. There is a vast difference between a preoccupied mind and an (inwardly awakened ? ) active mind. Such an (inwardly alive ?) mind is silent, aware, choiceless.

Q: Consciously it is rather difficult for me to 'take in' (and process ?) all this, but (hopefully) my 'unconscious' is (subliminally) absorbing what you are saying.

I would like to ask you just one more question: there are moments when my mind is 'silent' (at peace with itself ?), but these moments are very rare. I have pondered over the problem of 'meditation', and have read what you have said about it, but for a longtime (the condition of ) my body was too much for me. Now that I have become more or less accustomed with my physical state, I feel it is important to cultivate this (meditating quality of ) 'silence'. How is one to set about it?

K: Is this "silence" (or 'peace of mind' ?) to be cultivated, carefully nurtured and strengthened? And who is the 'cultivator'? Is it different from the totality of your being? Is there a still mind, when one desire dominates all others? Is there (an authentic) silence when the mind is disciplined, shaped, controlled? Does not all this imply a 'higher self' who controls judges, chooses? And is there such an entity? If there is, is he not the product of thought? Thought dividing itself as the permanent and the impermanent, is still the outcome of the past, of tradition, of time. In this (self-created) division lies its own security. Thought or desire now seeks (the ultimate ? ) safety in Silence, and so it asks for a safe system which offers what it wants. In place of worldly things it now craves the "pleasure of silence", so it breeds (a still deeper ?) conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'. There is no (inner peace of mind and /or ?) Silence where there is conflict, repression, resistance.

Q: Should one not seek Silence?

K: There can be no Silence as long as there is a "seeker'. There is the silence of a still mind only when there is no 'seeker', when there is no ( self-focussed ?)desire. ( For more meditational homework:) Without replying, put this ( holistic) question to yourself: Can the whole of your being be silent? Can the totality of the mind, the conscious as well as the unconscious, be still?

This post was last updated by John Raica Tue, 27 Jun 2017.

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Tue, 27 Jun 2017 #643
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

(INNER) MEDIOCRITY

Q: I have come to talk over something that is really eating me up. The other evening you said something about 'mediocrity'. I couldn’t take it in, for I was too disturbed; but as you were talking, that word ‘mediocrity’ struck me very forcibly. I had never thought of myself as being mediocre. I am not using
that word in the social sense, and as you pointed out, it has nothing to do with class and economic
differences, or with birth.

K: Of course. Mediocrity ( of heart & mind ?) is entirely outside the field of arbitrary (standards of) social divisions.

Q: I see it is. You also said that the truly religious person is the only revolutionary, and such a person is not 'mediocre'. I am talking of the mediocrity of the mind, not of job or position. I am aware of the state of my own mind. It is just mediocre. I am an (earnest) student of both western and eastern philosophy, and am interested in many other things, but in spite of this my mind is quite ordinary; it has some capacity for coordinated thinking, but it is still mediocre and uncreative.

K: Then what is the problem sir?

Q: Deep down in myself, in spite of all my (scholastic) learning, I find that I am not creative in the most profound sense of that word. How is one to set about to have that (enlightened state of ) creativeness of which you spoke the other day ? Is this too blunt a question?

K: Can we think of this problem ('negatively' and) very simply? What is it that makes the human "mind & heart" mediocre? Can a (self-centred) mind be, at any time, other than what it has always been?

Q: You are asking whether the human mind, which is
capable of such astonishing feats, can transcend itself by its own will and effort ?

K: If, however clever and capable, the (self-centred) mind is still mediocre, is it possible to find out what is it that brings about the state of mediocrity?
Is not one of the (central & active ) factors of our mediocrity the urge to achieve, to have a result, to succeed? When creativeness is something to be striven after, an end result to be achieved, the (self-centred) mind has reduced it to its own (mediocre) condition. So, this ( drive of self-centred becoming ? ) is the process that we have to understand (in the firstplace rather than ? ) attempt to change (our inner condition of) mediocrity into something else.

Q: Do you mean that any effort on the part of the (self-centred) mind to change what it is, merely leads to the
continuation of itself in another form, and so there is no change at all?

K: That is so, is it not? The (self-centred) mind has brought about its present state through its own (personal & collective) efforts, desires and fears, hopes, joys and pains; and any attempt on its part to change this (ongoing ) state is still in the same direction. (in a nutshell:) A petty mind trying not to be petty ... is still petty.
Surely the ( meditative approach of this ?) problem is the cessation of all effort to be (or to become) something, in whatever direction.

Q: But doesn't this 'negative' approach bring us into a state of (inner) vacuity ?

K: Without experimenting with it, (such intellectual) conclusions have no validity.

Q: I can see the truth that ( a state of inner) creativeness is not to be striven after, or brought about through any action, through any form of compulsion. My mind, which has been previously ashamed of its own mediocrity, is now aware of the significance of (self-) condemnation. This condemnatory attitude is brought about by the desire to change; but this very desire to 'change' (or trade one state for another ?) is the outcome of its (self-centred) pettiness, so the mind is still what it was and there has been no change at all. That far I have understood. Then what ?

K: What is the ( re-integrated & harmonised ?) state of the mind when it is not attempting to change itself, to become something?

Q: It 'accepts' what it is ?

K: (Its ) acceptance implies that there is a (supervising) 'entity' who accepts, does it not? And is not this 'acceptance' a (devious ?) form of effort in order to gain, or to experience further? So (the good old) conflict of duality is set going, which is
again the same problem, for it is this conflict (of interests) that breeds mediocrity of mind and heart.

(To recap:) Freedom from (this self-created ) 'mediocrity' is that ( inwardly integrated ? ) state which comes into being when all (sychological) conflicts (of interest) has ceased. Or has the word ‘acceptance’ (of what is) a different (non-dualistic) meaning to you?

Q: I can see the implications of ( a dualistic ) acceptance, since you have given me an insight into its significance. But what is that (integrated) state of the mind which no longer 'accepts' or 'condemns' (what is) ?

K: Why do you ask (me) , sir? It is a thing to be discovered (experientially) , not merely to be explained (by someone else)

Q: I am not seeking an explanation, but is it possible for the (meditating) mind to be still, without any movement, and yet be ( in your terms) 'unaware of its own stillness'?

K: To be (self- consciously ? ) aware of it brings back the (good-old ? ) conflict of duality, does it not?

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 #644
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

THE FLAME OF DISCONTENTMENT

Q: One day, as I was passing by (the Oak Grove) , I saw a crowd under the trees, and I stopped to listen to you. That was a couple of years ago and what you said set something stirring in me. I used to be content (happy ?) with my life, with my thoughts, and with the few scattered beliefs which lay lightly on my mind. But ever since that Sunday morning when I wandered into this (Ojai) valley in my car and came by chance to hear you, I have been discontented. It is not so much with my work that I am discontented, but the discontent has taken hold of my whole being. I was once satisfied with my life, with my friends, and with the things I was doing, but now I am discontented and unhappy.

K: If one may ask, what do you mean by that word ‘discontent’?

Q: Before that Sunday morning when I heard you, I was a contented person, and I suppose rather a bore to others; now I see how stupid I was, and I am trying to be intelligent and alert to everything
about me. I used to be 'asleep' if I may put it that way, but now I am waking up.

K: Are you 'waking up', or (your discontent is the result of) trying to the desire to become something (better inwardly ) ? The newly 'awakened' state makes you discontented, which gives you pain, and to escape from this pain you are attempting to become something else, to follow an ideal, and so on. This imitation is putting you back to sleep again, is it not?

Q: But I don’t want to go back to my old state, and I do want to be awake.

K: Isn’t it very strange how the mind deceives itself? The mind doesn’t like to be disturbed, it doesn’t
like to be shaken out of its old patterns, its comfortable habits of thought and action; being disturbed, it seeks ways and means to establish new boundaries in which it can live safely. It is
this (inner ?) 'zone of safety' that most of us are ( subliminally) seeking, but it is the same desire to be safe, to be secure, that puts us (back) to sleep. Circumstances, an (shocking) experience, may (momentarily) awaken us, disturb us, but we want to be put to sleep again. This is happening to most of us all the time, but this it is not (resulting in ) an awakened state.
( If we are at all serious ?) we have to understand the ways in which the ( self centred) mind puts itself to sleep.

Q: There must be a great many ways in which the mind puts itself to sleep. Is it possible to know
and avoid them all?

K: Several could be (easily) pointed out; but this would not solve the problem, would it? The important thing is to keep (being) awake, and the pursuit of the ‘how-to-do-it ?’ is the (result of our ages old ?) urge to be safe.

Q: Then what is one to do?

K: Stay with ( this fire of ?) discontent without desiring to pacify it. It is the desire to be undisturbed that must be understood. This desire, which takes many forms, is ( acting subliminally as ?) the urge to escape from (facing ) 'what is' (actually going on inwardly ?) .

When this urge (is actually 'seen' and ?) drops away, only then does the pain of (your existential ?) discontent cease.
( As a 'rule of thumb' ?) the comparison of 'what is' with 'what should be' brings pain. The cessation of this comparison is ( the birth of) an (integrated) state of wakefulness without the (interfering) activities of the 'self'.

Q: All this is rather new to me. It seems to me that you give to words ( such as 'discontentment') quite a different significance but such a (meaningful ) communication is possible only when both of us give the same meaning to the same word at the
same time.

K: Communication 'is' relationship, is it not?

Q: You seem 'jump' to wider significances beyond my present capability of grasping. I must go more deeply into all this, and then perhaps I shall understand.

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 #645
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

THE ACTOR

THE ROAD CURVED in and out through the low hills, mile after endless mile. The burning rays of the afternoon sun lay on the golden hills, and there were deep shadows under the scattered trees, which spoke of their solitary existence. For miles around there was no habitation of any kind; here and there were a few lonely cattle, and only occasionally another car would appear on the smooth, well-kept road. The sky was very blue to the north and glare to the west. The country was strangely alive, though barren and isolated, and far away from human joy and pain. There were no birds, and you saw no wild animals apart from the few gophers that scurried across the road. No water was visible except in one or two places where the cattle were. With the rains the hills would turn green, soft and welcoming, but now they were harsh, austere, with the beauty of great stillness. It was a strange evening, full and intense, but as the road wove in and out among the rolling hills, time had come to an end: at that moment time and distance had ceased. It was not a measurable moment, it had no beginning and no end. The blue sky and the rolling, golden hills were (still) there, vast and everlasting, but they were part of this Timelessness.

The light of that late ( Californian) afternoon was very still around the trees and among the hills, and the only moving thing was the car, going so fast. The silence was of that measureless stillness. Those still, dark trees would fall and their dust would be scattered and lost; tender green grass would come up with the rains, and it too would wither away.

Life and death are inseparable, and in ( mentally creating) their separation lies an everlasting fear. This separation is the beginning of ( psychological) time; the fear of ( its ) ending gives birth to the pain of (its) beginning. In this wheel the (self-centred) mind is caught and spins out its web of time. Thought is (both) the (creator) and the result of time, and thought cannot cultivate love.

(He was an actor of some repute who was making a name for himself, but he was still young enough to inquire and suffer.)

K: Why does one act? To some the stage is merely a means of livelihood, to others it offers a means for the expression of their own vanity, and to still others, playing various roles is a great stimulations. The stage also offers a marvellous escape from the (tough) realities of life. I act for all these reasons, and perhaps also because I hope to do some good through the stage.

K: Does not your 'acting' give strength to the ego? We pose, we put on masks, and gradually (wearing a ) mask becomes the daily habit, covering the many ( fragmentary) 'selves' of contradiction, greed, hate, and so on. Can one really 'do good' through the stage?

Q: Do you mean that one cannot?

K: It is an (exploratory) question, not a (final) judgment. In writing a play the author has certain ideas and intentions which he wants to 'put across'; the actor is the medium, the mask, and the public is entertained (amused ? ) or educated. Is this (kind of) education doing any good? Or is it merely conditioning the (spectator's) mind to a pattern, good or bad, intelligent or stupid, devised by the author?

Q: Good Lord, I never thought about all this. You see, I can become a fairly successful actor, and before I get lost in it completely, I am asking myself if acting is to be my way of life. It has a strange fascination of its own, sometimes very destructive, and at other times very pleasant. You can take acting seriously, but in itself it is not very serious. As I am inclined to be rather serious, I have wondered if I should make the stage my career. There is something in me that rebels against the absurd superficiality of it all, and yet I am greatly attracted to it; so I am disturbed, since through all this runs the thread of seriousness.

K: Can another decide what should be one’s way of life?

Q: No, but in talking the matter over with another (serious person) things do sometimes become clearer.

K: If one may point out, any activity that gives emphasis to the 'ego' (to one's self-image ?) is (ultimately) destructive; it brings sorrow. This is the principal issue, is it not? You said earlier that you wanted to do good; but surely the good is not possible when, consciously or unconsciously, the self is being nourished and sustained through any career or activity.

Q: Is not all human action based on the survival of the self?

K: Perhaps (but...) not always. Outwardly it may appear that an action is self-protective, but inwardly it may not be at all. What others say or think in this regard is not of great importance, but one should not deceive oneself. And self-deception is very easy in psychological matters.

Q: I would be really concerned with the negation of the self, I'll probably have to withdraw into a monastery or lead a hermit’s life.

K: You see, we have an (idealised) concept of (what is a ) selfless life, and it is this concept which prevents the understanding of an (actual way of ) life in which the 'self' is not. This concept ( of the perfect selfishness) is another form of the self. Without escaping to monasteries and so on, is it not possible to (meditate and ?) be passively alert of the activities of the 'self'? This (non-personal ?) awareness may bring about a totally different (creative) activity which does not breed sorrow and misery.

Q: Then... there are certain professions that are obviously detrimental to a sane life, and I include mine among them. I am still quite young. I can give up the stage but then what am I to do? I have certain talents which may ripen and be useful.

K: Talent may ( ultimately) become a curse. The self may use and entrench itself in capacities, and then talent becomes the way and the glory of the self. The gifted man is (self-) conscious of his gifts, and it is this self-consciousness of 'being' or having 'something' (special) , that must be understood.

Q: I am beginning to get a glimpse of all this, but it is still very complex.

K: Perhaps; but what is important (for starters ) is a choiceless awareness of the obvious and the subtle activities of the 'self'.

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Thu, 29 Jun 2017 #646
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

Unzipping K's 'Commentaries on Living'

THE WAY OF KNOWLEDGE

The sun set behind the mountains, and the 'roseate glow' was still on the rocky range to the east. The path led down, wandering in and out through the green valley. It was a calm evening, and there was a slight breeze among the leaves. The evening star was just visible high over the horizon, and presently it would be quite dark, for there was no moon. The trees, which had been open and welcoming, were withdrawing into themselves from the dark night. It was cool and silent among these hills and now the sky was full of stars and the mountains were clear and sharp against them. That smell peculiar to the night was filling the air, and far away a dog was barking It was a very still night, and this 'stillness' seemed to penetrate into the rocks, the trees, into all the things about one, and the footsteps on the rough path did not disturb it. The mind too was utterly still.

After all, meditation is not a means to produce a (desired) result, to bring about a (higher ?) state ( of consciousness ?) which has been or which might be. If meditation is (attempted ) with ( a specific) intention, the desired result may be achieved (or... not ?), but then it is not Meditation, it is only the fulfilment of your desire. Desire is never satisfied (on long term?) , there is no end to ( the hopeful projections of ?) desire. The understanding of ( the process of 'thought & ?) desire' , without trying to put a stop to it, or sustain it, is the (the door to the eternal) 'beginning and ending' of Meditation. ( But ?) when meditation is ( the action ? ) of the 'meditator', it only strengthens the (self-consciousness of the 'meditator', (or of ) the 'experiencer'.

The (total) stillness of the mind is ( happening in ?) the absence of the ( self-conscious ?) 'experiencer', or of a (witnessing) 'observer' who is aware that he is still. When the mind is (so totally) still, there is the awakened state. That ( enlightened Consciousness ?) which is ever awake is not the product of desire - since desire only breeds the conflict of duality, and this conflict is (generating its own ?) darkness.

*

(Well connected and rich, she was now on the hunt for the 'spiritual' . She had sought out the Catholic masters and the Hindu teachers, had studied with the Sufis and 'dabbled' in Buddhism)

Q: Of course, I have also looked into the 'occult', and now I have come to learn from you.

K: If one may ask, 'what' is it that you are seeking?

Q: I have gone after different things at different periods of my ( wealthy ) life and generally I have found what I have sought. I have gathered much experience, and have had a rich and varied life. I read a great deal on a variety of subjects, and have been to one of the eminent analysts, but I am still seeking.

K: Why this search, whether superficial or deep?

Q: What a strange question to ask! If one did not constantly learn, life would have no (deeper) meaning, one might just as well vegetate or die.

K: But in reading what others have said about the structure and behaviour of human beings, in analysing the various social and cultural differences, in studying the various schools of philosophy, what is it that you are gathering?

Q: I feel that if only one had enough knowledge it would save one from strife and misery, so I gather it where I can. Knowledge is essential to understanding.

K: Does (self-) understanding come through knowledge? Or does (your constant gathering of ?) knowledge prevent a creative (and transformational ?) understanding? We like to think that by accumulating (second hand) facts and information, by having encyclopedic knowledge, we shall be set free from our ( karmic ?) 'bondages'. This is simply not so. Our personal antagonisms, and wars have not ever been stopped by the mere knowledge of how destructive and wasteful they are - on the contrary (if cleverly manipulated, it ?) may stimulate and encourage them. So is it not important to find out why we are (insisting on) gathering knowledge?

Q: I have talked to many (well rounded ?) 'educators' who think that if (the right kind of ) knowledge can be spread sufficiently widely it will (eventually) dissipate man’s hatred for man and even prevent the complete destruction of the world. I think this is what most serious educators are concerned with.

K: ( Could it be that our absolute priority given to ?) knowledge is blinding us to some other (inner) factor that is the real solution to all this chaos and misery ?

Q: And...what would that be ?

K: For most people, ( the accumulation of) knowledge is (used for) strengthening their personal prejudices and beliefs. Words, thoughts, are the framework in which the 'self' concept exists. This ( mental ? ) 'concept' contracts or expands through ( our personal & collective accumulations of ) experience and knowledge, but the 'hard core' of its self (-consciousness ?) remains, and our knowledge or learning can never dissolve it. ( The authentic inner ?) revolution is the voluntary dissolution of this 'core', of this (self-centred mental ?) concept, whereas the action born of self-perpetuating knowledge can only lead to greater misery and destruction.

Q: You suggested that there might be a different factor which is the true solution to all our miseries, and I am asking in all seriousness what that factor is ? If such a factor exists and one could know and build one’s whole life around it, a totally new culture might well be the outcome.

K: Thought can never find it, the (self-centred) mind can never seek it out. You may want to know it and build your life around it; but this ‘you’ with all its knowledge, fears, hopes, frustrations and illusions, will act as a barrier to the coming into being of that state.

Q: If you won’t guide me to 'it', I shall have to seek it out for myself; and yet you imply that all search must cease.

K: There must be ( an open space of inner ?) freedom to discover it , not guidance. Its discovery is not a (personal ) reward.

Q: I am afraid I do not understand all this.

K: If you are 'guided' you become a (psychological) slave to the one who (assumes that (s)he ?) 'knows'. But (s)he is already a slave to his/her knowledge. Finding ( what is true and/or false ?) is from moment to moment, so (the past) knowledge becomes an impediment.

Q: Would you please explain this point a little more?

K: What you 'know' is already ( being stored) in the (memory bank of the ?) past, is it not? You do not 'know' (beforehand what's happening in ?) the present or in the future. What needs to be (experientially) uncovered may be (something) totally new, and your (existing) knowledge, which is the accumulation of the past, cannot fathom the New, the Unknown.

Q: Do you mean that one must get rid of all one’s (burden of) knowledge if one is to find God, Love or whatever It is?

K: The 'self' (-consciousness is thriving on ?) the past, on its powers to accumulate things, virtues, ideas. Thought is the outcome of all this (karmic) conditioning of yesterday, and with this instrument you are trying to uncover the 'Unknowable'. This is simply not possible. ( In Meditation ?) knowledge must cease for the 'other' to be.

Q: Then how is one to empty the mind of the 'known'?

K: There is no ‘how' (-to-do-it ?) . The practice of a (preset) method only further conditions the mind (to the known) , for then you have a (mind struggling for a desired ?) result, not a mind that is free from (its burden of) knowledge, from the 'self' .

(In a nutshell:) There is no way (to follow ?) , but only a passive awareness of the "truth with regard to knowledge".

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Fri, 30 Jun 2017 #647
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

PERSONAL CONVICTIONS, DREAMS & STILLNESS

To imagine (anything mentally ?) is one thing, and to (objectively) perceive 'what is' is another, but both are (time ) binding. It is ( comparativly ?) easy to perceive 'what is' ( eg: one's envy, attachments, fear...), but to be free of it is another matter; for (our inner) perception is clouded with (value) judgments, with comparison, with desire. To perceive without the (all-controlling) interference of the 'censor' is arduous ( a very delicate matter ?). Imagination (aka: the image-making mechanism ?) builds the 'self'-image , and thought then functions within its shadow (cone ?) . From this self-(identifying ?) concept grows the conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be' (aka: the conflict of duality)
( In a nutshell:) The actual perception of the
fact and the (self-prejected) idea about the fact, are two entirely different (mental) states, and only a mind that is not bound (not tethered ?) to its opinions, to its comparative values, is capable of perceiving what is 'true'.

*

(She had come a long distance by train and bus, and the last bit she had had to walk; but as it was a cool day, the climb was not too much.)

Q: I have a rather pressing problem which I would like to talk over: when two people who (are supposed to ) love each other are adamant in their diametrically opposed convictions, what is to be done? Must
one or the other give in? Can love bridge this separating (ideological) gap?

K: If there were ( an authentic ) love, would there be these fixed convictions which separate and bind?

Q: Perhaps not, but (our relationship) has now gone beyond that (original) state of love; the convictions have become hard, brutal, unyielding. One maybe flexible, but if the other is not, there is bound to be an explosion. It all seems rather absurd when one considers the illusory nature of ideas; but
ideas take deep root when one has nothing else. Kindliness and consideration vanish in the harsh
brilliancy of ideas.

K: To such (fundamentalistic ?) mind, the 'salvation' (of mankind) lies in the destruction of those who are not of the same conviction. Some religions have in the past thought this to be the way to God, and they still have excommunications, threats of eternal hell, and so on. We seek ( invest our high ?) hope(s) in churches, in ideas, in Masters, in gurus, which (ultimately) only leads to greater misery and destruction.
One has to be free from this 'intransigent' attitude; for such 'ideas', however great, however persuasive, are illusions, they (ultimately) separate and destroy. When the mind is no longer caught in this ('safety) net' of ideas, opinions, & convictions, then there is (a possibility for ) something wholly different from the projections of the mind.
(In a nutshell:) The (thinking) mind is not our last resort in resolving our human problems; on the contrary, it is the maker of problems.

Q: I know that you do not (like to) advise people, sir, but all the same, what is one to do (in my particular situation) ? I am beginning to see that there is no definite answer and that one must 'livehappily from moment to moment', taking things as they come and forgetting oneself. Then perhaps it is possible to be gentle,
to (forget &) forgive. But how difficult it is going to be!

K: When you say ‘how difficult it is going to be’, you have already stopped living from moment to
moment with love and gentleness. The (temporal) mind has already projected itself into (an imaginary) 'future', creating a ( new) problem - which is the very nature of the self. This 'past' and 'future' are its ( self-created line of) sustenance.

*

Q: May I ask something else? Is it possible for me to interpret my own dreams? Lately I have been
dreaming a great deal and I know that these dreams are trying to tell me something, but I don't seem capable to interpret the symbols and pictures that keep repeating themselves in my dreams. These symbols and pictures are not always the same, they vary, but fundamentally they seem to have the same content and significance .

K: What does that word ‘interpret’ mean with regard to dreams?

Q: As I explained, I have a very (serious personal) problem which has been bothering me for many months, and my dreams are all concerned with this problem. They are trying to tell me something, perhaps give me a hint of what I should do, and if I could interpret them correctly I would certainly know what they are trying to convey.

K: (For starters) the dreamer is not separate from his dream; the dreamer 'is' the dream.

Q: I don’t really understand what you mean. Would you please explain?

K: Our 'consciousness' is a total process, though it may divide itself as the 'conscious' and the 'unconscious'. In it there may be contradictory desires, values, urges, but this Consciousness is nevertheless a total, unitary process. The dream is the outcome of the (subliminal ?) activity of our whole consciousness. Now, when the (waking) consciousness tries to interpret a 'dream' - which is a (holistic) projection of the whole consciousness, then its (personalised) interpretation must be partial, incomplete.
The (self-conscious) 'interpreter' inevitably misrepresents ( the global significance of ?) the symbol, or of the dream.

Q: I am sorry, but this is (too general and ?) not (experientially) clear to me.

K: The 'conscious' mind is so (obsessively) occupied with trying to find a solution to its problem, that during the waking period it is never (totally) quiet. In sleep, being somewhat quieter, it gathers an intimation of the ( perceptive ?) activity of the whole consciousness. This intimation is ( displayed symbolically in) the 'dream', which the 'conscious' mind tries later to interpret; but its interpretation is concerned with immediate action and its results.
This (instinctive) urge to 'interpret' it (personally) must cease before there can be the understanding of the whole process of one's consciousness. You are very anxious to find out what is the right thing to do with regard to your (marriage) problem, are you not? That very anxiety is preventing the understanding of the problem and so there is a constant change of symbols behind which the content seems to be always the same. So, what is your problem now?

Q: Not to be afraid of whatever happens ?

K: Is that the (central) problem? You may wish to do away with fear, but when the ‘how’ becomes important, and you have a new problem as well as the old one. But we are now talking of something wholly different, are we not?

Q: Then I suppose that my real (experiential) problem is to have a quiet mind ?

K: Surely, that is the only issue (at hand) : a Still mind.

Q: How can I have ( or create the right conditions for this ?) astill mind?

K: You want to get (ASAP ?) a 'still mind', as you would get a dress or a house, so you have a new (personal) problem on your hands. Just (try to ) be (meditatively) aware of the utter necessity and importance of a 'still mind'. Don’t struggle after this stillness, don’t try to cultivate or practise it. All these efforts produce their own result, but that which is a result ( of self-centred efforts) is not (the) Stillness. Do not seek a (temporal) 'continuity' of this Stillness - it is
to be experienced from moment to moment; it cannot be 'gathered' .

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Sat, 01 Jul 2017 #648
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

THE INWARD SIGNIFICANCE OF DEATH

The sun was setting behind the huge, sprawling city up the river; the smoke and the dust of the town were giving marvellous colours to the setting sun, which were reflected on the wide, dancing waters. It was a lovely evening and every blade of grass, the trees and the chattering birds, were caught in timeless beauty. Nothing was separate, broken up. There were wide, cultivated strips along both banks, and during the day the green, luscious fields were smiling and inviting; but now they were dark, silent and withdrawn.

The village was just above higher up the bank, and generally they had singing, dancing, or some other noisy affair going on up there; but this evening, though they were all out of their huts and sitting about, the villagers were quiet and strangely thoughtful. A group of them were coming down the steep bank, carrying on a bamboo litter a dead body covered with white cloth. They passed by and I followed. Going to the river’s edge, they put down the litter almost touching the water. They had brought with them fastburning wood and heavy logs, and making of these a pyre they laid the body on it, sprinkling it with water from the river and covering it with more wood and hay. A very young man lit the pyre. There were about twenty of us, and we all gathered around. There were no women present, and the men sat on their haunches, wrapped in their white cloth, completely still. The bright yellow flames were reflected on the dark water, and so were the stars. The slight breeze had died down with the setting of the sun. Except for the crackling of the fire, everything was very still. Death was there, burning. Amidst all those motionless people and the living flames there was (a sense of ) infinite space, of a vast 'all-oneness'. Death was not something divided from life. The immensity of death, the immediacy of it, and how near! With the burning away of that body, one also 'died'. There was complete aloneness and yet not apartness, all-oneness but not isolation. Isolation is of the (time bound ?) mind but not of death.

*

Well advanced in age, with quiet manners and dignity, he had clear eyes and a quick smile. He explained that he had retired from some governmental work and had now plenty of time on his hands. He had studied various religions and philosophies, but he had not come this long way to discuss such matters.

Q: What I have really come for, is to discuss about the thing that most disturbs me: death. I have read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and am familiar with what our own books say on the subject. I have talked to various religious teachers here and abroad, but to me all their theories appear to be very unsatisfactory. I have thought a great deal about the subject and have often meditated upon it, but I don’t seem to get any further. To me the problem is not only the fear of 'not being', but also what happens after death. This has been a problem for man throughout the ages, and no one appears to have solved it. What do you say?

K: Let us first dispose of the urge to escape from the fact of death through some form of belief; the human mind is so eager to find a satisfying answer to this problem, that it easily slips into some kind of illusion.

Q: But isn’t that one of our greatest difficulties? We crave for some kind of assurance especially from those whom we consider to have ( some first hand ) knowledge or experience in this matter; and when we can’t find such an assurance ( the traditional set of ) beliefs becomes a necessity.

K: Belief (in our existence 'after life' ?) , however comforting, has in it the seed of fear. One shuts oneself off from (living with ?) the fact of death; so the mind wanting to discover the extraordinary significance of death, must (for starters ?) discard the craving for some hopeful comfort.

Q: "To understand death we must be in despair"; is that what you are saying?

K: Not at all, sir. Is there (necessarily a state of ) despair when there is not the state which we call 'hope'? If our 'hope' is the opposite of 'despair', then it still holds within it the seeds of despair, and such hope is tinged with fear. If there is to be (a totally insightful ?) understanding is it not necessary to be free of (thinking in terms of) opposites? The (inwardly integrated ) state of the mind is of the greatest importance: the mind must approach the problem of 'death' with a totally new (quality of inner ) awareness in which the 'recognizing' process, is absent.

Q: I don’t quite understand that statement. I can grasp the significance of the mind’s being free from (thinking in terms of) the opposites, but what it means to be free from the 'recognizing process' altogether eludes me.

K: ( The verbal) recognition (of whatever is perceived) is the (self-sustained) process of the 'known', the outcome of (our experience of) the past. The (self-centred) mind is (instinctively) afraid of that with which it is not familiar. If you 'knew' death, there would be no fear of it, no need for elaborate explanations. But you cannot 'know' death, it is something you have never experienced before.

Anything that is (personally) experienced (is recorded and processed by the brain and ) becomes the known, the (memory bank of of the ?) past, and it is from this that (the process of ) 'recognition' takes place. As long as there is this (interfering mental activity or ?) movement from the past, the 'new' cannot be.

Q: I am beginning to get the feeling of that...

K: What we are talking over together is something to be directly experienced as we go along. This (inner) 'experiencing' cannot be stored up (and used later) for if it is, it becomes memory and (through) recognition it blocks the (direct perception of the ?) New, of the Unknown. Death is the unknown. The (experiential aspect of this ) problem is not (to know) what death is and/or what happens thereafter, but for the mind to cleanse itself of the (attachments to the ?) past, of the 'known'. Then this (attachment free ?) 'living' mind can "enter the abode of death", it can meet the Unknown.

Q: Are you suggesting that one can 'know' (or have the inner experience of ?) death while still alive?

K: Accident, disease and old age bring death, but under these circumstances it is not (always ?) possible to be fully conscious. The 'self' (centred -consciousness) , is battling against (its own) death, the inevitable and with this (gut ?) resistance against death we pass away. But is it possible - while fully alive & mentally vigorous - to enter the House of Death? This is possible only (in the meditative context ?) when the mind dies to (its attachments to ?) the known, to the 'self'. So the ( experiential aspect of the ?) problem is not ( what happens after ?) death, but for the human mind to free itself from the centuries of gathered 'psychological' experience, from the strengthening and refining of (its own ) 'self' (-centredness ) .

Q: But how is this to be done (practically ?) ? How can the mind free itself from its own (temporal) bondages? It seems to me that either an 'outside agency' is necessary, or else, the higher and nobler part of our Mind must intervene to purify the (temporal) mind of the past.

K: This is quite a complex issue, is it not? The 'outside agency' may be something beyond the boundaries of (the spatio- temporal) mind. (In which case the self-centred process of ?) thought cannot touch it. Thought is the outcome of (our evolution in) time; thought is anchored to the (memory of the) past. And if thought frees itself from the past, it ceases to be thought.

For the intervention of 'That' (aka: Mind ?) which is beyond (the self-centred activity of ) thought, 'thought' must cease. The (meditating) mind must be still with the stillness of no motive.
( However, the self-centred ) mind cannot invite it. This mind may and does divide its own field of activities as noble and ignoble, desirable and undesirable, higher and lower, but all such divisions and subdivisions are within (its self-created) boundaries, so any mental movement in any direction, is the reaction of the ‘me’, of Time.
( An insight into this timeless ?) Truth is the only liberating factor, and he who does not perceive this truth will ever be ( in a time- ) bondage, do what he may; his vows, disciplines & sacrifices may have a sociologically (beneficial) and (personally) comforting significance, but they have no value in relation to Truth

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Sun, 02 Jul 2017 #649
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
why in the first place we are born if all that is waiting for us is dying! And if there is no meaning in living why should there be any meaning in dying?

It does seem a pertinent question, but it also contains that separation between 'life' and 'death' that K. suggested was our own invention.

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Sun, 02 Jul 2017 #650
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

Meditation and the freedom from the 'known'

Meditation is perhaps the action that has the greatest and deepest significance (in the context of a holistic way of life ?) . It is a
(timeless) 'perfume' that is not to be bought through (our mental) striving and practice. Not to be able to 'meditate' (or not having a meditative mind ?) is not to be able to see the sunlight, the dark
shadows, the sparkling waters and the tender leaf.
But how few (care to look &) see these things! Meditation has nothing to offer, but it makes everything abundantly clear and simple. But to perceive this 'simplicity' the mind must (endeavour to ) free itself from all the things it has gathered through cause and motive. This is the whole issue in meditation: meditation is (always starting with ?) the purgation of the known.

To pursue (meditation while being anchored in ?) the 'known' is a (mind-) game of self-deception: when the 'meditator' is the master, there is not the simple act of meditation. The (all-controlling 'thinker' conveniently disguised now as ) 'meditator' can act only in the field of the known; so it must cease to act for the "unknown" to be. The Unknowable doesn’t invite 'you', and 'you' cannot invite it either . It comes and goes as the wind, and you cannot capture it and store it away for your further use. It has no 'utilitarian' (material) value, but without it our (inner) life is measurelessly empty.

The (central) question is not 'how' to meditate, but what 'is' meditation? The very inquiry into what is meditation will open the door to ( a meditator-free) meditation. This inquiry is (coming naturally ) within the movement of the mind itself and in pursuing this (self-revealing) inquiry, what becomes all-important is to understand the (illusory nature of the ? ) 'seeker' itself , and not what it seeks - since what he seeks is the projection of his own craving, of his own compulsions & desires. When (the truth of ?) this fact is seen, all (mental) 'searching' ceases and when (this inward) seeking has entirely stopped, there is a (new) movement of the mind which is
neither outward nor inward. There is great bliss in meditation.

(In a nutshell: ) The ending of (all inner) search is the
beginning of a still mind and Meditation is that extraordinary (integrated) attention in which there is no effort and no end to be gained. The (opportunistic) 'experiencer' may pay attention, be aware; but (himself) is merely an accumulation ( an active interface ?) of the 'known'.

*

(He explained that he had studied philosophy and psychology, and had read what Patanjali had to say. He considered Christian thought rather superficial and given to mere reformation, so he had
gone to the East, had practiced some kind of yoga, and was fairly familiar with thhe Hindu thought.)

Q: I have also read what you have been saying and I think I can follow it up to a certain point. All our everyday thinking, our whole outlook on life is based on (smart ) choices, on ethical values, on good and bad, and so on. Without such values we would just disintegrate and surely you do not mean that. I have tried ( by following your advice on meditation, to ) empty my mind of all such norms and values, but it seems impossible.

K: Is there a (holistic way of ?) 'thinking' without verbalization, without symbols? Is all thinking verbal, or is there a thinking without words?

Q: I have never considered this (rather academic ?) matter. As far as I can perceive inwardly , without images and words there would be nothing (to think about) .

K: Shouldn’t we find out the truth (or the falsehood ) of this matter now - whether or not there is a 'thinking' ( an 'insightful understanding' ?) without (using) words and symbols?

Q: But in what way is this related to 'evaluation'?

K: Evaluation comes from our (memory) background of associations, images and words. ( Culturally loaded symbols & ) words like God, Love, Socialism, play an extraordinarily important part in our lives. Neurologically as well as psychologically words have significance according to the culture in which we are brought up. To a Christian certain words and symbols have enormous significance, and to a Moslem another set of words and symbols has an equally vital significance. Evaluation takes place within this area.

Q: Can't one by-pass this area?

K: Thinking (from such background) is always conditioned; you may think whatever you like, but your thinking is and will always be limited. Now, if the mind is feeling content (safe & happy ) to remain within ( this cultural) enclosure, wide or narrow, then it is not bothered with any fundamental issue; it has its own reward. But if it would ( endeavour to experientially ) find out whether there is something beyond (thinking within the field of the known ?) , then all (mental ) evaluation must cease; the thinking process must come to an end.

Q: But by what effort or practice can (this process of ) thought be brought to an end?

K: Neither by the practice of a method nor by any effort can thought be brought to an end. Why make such an effort?

Q: For the very simple reason that if we did not make any effort we would (as a species ) stagnate and die. Everything in nature struggles to survive.

K: Do we struggle just to survive, or do we struggle to (optimise our personal & collective ) survival within a certain (culturally standardised) psychological or ideological pattern? We want to be or to become 'something' within a pattern of a society which has come about through the collective ambition, fulfilment and fear. If we were concerned only with (an inrtelligent humane ) survival, then our whole outlook would be fundamentally different.
Thought is made up of these struggles and contradictions; and can such thought free itself from its own self-perpetuating barriers?

Q: Then there must be an outside agency, call it Divine Grace or what you will, that steps in and puts
an end to the self-enclosing ways of the mind. Is this what you are indicating?

K: How eagerly we want to achieve (ASAP ?) a satisfying state! If one may point out, sir, are you not still concerned with (a spiritual) achievement, with freeing the mind from a particular condition? (If yes, then ?) your mind is caught in the prison of its own desires and efforts, and every movement it makes, in any direction, is within the prison ( but since it is not aware of this, it seeks an outside agency which will liberate it. It generally finds what it seeks, but what it has found is the outcome of its own movement. The mind is still a prisoner, only in a new prison which is more (spacious & ?) gratifying and comforting.

Q: But then, what in the name of Heaven is one to do? If every movement of the mind is an extension of its own prison, then all hope must be abandoned ?

K: (Such ) 'hope' is another movement of ( the self-centred) thought caught in despair. Is it
not possible to stay in this (presumed) state of 'despair' without desperately clinging to the state which is called joyous, hopeful, and so on? ( A state of inneer) Conflict comes into being when the mind takes flight from the ( 'what is' ) state called misery, pain, into an (opposite one ) called hope, happiness. To (holistically) understand the (inner) state in which one is, is not to accept it. Both acceptance and denial are within the area of evaluation.

Q: I still do not grasp how thought can 'come to an end' without some 'action' in that direction.

K: All action of will, of desire, of compulsive urge, is born of the (knowing ?) mind that is evaluating, comparing, condemning. But if the (same) mind (instead of its usual 'thinking' ?) perceives the truth of this through being simple and attentive, then (the old mechanistic process of ) thought comes to an end. This 'ending of thought' is not (resulting in falling a)sleep, or a state of oblivion ; it is an entirely different inner state.

Q: Our talk together has shown me that I have not thought very deeply about all this. Though I have read a great deal, I have only assimilated what others have said. I feel that for the first time I am experiencing the state of my own thinking and am perhaps able to 'listen' to something more than mere words.

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Sun, 02 Jul 2017 #651
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
Physical death does exist, it is not an invention at all,

Hi Jess

Thinking about the 'quest for meaning'. Is it that it is another form of the desire to 'validate' the self by separating us from all other life here? That we are somehow 'superior'? I am seeing K.'s "no-thingness" and no-meaning as being one and the same. We have invented 'meaning' certainly, with the concept of opposites: good, bad, right, wrong, sacred, profane, (life, death) etc. We strive for the one and avoid the other but that just keeps us psychologically from what actually is. Nothing else in the world seems to 'need' meaning as nothing else seems to seek something other than what it is. Is it the 'self's need for a 'connection with the higher', (the need to be 'something') that keeps us from the realization that 'we are the world'?

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Sun, 02 Jul 2017 #652
Thumb_de4 Dan McDermott United States 131 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
the problem starts when you get carried away and want to perform out of the eco-system...

What would be an example of this Jess?

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Mon, 03 Jul 2017 #653
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

( continuing to unzip the Commentaries on Living)

JEALOUSY AND (THE SUB-CONSCIOUS FEAR OF ) LONELINESS

Sitting under that tree in the evening it was very quiet. A lizard was pushing itself up and down on a rock, still warm. The night would be chilly, and the sun would not be up again for many hours. The cattle were weary and slow coming back from the distant fields where they had laboured with their men. A deep-throated owl was hooting from the hilltop which was its home. Every evening about this time it would begin, and as it got darker the hoots would be less frequent; but occasionally, late in the night, you would hear them again. One owl would be calling to another across the valley, and their deep hooting seemed to give greater silence and beauty to the night. It was a lovely evening, and the new moon was setting behind the dark hill. Compassion is not hard to come by when the heart is not filled with the cunning things of the mind. It is the (time bound ?) mind with its demands and fears, its attachments and denials, its determinations and urges, that destroys love.

The generosity of the heart and hand comes from an (inner) source beyond all measure. This source must be touched (in the depths of Meditation ?) , but one must come to it empty handed, without prayer, without sacrifice. When the ( totality of one's ?) mind is serene, without any movement, It is there.

(She was a young lady, but rather weary with pain. The bodily pain she had been able to control through medication, but the agony of jealousy she had never been able to assuage. She was married and had two children but jealousy was destroying all relationship.)

Q: I seem to be jealous, not only of my husband and children, but of almost anyone who has more than I have, a better gardener a prettier dress. All this may seem rather silly, but I am tortured by it. Some time ago I went to a psychanalyst, and temporarily I was at peace; but it soon began again.

K: Doesn’t the ( consumerist ?) culture in which we live encourage envy? The present culture is based on envy, on acquisitiveness and the desire to succeed is deeply embedded in almost everyone. Success is pursued in different ways success as an artist, as a business man, as a religious aspirant. All this are the (rewarding ?) forms of envy, but when envy becomes distressing, painful, then one attempts to get rid of it. We don’t see that in our very ( pursuit of ?) pleasure there is (the seed of ?) pain. (For instance:) our attachment does give pleasure, but it also breeds jealousy and pain, and this is (definitely born of) not love. In this area of self-centred activity one lives, suffers, and dies. It is only when the pain of our self-enclosing action becomes unbearable that one struggles to break through it.

Q: I can vaguely grasp all this, but I am tortured by this jealousy and I want to be free from it.

K: You want to be free from the pain of it, while holding on to the peculiar pleasure that comes with possession and attachment?

Q: Of course I do. You don’t expect me to renounce all my possessions, do you?

K: We are concerned with understanding the desire to possess. We want to possess people as well as things, we cling to beliefs as well as hopes. Why is there this desire to own things and people, this burning attachment?

Q: I have never thought about it. It seems natural to be envious, but it has become a poison, a violently disturbing factor in my life.

K: We all need (some decent ?) "food, clothing & shelter", but our psychological dependence on people breeds anxiety, jealousy and fear.

Q: I suppose that if I did not have my husband and children I would go slowly mad, or I would attach myself to somebody else. But I don’t see what is wrong with attachment.

K: Isn’t this the central problem ? Jealousy is merely the effect (of our dependency & attachment ?) , the ( visible) symptom and it would be useless to deal only with the symptom. Why is one 'psychologically' dependent on another?

Q: I haven’t really thought about it. I took it for granted that everyone is dependent on another.

K: Of course we are physically dependent on each other, which is natural and inevitable. But as long as we do not understand our psychological dependence on another, don’t you think the pain of jealousy will continue? So, why is there this psychological need of another?

Q: Because I love them. If I didn’t love them I wouldn’t care.

K: Are you saying that love and jealousy go together?

Q: So it seems. If I didn’t love them, I certainly wouldn’t be jealous.

K: You want to keep the pleasure of (your loving) attachment and let the pain of it go. Is this possible?

Q: Why not?

K: Attachment (also) implies (a deeply hidden ?) fear, does it not? You are afraid of what will happen with you if the other leaves you or dies, and so, you are getting attached because of this fear. As long as you are occupied with the pleasure of your (marital) attachment, this (subliminal) fear (of loneliness ?) is locked away (from your conscious mind) , but it is always there (in the unconscious) ; so till you are (exposing it and get) free from this fear, the tortures of jealousy will go on.

Q: What am I afraid of?

K The (first experiential ) question is: are you aware that you are afraid?

Q: Now that you are pointedly asking that question I suppose I am. All right, I am afraid.

K: Of what?

Q: Of being lost, insecure; of not being loved, cared for; of being lonely, alone. I think that is it: I am afraid of being lonely, of not being able to face life by myself, so I depend on my husband and children, I desperately hold on to them. There is always in me this (colateral ?) fear of something happening to them. Sometimes this takes the form of jealousy, of uncontainable fury, and so on. I am fearful lest my husband should turn to another. I am eaten up with anxiety. I assure you, I have spent many an hour in tears. You are asking me if it is love. I see it is not. But what am I to do?

K: Condemnation or justification prevents you from looking at what lies behind that fear, it is an active distraction from facing the fact of what is actually happening. When you say, ”I am selfish”, these words are loaded with condemnation, and you are strengthening this characteristic which is part of yourself.

Q: I am not sure I understand this.

K: By condemning or justifying an action of your child, do you understand him? To get an immediate result you say ‘do’ or ‘don’t; but you haven’t understood the (inner) complexities of the child. Similarly, your self- condemnation prevents the understanding of yourself. You have to understand the (psychological) complexity which is you.

Q: Yes, yes, I can grasp that.

K: Then we can go into the matter slowly, without condemning or justifying. You will find it difficult not to condemn or justify, because for centuries this has been the habitual (psychological short cut ?) .

The (deeper) problem, then, is not jealousy and how to be free of it, but (your sub-conscious) fear. How does it come into being?

Q: It is there all right, but what it is I do not know.

K: Fear exists only in relation to something (that is causing it ) , doesn’t it? There is this ( deeper existential ?) state which you call 'loneliness', and when you are becoming conscious of that state, fear arises.

Q: Then, I suppose I'm afraid of my loneliness, as you say.

K: Why do you 'suppose'? Aren’t you sure?

Q: I hesitate to be sure about anything, but loneliness is one of my deepest problems. It has always been there in the background, but it is only now, in this talk, that I am able to look at it directly, to see that it is there. It is (the sense of) an enormous inner void, frightening and inescapable.

K: Is it possible to look at that (inner) void without giving it a name, without any form of description? Merely labelling it is a hindrance to (an experiential) understanding.

Q: I see what you mean but labelling it is practically an instantaneous reaction.

K: Feeling and naming are almost simultaneous, are they not? But can't there be a (silent ?) gap between a feeling and the naming of it? If this (meditative ?) gap is really experienced, it will be found that the 'thinker' ceases to be an entity separate from its thoughts. (The instant verbalizing process is part of the (thinking) self, the same entity who is jealous and who attempts (verbally ) to get over his jealousy. If you really understand the truth of this (duality between the thinker and its thoughts) and there is no naming, then fear ceases. Only then is it possible to be fully aware of that which is called the "void of loneliness". Then your mind does not separate itself from "that which is".

Q: I find it pretty difficult to follow all of this, but at least I have understood some of it, and (hopefully ?) I shall allow that understanding to unfold.

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Tue, 04 Jul 2017 #654
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

THE (SILENT) MIND STORMING

Towards the evening a wind sprang up from the east - a dry, harsh wind, blowing down the dead leaves and drying up the land. It was a tempestuous and menacing night; the wind had increased, the house creaked, and branches were being torn from the trees. The next morning the air was so clear you could almost touch the mountains. The heat had returned with the wind; but as the wind died in the late afternoon, the fog rolled in again from the sea.

The ( authentic sense of ?) contentment is never the outcome of personal fulfilment or of the possession of things; it comes with the ( unfolding and ?) fullness of 'what is'. That ( mind & heart ) which is full does not need change. It is the 'incomplete' ( fragmented mind only ?) in trying to become complete that knows the turmoil of discontent and change.

( However, to start with ?) the 'what is' is the incomplete, it is not (integrated &) complete. The very attempt to heal that (existential ?) pain (of living in a state of inner fragmentation) is (often resulting in ?) the search for the unreal. To be aware of (one's existential ?) discontent is to be(come responsibly ?) aware of 'what is', and in the fullness of it there is a (non-dualistic ?) state which may be called (inner) Contentment. It has no (connection whatsoeverwith its 'discontent' ?) 'opposite'.

*

(He was a youngish man, eager and searching)

Q: I have read several books on religion and religious practices, on meditation and the various methods advocated for attaining the Highest. During my wanderings as a sailor on a 'tramp' ship I went to India and spent nearly a year there, and I thought of becoming a (wandering) monk; but that was too idealistically unreal. I tried living alone in order to meditate, but that too came to an end. After all these years I still seem to be utterly incapable of controlling my thoughts, and this is what I want to talk about. Of course I have other problems, like sex and so on, but if I were completely the master of my thoughts I could then manage to curb my burning desires and urges.

K: Will the controlling of thought lead to the calming of your desires, or merely to their suppression, which will in turn bring other deeper (conflicts & ) problems?

Q: You are of course not advocating 'giving way' to desire. Desire is the way of ( any self-centred) thought, and in my ( 'oblique' ?) attempts to control thought I had hoped to subjugate my desires. Desires have to be (transcended or ) sublimated, but even to sublimate them they must first be held in check. Most of the (available spiritual) teachers insist that our desires must be transcended, and they prescribe various methods to bring this about.

K: Apart from what others have said, what do you think? Will the (dualistic) suppression or 'sublimation' of desire bring about the understanding of it or free you from it? Through (a constant) occupation, religious or otherwise, the mind can be disciplined every hour of the day. But such an 'occupied' (kept busy) mind is not a free mind, and surely it is only an (occupation -) free mind that can be aware of (its depths of ?) timeless creativity.

Q: Is there no inner freedom (resulting from) transcending one's desires?

K: What do you mean by 'transcending desire'?

Q: Not to be driven by desire, not to be caught in its turmoils and confusion. Instead of pursuing the trivial things of life, that very same desire can search out the sublime.

K: You may change the object of desire from a (lavish ?) house to ( superior ?) knowledge but it is still (a re-directed ?) activity of desire, is it not? ( And the easily available 'check point' is that : ) desire is ever seeking a fulfilment, a ( form of personal or collective ?) attainment, and it is this (time-binding ?) movement of desire which must be (meditated upon and ?) understood ( from the very beginning) and not driven away or (swept ) under (the carpet ?) . Without understanding the (fragmentary ?) ways of desire, the mere control of your thoughts has little significance.

Q: But ( after this experiential detour) I must come back to the point: to understand desire, some mental concentration is obviously necessary, and that is my whole difficulty: 'I' (aka the 'thinker') can’t seem to be able to control 'my thoughts'. They wander all over the place tumbling over each other. There is not a single thought that is dominant and continuous among all the irrelevant thoughts.

K: The (time-bound ) mind is like a (powerful thinking) machine that is working night and day, chattering, everlastingly ( keeping itself) busy whether asleep or awake. It is as speedy and as restless as the sea. (The controlling) part of this intricate and complex (thinking) mechanism tries to (bring under ) control the whole movement, and so begins the conflict between opposing (fragmentary ?) desires & urges. One may be called the 'higher self' and the other the 'lower self', but both are within the ('known'-) area of the mind.

( The only experiential difficulty being that ?) the actions and reactions of this (temporal ) mind, of ( the 'thinker' controlled ?) thought, are almost simultaneous and automatic ( "chain thinking" ?) . This whole conscious (less-conscious) and unconscious process of accepting and denying, conforming and striving (to achieve its goals) is extremely rapid.

So the ( first experiential ?) question is not how to (bring ASAP under) control this complex (intricate) mechanism, but rather : can this very swift mind slow (itself) down?

Q: But how?

K: You are not asking the right question: discovering for yourself the truth (regarding the necessity of ?) slowing down this (chattering) mind. You are concerned with getting a ( once & for all ?) result. Getting a (temporary) result is comparatively easy, but (the central issue) is: is it possible for the mind to slow itself down without putting on ( the controlling ?) brakes?

Q: What do you mean by this 'slowing down'?

K: When you are going very fast in a motor car, the nearby landscape is a blur; it is only at a walking speed that you can observe in detail the trees, the birds and the flowers. (Similarly, the ) self-knowledge comes with the 'slowing down' of the mind, but there must be no dissipation of energy in the slowing down of the mind.

Q: I think I am beginning to see that the effort one makes to control one's thoughts is wasteful, but I don’t understand what else is to be (practically) done.

K: We haven’t yet come to the question of 'action', have we? We are trying to see (the elementary truth ) that it is important for the (fast thinking) mind to slow down. When does this happen (naturally) ?

Q: I don’t know, I have never thought of it before.

K: Have you not noticed, sir that while you are (really) watching something, the mind slows down? When you watch that car moving along the road down there, or look intently at any physical object, is not your mind functioning more slowly? Watching, observing (anything that really interests one?) does (result in ) slowing down the mind. Looking at a (movie ) picture, an image, an object, helps to quiet the mind.

Q: I am watching while you are explaining, and there is an awareness of the stillness of the mind.

K: ( The next point to be considered is:) Do we ever really watch (directly, non-verbally ) anything, or do we interpose between (ourselves as ) the 'observer' and the 'thing observed' a ('fool proof' mental ?) screen of personal prejudices, values, judgments, comparisons, condemnations?

Q: It seems almost impossible (or uncomfortable ?) not to have this screen. I don’t think I am capable of observing in an inviolate manner.

K: If it may be suggested, don’t block yourself (right away) by such a 'conclusion', positive or negative. Can there be (meditative quality of ?) observation without this screen? To put it (negatively) is there ( a total) attention when the mind is ( keeping itself) occupied? It is only the unoccupied mind that can attend. The mind is slowing down and becoming alert, when there is this (leisurely) watchfulness, which is the (natural) attention of an unoccupied mind.

Q: I am beginning to experience what you are saying, sir.

K: Let us examine it a little further. If there is no (self- protective mental) screen between the 'observer' and the (thing which is being) 'observed,' is there then a (an inner sense of ?) separation, a division between them? Is not then the 'observer' (integrated with ?) the (inner thing being) 'observed'?

Q: I am afraid I don’t follow.

K: The 'feeling of envy' cannot be separated from the 'experiencer' of that feeling, though a ( very realistic , but ?) illusory division does exist which breeds ( the "observer vs observed") conflict, and in this conflict the ( time-bound) mind is caught. When ( the duality of ?) this false separation disappears, there is a possibility of ( an integrated perceptive ?) freedom, and only then is the mind (naturally) still. It is only when the (self-created illusion of the ?) 'experiencer' ceases that there is the Creative Movement of the Real.

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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 #655
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

MEDITATION AND THE CONTROL OF THOUGHT

He once had a good position with the government; but over twenty years ago he had made the decision to give up this position and the 'ways of the world' in order to spend the remaining days of his life in meditation.

Q: I practiced various methods of meditation till I had complete control of my thoughts, and this has brought with it certain ( psychic ) powers and domination over myself. However, a friend took me to one of your talks in which you answered a question on meditation, saying that as generally practiced meditation was a form of self-hypnosis, a cultivation of self-projected desires, however refined. This struck me as being so true that I sought out this conversation with you; and considering that I have given my life to meditation, I hope we can go into the matter rather deeply. According to the ( ancient Hindu) books, one had to have all the reins of controlled thought in one’s hand. Thought can ot penetrate into the many illusions unless it is controlled and directed; so that was my first task.

K: Is the control of thought the first task (in Meditation) ?

Q: After reading many books on meditation and contemplation, including the writings of the various mystics both here and in the West, it seemed obvious to me that (for starters) having control over one's thoughts was the most important thing. This demanded considerable effort, sustained and purposive. As I progressed in meditation I had many visions of Krishna, of Christ, and of some of the Hindu saints. I became clairvoyant and began to read people’s thoughts, and acquired certain other sidhis or powers. I went from despair to the highest form of bliss. I had the pride of a conqueror, of one who was the master of himself. Though I had heard of you for many years, the pride in my achievement had always prevented me from coming to listen to you; but my friend, another sannyasi, insisted that I should come, and what I heard has greately disturbed me. You said in your talk that the mind must go beyond all (psychic) experiences, otherwise it is imprisoned in its own projections, in its own desires and pursuits, and I was deeply surprised to find that my mind was caught up in these very things. Now, being conscious of this fact, how is the mind to break down the walls of the prison it has built around itself? Have these twenty years and more been wasted? Has it all been a mere wandering in illusion?

K: Let us consider (for starters) the (issue of) controlling of thought. Various religious teachers have advocated the control of thought as the primary step, but are they right? Who is this 'controller'? Is he not part of that very (self-centred process of ) thought which he is trying to control? Surely control implies the coercive action of will to suppress, dominate, or build up resistance against what is not desired. In this whole process there is vast and miserable conflict, is there not? Can any good come out of conflict?

( the next point:) ( mental) concentration in meditation is a form of self-centred improvement, it emphasizes action within the boundaries of the self, the ego, the ‘me’. A child is ( also very concentrated when his mind is ) absorbed in its toy. The toy, the 'image', the 'symbol', the ( repetition of the sacred ?) word, arrests the restless wanderings of the mind, and such absorption is called concentration. The 'image' or the object (of one's concentration) is then becoming all important, but it does not (set) the mind free to explore, to discover 'what is' ( its active content) , or if there is anything beyond its own frontiers.

Q: What you say appears to be true and I am beginning to understand the implications of control. But how can the mind be free without any self- discipline?

K: Suppression and conformity are not the steps that lead to (inner) freedom. The first step towards (such) freedom is the understanding of (one's psychological) 'bondage' ( anchorage in the 'known' ?) . ( The self-imposed) discipline does shape thought to any desired (mental) pattern, but when there is a clear awareness of the ways of desire, that awareness brings clarity and order. After all, sir, (mental) concentration is the way of desire: one is after some personal achievement and the feeling of being secure. This is so, is it not?

Q: I follow what you are explaining, sir.

K: Intellectual comprehension alone has little (experiential) value, don’t you think? The liberating factor is the (direct ) perception of the truth or the falseness of the matter. If we can understand the implications of concentration and see the false as the false, then there is freedom from the desire to achieve, to experience, to become. From this (freedom from the known ?) comes (an quality of total) attention, which is wholly different from ( mental) concentration. Concentration implies a dualistic process: the 'maker of effort' and the ( rewarding) 'end' towards which effort is made. So concentration (implicitly) strengthens one's self-consciousness, (the 'ego') as the virtuous conqueror (of its thought) . However, in ( the silent inner space of ) attention there is (no self-conscious) 'experiencer' - in this state of (holistic) attention the conflict ( self-created stress of ) achievement or fear of failure have ceased.

Q: Unfortunately not all of us are blessed with that power of (integrated) attention.

K: It is not ( to be regarded as a divine ?) gift, or a thing to be purchased through discipline, practice, and so on. It comes into (one's ) being with the understanding of desire, which is, with self-knowledge. This state of attention is the (action of) Good(ness), in the absence of the self (-interest) .

Q: Are all my efforts spent in self-discipline of no value at all? What about all the (mystical) visions and experiences? Are they also false, worthless?

K: Is not the ( consciousness of mankind) sir, a vast storehouse of all the experiences, visions and thoughts of man? The human mind is the result of many thousands of years of tradition and experience. It is capable of fantastic inventions, from the simplest to the most complex. It is capable of extraordinary delusions and of vast perceptions. All our past experiences and hopes, the anxieties, joys and accumulated knowledge - both collective and individual - are all 'stored away' in the deeper layers (or 'mansions' ?) of human consciousness, and one can relive the inherited or acquired experiences, visions, and so on. We are told of certain (psychedelic ?) drugs that can bring a vision of the depths and the heights, that can (temporarily) free the mind from its (personal) turmoils, giving it great energy and insight. But ( the ethical issue still remains :) must the mind travel through all these dark and hidden passages to come to the light? And is it the light of the eternal? Or is it the ( artificial) light of the known, something born of search, struggle & hope? Must one go through this weary process to find that which is not measurable? Can't we 'bypass' (discard) all this and come upon that which may be called (Intelligence born of ) Love? Since you have had visions, powers, experiences, what do you say, sir?

Q: While they lasted I naturally thought they were important and had significance; they gave me a satisfying sense of power, a certain happiness in gratifying achievement. When the various powers come they give one great confidence in oneself, a feeling of self-mastery in which there is an overwhelming pride. Now, after talking all this over, I am not at all sure that these visions, and so on, have such great meaning for me as they once had. They seem to have receded in the light of my own understanding.

K: Are these (psychic) experiences necessary to open the door of the Eternal ? Can't they be bypassed? After all, what is essential (in all meditation ?) is (a first hand) self-knowledge, which brings about a still mind. And such a still mind is not the product of the various practices to subjugate desire.

All these practices and disciplines (subliminally) strengthen one's self-(centred consciousness) , but the mind must be empty of the known for the 'unknowable' to be. The (time-binding ) movement of the self, with its will and desire, its searching and accumulation, must wholly cease. Then only the Timeless can come into (one's) being. The mind that seeks to invite the Real through various practices, disciplines, prayers and (theatrical) 'attitudes', can (eventually) receive its own (self-) gratifying projections, but they are not the Real.

Q: I perceive now, after these many years of asceticism, discipline and self-mortification, that my mind is (still) held in a ( VIP ) prison of its own making, and that the walls of this prison must be broken down. How is one to set about it?

K: The very awareness (or realisation of the truth ?) that 'they must go' is ( at least theoretically ?) enough. To see the false as the false is in itself enough, for that very (insightful) perception frees the mind from the (psychological residues of the ?) false.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #656
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

IS THERE A 'PROFOUND' THINKING?

Far beyond the palms was the sea, restless and cruel; it was never calm, but always rough with waves and strong currents. In the silence of the night its roar could be heard some distance inland, and in that deep sound there was a warning, a threat. But here among the palms there were deep shadows and stillness. It was full moon and almost like daylight, without the heat and the glare, and the light on those waving palms was soft and beautiful. The beauty was not only of the moonlight on the palms, but also of the shadows, of the rounded trunks, of the sparkling waters and the rich earth. The earth, the sky, the man walking by, the croaking frogs, and the distant whistle of a train - it was all one living thing not measurable by the (thinking) mind.

The human mind is an astonishing instrument; there is no man-made machinery that is so complex, subtle with such infinite possibilities. ( Except that usually ...) we are only aware of the superficial levels of the mind, if we are aware at all, and are satisfied to live on its outer surface. We accept thinking as the ( only ) activity of the mind: the thinking of the cunning politician, of the learned professor, of the (handy) carpenter. But is there a more profound ( form of) thinking? The (thinking) 'mind' is not merely the surface activity (of our everyday living) , but also the hidden movements (subliminal interferences ?) of many centuries. These movements ( impersonated by the 'thinker'/'observer'/'experiencer' ?) do constantly control the outer activity so the mind develops its own dualistic (attitudes & inner ) conflicts (of interests) . The end result is a mind broken up into many parts, one in opposition to another and (even the most diligent ) efforts to integrate itself, cannot bring peace among its many broken parts. The mind that is ( artificially) 'made whole' by thought, by knowledge, by experience, is still the result of time and sorrow; a (play)thing of circumstances.

(Perhaps ?) we are approaching this problem of ( inner ) integration wrongly ? Through (the efforts of the controlling) part, the wholeness cannot be realized, but we do not see this. What we do see is the 'particular' (consciousness) enlarging itself to contain the many parts; but the bringing together of many parts does not (necessarily ?) make for integration, but what is of the highest importance ( meditationally wise ? ) is to let the Unknown come into being.
The 'known' can never receive the Unknown. The particular mind seeking to live (forever ?) happily in the puddle of its self-created integration will not bring about the creativity of the Unknown.

( In a nutshell: ) Self-improvement through (cultivating superior ) virtues , through identification with capacity, through acquiring any form of positive or negative security, is a self-enclosing process. ( Personal) ambition breeds (an existential ?) mediocrity, for it is the fulfilment of the self through (meaningful) action, through (identifying with) a group, or ideal. The (temporal) 'self' is the (polarising) centre of all that is 'known', it is (generating its own continuity in time:) the past moving through the present to the future, and all activity in the field of the known makes for ( a global) shallowness of mind. The (self-identified) mind can never be great, for what is great is immeasurable. The 'known' is comparable , and all the (psychological) activities of (a self-enclosing existence in ?) the 'known' can only (eventually ?) bring ( inner disintegration and) sorrow.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2017 #657
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
your mention of "prayer" it also must have had a now lost, 'esoteric' function other than 'worship' and 'petition' and assuaging one's feelings of guilt?...Similar, perhaps, to 'meditation' which has become corrupted as a means of experience,sensation and entertainment.

Agreed, Dan, such words that were not too long ago experientialy vital have been systematically 'levelled' and 'vulgarised' by our hedonistically standardising culture. So we can easily understand why K discarded them indiscriminately - 'no crutches' as the young K used to say in his early talks. Easier said than done...since even after you discard such key spiritual concepts such as 'faith', 'good will', 'worship' ...not to mention the ' higher self' life on planet earth will still bring some very destabilising incidents. If you're 'just happy' to be here, all those 'crutch-words' are of course redundant , but...what about the many other circumstances when your inner clarity or 'creative happiness' are obstructed or hindered by some tough realities out there ?

Now, from fine-sifting through the MZ memos, one can find that K had his own share of difficult moments and then...he was performing his own 'tricks of white magic' ( mandala circles, old Brahminic chants, fainting, purifying illnesses , etc). Of course, since he was so often in contact with a very troubled consciousness of mankind, he was more vulnerable when exposed to its 'less than pleasant' aspects. But then...so are we, perhaps to a slighter degree. So, if read between the lines, K's statement 'The word is not the thing' is not just a handy disclaimer for the 'speaker' , but also a fair warning for us all not to take anybody's words at their 'face value', in other words that the ultimate authority in discerning the true from the false is always our own Intelligence- as little or as much as we happen to have at that point in time.

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Fri, 07 Jul 2017 #658
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

(continuing to 'unzip' the Commentaries on Living )

A 'MEDITATOR-FREE' MEDITATION ON IMMENSITY

The (meditating ?) mind seemed to cover the vast space and the unending distance; or rather, the mind seemed to expand without an end, and behind and beyond the mind there was 'something' (sacred ?) that held all things in it. The (temporal) mind stopped its usual activity; but it could not grasp what was not of its own nature, and presently all things, including the mind were enfolded in that Immensity which is beyond all consciousness. It cannot be 'thought
about' and so ( conveniently) 'experienced' by the mind. But then, who is it that experiences it?

Obviously it is not the ( time-bound ) mind of everyday memories, responses and urges. Is there another (dimension of the ) "mind" , or is there a part of the same mind which is 'dormant' (on 'stand-by' ?) , to be awakened only by That which is above and beyond all mind?

If this is so, then within our ( everyday) mind there is always ( an inner Door to) 'That' which is beyond all thought and time. Since that Immensity is not born of the process of the (temporal) mind, then what is it that is aware of it? Is ( the reflexion of ?) that Immensity aware of itself when there is no
'experiencer' at all? There was no ( self-conscious ?) 'experiencer' when this happened ( while ?) coming down the mountain, and the ( time-bound ) mind was not functioning, ( although ) it was alert and passive: there was no movement of any kind within itself. There was no 'observer' who measured the ( inner things) observed. There was only That, and That was aware of itself without ( any words to ) measure. The (temporal) mind is aware that it cannot capture ( in the dragnet of its) verbalised experience That Which Ever Abides, timeless and immeasurable.

WHAT ABOUT 'CREATIVE HAPPINESS’ ?

Creative happiness is ( available) for all and not for the few alone. I has no market value; it is not a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder, but it is the one thing that can be (free) for all.

( But how ) is this 'creative happiness' to be realised? That is, how can the mind keep in touch with that which is the source of all happiness? Can this (inner) openness be sustained in spite of (the pressures of an all -standardising) education and the 'crowding in' of modern life? It can be, but only when the educator is educating (himself) to this Reality, only when he who teaches is himself 'in touch' with (his inner) source of creative happiness.

So the (prioritary educational) problem is not with (entertaining and/or informing ? ) the children, but ( with holistically educating) the teachers and the parents. Education (does become a ) vicious circle when we do not see the essential necessity above all else, of (accessing ) this (inner source of ) supreme happiness. After all, to be open to the Source of All Happiness is the highest (purpose of any authentic ) religion; but to realize this happiness, you must give the right attention to it, as you do to ( any other trade or ) 'business'.

The (vocational) profession (of a holistic ?) teacher is not a mere routine job, but the expression of beauty and joy, which cannot be measured in terms of
(scholastic) achievements and (wordly) success.
( On the other hand ?) The (inner) Light of Reality and its Bliss are destroyed when the (self-centred) mind assumes control)

The (experiential & non-dualistic approach to ?) self-knowledge is the beginning of Wisdom; without (such) self-knowledge, ( all the accumulative) learning leads to ( the perpetration of ) ignorance, strife and sorrow.

This post was last updated by John Raica Fri, 07 Jul 2017.

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Sat, 08 Jul 2017 #659
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

(More 'unzipped' Commentaries)

CONFLICT, FREEDOM & RELATIONSHIP

Q: The ( theoretical ) conflict between 'thesis' and 'antithesis' seems not only inevitable but also necessary, since it brings about a synthesis, from which again there is a thesis with its corresponding antithesis, and so on. And it is only through conflict that there can ever be any growth, any advance.”

K: ( But inwardly ?) does conflict bring about a global comprehension of our problems? Is not conflict in its very nature a factor of (inner ) disintegration?

Q: We both know there is conflict at every level of our ( material) existence, so why deny or be blind to it?

K: One is not blind to the constant strife within and without; but if I may ask, why do you insist that it is
essential?

Q: Conflict cannot be denied, it is part of the human structure, and we can use it as a means to an end, the
end being the right environment for the individual. ( Political ?) ambition and its (related ) conflicts can be used either against the individual or for
him. Through conflict we move to greater things.

K: What do you mean by 'conflict'? Conflict between what?

Q: Between 'what has been' and 'what will be'.

K: The ‘what will be’ is the further (projected) response of 'what has been' and 'what is'.
So, by conflict you mean the struggle between two opposing ideas. But is opposition in any form conducive to ( an insightful ) understanding of any problem?

Q: There is class conflict, national conflict, and ideological conflict. Conflict is the result of our resistance due to ignorance of certain fundamental facts. Through ( having a well structred political & ideological ) opposition there is ( a social & economical) progress, and this part of the whole process of life.

K: We know there is conflict at all the different levels of life, and it would be foolish to deny it. But is (a thinking in terms of ?) conflict essential? In
nature, the significance of conflict may be quite different; among the animals, ( the organised form of) conflict as we know it may not exist at all. But to (most of) us, ( constantly) thinking in terms of conflict has become a factor of enormous importance: competition, ambition, the effort to be or not to be, the will to achieve, (and ASAP ?) - all this is ( the psychological component of our ) conflicting (attitude to life) . Is conflict essential to the (holistic) solution of a problem? Should we not attempt to find the truth of the matter rather than hold to our conclusions and opinions?

Q: How can there be any social progress from one form of society to another without conflict? The ‘haves’ will never voluntarily give up their wealth, they must be forced, and (hopefully) this ( socio-political) conflict will bring about a new social order, a new way of life. This cannot be done pacifically. We may not want to be violent, but we have to face the facts.

K: By this ( ideological approach ?) which you think essential, you will only bring about more opposition and
hate. All response of 'thought' (of thinking in the field of the ' known' ?) is conditioned, and to bring about a revolution based on thought or idea is to
perpetuate a modified form of what was. You are essentially (social) reformers, and not real revolutionaries. Intellectually you can prove or disprove anything, but that cannot alter certain obvious facts: the present society is based on individual (or small group ?) acquisitiveness; and
in your 'new society', individual acquisitiveness is opposed by State acquisitiveness, the State
is now becoming all-important, and not the individual. From this antithesis you say there will eventually be a
synthesis in which the individuals are also becoming important. This is a (hopeful) projection of thought, and thought is always the response of memory, of conditioning. It is really a vicious circle (time spiral ?)
with no way out. This struggling within the cage of thought, is what you call progress.

Q: Do you say, then, that we must stay as we are, with all the exploitation and corruption of the present
society?

K: Not at all. But your revolution is no revolution, it is only a transfer of power from one group
to another, the substitution of one class for another. Your revolution is merely a different structure
within the same underlying pattern (of self-interest) . There is a radical revolution which is not based on thought, but as long as we think in terms of changing 'this' into 'that', there cannot be this fundamental revolution (in human consciousness) .

Q: (At this point in time) such a 'revolution' is an obvious impossibility. Are you seriously proposing it?

K: It is the only revolution, the only fundamental (holistic) transformation (of man's consciousness) .

Q: And...how exactly do you propose to bring it about?

K: By seeing the false as (being) 'false'; and by seeing the truth ( behind the cover-up of ?) the false. Obviously, there must be a fundamental revolution in man’s relationship to man; we all know that things cannot go on ( forever ?) as they are now, without an increasing ( degree of frustration, violence ? ) sorrow and disaster. But all (social) reformers an (economical) goal to be achieved, and they often use ( the poor) man as a means to their own ends.
You cannot separate the 'end' from the 'means' ( used to achieve it) , for they are (both part of ) a single, inseparable process. ( Holistically put:) the means 'is' the end; there can be no ( authentic) 'classless society' produced through class conflict, in the same way as there can be no global peace through being prepared for war.

All (thought's) opposites are self-projected; the ideal is a reaction from what is, and the conflict
to achieve this 'ideal' is a vain and illusory struggle within the cage of (our personal & collective) thought.
Through (indulging in ) this conflictual (way of thinking) there is no (authentic inner) freedom for man. Without (such inner) freedom, there can be no (creative ?) happiness; but this (state of inner) freedom is not a (thought -projected) ideal.
( In a holistic nutshell:) Freedom is the only means to freedom.

( On the other hand ?) As long as man is 'psychologically' (manipulated ?) or 'physically' used, whether in the name of God or of the State, there will be a society based on (greed & ) violence. When we use each other for our mutual gratification, can there be any (authentic) relationship between us? The
State (or the company boss ?) has no authentic relationship with the individual, it merely uses him as a tool. When we use man for a purpose, however noble, we want him (to act ) as an instrument, a 'dead' thing. Our whole society is based on the use of dead things. The use of another makes that person the dead instrument of your gratification.
An authentic relationship can exist only between the 'living', and ( a relationship based on) using each other is a process of isolation. It is this isolating process that breeds conflict, antagonism between man and man.

Q: Why do you lay so much emphasis on ( the quality of our) relationship?

K: Our existence is ( a complex process of inter-) relationship; to 'be' is to 'be related'. But the structure of our present society, being based on mutual use, brings about ( frustration, conflict & ) violence, destruction and misery. As long as we psychologically need and use each other, there can be no (authentic) relationship. Relationship is (based on) communion; and how can there be communion if there is exploitation? Conflict, opposition & enmity exists between us when there is the use of another as a means of pleasure, of achievement. To see (the truth ) that conflict in any form destroys relationship & understanding is essential. There is (such insightful) understanding only when the (totality of our ?) mind (& heart ?) is quiet; and the mind is not 'quiet' ( totally at peace with itself ?) when it is held in (the illusory safety of ?) any ideology, dogma or belief, or bound to its own experience & memories, or again, when it is (psychologically engaged in) acquiring or becoming (something ) . All acquisition is conflict; all becoming is a process of isolation - such a mind is a 'dead' (an inwardly inert ?) mind, inevitably creating misery for itself and for others.
The (totality of the ?) mind ( & heart ? ) is "quiet" only when it is not caught in (the self-centred machinery of ?) thought, which is its 'known' activity.
When the mind is (at peace with itself and ?) still, a true factor (of Compassionate Intelligence &) Love, comes into (one's) being.

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Sun, 09 Jul 2017 #660
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 684 posts in this forum Offline

ALL ABOUT EXPERIENCING THE 'INNER VOID'

(He was very serious, and had read a great deal of Sanskrit literature, and came to ask several questions about the 'inward void' (aka:) the 'emptiness' of the mind.

Q: Like every other human being, I have known sorrow; there has been death and the ache of life. I had a wife who died before I left the comforts of my father’s house, and now I know the meaning of voluntary poverty. My father used to tell me something about your talks, and I want you to speak to me of the immeasurable (inner) void - since I might have touched the hems of it in my wanderings and meditations.

K: If it may be pointed out, (following ) the (spiritual) authority of another is no proof of the truth of your experience. Truth needs no proof by action, nor does it depend on anybody's authority; so let’s ( wisely ?) put aside all authority and tradition, and try to find out the truth of this matter for ourselves. If you walk on the (trodden) path of authority and tradition you will experience whatever you desire to experience, but it will not be an (totally insightful ?) discovery.
To discover whether that ('inner) void' does really exists or is merely another invention, the (meditating) mind must be free from the ( safety ?) net of authority and tradition.

Q: Can the (self-identified) mind ever free itself from this net?

K: The ( particular ?) mind cannot free itself, for any effort on its part to be free only weaves another (subtler) net in which it will again be caught. Freedom ( from functioning exclusively in the field of the known ?) is not to be free from something (within that field ). Freedom is a state of (integrated inner ) 'being' which is not the outcome of the desire to be free.
When the (meditating) mind understands this, and sees the falseness of authority and tradition, then only does the 'false' wither away.

Q: But apart from all that, I have vaguely felt even from childhood, as in a dream, the existence of this ( inner) void, and as I grew older, my reading of various religious books only strengthened this feeling, giving it more vitality and purpose.
But I begin to see your point: I have become almost entirely dependent on the description of the experiences of others, as given in the sacred Scriptures. This 'dependence' I can now throw off, since I now see the ( experiential) necessity of doing so; but how can I access that original, uncontaminated feeling for That which is beyond all words?

K: Whatever you have experienced (inwardly) as a youth, or only yesterday, is over and gone; but if you cling to the (reassuring memory of) past, you prevent the quickening "experience of the New".

Q: Then...what am I to do?

K: One has to (meditate on ?) emptying the mind of the 'known'; all the (psychological ?) knowledge that one has gathered must cease to have any influence on the living mind. ( Inwardly relying on that ? ) 'knowledge' is the very process of ( continuity of ) the past, and the (meditating ?) mind must be free from this process. Recognition is part of the (self-sustained ?) process of knowledge, isn’t it?

Q: How is that?

K: To recognize something, you must have known or experienced it previously, and all our past experience is stored up as ( a stand-by ?) memory. You may have experienced, once upon a time, this inner void, and having once recorded the 'experience' of it, you now crave for (having it again) it. The original
experience came about without your pursuing it; but now you are pursuing it. The thing that
you are seeking is not the void, but the renewal of an old memory. If it is to happen again, all 'remembrances' of it must disappear. All search for it must cease (in the context of an authentic meditation ?) , for search is based on the desire ('greed' ?) to experience it again.

Q: Do you really mean that I must not search it out? This seems incredible!

K: (In the field of Meditation) the (driving) motive of your search is of greater significance than the search itself. The motive pervades, guides and shapes (subliminally directs ?) the search. The 'motive' of your search is the desire to experience the Unknowable (Inner Void) to know the Bliss and the Immensity of it.
(However ) this ( noble ?) desire has brought into being the ( time-binding identification of the ?) 'experiencer' who now craves for ( the ultimate ?) experience. All other (worldly) experiences having lost their taste, the 'experiencer' now longs for the Inner Void; so there is the (dualistic gap) between the
experiencer, and the thing to be experienced. Thus ( a time-binding) conflict is set going between the two, between the pursuer and the pursued.

Q: This I understand very well, because it is exactly the state I am in. I now see that I am caught in an (invisible) net of my own making.

K: As every ( wishful thinking) 'seeker' is, and not just the seeker after Truth, God, the Void, and so on. Every ( worldly ) ambitious man who is pursuing power, position, prestige, every idealist, every builder of a 'perfect Utopia' - they are all caught in the same ( time-binding) net. Now, once you understand the significance of ( any dualistic) search, will you continue to seek the Inner Void?

Q: I can see the (holistic) meaning of your question and I have already stopped seeking.

K: If this be a fact, then what is the state of the mind that is no (more) 'seeking'?

Q: I do not know yet, the whole thing is so new to me that I shall have to gather myself and observe. May I have a few minutes before we go any further? (After a pause, he continued:)
I perceive how extraordinarily subtle it is; how difficult it is for the ( self-conscious entity ?) 'experiencer' or 'watcher', not to step in. It seems almost impossible for ( the desire-driven process of) thought not to create ( the entity of ?) the 'thinker'; but as long as there is the 'thinker', there must be a separation from 'that which is supposed to be experienced'. So, you are asking, aren’t you, what is the state of the mind when there is no (more duality and ) conflict?

K: ( A state of inner ?) conflict exists whenever ( the thought sustained movement of ) desire assumes the form of the 'experiencer' and pursues that which is (desired) to be experienced. But 'that which is to be experienced' is also put together (projected ?) by desire.

Q: Let me understand (in my own words) what you are saying. Desire not only builds the 'experiencer', the watcher, but also brings into being ( a self-created image of ) 'that which is to be experienced'. So ( the joint process of thought &) desire is the cause of the division between the 'experiencer' and 'the thing to be experienced', and it is this (false) division that sustains (a time-binding state of inner) conflict. Now, you are asking, what is the (inwardly integrated) state of the mind which is not driven by (thought &) desire?

K: What is the state of the mind which is not caught in the conflict of desire? The urge to find (the experiential answer is still ?) part of the (same dualistic activity of ) desire which has brought into being the 'experiencer' and the 'thing to be experienced', is it not?

Q: That’s so. Your question was a trap for me, but I am thankful you asked it because I am seeing more of the intricate subtleties of (the thought backed process of ) desire.

K: It was not (meant to be ?) a 'trap', but a natural and inevitable (check-up? ) question which you would have (eventually ? ) asked yourself in the course of your (life-long spiritual ?) inquiry.
(In short:) If the mind is not extremely alert, aware, it is soon caught again in the net of its own (self-centred thinking &) desire.

Q: One final question: is it really possible for the (meditating ?) mind to be totally free of this (thought sustained ) desire for ( the Ultimate ?) Experience, which sustains this division between the 'experiencer' and the ( Inner Void supposed ?) to be experienced?

K: Find out, sir (in your own 'meditation' homework ?) . When the (holistically integrated) mind is entirely free of this (mental ) structure of desire, is the ( meditating) mind then (feeling ?) different from the Void?

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