Awareness and desire

In many Eastern spiritual traditions, the concept of interconnectedness is seen as a fundamental aspect of reality, and the basis for a holistic approach to life. This lies in contrast to the common human experience which views the world in terms of separate, individual entities.

Krishnamurti too was of the opinion that everything is connected and interdependent. However, he actively discouraged speculative conjecture regarding the intangible nature of non-duality, Instead, his teaching urges us to turn our attention to the beliefs, values, and actions that sustain our sense of individuality. By the phrase “you are the world”, he was suggesting that individual consciousness is is part of a collective consciousness that is shaped by a common conditioning.

Our upbringing, education, culture, religion, and societal norms all contribute to the makeup of our individual identities and influence not only the way we interact with others but also how we perceive the world at large. Despite our feeling to the contrary, our consciousness is not confined to our own individual experience, but rather is part of a collective consciousness that is continually being re-fashioned by the predigested truths of all human beings.

That would be all well and good were it not for the fact that this conditioning more often than not leads to conflict within and chaos without, as people are rarely able to see beyond their own beliefs and convictions. In the interest of thinking coherently then, if nothing else, we need consider whether it is at all possible to break free of this conditioning and see things factually, in an untethered manner.

It is at this point in the process of self-inquiry that the concept of awareness usually enters the picture. The general idea is that by observing our thoughts, emotions, actions, etc., without judgment or attachment, we can become aware of the factors that are responsible for our ideas and perceptions.

Taken at face value, this seems simple enough. Tedious perhaps, but doable. Indeed there are many different techniques and practices - such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, journaling, etc - designed to help us cultivate the ability to be fully present and engaged in the present moment, with an open and non-judgmental attitude towards our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. All of which have practical value.

The problem though, as Krishnamurti argued, is that having an "open and non-judgmental attitude” is itself a value judgement, a position we have unconsciously identified with. So we are once again caught in the loop trying to understand conditioning with conditioning, idea with idea, self with self - all of which is a logical fallacy as it involves a circular reference.

Awareness - at least, in the context of knowingness loosening its hold - cannot be something that is first understood and then put into practice. It is much more likely that it is the natural response of the mind when all conscious and unconscious seeking comes to an end.


If awareness is “free from knowingness” until it is reflexively informed by knowingness (how ever immediate that informing may be), and it is possible to be aware of that reflexive reaction, what is there to “break free” of?

If awareness isn’t free before it is distorted, the brain has no chance of freeing itself from its beliefs, conclusions.

Quite right. The language is tricky. Awareness doesn’t break free. It is covered over perhaps and needs an opening through which to surface is a better way to put it?

I don’t see how awareness can be distorted. To my way of thinking, it is usurped by conditioning and goes into abeyance.

I like the notion of awareness dealing/dueling with conditioned response, waiting, seeking an opening, but I think of awareness as something that can only do what it does (like a mirror reflecting), and nothing more.

Yes, “distorted” is the wrong word, which is why I used “informed”… which may be no better.

What seems to happen is that whenever awareness doesn’t support the belief system (which is constantly), the brain’s conditioning is triggered to react defensively, how ever that manifests.

Awareness is a naturally occuring phenomenon. The arising of awareness by itself is not something that is lacking - that must somehow be provoked for some potential benefit.

What is lacking is the seeing of what the process of self is. Its basis in, and projection of experience as, need. And the realisation (and refusal) of the harm and suffering that this process can cause.

There are two wings to freedom : insight and awareness.

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Maybe I should have asked :

Does awareness provoke silence? Does it provoke freedom from my reality, from what I know?

There can be awareness of the chair and of the table but there is not an ‘identification’ with those things. They are not me. There can be an awareness of this body and the thoughts and there IS an identification which feels this is ‘me’. But is it so? Is that a conditioning that needs to be questioned?

Seems to me that silence can’t be provoked because it is constant; it is the ground, the fundament.

The concepts that I project, are all held and projected by me. The chair is no more real than the self - but the concept of the chair causes less wars. Not because my relationship to the concept is less firmly held as truth - just that I will not (usually) kill you over a chair.

That is, we can’t know what it is to be non-judgmental.

We assign (lightning fast!) a subjective valence to pretty much everything we perceive: good, bad, indifferent. It’s fun (and instructive) to envision a Valence Meter and watch where the needle goes during normal everyday thoughts and activities. It’s usually only in meditation that the needle gets quiet and stays somewhere in the neutral zone.

I is the function of discrimination ? Judgement is the purpose of self?

Or maybe we should ask : what is the function / purpose of identifying with this center?

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I can’t question what I can’t deny or distort, be it pain, pleasure, pride, shame, confusion, etc. It’s all “me”. If I’m not in immediate contact with my every sensation, response, and reaction, where am I?

Evolutionarily the purpose might be to improve genetic fitness, the ability to survive/reproduce. If identifying with ego-self-I does raise fitness, evolution wouldn’t give it up without a fight!

If humans weren’t able to adapt, or even if they caused their own extinction, that would be what we call evolution at work.

The interesting experiment in progress, I think, are the effects of our pattern recognition capabilities with regards to the concept of programmed or conscious evolution.

The idea that humanity might have within it the potential to direct evolution consciously.

Everything seems to indicate that this is the case - fear/desire has been a successful tool against extinction of the species so far.

I am the necessary basis for fear. This is my function.

I think I saw that movie.

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