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Being really (really!) fed up

I can’t remember the source, but a while back I read this (paraphrasing) and it resonated:

“You will only change when the pain of change is less than the pain of not changing.”

We are masters at keeping our pain at bay: rationalizing it, escaping from it, denying it, glorifying it, storifying it. We end up with a reasonably happy life (mostly) free of overwhelming pain … but, assuming the quote above is right, the price we pay is astronomical: We effectively prevent deep ‘positive’ change from happening. Rather than leaving the prison, we make our prison cells cozy.

Would that be real change or only a reaction to a ‘pain’? In other words keep things the same until they get out of hand and then look for some way, teaching, (method) to get things back on an even keel…isn’t that what we do anyway? This is much more radical than that I would say. This is looking at yourself not to ‘change’ anything. Who would be the ‘changer’? Change to what,etc? This is not taking two possibilities into account. One, that what we are is nothing, and Two that our ‘conditioning’ is total. The ‘I’ that wants to take on the ‘struggle’ of not ‘escaping’, not rationalizing, not glorifying, etc, is the same one that is doing all that…I don’t simply want to see things as they are, how they ‘play’ out.

Yeah, good question. What do you think?

This motive-free looking is a dramatic change from our default motive-driven looking. It can be painful to do motive-free looking: stressful, difficult, uncomfortable, confusing, even frightening.

If the OP quote is right, the pain of motive-driven looking would need to outweigh the pain of motive-free looking for the latter to ‘take hold.’ This seems to be the case for me, meditation only happens ‘naturally’ (without the intention to have a meditation session) when, without the clarity it brings, the situation is unbearable.

Which makes me wonder: If I truly felt, immediately, urgently, that the/my house was on fire … how might my mind work differently?



oh dear,

I googled the quote; it is a paraphrasing of Tony Robbins - of all people, roflma

"Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

You are grasping at strawmen… personal empowerment coach, eh? with all the lawsuits he was involved in… sexual harassment, all those people in 2016 who were treated for burns on their feet from the fire-walking, etc. etc. etc. You got to be kidding?

or it could be paraphrasing:

“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”
Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

“Henry Cloud is an American Christian self help author. Cloud co-authored Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life in 1992”

Really?? Boundaries, he could have just said walls, right? “Control…”…? How to…?.. really??

You know, nobody, this quote, paraphrased or not, well, it isn’t true… it is so false. You aren’t really interested in truth, are you? Just playing with theories that you find on social media… yikes

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If it’s true that “you will only change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing”, it’s not change - it’s just buying time; extending the pain/pleasure principal of living.

The quote I read was, if memory serves, from a Buddhist teacher … perhaps a student of Tony’s? :wink:

Definitely interested in truth. Also love playing with theories. Avoid social media, except for online forums, which I love (and sometimes hate).

You don’t agree that one changes only when the alternative, staying the same, is unbearable. Please explain. :slight_smile:

I agree this kind of change happens for those doing the pain/pleasure dance. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real change. It might be as real as we’re capable of. The drive to move towards pleasure and away from pain is very strong, lies very deep, millions of years in the making.

On the other hand, the great thing about Krishnamurti is he dared to ask if we can be free of those millions of years of evolution and conditioning. Not after 50 years of on-the-cushion meditation with a trained guru, but right now. It’s an almost insane question, gotta love it!

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Look, you look at a tree or a flower or an animal…there’s no motive, you’re just looking. You don’t want to change anything about what you’re looking at. Not the color, not the form, etc. The question here is , can you look at yourself in the same way, the same way you look at nature.? There’s no “pain” looking at the tree or the flower, why is there ‘pain’ in looking at yourself?

You say; It can be painful to do motive-free looking: stressful, difficult, uncomfortable, confusing, even frightening.

I don’t find any of that to be true.

To compare the pain then one has to first change for without changing one will not know the pain of change and will not be able to compare.
If one truly changes they might discover there is no pain of change, only the elimination of the pain of living as they were.

Interesting how different our experiences are. Not all minds work alike. Mine is somewhat … eccentric.

True. So: To change, the pain of staying the same must be more than the pain of thinking what it would be like to change.

Let’s leave the question of whether you only change when your current pain is less than your anticipated pain of change, and return to the thread subject:

Do you need to be ‘really (really!) fed up’ with your current way of life to be open to another?

Not theoretically, but actually, reflecting the way that things work psychologically. Do you need to feel there is no way out of your current painful life in order to take the leap to a new life? Or using a Krishnamurti trope: Do you need to see-feel urgently that your house is on fire?

Over years, our character will definitely change based on social situations, conflicts, and other psychological aspects. I feel that there is a difference between 10 and 50 year old females from an emotional perspective. Which is an indication of a change in personality over the years of life. Pain (Mental stress) will play a role in the character of the person. I see that as a fact that we change ourselves in such a way to handle or avoid painful situations.

I want to ask a question,

What is the source of pain in the person’s life?

If something is not making sense, please mention it

Wanting things to be different than they appear to be.


Psychologically, it’s the illusion that I exist, isn’t it? All the ‘drama’ takes place there.

I don’t presume to know what “motive-free looking” is. How would I know when my looking isn’t “me” doing it? “You” are not free to look directly, unconditionally. So why do you believe it can be done? How can you be sure you’re not deceiving yourself?

“You” make a statement like this, how do you know it’s true, that you’re not deceiving yourself?

We are talking about a 'state of observation" without an observer. If there is stress, difficulty, confusion , fear etc. that is the ‘observer’ interrupting the simple seeing or the listening, The observation moves with what is. There has to be experimentation. ‘Conclusions’ are just interruptions , stops, to the seeing or “moving with”.

Yes, there will be many situations in a person’s life where he/she will not get what he wants. I have seen some of my friends have gone through severe pain due to love failure, facing inequality in the family, and other reasons. I feel that listening to Jiddu and understanding his words deeply will relieve us from most of the pain coming from this society. :slight_smile:

Hi Dan,

Yes, in every action we do or a word we spell there is some sort of attachment in it. If the opposite happened to what we intend, there will be some negative sensation.:slight_smile:

If Krishnamurti’s words relieve your suffering, then you’ve found a good teacher. :slight_smile: