Did we finish the point you were making previously about the impossibility of remaining with sadness, anger, envy, etc, because the ‘movement away’ is structurally built into those feeling states?
Wouldn’t you say that an emotion or feeling in which there is an inbuilt quality of ‘moving away’ is a form of contradiction, distress, suffering - what we might call an ‘emotional disorder’ (so long as this term does not imply any moral judgement)?
It’s not wrong, it’s not right - but it is in contradiction within itself, and so creates suffering.
And wouldn’t you agree that ‘emotional disorders’ of these kinds often come into being through a lack of attention?
And so their solution is likely to be the presence of attention?
The ‘remaining with’ is the presence of attention. Attention is inherently transformative, like sunlight.
So there is a possibility of these feelings being transformed through attention?
I’m envious, for example; and yet because I have seen in the past the value of inquiring into experience I am somehow no longer envious? There is only pure observation now and the envy has somehow disappeared?
Yes - I am envious and part of me is uncomfortable with the feeling of envy and so I try to avoid, suppress or dissolve it through partial ‘watching’. And so I am still envious.
I think K is indicating the possibility of the mind being wholly envy, without remainder.
Can the ‘meaning’ of envy be found outside the immediate feeling of envy? For the mind in which envy is a fact surely any so-called ‘meaning’ can only be a rationalisation or theory created by the part of the mind that has split itself off from the feeling of envy?
In the OP K was suggesting that the fragment is the part of the mind that splits off from envy/conflict/sorrow and judges it, attempts to control it, suppress it, etc (the “educational restraint”):
What is causing this fragment to stay in the dark? Probably it is the lack of attention, lack of awareness? It is a habit of the mind to react in a fragmentary way to the feeling of envy, anger, sadness, etc - partly because we have been educated to react in this way.
By ‘fragment’ here you seem to mean feelings like envy, sadness, anger, etc. The ‘equal consideration’ of these feelings is choiceless awareness.
But in the OP I think K is inviting us to look more deeply at what true choicelessness really is.
He is saying that when the mind is envious, true (choiceless) awareness is the non-fragmentary perception of that envy - so that the mind is only (that state of) envy. (Nondual envy?). - There is only the state of envy.
And that when or if that takes place - which K can say but which is hypothetical for us - then that feeling undergoes a complete transformation. It is transformed ‘through’ total attention.
Wouldn’t you say that this is because we only know partial attention, partial seeing? The way that K talks about total seeing (or ‘total remaining with’) seems to suggest that the feeling is completely transformed/dissolved? - it doesn’t come back.
I come out of a dream and a situation in it has made me ‘jealous’. I wake up and the feeling is crushing, shrinking, diminishing, painful, embarrassing etc. There is memory of past jealousies… there is the discomfort but there is desire to stay with it, see it through, look at it as a “jewel”. I am surprised by its presence thinking I had long since ‘grown out’ of such a feeling… but here it was in all its glory!
And then it fades. I remembered ‘thou shalt not escape!’ ‘ you are the feeling’ etc and then it was gone (repressed?) humorous?
My ‘manhood’ restored!
Isolation fear breeds attachment…attachment creates dependency…dependency creates slavery or tyranny.
So “staying with” does not mean staying with, as in the conscious effort to feel the feeling fully.
Its just that the movement of discomfort (anger, sadness etc) is a “movement away”.
There is no alchemy in feeling the feelings more better, you already are suffering efficiently as you are.
Awareness is : noticing what experience you are lost in, with the understanding that all experiences are subjective, and that many are unnecessary and harmful (ie. as in me vs me or you; and an empowerment of the known)
“Staying with” is just what happens when we have no choice but to surrender - that any movement on our part is “away”
I dunno about that. I think we humans tend to suffer inefficiently, indirectly. Rather than meeting the pain head on we meet it sideways, peripherally. Pema Chodron talks about meeting strong emotions without analysis or judgement or intention to heal, that when we do that full blast, the strong emotions fade on their own, effortlessly, after just a few minutes. The trick is to feel the feelings purely without thought hijacking them and turning them into melodrama.
Yes. In fact this very point is raised after the end of the main extract shared in the OP (from the discussion with friends in India):
SWS: Suppose instead of sorrow, one is full of violence. Instead of sorrow we take violence.
K: Be with violence.
SWS: Will not there be destruction?
K: No. That means you are moving away from the fact. When you are violent, be completely with it, which means that doing something violently is a moving away from violence. You got it? Because you have moved away. Suppressing violence is also moving away, trying to overcome violence is still moving away.
SWS: So being fully violent means, mentally, physically, every way.
K: No. A state of violence – you know it. You don’t have to be [violent].
RB: A distinction can be made: not be violent, but be with violence.
You were talking before about jealousy, which - though uncomfortable in the extreme - is clearly something every person goes through (in small or big ways), and so is perhaps a feeling-state we can experiment with.
But the example you share here is obviously at the farther extreme of human endurance, in which K’s advice may be impossible to listen to (and may come across as callous, unfeeling). For sure, I can’t say how I would meet such horror if it were to happen to me.
But we can see how it is playing out between Israelis and Palestinians right now?
How does an Israeli whose wife or husband or child or parent has been killed by terrorists feel?
How does a Palestinian whose wife or husband or child or parent has been killed by Israeli missiles feel?
And how do they respond to the feeling state (of sorrow and anger) they have been so violently presented with?
Most people will be incapable of ‘remaining with’ such terrible feelings of suffering and anger in the way K suggested - meaning that (paradoxically) the feelings of suffering and anger will ‘remain’, and will continue to inform future cycles of revenge.
There are a few who will respond to such terrible tragedy with dignified humanity, perhaps even compassion - but most people I think will just be overwhelmed by the horror of events and respond out of anguish and hatred.
Probably? - Although I remember somewhere K saying that if he had grown up in poverty and saw a rich man drive by in a car, he would feel envy, hatred, and feel like destroying things. His point being, I take it, that one should not be too hasty to judge people for the way they act, and to take responsibility for one’s own inner state first.
Okay - lets try and find out what the issue is (or as I like to call it : where you are wrong)
I’m going to insist on the transformatory nature of pure awareness (as opposed to something like : motivated effort of observation)
My immediate instinct is to go with a killer question based on this :
Pema Chodron talks about meeting strong emotions without analysis or judgement or intention to heal, that when we do that full blast, the strong emotions fade on their own, effortlessly, after just a few minutes. The trick is to feel the feelings purely without thought hijacking them and turning them into melodrama.
Should we try to feel the feelings purely? Why and how?