Well, we were discussing this on Clive’s forum previously, so I thought I’d bring the topic here. It’s a difficult concept, imo…to be choicelessly aware. Because simply, it’s not the way we’ve always been functioning for our entire lives. Our consciousness is a movement of choosing, isn’t it? Desiring…rejecting…opposing…aspiring…and the rest. Anyone can offer us any help with this difficult topic that K often broached?
Can we look/listen to ourselves as the ‘speaker’; as we look/listen to another who is the ‘speaker’ without judgement?.. Is that choiceless awareness?..An awareness that differentiates but doesn’t divide between the two ‘speakers’?
Tom I think you missed what I was getting at (back at the old forum)…It brings up a question of what K. was doing using the word “speaker” referring to himself. We are all ‘speakers’ aren’t we? But ‘our’ speaker is seen as different than other people’s ‘speakers’…Choiceless awareness, does that ‘divide’ between ‘my’ speaker (what ‘I’ am saying) and yours (what ‘you’ are saying)? That is usually the case. But ‘choiceless awareness’ can bring into question that ‘division’ (not the the difference, of course,) between your memories, my memories, your experiences, mine, etc.) Is there a real division between our ‘speakers’? Does such a ‘division’ actually exist?
Hello to all of you.
it had been a while since it was impossible to join again this site.
Choice is , well , as far as I see something in such matter, choice is one of the tools owned by the thinking process(thought). How do I built the shelter, like this or like that etc…it works eventually reasonably but not always with any practical problems.
What is a problem? To make it short, it is something x which needs to be solved. When it is about practical matters I have to chose, when it is about a non practical problem , how choosing would help ? Even in practical matters thought is not that good at all, yet we are proud of our machines, a trophy to say to the universe how marvelous and so on…but this is trivial yes.
So would there be an awareness, like I see it as such, which does not make choices between this and that?
I wouldn’t call it trivial that thought can distinguish between good food and bad or poisonous food. It’s actually critical to our survival to be able to choose. Are we just choicelessly aware of the rotten apple…or do we choose to discard it? Now, sitting quietly in nature it may be possible to be choicelessly aware of the trees and flowers…the birds, etc. But when there’s a conflict it becomes almost impossible…if not totally impossible…to be choicelessly aware. Can we explore why that is?
Hello Tom, I get your point , please bear in mind that English is not my first language, so I rather meant superficial as in : in the surface of things, yet vital I agree of course, as long as thought is the only tool we have at work, for me there always will be choice because it simply is the way it works. cheers
If usually, choiceless awareness is not present, is that because it takes an amount of energy that is constantly being dissipated by the frictions of psychological thought? When there is an explosion of emotion as in disturbances like ‘anger’,’ worry’, ‘fear’ etc…there is practically no energy available for this awareness that has no judgement, no choosing…Natarajan used an interesting phrase speaking about this: “gathering of energy”. If what is missing is this ‘energy’, then ‘how’ is it “gathered”? What would the action of gathering be?..Not a method, does anyone relate to this?
In saying that there is a gathering of energy is implied we are aligned to action in the given situation, there is no contradiction to the very fact of our existence, in that there is an understanding/or a seeing that any movement of thought which leaves us with a feeling of self-righteousness or guilt is indicative of the presence of observer. What that leaves us with is a lack of direction from within on what is right or wrong but yet we are aligned to action and it can be said that certain choices are being inevitably made. Yet, there is an utter choicelessness or a quality of non-negotiability, so to speak, in that state of existence. In Hinduism, (sorry to bring that up, but I personally think it’s easier with my understanding to suggest it that way), it’s described to be in a state of Karma Yoga., where there is an action which leaves no residue of longing for any result whatsoever. As in a process, it gives the quality of ‘innocence’ or ‘non-materiality’ as you said elsewhere to the awareness which is so choiceless.
Yes this aligns with my own experience in times of crisis…there’s simply action aligned with what is with no self interest or self direction. It’s choiceless in that the situation is undivided…there’s no me vs you or me vs the situation. Just the present moment…the present situation. I just wanted to add that Bernadette Roberts, in one of her books or interviews, wrote that after the ‘crossing over’ , her mind was permanently aligned in a fixed gaze on the present moment.
Yes, when choosing to cite examples we talk about staying in tune with nature as in observation of a bee, a river or flower because of the inbuilt implication of non-motive in it. However, this is to be understood as valid to all situations regardless.
Thanks for initiating the discussion with the topic of choiceless awareness, this is a very good starting point.
Well what is it that takes place in the situation Tom asked about, when there is conflict, anger, fear, jealousy, etc? You call me stupid. There is a reaction of ‘deflation’. Is it the ‘resistance’ to that sensation that is the ‘misalignment’ of energy that brings about the ‘self’?,i.e., This arising of the ‘desire’ to get rid of the feeling of being deflated and re-establish the status quo? Is that what precludes the possibility of a non-judgemental awareness in any situation of psychological disturbance?
Yep…that’s the question many of us are asking, Dan…which is why I started this topic. Will hopefully return to this a little later…at work now.
Yes, totally. That’s why I see ‘suffering’, to the extent of nowhere to turn to is a precondition, at-least as I experienced it. We see the connectedness of the ‘trigger’ and the ‘triggered’ and where it could lead to. We see where that road ends.
Dan…could you clarify what that word means…‘deflation’? What exactly is a feeling of deflation? Is it a threat to the ego…feeling ‘less’?
Like a balloon …the ego or self inflates and deflates according to circumstances. It’s all a kind of psychological disturbance though, like a weather system? Deflation is suffering. Inflation is joy, a feeling of wellbeing…we seek inflation and try to escape when deflation occurs. Unless it’s understood, faced, it continues.
I’m dependent on my spouse for support…emotional, financial, shared pleasures which I depend upon, etc. Suddenly they say they want a divorce…or that they’re not happy in our marriage. I may suffer HUGE emotional upheaval. That’s not related to my self image necessarily but to the feeling that I’ll lose everything I live for. My wife has been my constant emotional support for maybe 20 years or more. I fall apart emotionally. It’s not the self image that has been hurt like if someone insults me, but my whole emotional foundation is crumbling at my feet.
But it is the self image isn’t it? That is the “emotional foundation “? Yours is different than mine but it is still built from the past accumulations? The structure that tries to keep itself intact, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain?
Is that what K. was pointing at with ‘not minding what happens’ when such a “crumbling “ (or suffering) takes place?
I can’t NOT mind when if fact I definitely DO mind, can I? Trying to imitate K’s ‘not minding’ will only create more conflict. Who is there to decide ‘I must NOT mind’?
There is certainly minding as concerns the “crumbling of one’s emotional foundation” on the part of the ‘I’. It is the ‘I’ that does the suffering, right? But this ‘I’ and the ‘me and mine’ is what we’re looking into as being an illusion created and maintained by thought, a falsity. So yes it is paralyzed with fear (it is fear) when it’s ‘security’ Is under threat.
Choice less awareness exposes the workings of the self?
No…there is no ‘I’ who suffers…just fear, anger, depression, etc…just the suffering, as I see it…which is thought creating pain in the body…because of fear in the mind. Please correct me if I’m mistaken here, but that’s how I see it.
I think that we should go into that. Maybe some others will be interested. Is it the ‘I’ that suffers? Is it the ‘I’ that pleasures? What is the relationship of psychological thought to fear, anger, depression?