Compassionate way of thinking

Why poor people are more compassionate?

It seems to me that since the self can’t die by suicide (trying to bring about its own demise), it can only die naturally from the withering effect of self-knowledge which accrues naturally when the futility of trying to bring an end to self (ego, thought) is seen, and instead of attacking the problem, one is learning about it.

The accrual of self-knowledge is selfless action because it does not seek to change or bring an end to self, and this honest interest in what self is doing illuminates it, and (I’m assuming) brings it gradually out of darkness to die peacefully in the light of exposure.

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I think this is where the deviousness of thought appears…pretending to take on the mantle of ‘ choice less awareness? And that it is without motive. But its motive is as always, to continue?

Thought definitely seems armed with a strong survival instinct. That’s hardly a surprise, right: Thought thinks-feels it’s alive, and all living creatures are driven to protect themselves.

In addition, thought might sincerely believe its 24/7 job/duty is to ensure the well-being of its host organism, minimize their pain, maximize their happiness. Thought might believe that it is (by far) the best choice for this very demanding task. When I see thought in this light, as indefatigable protector, I feel admiration/respect for it, and frustration at the ways it harms itself and its host and others.

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It probably believes that it is the ONLY choice since ‘awareness’ of its own movement is so infrequent. But when choice less awareness is active, present, it is no longer seen, heard as the ‘thinker’, the ‘doer’, the ‘experiencer’ etc, it is just thought moving in the wrong space, occupying the mind?

Except of course when it’s dealing with the complicated issues of modern everyday living, which is a lot of the time. So the line between so called technical thought and psychological becomes blurred. Where does ‘technical’ thought end and ‘psychological’ begin? What is the line it crosses when it occupies the otherwise and necessary quiet mind?

The mechanism of thought is not devious when one is seriously curious. When you need to know something that can’t be faked, you have to find out, get to the bottom of it. If this wasn’t true, we wouldn’t have the scientific method, and K wouldn’t have emphasized the need for self-knowledge.

“The deviousness of thought” serves the status quo, so unless one is content to live at that level of distortion and dishonesty, one finds out what is true by settling for nothing less than self-evident or demonstrable truth.

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Yes! The I is deeply woven into the fabric of me, all aspects: mental, physical, spiritual, whatever. To divide thought into the practical and psychological might confuse more than clarify. Or at least to think of these in black and white terms. Maybe a yin/yang approach is better? Yin (the psychological) has some yang in it, yang (the practical) has some yin. Keeping in mind that these are all merely conceptual constructs, superimposed grids on the gridlessness of reality?

To do sculpture say, the artist has to think about materials, technique, knowledge of past work, time to completion…many practical things. This is what I would call practical thinking. Now if I start to think about possible fame say, my future ‘celebrity’ , I have to imagine myself in this ‘future’ time, ‘becoming’ known eg. I do have to imagine the future when I’m making the sculpture or making a table but if I do that about ‘myself’, is that ‘psychological’

Also thinking about how to handle a possible future interaction with someone and rehearsing different scenarios in one’ mind, is that ‘psychological’ thought? Thinking about the different scenarios can be stressful, create anxiety, etc…is ANY thinking that has this effect, ‘psychological’? (And unnecessary?)

Is anxiety or psychological stress necessary?!!

The difficulty I have is explaining why pleasant thoughts are also a No-No. The concept to get across is the problem of reinforcing the reality of the self entity - in the sense that my experience is all important despite sometimes not serving any purpose other than its own sense of importance.

This is a difficult sell, especially with the seemingly contrary idea that a healthy sense of self is essential, for example in the psychological growth during childhood.

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K described it as a “stream” of human thought?
We were ‘in’ it and had to “step out of it”. Was that the ‘entanglement ‘ of awareness (what we are in essence) with the ‘thing’ eg. the body, the thought, the feelings? That’s the way I think about it…is that , the stepping out of the stream of thought is our ‘maturation’ or ‘blossoming’? The mind / brain is quiet, silent, empty when thought is no longer occupying it with unnecessary movement? The self image so necessary for the child, and inevitably painful for the adult , is left behind?

I don’t think the stream of thought can be stepped out of until the stream diminishes in volume and speed. In fact, there may be no stepping out at all because there may be nothing to do the stepping. It may be that the stream is rushing so fast and full of content that it overwhelms the context, the ground over and through which it rushes.

The more aware of itself the cataract is of its movement and volume, the less there is of it, and the slower it moves as an occasionally babbling brook, an essential part of the landscape.

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K:“Sir, I’ve made simple enough: have you ever looked at a flower, or the movement of the sea, or the new moon, just a slip in the western sky, with all your senses? With all your attention? If you have, which I am sure most have, even for a second, in that attention the self is not operating, because the thing is so marvellously beautiful. For that second, the self is driven out of oneself…Now, that attention burns away the self, self-interest…Or that means the very brain cells themselves have undergone a change.” Have you ever looked with all your senses? | J. Krishnamurti (

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