Do I, you, understand conditioning?
Not understand in the usual sense, intellectually. Actually have an understanding, thinking is immediately expressing ideas, beliefs, in a verbal process of thinking. This regular way of thinking is repeating the conditioning, not an understanding of conditioning. A clear understanding will bring self to a halt. There is a realisation the thinking is unclear. All this called intuition, instinct, reasoning, perception, is perpetuating and cultivating a lack of understanding with the conditioning. When it is seen, I am stumped, baffled, actually without any answer, in my own thinking, there is the door to understanding. It is not a verbal response. It is an understanding of the insurmountable complexity and confusion of thought, of the intellect, the mind, and of all this human suffering.
Do I, you, understand conditioning?
The “conditioning” is the illusion that there is an “observer” separate and apart from the “observed “.
It’s hard work to observe your conditioning ply its trade. It’s so deep, practically everything you think and do is a product of it. To keep on top of it, you’d need to watch your thoughts and actions like a hawk. This can be tiring and unpleasant, it’s much easier to just keep thinking and doing what you’re programmed to think and do, without reflection. The inertia of self.
Can the brain break through its “conditioned “ state at any given moment or does that become less possible as time goes by?
Does an older brain have less possibility than a younger one?
Maybe more, since the younger brains are inundated with entertainment like never before and the older ones maybe not so much?
I use the word, understand, as in stand-under. In understanding what befalls me, conditioning, thoughts, behaviour, these are stood-under, like the wind and rain. Maybe it is only in this discomfort, dilemma, or whatever, that there is under-standing. Then there is a black hole of timelessness and no escape.
We are part of something here quite wonderful and quite beautiful and quite beyond words. Part of an indivisible “immensity”. Our “conditioning “ obscures that fact. Keeps us short-sighted, fearful and self involved.
Easier to whom? Easier compared to what? There is no watching of thoughts and actions, only awareness. When there is no awareness, thought is. Awareness is effortless, and right action. Thought requires a lot of energy and causes only disorder in our environment which requires even more energy.
What makes watching thoughts and actions tiring and unpleasant? Is it not that we are so used to thinking and acting from conditioning that questioning it makes us tired and feels unpleasant? The mind is still in charge and protecting itself, and our physiology is also aligned with it.
As long as there is effort, we have not freed ourself from the thought and conditioning.
Then why invest this energy and effort in investigating and inquiring? Once you see what the mind has done and is doing in the world, you have insight, you are aware and you act without a choice. Most people do not see, or are not in the slightest interested or concerned about their condition and conditioning, so for them such questioning seems merely an intellectual exercise, a philosophical curiosity. They think it is just a choice to dwell on, which confirms their confusion and all the rest of it.
Peter and all,
Can attention bloom into understanding? Can understanding break the chains which bind us?
It looks like Humankind has come to consider the human being (i.e. itself/himself and therefore life) as a mere collection of mechanical processes and body systems (nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, muscular, skeletal, integumentary [hair, nails, sweat and oil glands], lymphatic, respiratory, reproductive, cellular, endocrine, psychological). This “collection” floats in a universe which is itself also considered a collection of processes and systems (atmospheric, elements, particles, electrical, planetary, and so on), and “laws”, “motions” and “forces”, time, which are observed but cannot be explained “yet”. (I don’t exactly know what the natural “laws’’ etc. ARE but they are observable. No need for us to get distracted with a scientific discussion’, I think.) The whole of life, as I see it, is thus sadly reduced by scientists (us) to a matter of mechanics, motions, etc. Science excludes the unknowable and unanswerable. And, for the most part, so-called theologists also do not address the nature of the fundamental, innate human questioning which challenges or rebels against what we experience.
Man’s powers of logic and reasoning being inarguably (as I see it) limited, our understanding of each and every natural process observed is necessarily limited. The wonder, mystery, intricacy, power, destruction and beauty, of the whole of Creation cannot be reduced to explanations of processes, systems, laws, movements, forces, and so on. Only that intelligence which is the source of all Creation is infinite, unlimited. The whole of Nature, including Mankind, is a creation of the Unlimited and, as K put it, “the created cannot think about the Uncreated”. May I add “understand” to “think about”?
So Man is limited in his understanding of the natural processes, mechanisms, systems and laws he observes, as well as in his understanding of suffering. We come to terms with the pain caused by Nature or God and carry on as best we can. But our hearts and minds cannot reconcile mankind’s brutality with our hunger for inner peace and meaning. We bear impotent witness to our merry-go-round of compassion, despair, cruelty, pretense, anger, laughter, deceit, anxiety, and so on, and we carry on as best we can. Life goes on and we can’t help but love life. Perhaps our despair is intricately intertwined with our love of Creation in all its aspects. For all our divisive reactions, we can’t help but be awed.
In every enquiry which arises, a final “why” which inherently cannot be answered or explained by either science or religion, inevitably remains. The calf cannot become a bird, evil cannot become good, Man cannot become God, and so on. Perhaps the beginning of wisdom is the profound understanding of our limitations as humans, and of the fact that there is an Intelligence, a Creation, an Order, a Mystery, a Goodness, a Love, which is beyond anything that Man can put together. I don’t know. And - if it is so - can it be that the beginning of wisdom is the beginning of the flowering of goodness within us? There is no formula, no answer to this, I think. Can it be that only awareness, observation or attention, can light our way through relationship, through action, through life?
I like the word Mystery - Words like Creation, Order, Goodness, Love are too full of meaning.
Humans have no limitations (psychologically). If we start inquiry with a limited question or a conclusion, it will likely not produce any insight, only thinking.
What is logic and reasoning? What gives rise to them, and why do we give them so much importance in our life?
I don’t know. I might be wrong but, as I see it, Creation (the source and “the thing”, whatever that is) is not limited. And Man IS - physically, mentally and psychologically.
Do you mean to say that the psyche HAS the ability to:
-solve all Mankind’s problems of relationship - conflict, brutality, greed, inequities, injustices, selfishness, despair, anxiety, and so on (Why hasn’t it?),
-discover remedies for all the things that ail Mankind (Haven’t most (or at least a good many) of those remedies in turn become the source of new problems or exacerbated existing problems?),
-bring about order inwardly and outwardly,
-understand all the mysteries of Creation, Life, Infinity, Eternity, Love, Beauty, and so on,
-register, record, accumulate all existing knowledge,
-and so on?
That’s what I mean by “limited”. These are some of Man’s limitations, as I see it.
As for logic and reason, to me they are part of Creation, part of the nature bestowed upon Mankind by the mystery of Creation — as are sex, hunger, thirst, compassion, fear, sensitivy, affection, kindness, our ability to understand (albeit limited), all the systems and processes of body/mind, and so on. Man did not bestow these qualities upon himself. Man did not create himself. All these qualities are IMPORTANT, to be cherished, aren’t they? We don’t need to denigrate or dismiss them out of hand.
Again, I might be wrong.
There is no separation. Creation is, and Man is in the same field. It is our conditioned mind that invents the separation. This is the core inquiry K did himself almost in every seminar he had. Do you want to go into it here?
In psychology, the psyche is the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious. The totality of human mind, which is limited and fragmented. It has invented most of the problems we face, and it cannot (will not) solve them because it lives in the past. To see thinking and the structure of mind was another core inquiry K did very often. Do you want to go into it here?
Logic and reason are also of mind.
When we inquire to these questions and see what is, there is different quality of insight which is learning and right action. That is limitless and timeless. And this has absolutely no value if one does not see it for themself without a choice. Without insight it is just a theory or an idea, and will increase disorder and conflict in the world.
If we have doubt (e.g. about being right or wrong), we need to investigate and find out so that we see things clearly without confusion. Choice implies confusion implies thinking. And our mind is highly conditioned not to question and look into itself.
When self comes to a halt, does it pause and continue, or is that the end of self?
Logic and reason are useful tools if we want to know if we are being illogical and unreasonable.
Maybe your point is that they cannot lead us to truth - which is correct. But what is the point in being illogical and unreasonable?
As we find out more and more about our physical and psychological realities, sometimes what we find out seems to defy common sense - but this is just due to our faulty beliefs about reality. Logical conclusions are only as good as the presuppositions they are based on, so are never a guarantee of truth.
Being irrational is just unreasonable - Are there any examples of Krishnamurti (or Buddha) saying something illogical?
I understand. Ultimately, there is no separation. It is the conditioned mind which invents a psychological separation. Nonetheless, an illusory separation has been invented and, like all illusions, it causes false perceptions and confusion. It is from this false idea of separateness, of self-enclosed “wholeness”, that the conditioned mind acts.
To be separate in the sense that we are talking about implies an independence, an autonomy, an absence of relationship and communication, a conclusion that one (self) has nothing to do with the other (Creation). If the human being lives his life from the perspective that he is his own sole authority, the result is chaos and disorder, as we are witnessing.
Nonetheless, Man is not the whole, and the universe is not one amorphous blob. There are distinct masses, life forms, gases, spaces, and so on, each one limited. They are part of a whole which has no limits, and in that relationship, they are part of the unlimited whole. Nonetheless, doesn’t each one have distinct characteristics and qualities? Isn’t each one PART of the whole but limited in and by its distinct created nature? Man is created and Creation itself is not created, as I see it. But of course, I KNOW nothing about Creation.
maybe we need another word then? - somebody bring me a Thesaurus!
Maybe you’ll find it under Mystery…
It is all a misunderstanding with terminology. Thinking in terms of a whole made up of parts is not a whole. But that’s what we are inclined to think. That’s why we talk about fragmented thinking. All this thinking trying to find suitable expressions is a distraction from the fundamental point of what K talks about. But no doubt everyone wants to find their own way, as if that’s different to what everyone is doing in the madness of the world. .
The question came up above whether Man has limitations. And, if he does, is it important for him to understand his limitations? It’s not clear to me if this is what you’re responding to but it seems so to me. I’m sorry if I’m mistaken about it.
Can there be a whole without parts? As I see it, Creation — the source of Creation and all the “things” it has created - is unlimited, without boundaries, infinite in every way. It is the source of the whole, and it contains the whole. Doesn’t it? Can it be said that Man is or contains the whole?
There are parts which are also “wholes” — the galaxies, Earth, living beings, and so on. The ocean is a whole and it contains all its parts - the plankton, the whales, the salt, the vegetation, its depths, its movements, and so on. Can the same be said of the ocean’s parts, that they are or contain the whole? Is the whale the whole of the ocean? Does the whale contain the ocean? And the whole ocean itself is a part of Creation. And so on.
Does the source of Creation need to understand itself? Is it fragmented, conflicted? As I see it, such questions do not apply, they are not appropriate, they are irrelevant, meaningless and seem silly in respect of Creation. But they are not irrelevant for Man, are they.
Yes - Parts need a brain to draw borders delimiting one concept from another.
Just like a person, blind from birth, who can suddenly see (through surgery maybe) needs time in order to make sense of what they see - they need to make all the blearghh (colors, depth, shadow, movement, etc) into distance, shape, perspective, separate entities etc (true story)