K: “But if you can talk to me, to my unconscious, because the unconscious is much more active, much more alert, much more… sees the danger much quicker than the conscious. So, it is much more sensitive. So, if you can talk to me, to the unconscious, that operates. So, you don’t actively, designedly attack the irresponsible. They have done it. And they have made a mess of it. Whereas if you talk to him, you talk to me, but your whole inward intention is to show how irresponsible I am, what responsibility means - you follow? - you care. In other words, you care for me. You care for me, because I am irresponsible. You follow? Therefore, you care for me. And therefore, you are watching not to hurt me, not to… you follow? In that way you penetrate very, very deeply into my unconscious. And that operates unknowingly, when suddenly I say, ‘By Jove, how irresponsible I am’ - you follow? - that operates. I have seen this, sir, in operation, because I’ve talked for 50 years, unfortunately or fortunately, to large audiences, tremendous resistance to anything new.” What is a responsible human being? Are mirror neurons operating here?
If being in the presence of hate and violence can penetrate deeply and cause lasting trauma. Is it reasonable to assume that being in the presence of love can have similar (but opposite) effects? (the opposite of harm might be care or healing)
You exist as American, British or Indian because people outside tell you so. It is conditioning from outside and not inborn. So we exist only because others tell us so. I is a reaction to the outside.
If we meet a person like K who does not have an I but pure awareness then it does show something to us. It shows that I is an illusion and fact is awareness.
If you are surrounded by nationalism in the media say in times of war, it strengthens the identity or illusion of identity.
Similarly if we meet someone without I, without conflict, without division, it does show us something directly as fact, as long as we are aware at least at that moment
Could you explain what “mirror neurons” are “and how you think that they apply here?
Mirror neurons are a type of neuron that fires both when one performs an action and when one observes the action performed by another. What happens when you see another eating a lemon? Seeing someone smile may bring a smile to your face (unconsciously). When we observe others’ emotional states, mirror neurons may help us understand or be empathetic to what they are feeling. K indicated that care opens lines of communication with another’s unconscious. Though mirror neurons are in the active research stage, I wondered if they may also be involved in K’s description, " In that way you penetrate very, very deeply into my unconscious."
Doesn’t a baby sense deeply the unconditional love the mother has for it? If it were to run into another in its life who had that feeling of care, would that not ‘activate’ those unconscious memory impressions of the mother?
If A listens to B without interpretation or judgement, that listening is a liberating experience for B too as there is no conflict with A.
If someone listens and is aware, it gives space, there is lack of psychological conflict and there might also be awakening of the same in another.
If B is in conflict, but A isn’t, there is effect on B.
This is how I think we can make the theory work :
When I eat an apple, particular neurons will fire in my brain.
Of those neurons that fired, some will also fire when I see you eating an apple. These are the mirror neurons.
So when I see the action of Love, if I have any mirror neurons that fire - this is the action of love on the unconscious in an irresponsible world. Magical action (of Love) at a distance.
But we can’t know that “a person like K does not have an I”…we can only believe it because it’s what we want to believe.
If I could see clearly that someone has no I, I would be as I-free as that person, and I would have no need of their teaching or insights or any of what we value K for.
It shows that I is an illusion and fact is awareness.
We don’t know that I is an illusion and fact is awareness - we just believe it because there is evidence to strongly suggest that I is an illusion and fact is awareness, but monotheists have their evidence that God exists, so evidence is all there is for the brain caught in the network of incoherent thought.
Would someone who is free of self, silent and empty, be wasting time and energy here preaching to the choir?
Sorry if this is intruding but I have a strong remembrance of someone asking K at one of his talks, if he had a self-image and his answer was that he did not.
Sorry if this is peremptery, but anyone can say that, and a lot of people would believe it if it’s what they wanted to hear.
I think this is one of the reasons K asked several people to write his biographies, so future generation would not have illusions about him.
So if K did say that (as I recall he did) that he had no self image , he would be just another “anyone” saying that? I don’t understand you.
Personally I don’t care if he had or hadn’t one but his teaching, to me, implied that he didn’t.
Sometimes, K would say things, that the biographies contradicted. Do you really think K didn’t have a self-image considering his tailored wardrobe and hair-style? Does it matter that the messenger wasn’t perfect?
Since I have a self-image, I can only believe that K did or did not, and K could have pointed that out saying something like, “If you have a self-image, you can only believe that I do or I don’t, regardless of what I say.”
Having a self-image, I can’t imagine what it would be like not to have one, so I can choose to believe that someone has no self-image, and that unlike like me, he’s very special and mysterious. Or I can choose to believe he’s just like me and pretending to be very special and mysterious.
K cared for Humanity, he spoke to the unconscious for 70 years, maybe he has reached the unconscious and I am not aware of the change…K may actually say that the radical change happens in the unconscious.
Being “aware” of the unconscious is being in touch with the human mind.
And @James - this may give us some clues into what the "unconscious meditation" may be…which is discussed under the thread of “What is Awareness”
The passage @DeNiro posted is an extract from a dialog between K and Anderson, played during Saturday Dialogue. I was so surprised to hear K saying that: “unconscious is much more active, much more alert, much more… sees the danger much quicker than the conscious. So, it is much more sensitive.”
Crina, it makes me ask what percentage of our life is actually run by the unconscious?
@DeNiro - I really do not know the percentge !!! I went from saying 0% to saying 100% …which is bizzare …confusing, can’t be real…true
K seems to say that the unconscious mind has less (or no resistance ?), as opposed to the conscious mind, in which the sense of “me” resides, which is the resistance. I am not sure what is the unconscious to K, I am not going to search up this topic. I’ll keep listening to K, and if he is speaking to the unconscious, maybe I’ll catch what he means.
Now, if the unconscious mind is the human mind (this is my assumption, based on how I understand K), I am not clear what kind of conditioning (?) is in the unconscious ? I mean, we all know that the conscious mind is conditioned, but what is this unconscious mind which K says is quicker, more sensitive…and apparently capable of receiving “care”.
One has to remember that K wasn’t always consistent in his use of language. Sometimes he could use the same word on a different day with a completely different meaning.
From my understanding K used the word ‘unconscious’ in at least 3 different ways:
as contents of consciousness of which the superficially conscious mind is unaware (but that can be exposed to the mind through holistic awareness);
as an awareness (whether of the body or the mind) that is still active in the background of experience, despite conscious thought (which smothers awareness) having taken up a dominant role in the foreground;
and as the unconscious that psychoanalysts traditionally theorise about and that K often questioned and criticised.
So my guess is that K was talking about the second of these meanings of ‘unconscious’ (in the quotation you mentioned).
Thank you @James
meaning #2 - the unconscious as awareness
Would you say that meaning #2 applies to K’s " unconscious meditation" ? You mentioned about K being unconscious in Ojai for 3 weeks, his walks in Ojai, when he had to remember to return home, after hours in nature ?
Of course, we can’t be sure what K means, but could it be…that the " unconscious meditation" is none of the 3 kinds ? The unconscious meditation is the …unknown ?