← Back to Kinfonet

Exploring loss via personal experience

Are you saying that, before this person cancelled me, we had no direct psychological contact?

I don’t understand why you say pain is a fact, and pleasure an idea. Does this hold only in love or in general: Pain is real, pleasure imaginary?

Having someone you’re close to suddenly and without explanation disappear from your life is obviously painful, like the death of a loved one, but it also presents you with a unique opportunity to observe what makes you tick psychologically. Since you cannot engage with the missing person, it’s all on you, the mirror is right there in front of you reflecting away, you just need to look.

One of the things I see is the gap between my internal story of the friendship and the actuality of it.

What is first of all the fact? Keep it only to the two of us and then it is all much clearer. We have no relationship, neither positive nor negative. That’s the simple fact. Do we need to change this fact?

I shall put it another way. Are there degrees of love? Does love deepen over time?

Obviously, this sense of loss must be related to the fact that previously there was enormous sense of affection. That too is contact.

Surely it is fairly clear. We move away from pain. From the heat of a fire, we move away to a cooler spot once it gets too hot. Psychologically, how do you move away from pain except through ideation?

See I think both pain and pleasure can be an idea or a fact.

Pain fact: My long-time friend cancels me without explanation.
Pain idea: Friend, cancel, and me are all concepts (images).

Pleasure fact: Making a connection to another human being.
Pleasure idea: Connection and other are both concepts.

If you allow yourself to feel the pain without resistance or drama, eventually it subsides. You’re not moving away from the pain, you are allowing it to burn itself out.

Yes, but unless we’re dreaming lucidly, we don’t know we’re dreaming. Have you awakened anyone by telling them they’re sleeping?

But you are the pain. Are you willing to burn yourself out right to the end? I doubt it. And this is the central fact in all of this: I am the pain; I am the loss; I am the hurt. Put aside the question of pain and pleasure as idea or fact. Is your own existence a fact or an idea? Don’t make it complicated by bringing in the body-brain dilemma. Do you, X, exist as a fact or as an idea? The pain of relationship tells you one thing, however clever you may try to be about it. That pain and confusion is a fact. Sorrow is a fact. But to call it your pain, your confusion, that is the movement away from the fact into a separate being who can then try to deal with the pain through a thousand idiotic strategies, including yoga, silent meditation and all the rest of the crazy tricks we employ.

So it is not a matter of allowing things to burn themselves out. They never do. The embers remain warm and the whole problem of pain comes back in a different guise with relationship to other people. I don’t need to tell you all this. The fact of pain in relationship is here right now. Neither you nor I can do a thing about it. Therefore there is only the pain, not the pain and me as two separate yet linked entities. With a former friend it was the pain of loss and disappointment; with a new person it is the pain of suspicion and fear and the desire not to be hurt again. Those labels of ‘loss’, ‘disappointment’, ‘suspicion’ and ‘fear’ are the ideas away from the fact. They are all about me and my feelings, as though pain can be broken into smaller pieces and understood. But I am the pain. There is not one part of me that stands aside from it. That’s the whole movement of ideation: to get to a place that is free of pain.

1 Like

A lucid dream is still a dream. Are we awake? Until we put the question, we don’t know. Are we awake to the significance of relationship, which includes pleasure, pain, fear and sorrow? Or do we only wake up when there is a crisis in our lives either of falling in love or losing those whom we love? Or love itself is perpetual crisis, not the phoney romantic stuff of escapism and drama.

There is pain that is felt by the body-mind organism named nobody. A shorthand way of saying this is: I feel pain. I in this case is not the ego-I built of thought and memory, it is a phental (physical + mental) process existing in the present moment. It is not my pain in the sense that I own it, because there is no I/my that can own anything.

I don’t know if an emotion, fully felt for as long as it takes, will burn itself out. My best guess, from experience and reflection, is that for deep emotions, “the embers remain warm” and eventually rekindle.

Thank you for posting this comment. I feel it to be a good thing to share those everyday human experiences, especially in this K context. ‘It’s about everyday life’ - he would often say. It’s about our lives!
There are often too many answers floating around K communities, dialogue groups and forums. The teachings speak of profound seeing and fundamental change - not any kind of “now I know more about this” or “with these answers I know what to do now”. If someone like you shares this information and asks these questions, if one is honest, they can have no answers. The lack of an answer draws us into inquiry, from a blank page and in a spirit of genuine exploration. A conclusion or answer closes that investigation: what is the fun in that!
No deep insights have ever come in my life by having the strength or the intelligence to face sorrow. They have come through a state of being completely lost! Not being about to do anything! The only presence could be total meeting and feeling of sorrow, letting go even the knowing what that state is… Please don’t listen to ANY conclusions on this issue. The only truths and freedom you will live can only ever be discovered first hand by you, and no one else.
If we had more time together, as friends we would look at this, you and I, neither of us walking ahead of the other… both of us benefiting from that quality of listening, warmth and silence that would be generated - taking us along the never ending, passionate river of investigation.
Wishing you fall head over heels into inquiry, helpless like the blind, loveless, insensitive human beings we actually are! Let’s not pretend we are anything else yet! With deep listening, attention, relaxation and innocence, perhaps we shall discover sensitivity and awareness out of the blue and beyond our control.
Most affectionately,
Wishing you great discovery and joy,
Jackie

1 Like

I question whether it is this way round: ‘I feel pain.’ Doesn’t the pain create the me? As a child caught in a corner under the critical scrutiny of the adult, isn’t this where the me begins? At this moment, with the threat of the extinction of affection hanging over one’s head, what happens?

Physically, of course it happens that way round because the body must be sensitive to pain as an indicator of danger, just as it is sensitive to hunger or changes in temperature. But the psychological entity that is sensitive to pain, what is that entity?

If we wake up only when there’s a crisis, we experience it as a nightmare, a disturbing, upsetting dream, and this means we aren’t ready to awaken. All we can do is dream more lucidly, be more self-aware.

But our lack of love is a crisis which we carry with us day after day, isn’t it? This is not hard to see, but we just don’t seem to look at it. It is a global, international crisis as well as an immediate personal crisis. It is in every newspaper and on every television; and it is also right here in the very home in which we live. Yet we don’t face it.

Yes, that’s the question, isn’t it?! It’s the one I keep asking: Who or what is it that senses things, thinks things, feels things, does things? Is it possible that no-one, no-thing senses, thinks, feels, acts, that these things simply happen, like a thunderstorm happens? Is “I” a mythical being like Thor, god of thunder and lightning?

I don’t know what love is, so how can I feel “lack of love”?

If ‘love’ is a word for the ‘connectedness’ of everything, is the feeling of being separate, the feeling that we don’t ‘belong’ here somehow, is that what “lack of love” may mean?

It’s not a matter of speculation. I don’t know what love is any more than I know what “choiceless awareness” or “the observer is the observed” refers to because they are not of my experience.

Krishnamurti was either speaking from a dimension of consciousness unknown to us, or he was delusional. I suspect the former.

Which means that there is no answer. There is only sensitivity to pain. You can come up with a dozen poetic explanations, but the pain always resurfaces. You can describe and explain it a thousand other ways and yet the pain remains. So you are the sensitivity to pain. The pain is you. You are the pain. This is neither a poetic nor an intellectual statement. It doesn’t have a lot of hidden meanings which have to be deciphered to get to the gist of it. It is a cold, hard statement of fact. The body feels pain when it comes into contact with something hazardous; the psychological mind is pain and therefore is itself the hazard.

Now, is it possible for the mind to experience this pain without any questions about it, which means without any resistance to it?

That’s just the point: we don’t feel it. So there is no deep wellspring of affection. There is plenty of surface stuff going on, all the false niceties of our daily living, but we are strangers to the deep sustaining waters of affection.

I don’t have the passage in front of me but, K experienced profound loss and sorrow at the death of his brother Nitya, and spoke of his surprise at sorrow’s return, close to his death. Notwithstanding the beautiful observations in between, seemingly, sorrow bides its time.