Facing psychological facts

We compare ourselves with others.

We also compare ourselves with an idea, an image, an ideal picture of how we think we should be.

But there is only the fact of what we are, not the changing or altering of what we are. That is, the changing of ourselves into the person we think we should be is not a fact.

To be aware of ourselves as we are - which means to observe ourselves now, this very moment, moment by moment - is essential.

Not to try to change ourselves, not to try to alter what we are; but just to see what is going on as though for the first time, without any choice (because the one who would change, alter, make choices to modify what is seen, is himself/herself part of what one is, part of what is seen, what is going on).

What is going on are our various reactions in relationship, our contradictory desires and urges, our attempts to control and shape these reactions in conformity with society’s expectations of us, according to an ideal we have accepted, etc, and so distorting our reactions, evading the actuality of our reactions, in the light of these ideals and expectations.

But surely the ideal exists because we don’t know how to meet the psychological facts of what we are?

So can we stop comparing ourselves with our ideal images of how we think we should be, and simply face ourselves - our reactions and responses in relationship - as they are, as one is, without making excuses for them or covering them up with sweet-sounding words?

Can we face psychological facts?

When we turn attention to what we’re actually doing by comparing, idealizing, and conforming, we’re seeing our psychological conditioning for the first time because part of that conditioning is to be blind and deaf to it.

But we’re still operating according to our psychological conditioning because we want to stop it more than we want to see it for what it is and how it works.

First I have to find out why I compare myself with something outside of me. Am I conditioned by the education and the parents to compare and compete with others?
Is comparison useful or it only lead to illusions of all sorts?

So can we put side the desire to stop or alter a feeling, a reaction, and simply watch it, observe it, as it occurs?

I don’t see why not…

So one of the psychological facts we face in relationship is that communication becomes almost impossible if we each hold to our own particular way of using words, or to our own particular pattern of understanding concepts, or to our own particular experiences.

This tendency to be divided off from each other into different ways of using words, different understandings of ideas, different identifications according to these ideas, or identities forged out of personal experiences, brings us into conflict with one another.

Even where conflict may be absent, misunderstandings arise for these same reasons, which creates confusion, and then further misunderstandings.

And who has the patience to move past these misunderstandings, or the conflicts they create? Apparently very few.

So the fact is that each person’s egotism (created out of the different way we use words, the different way we understand concepts, and the different way we have identified ourselves with certain ideas and experiences) gets in the way of actual relationship. No-one seems to be immune to this problem.

So in our communications here - as well as elsewhere - we need to be aware of this fact, this tendency of ours to be egotistic (i.e. giving more value to our own ‘difference’ than to the difference of others), because this seems to be the central factor that separates us all the time and creates conflict.

If I can ask @danmcderm, what is it that is stopping you or preventing you from communicating with me about what is separating us from each other?

Clearly something is separating us right now, because for over a week you have not responded to any of my attempts to communicate with you.

Perhaps the problem began with me, with a moment two weeks ago in which I was frustrated with what I perceived to be a lack of understanding on your part. But if the problem were only on my side then I don’t think you would have put up a wall against communication with me. So I think you have to accept that your response is part of the problem.

What is preventing you from meeting the problem - which we have both created through our responses - and ending the problem?

Do you feel I insulted you? Are you unable to forgive me for such an insult? What was the content of this insult that it is so unforgivable or even unmentionable?

I recollect briefly remonstrating with you because I felt you were going off topic (on the ‘self-knowledge is not cumulative’ thread). I also pushed back when you when you seemed to be ignoring “ordinary observation” in favour of “insight”, and a “revolution in the brain” - which were not the topics of the thread - and which you were apparently claiming to have experienced (though this was not clarified, probably because you felt offended by the way I challenged you).

But do you not feel that it is an overreaction to refuse all communication with me because of this otherwise quite trivial interaction?

I feel it is. So I am surprised that someone as serious as you seem to be about Krishnamurti’s teachings would not attempt to resolve or heal the relationship in any way?

Obviously, if you truly feel you have personally undergone the “revolution in the brain” that Krishnamurti spoke about, then it is incumbent on you to make it clear that this is what you believe. And if this is not the case, and you were simply offended by my brusk attempt to keep the thread on topic, then why can’t you just say so, and we can drop this absurd stand-off?

If you have decided to cut off all relationship with me, seeing as there are only a few people who regularly post on Kinfonet, wouldn’t it make sense to clarify why you feel this way, and find out if it is grounded in personal reaction or in intelligence?

As it has turned out James, not posting for me has been interesting. I have been involved here and on the older forums for many years as well as continuing to read and listen to K’s message. And I can say honestly that there has been a breakthrough that was completely unexpected and surprising. I did post about it briefly before I left off posting here. But as we all know , the description is not the described. I would suggest this for consideration: the point of all this is not to become another Krishnamurti or Krishnamurti - like but to grasp seriously what he was pointing at when he said : “Freedom is born with the perception that freedom is essential”…in myself. That the ‘thinker’, me, is the thought…that is the ‘beginning’ , the ‘first and last step’ as it is seen here. So this turned out to be a good time to take a break from discussion and hopefully the forum will continue to attract interested people whatever their degree of interest and communication skills.
Pax! Dan

Thank you for replying Dan.

So you are saying that a breakthrough in perception occurred for you (in your estimation), and this was what was behind my perception that you were going off-topic and claiming to have had a “revolution in the brain”?

You were claiming to have had an insight, a “revolution in the brain”.

This insight, you say, had to do with Krishnamurti’s expression that

You go on to say that this means, for you, that

It may be valid, it may be an insight of your own, but it still sounds a little vague to me. Have you any interest in attempting to elucidate it further? Or do you feel it cannot be expressed in any further detail?

Seeing that “freedom is essential” (I think) is to be aware of experiencing freedom when it is present and experiencing its absence when freedom is denied.

It seems I am free enough to know that my perception is more reactive than revelatory because usually it confirms my assumptions and suspicions instead of revealing what is new. A simpler way to put it is to say that I perceive what I’ve concluded (what I presume to know) instead of what is actually transpiring, unfolding.

When perception is of what’s new, unprecedented, not the usual confirmation bias, as far as I can tell, that’s freedom and undeniably essential. But I don’t see how perceiving this is the first and last step because I continue to see what I expect/dread/hope to see instead of what actually is.

I would put it this way, until it is perceived (‘perception’ here being ‘light into the darkness’), that the duality of thinker/thought, observer/observed etc is false, there will not arise (or be “born”) the urgency or essential-ness’ of being free of that state of division ie., darkness.

But duality is not false. It is the nature of thought, and thought is essential. So it isn’t the falseness of duality that is perceived but the fact that thought has no place in perception. What is perceived is the presence of what has no place at that moment.

Duality (thought) has its place, but the psychologically conditioned brain can’t see clearly what it is, and therefore can’t put it where it belongs. This may be why freedom comes first.

You are saying, to put it differently, that when the observer is the observed, the importance of being free from the falseness of the division - ‘the observer as separate from the observed’ - is made apparent.

So you are saying, I think, that you have had an insight that the observer is the observed, right? This is your essential point.

The words ‘freedom’, ‘essential’, ‘darkness of division’, etc, are poetic extras. The essential core of your insight is that the observer is the observed.

Would you object to this?

Not ‘extras’ they all ring with meaning…though as each person’s conditioning, neuroticism is different in scale and intensity, there will be different experiences with the insight that the observer is the observed’ ie. in my case anyway, like an ‘undertow’ or ‘rip tide’, thought, reinstating the false duality due to a lifetime of momentum.

Might you say a little more about what is meant by the phrase ‘the observer is the observed’ here?

One meaning, as was discussed on another thread, is that there is no observer, only pure observation, pure seeing, in which the difference between the world and oneself is dissolved.

Another meaning is that the one who condemns or judges or evaluates what arises as consciousness (and its contents) is himself/herself not separate from those arisings. One is one’s hate, one’s envy, one’s suffering. The perception of this fact ends or dissolves hatred, envy, suffering.

Which of these two meanings most nearly approximates what you mean by ‘the observer is the observed’?

…is enough to enlighten the brain that the false division of observer/observed is the source, the ‘prison’ of suffering and that freedom is “essential”.

I’m not sure what you mean by Pax here (I suppose you are saying you have shared enough for the time being?), but does this mean that in this insight one has ended one’s hate, one’s envy, one’s suffering - completely?

And if one has ended one’s hate, envy, suffering, then this is freedom isn’t it? There’s no need for some further freedom. The essence of human conflict has been resolved.

As I understand it, the ‘observer is the observed’ means that I am not different from my qualities, my qualities being my envy, my hatred, my loneliness and suffering, etc - so I cannot escape from them, I cannot act upon them: there can only be an observation of them without the observer. A choiceless awareness of what is arising in consciousness.

So freedom means to observe, to observe without choice (i.e. without the observer).

Is this how you understand it?

There is only ‘what is’, and no observer of ‘what is’?

I would only speak of this happening in the moment , this ‘state of observation’ and then speaking of it would be from memory. “Completely” implies duration, time, as well as desire, a form of ‘becoming’. I’d say a moment is enough. ‘Completely’ also implies comparison, in this case with Krishnamurti which I think is a mistake, given his background.

I think the question is: at what depth are we speaking when we say that insight has ended hate or envy or suffering?

We have all experienced moments when a reaction has been apprehended through attention, and in that attention has withered away. But reactions continue to arise in the mind. So these endings were superficial endings, not fundamental. Do you see what I mean?

When Krishnamurti uses the word insight he usually has in mind something fundamental. For instance, the ending of sorrow is the birth of compassion. It is the ending of sorrow. Not a partial ending of sorrow and a partial birth of compassion, but something holistic, entire, complete (in that sense). If someone says they have ended sorrow but they continue to be in sorrow, then this means they have not ended sorrow at its foundations in the mind. Insight means the complete uprooting and transformation, ending, of sorrow.

Do you see what I mean?

It is not about comparison, comparing ourselves with Krishnamurti. It is about being exact in the use of the terms we are using. Because if you use the word ‘insight’ to mean something partial, momentary, limited, incomplete, not holistic, and another is using that word in the more comprehensive way that Krishnamurti generally talked about, then there will inevitably be misunderstanding.

I think we have had this discussion before, but to me insight means something whole, complete, total. It means the emptying of the contents of consciousness, so that the brain is empty, no-thing, and therefore completely silent. This is the ground of the ‘mind outside the brain’, the ‘love outside the brain’.

Partial insights have their own limited, momentary validity, but being partial they do not change or transform consciousness at a fundamental level, which means that suffering, hate, envy, etc, must continue. Modified continuity, though valid, though significant, is not the revolution in consciousness that I think Krishnamurti is pointing to.

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You are of course entitled to your opinion
regarding Krishnamurti’s message to us but I’m not interested in your opinion at this point. So as I said, I’ll look in on the forum to see who is posting but will not post in the near future.