Fear = time-thought?

Can we discuss the relationship between psychological thought and psychological time (what K calls time-thought)?

I was asking on another thread what psychological thought and mental images do to us inwardly - creating fear and hurt, comparison and envy (for example); and I recalled that K has said that fear equals time plus thought (or time-thought).

He said to hold this statement like a jewel :gem:, to look at it, to have an insight into it.

Part of the beauty of the statement is its mathematical simplicity.

I have excerpted the relevant parts of the talk where I heard this (highlighting the sentences that I feel are central to the question being looked at):

What is the relationship of fear to time, to thought?

One may be frightened of tomorrow, or of many tomorrows; the fear of death the ultimate fear or fear of what has happened before, in the past; or fear of what is actually going on now.

So we must enquire together… Is fear brought about by time?

Someone has done something in the past to hurt you, and the past is time. The future is time. The present is time. So we are asking, is time a central factor of fear? …

I have a good job now, I may lose it tomorrow so I’m frightened. When there is fear there is jealousy, anxiety, hatred, violence. So time is a factor of fear…

Time is a factor and thought is a factor: thinking about what has happened, what might happen; thinking…

Time is the past, right? Time is the future and time is the present. The whole cycle is time.

The past - your background, what you have thought, what you have lived through, your experiences, your conditioning, as Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or all the rest of it: without the past you wouldn’t be here…

So the past is the present; what you are now is the result of the past. And tomorrow, or a thousand tomorrows, is what you are now, so the future is now. In the now all time is contained…

If time and thought are the root of fear, which they are in actuality, what is thinking? Why do we live, act, do everything, on the basis of thought?

The marvellous cathedrals of Europe, the beauty, the structure, the architecture have been put together by thought. All religions and their paraphernalia, their dress, their mediaeval robes, are put together by thought. All the rituals are contrived, arranged, by thought.

And our relationship with each other, man and woman, is based on thought. When you drive a car, it’s based on thought. Recognition is thought.

So one has to enquire, if you are not too tired and we’ll stop after this what is thinking? …

Thinking is part of memory, isn’t it? If we had no memory at all, would we be able to think? We wouldn’t.

Our brain is the instrument of memory: memory of things that have happened, experience, and so on, the whole background of memory. Memory arises from knowledge, from experience right? So experience, knowledge, memory, and the response of memory is thought

Time and thought are the same, they are not two separate movements. See this fact, this actuality, that time and thought, time-thought, are the root of fear just observe it in yourself. Don’t move away from the reality of it, from the truth of it that fear is caused by time and thought. Hold it, remain with it, don’t run away from it. It is so. Then it is like holding a precious jewel in your hand. You see all the beauty of that jewel.

Then you will see for yourself that fear psychologically completely ends.

(Talk 1, Washington D.C. 1985)

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[quote=“James, post:1, topic:2667”]
K. Don’t move away from the reality of it, from the truth of it that fear is caused by time and thought. Hold it, remain with it, don’t run away from it. It is so. Then it is like holding a precious jewel in your hand. You see all the beauty of that jewel.
Then you will see for yourself that fear psychologically completely ends.

I have to attend an event. I start to think of how it will be, how I will be etc…images arise of possibilities. If they are pleasant, I look forward to attending. If they are negative, there is fear, dread. Imagining the future is a survival technique for the body, to keep it safe. And for the ‘self’ it is also a survival technique: how will I do, how will I come across?

We are conditioned to be ‘confident’.
K.”A confident man is a dead human being.”

Yes. So I’m wondering if all psychological thought has this temporal aspect?

Do all psychological thoughts involve projecting from the past into the present or the future?

I can see, for instance, in the case of desire: desire is a sensation that the mind recognises as pleasant, and wishes to continue into the future.

Fear is a sensation that the mind recognises as unpleasant, that it wishes not to recur in the future.

The very wishing is the activity of thought-time

Stage fright can be paralyzing. The image is that you will fail and you can actually become physically sick. Why does K refer to it as a ‘jewel’?

Yes - stage fright or fear of public speaking are real curses (as I know for myself)!

I think the ‘jewel’ reference is not so much the sickly sensation of fear (!) - though this may be a part of it - but rather concerns the wholeness of the process of fear, seeing the mechanics of fear as a whole.

So, K says:

It is this, he says, which is a jewel.

If one approaches fear as a jewel then one naturally cares for the looking, does not escape or evade it, does not judge it, takes in the whole of it appreciatively.

This might well include the sickly feeling-sensation of fear, holding the feeling-process of fear in one’s mind without evading it; but it also involves seeing its structure, what it is made of, its causality and effect, holistically.

And part of what this jewel reveals, according to K, is its relationship to thought-time. Fear = thought-time (or time-thought). So this is the jewel aspect, as I understand it.

By looking at fear attentively, by being with it, by going forward with feeling it the moment it arises when on the stage, by becoming aware at that precise moment of how one has been a slave to this fear one’s entire life, by seeing how this fear has determined the kind of life one has lived until now, how one’s life has remained unfulfilled, how it has lead one to live in illusions and self-deception; the sight of all that should bring about a profound change, if the looking is done in earnestness. Thus, to be free from fear has infinite value, comparable to that of jewel. Who is willing to pay for something so high-valued, and with what currency?

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Yes. To be free of fear, of envy, of comparison, is something priceless.

And it is the seeing of fear (or envy, jealousy, etc) as a whole, according to K, that ends fear (envy, jealousy, etc).

But what I am wondering is if all psychological thought is - like fear - composed of time, made up of psychological time?

Take envy or jealousy say, how are they movements of time (psychological time)?

  • Envy is a movement of comparison, comparing the image I have of myself with the image I have of someone else.

What is the temporal component to this movement?

Is it the wish to have in the future the same (or better) image as the other person?

Jealousy is a little more complicated than simple envy.

  • If one takes the example of sexual jealousy, it is essentially envy of the relationship one imagines to exist between a person towards whom one is attached or feels romantic desire, and a third party.

In this process one feels hurt, humiliation, to one’s self-image. The self-image comes from the past; and, in addition to this, there is also the fear that in the future one will lose one’s relationship. This fear of loss is projected from the past (from previous experiences of having lost something to which one was attached).

So these seem to be the temporal features of envy and jealousy.

Are all psychological thoughts of the same nature?