Freedom from the self

Intuitively we feel that we are a substantial self, a first-personhood, an I.

Intellectually we think that there is no substantial self, just a memory-driven mirage.

By nature, we are intuitive and intellectual beings. No wonder we’re such a mess!

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Why is there need for conflict?

We could describe a potential paradox of course, one does seem evident - though easily solved by a bit of further thought.
But is there a deeper level to this conflict/confusion? Not in the arguments themselves, but in one’s relationship with the narratives.

Are you implying that intuition and intellect are incompatible, bound to be in conflict? Aren’t they interdependent? Since much of what we come to find out is counter-intuitive, and much of what we intuit is factual, aren’t they compatible?

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Share your solution?


Thought and feeling (to use simpler words) are interdependent, arise together. But they are not the same, they can diverge dramatically. For example: We feel we are a real I and think the I is but a mirage. Cognitive dissonance ensues!

Because I am your friend I must decline (I :heart: U! :grinning:)
Meaning that, at the very least, we are in this (inquiry & world) together - and just in case this inquiry is of some value, we shall let it live a little longer.

I might try and show off how clever I am tomorrow - in the hope that you beat me to it (in which case I might have to tell you to stop trying to analyse yourself out of a paper bag - which is of course a traditional zen teaching method)

Yes, but what would music be without dissonance and polyrhythm? When one doesn’t appreciate this interdependence and tolerates only boring, predictable music that is soothing and pleasantly stimulating, unfamiliar, unpredictable music is rejected and avoided.

Similarly, psychological thought is soothing and pleasantly stimulating and averse to disturbing, choiceless thought when the brain doesn’t understand and appreciate how this deeply held bias (belief) creates incoherent thought.

Dear @rickScott - sorry for being so annoying, I accept full responsibility. Please forgive me, though I cannot promise never to say annoying stuff ever again.

I get that (cognitive) dissonance makes for stimulating (mental) music. (I’m drawn to it all the time!) But does the joie de dissonance make freedom from the self even harder?

I just wish I knew what you were getting at with:

Same here, and it is my suspicion that all our (everyone’s) attempts to communicate can only, at best, arrive at a sense of recognition of experience - ie. can I fit what is being said into my world view. What is being heard is always either something I already know (as true or false) or gobbledygook.

Nevertheless, let us proceed with explanations (everybody loves explanations) :

  1. the paradox : if we look carefully it isn’t one. You have not stated that x (eg.self) is both A and not A. What I feel is not the same as what I think. You have made a category error.
    You are not saying x = A and notA, you are saying x = A and y = notA. (where x = what I feel, and y = what I think)

Also if you had thunk it a bit more, “what I feel” could be explained by the model (ie. “what I think”) of self.

  1. Our relationship to knowledge and power = the actual important bit. to be continued. (actually you keep telling us that its a selfish relationship based on pleasure/pain - so will probably just continue to fuel that movement)

No, and it is not a bias in favor of dissonance, but appreciation that there’s no harmony without dissonance; that dissonance is the dark side of harmony in that you can’t have one without the other, whether you’re aware of this duality or not.

When the self seeks “freedom from the self”, it can only modify itself, make its bound, limited condition more tolerable, buy itself more time to be itself, and that only gets “harder” over time.

Freedom isn’t finding better ways to be limited - it’s being aware of the limitation the brain has established for itself. For all we know this self-limiting process is what the brain does to survive until it is capable of functioning without limits, I’m speculating.

But my messages are all crystal clear! ( :wink: ) I think you and I and Inquiry have each developed idiosyncratic and often oblique styles of writing here. Half the time I need to best-guess at what yas guys are talking about! I enjoy trying to decipher your texts, but sometimes I figure giving up and asking you what you meant is the best approach.

I never said it was a paradox. Rather: thinking one thing (the self is a mirage) and feeling another (the self is as real as it gets) can be a source of confusion.

I see feeling and thinking as interdependent, but distinct. We may disagree on this?

Here’s an example where I’m close to clueless what you mean, so instead of taking a wild stab, I’ll ask for a clarification, please?

Yes. Through one lens. Through other lenses, freedom has other meanings, freedom of agency or choice, for example, or abundance of possibilities for actualization in the present moment. (I realize these are not popular interpretations in Krishnamurti groups.)

Is there an underlying truth or pattern or principle that applies to all interpretations of freedom?

Nope, no disagreement.

Yes, I think so too - its definitely my shit thats not being recognised.

Yes, because of my main point, which I’m not managing to get across, though it is the only thing of importance (with regards to freedom from the known/self) : our relationship to experience.

Clarification : we act like truth detectors, rather than selfish discriminators.

PS. and I think you do also say this but do not see the implications of selfishness.

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Which is where we are, so why not stay with what Krishnamurti meant by “freedom”?

Unless I’m mistaken, K saw “free will” as an oxymoron. Will is what one chooses to see or do, and freedom is direct perception/choiseless awareness; having no choice but to respond to what actually is.

This is the “lens” through which I see freedom in a K discussion group. I don’t see the need to bring in other notions of freedom.

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Looking to Krishnamurti as a kind of touchstone makes sense, since this is a Krishnamurti forum. But Krishnamurti’s perspective is one of many, and I’m interested in exploring others, especially the personal perspectives of the people here. That may be a difference between us, you want above all (it seems to me) to know what Krishnamurti saw, I want to know what we here see. I think there’s room for both approaches.

Yes. It’s a deep and rich take on what it means to be free, and it seems to have grown organically out of Krishnamurti’s worldview, is harmonious with his other insights. It’s a brilliant perspective, but for me it’s not the final word on the matter. There is no final word!

Freedom from the self is (aisi) when the self is not in charge, doesn’t pull the strings. It may still show up and try to take over, but it will fail, its power will be dissipated. (Who or what gives the self its power?)

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Its so sad to see the most powerful species on the planet so full of fear.
The finger on the red button, worrying about myself - thinking that the problem is out there.

If I say the self will fail, aren’t I the self buying more time with the currency of confidence?

Wouldn’t the failure of the self be no confidence?