But isn’t this your conclusion? Do you know that “He just showed us what we really are in contrast to what we think that we are or believe we are”? As much as I like to think that’s true, what I like to think is too comforting and self-affirming to take seriously.
We know what K was saying, what he taught, and from that knowledge we form our image of who K was and what he succeeded or failed to do, but it’s all just speculation and conjecture.
We have knowledge we don’t need to know we have, but we’re full of so-called knowledge we never question or examine, and this dubious knowledge amounts to who/what we are until/unless we see it for what it is.
That´s not I wrote, it is a sentence you took out its context. If this is how you read or listen to Krishnamurti, I give up. Could someone tell me how to unsubscribe from this site, please? I can´t find that option anywhere. Thank you.
One of the core insights of K’s teaching is that we are only separated from the actual present (or ‘now’) by our thinking (or psychological time).
That is, the distance between the actual present and where we are (or where our minds are) creates all the problems or so-called ‘negative’ psychological states that end in suffering.
Thought and time create fear, pleasure, jealousy, suffering, as well as the ‘observer’ of these states.
So this distance - between the present (or the ‘now’) and ourselves - is the distance created by thought and time.
The implications of K’s teaching is that we can live in the present moment without this distance of psychological time or psychological thought (which are the same thing), and without a separate observer.
This state of no time, no thought and no observer is what K calls attention.
Maybe you are used to reading Krishnamurti in translation Wim (?), but he generally uses the word “attention” to mean a state of observation free of thought, free of memory, and free of the observer. This is obviously not the normal way the word is used. Indeed, in neuroscience they often use the word “attention” to mean “concentration” (which clearly does involve intentionality and will), which K says are completely different states.
Especially towards the end of his teaching career (i.e. during the 70s and 80s) K made a subtle distinction between awareness and attention. He brings out this distinction in a discussion with Buddhist scholars. There he says that there is awareness with choice, awareness without choice, and attention. He says that in awareness (the way he is using the word) there is still a centre from which one observes, whereas in attention there is no centre and so no periphery.
As Inquiry says, this can be a little confusing because the way we often use the word “attention” is in the context of “paying attention” (which would seem to imply will).
And K often uses the word “attention” in this sense too, as when he invites his audience to pay attention, to listen, etc (although sometimes he denies that “paying attention” involves will - for example he says that we pay attention when we are interested in something for its own sake). And when we pay attention for its own sake - as Inquiry says - there is no will involved.
A further interesting thing is that K says that attention itself is free from thought, but also that we need this attention to dissolve fear, sorrow, desire, etc, which are all contents created by thought.*
(*This reminds me of his statement that freedom is at the beginning not just at the end.)
Attention is by itself intelligence, being this intelligence not different from love, to put it in Krishnamurti´s words. Being attentive implies to take a step back which in turn implies to be quiet and to allow that intelligence to put order into the mess brought about by thought as usurping its role, the role of intelligence. According to Krishnamurti, this is as far as we can go on our own or be directed towards by an external agent, since this also has to be, and can be, overcome in order to find out what can´t be spoken of. So, what´s the problem, is it that we don´t understand what attention is or is it that we are unwilling to be attentive or rather self-attentive by whatever lousy reason to go on with thread?
Radha Rajopal, if you have read her book, posed a very good, and yet a very simple and obvious question to Krishnamurti: ‘If everyone took you literally, listened carefully, and took in what you are saying, they needn’t come back unless they want to be followers and you say you don’t want followers. What would happen if your audience, by really listening to you, disappeared?’
‘That is a paradox,’ he answered in a moment of open candour. 'I
speak to live, I do not live to speak, if there were no more talks I
So what? He died anyway. As he himself claimed these bodies are just a manifestation and all manifestations have a beginning and an end. Get it? Of course you do, so…?
As being self-attentive there is not much to say, to talk about or to question, is there?