Insight: gradual or sudden, partial or total, first step or last step?

What indicates that the opinions of a confused person (like me or you) about how close they are getting to x - when they don’t know what x is or where it might be - are reliable?

Isn’t the number one question mark with following a ‘spiritual path’ that it involves a belief in, or acceptance of, psychological time?

How real is psychological time? The past is no longer and the future is not yet, so by basing one’s life on time is there not a danger that one is basing oneself on something that doesn’t even exist?

There is also the fact that a path requires conformity - one conforms to a fixed standard. This then creates a division between what I am (or ‘what is’) and what I feel I ‘should be’. The chasm between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ cannot be crossed by time, because ‘what should be’ is merely a projection of my own thinking - it is an image, and so not real.

Also, a path is fixed, whereas life is fluid and unpredictable. What ‘worked’ yesterday may not work today. So creative living requires one to be responsive to the moment, and a moment has no path towards it.

Another issue is that there is a sense of psychological security in following a path; but this security may be illusory, and so insecure. The security is largely based on the acceptance of authority - a path is usually a list of prescriptions handed down by tradition or a master. So one has to have faith in what tradition or the master has said. And the tradition or master may be wildly wrong.

Obviously Krishnamurti may also be wildly wrong. But he doesn’t offer much by way of security - unless one counts his talking about intelligence and insight as something onto which one can cling.

How exactly does time improve the qualities of non-existent entities?

Big “if”. Can one be sure that one knows something, or anything, for that matter? We know we can think we know, believe we know, but we also know we can deceive ourselves without knowing it.

The only things we can honestly know are self-evident or demonstrable. Anything else is just belief.

Good question. I don’t know, but am always happy to speculate. :wink: 1. The opinion of a good, trusted friend, peer, teacher? 2. Intuition? 3. There are universally(ish) agreed upon signs of awakening that you can use as a touchstone. 4. ‘Meditate’ on your relationship with x?

In other words, proceeding on a path to what is believed to be what one must attain, achieve, arrive at, awaken to, is masturbating.

Proceeding on a path one has no idea where it is going, however, is an act of desperation (because one is lost), and the path might be going to something worse than being lost.

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Lots here ripe for the unpacking!

I think the danger is there, ja.

There may be some paths that are fixed and demand strict conformity (Zen comes to mind), but many paths have a good degree of flexibility and freedom. Even a path as established as the Eightfold Path is (afaik) quite flexible. There is room within many paths to respond to the moment.

That danger is imo one of the nastiest and hardest to avoid. Especially the authority aspect.

I am sure that plenty of Krishnamurti followers who need authority-security (unconsciously perhaps) will find plenty of hooks to cling to, the biggest hook being the carrot of a better, saner, more intelligent and fulfilling life.

For me the moral of the story is: If you choose to follow a path, remain vigilant! (Btw I’ve never (yet) been able to follow a path longer than a few months, more often a few days or weeks. It always starts well, but feels progressively arbitrary and fictional to me.)

In its simplest sense : following a path is effort towards a goal.
Therefore Klaxons should be going off for those that understand the nature of suffering. ie fear/desire/self and its movement.
The effort to move towards what I want is not in itself a movement towards freedom from desire.

Are we inquiring into freedom from the known or the possibility of knowing (absolutely) true ideas? Evolving towards a me that knows mo better, or dropping a hot potato (gradually?)?

There might be the idea that my being in a calm receptive state is necessary for insight (“leaving the window open”) - thus we fall into the idea of practising some form of meditation or going for long walks, or being on the lookout for mental resistance (in ourselves)

These are paths/methods - that I practise - but which do not lead to lasting transformation.

The space that allows for psychological death may not (cannot) be one that I cultivate.

We cannot step outside of causes and conditions. Honesty, inescapable doubt and unavoidable responsibilty, might well be the necessary conditions for having to face ourself.

Only point 4 might address the problem.

  1. Whether a confused person trusts guru A or guru B is moot.
  2. Ditto for Mr or Ms. Confused’s intuition.
  3. Signs of awakening are signs that pertain to the end not the means (ie. once you become a Buddha then you might say “waoh! I was actually stumbling blindly in the right direction” - theoretically - In practise which buddha ever said that? - so can we just say : fallacy of equivocation using non existant evidence?)

PS. x being Moksha or whatever

Would you say meditating on some thing (like your degree of awakening) is like having a dialogue with yourself exploring that thing? Are words and ideas and analysis invited to the party?

The gradual path brings in the past (conditioning) and future (projection). Insight happens in the here and now. Perhaps the most that the gradual path can do is help you clamber up to the cliff’s edge. The leap (into the unknown), though it may appear as the final step on the path, is beyond any path. Traditions like Advaita, Buddhism, Taoism all have prescribed paths to awakening. In other words, they all seek to help people reach the edge of the cliff. Krishnamurti otoh provides no prescribed paths, he goes straight to the cliff’s edge, takes the leap, and invites you to come along for the ride.

Not so. K talks a lot about the need for self-knowledge, putting one’s house in order, which takes time.

The term “self-knowledge” is misleading because there is no actual self, and there is no accumulation of information, content. Self-knowledge is discovering the illusory nature of the self.

But do you consider that a ‘prescribed’ path? I doubt Krishnamurti would have ever endorsed that interpretation.

No, it’s not a path, there’s no prescription.

Someone tells you that you’re duped because you take your self for granted, and you need to find out whether your self is real or is something you are actively imagining/believing from moment to moment. That inquiry, questioning every movement of thought and emotion, means being no less interested in what you are actually doing than in getting/avoiding what you want/don’t want.

And what drives a person to care as much about what’s actually going on than what feels good? Love for truth? Longing for a bigger payoff (awakening)? Innocent curiosity? Loaded curiosity? Desire for the world to become ‘better?’

If it doesn’t drive you, you can only guess at why it drives another.

Knowing what drives you is what matters because if we’re all driven, we need to know our driver.

To what end? (seriously - your answer to this could be pertinent)
what can a confused person gain from their confused analysis of their confused ideas?

Oups! I think this addresses a question I asked on the other thread.
So if there is no accumulation of information, what is it that takes time? Is it the time that it takes for me to take the matter seriously? The time that it takes me to mull over the question? Surely not the time it takes for me to put my house in order (bit by bit)?

And in those proposed timelines, is there a progression towards the end point? Or are we just waiting whilst the psyche struggles with itself?

You would meditate on your degree of awakening to get a sense of your degree of awakening.

They may be able to gain clarity about their confusion. But chances are, if they are as confused as you are describing, they won’t gain clarity about what they are analyzing.

Even when you are driven, you can only guess at why another is driven. We are mysteries to both ourselves and each other. We are all ultimately the unknown. (Cue Halloween theremin.)