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Is there an I without thought?


I understand you to be saying that, for you, thought cannot see or understand anything about itself, its motives, its conditioning, its actions, and so on, and that only intelligence is capable of such perception or understanding. I’m not saying this is not so. But then, is there anything that can AWAKEN intelligence and so end conditioning?

We see that thought rules the world, relationship, action, and that thought is conditioned and is responsible for all the chaos, disorder, violence, corruption, suffering, and so on, in relationship. What allows us to see this? Historically, traditionally, scientists, religions, politicians and philosophers have said that society is gradually evolving and that, through perseverance and determination, man will “some day” finally cure the ills of the world and create a just, caring society. Something like that. We also see the falseness of belief in a gradual social, educational, moral, religious and political evolution. No?

So, IS there anything that man can DO to bring about a fundamental change in these circumstances that we observe? Thought is a slave to its conditioning, and cannot do it. What makes me say that thought is a slave to its conditioning? Can’t I, the human being, see that I am a slave to it? Can’t I see that I am incapable of bringing about a fundamental change to what I am? What can the human being — me, you, them — DO about it? I see that whatever I decide or choose to do is action which is put together by my conditioning. Is it ACTION to keep repeating that thought cannot see, that only intelligence can see, or to keep repeating anything else? Is authoritative repetition action? There is certainly value in repetition, for emphasis for example. But is there value in simply repeatedly asserting something to be so? Can that awaken understanding and intelligence?

It seems to me that, to awaken intelligence, there must be a totally new kind of action, something that has never been done. To me that totally new action IS choiceless, effortless awareness, observation, attention. Thought is not part of awareness. But out of such choiceless, effortless awareness, there can also be the choiceless, effortless operation of thought. I might be wrong of course. I could be fooling myself.

Of course not. Didn’t I make it clear that this is what the self, thought can do, if it’s really interested in why it behaves the way it does?

If to you, thought taking an interest in its activity is “cunning”, please explain why.

No, it isn’t what you mean by ACTION because thought doesn’t know anything about intelligence, and all it knows about itself is that, at its best, it is reasonable, logical, and open-minded, and it is not always at its best.

OK thanks. I understand what you mean, more or less. But doesn’t what you say imply that there is one type of intelligence — “a subset of intelligence” — for responding to psychological matters, and perhaps other types of intelligence for political, religious, social, scientific, educational matters, and perhaps yet other kinds of intelligence for other fields of human activity? In fact, don’t problems in all these fields qualify as “psychological matters”, i.e. problems of relationship? And the question of “who” would choose the appropriate subset remains. Wouldn’t that choice or action still be in the field of thought as time and self?

We can see that certain people have innate abilities or talents, can’t we. One might perhaps be able to learn certain skills or techniques and acquire some degree of the ability that is innate in the gifted. And the gifted can sharpen their talents to some extent. In either case, there are those with an innate gift — in math or science, organizing, art, sculpture, writing or speaking (the gift of gab), in carpentry, architecture, sports, dance, and so on.

Is there also such a thing as an innate talent for responding appropriately psychologically? Is intelligence a personal innate talent or a skill that can be acquired? Or is the appropriate action in psychological matters in itself the action of intelligence, which is beyond thought, knowledge, talent, skill or technique? Isn’t intelligence a quality, an energy, an actuality (I don’t know what to call it) which is altogether beyond ME, that is, beyond personal thought, personal talent, personal quirks and characteristics, personal knowledge, and so on?

I would like to think so, but I don’t know if this intelligence is real. It’s like God. We can believe it’s real, believe its a fantasy, or just admit that we don’t know. Until or unless this intelligence “awakens” this brain, intelligence is just an idea, a notion, something Krishnamurti spoke of.

The human-to-human relationship aspect of all fields of human endeavor can, I think, be addressed by the same intelligence. But not the content of these fields. And each field has both: human relationships and content. Right?

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the superset Intelligence is a master of discernment, an automatic choosing of the appropriate (right) intelligence for the task at hand. Like Bohm’s proprioception?

One has thought the above statement, but knowledge is limited, right? Knowledge does not protect people from climate change. People all over the world have known about climate change for years and years, and they have done practically nothing about it. Extreme temperatures are causing incredible havoc, wildfires all over the world, crops being destroyed, etc. However, unless one breaks away from a really corrupt and brutal society - a society that has become even more corrupt since K’s time - and denies and negates all thought, intelligence will not arise. Intelligence will protect a person who breaks away completely. This isn’t something to be believed. One must test this, and find out for oneself.

I can understand doubting “if intelligence is real”. It is seen — it has been seen since ancient times — that one’s understanding or perception of what is true, false, important, insignificant, and so on, evolves as one ages, isn’t it. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

Isn’t it also seen that, at every point in one’s psychological evolution (to be clear, I don’t mean Darwinian evolution), there is the tendency to believe that one’s own understanding is “right”?

We also see that our conclusions limit and blind us, and that we are sometimes unable to discern between knowledge and perception, And so we MUST be cautious, we MUST doubt our own words.

So doubt is unavoidable, it seems to me. And can we — can one — while doubting, look into intelligence? Must reasoning lead us to conclude that intelligence CANNOT be understood? And do we therefore decide NOT to look into it?

But isn’t there a spontaneous flame which drives one to question? Not an idea, not duty, obligation, law or entertaining escape. There is no choice in it. So here we are, doubting, talking things over, looking into the burning questions which arise. No?

In this moment, we are asking whether there is such a thing as intelligence, what that thing might be, what is the source of action, and so on. How do we approach these questions? The fact is that I don’t know. So I can only start from there. I can’t start by pretending that I know what I don’t know, or that I know how to proceed. That would be stupid, wouldn’t it? And it dawns upon me that the very action of not pretending might BE intelligent action. There is another aspect of this dawning realization, which is that “I" cannot be intelligent, that the source of intelligence lies beyond “me”. Can this be a partial insight into stupidity, intelligence and self? — not the whole of it. Can we go on from here? Or we can just leave it at that.

I think all of us here would agree that “I” is not intelligent, and that is why humanity has been in conflict with nature (including ourselves) since we invented civilization.

Krishnamurti considered himself “a religious man”, I’m assuming, because intelligence beyond human reasoning was real for him. I don’t consider myself religious because this intelligence is not real for me, but I am “religious” in the way believers are. I honestly don’t know if this intelligence is real, but having no faith that we humans can break free of our predicament by willful determination, I’m more inclined to believe it’s real than to doubt it.

It seems to me that in every field of human endeavor, there is inevitably relationship — in running a business, a family, a criminal enterprise, a farm, a hospital, research, the military, rescue efforts, an educational institution, a place of worship, prison, public transportation; working there as an executive, a thief, an organizer, an accountant, a clerk, a janitor, a student, a doctor, an illegal agricultural worker, being homeless, an athlete, and so on. So the totality of all fields of human endeavour includes all of relationship, as I see it. And relationship in every field of endeavour is corrupted or tainted by the self — by “my” choices, beliefs, actions, and so on.

So, as I see it, intelligence cannot “fix” the various fields of human endeavour and their content — their equipment, machines, programs, procedures, products, and so on. A field of endeavour and its content might be fixed to some extent by techniques, knowledge, skills, talent, and so on. But it is in relationship that problems arise. It is relationship which needs healing, isn’t it? Isn’t it “the self” — me and you — that causes the problems in relationship and in every field of human endeavour and the world’s chaos and disorder? That’s how I see it but I’m not sure of anything.

There is a reason why we think what we think. It is not possible to end thought unless each “type” of thought is resolved. For instance, fearful thoughts. It is not possible to end fearful thoughts unless we deal with the fear and accept what fear projects (like pain, death etc). Once pain/death/etc is accepted, these kind of thoughts dont come up as frequently, and after some time end completely. So it is with other types of thoughts. Each “type” of thought must be resolved before that type of thought ends. Once the whole consciousness has been resolved, there will be very few thoughts. So, instead of determining to end thought, we must rather determine to deal with each thought category and what it projects. Then, thought will automatically reduce a great deal.

Without going off on a tangent, IS knowledge necessary for physical survival, albeit transient? Does all thought engender emotions, conflict and division?

In any case, even necessary thought is limited in scope, isn’t it. Thought can build awesome structures and instruments, care for the ill, organize rescues and educational programs and so on. But all this is still limited. It is beyond thought’s abilities to be loving or compassionate, and to end greed, brutality, fear, etc. Thought does not have the intelligence, thought is not intelligent, as I see it.

So no matter what awesome structures, programs, ideas, etc. thought produces, thought is limited. All of its marvelous accomplishments inevitably turn to dust, and the human being is cut off from love, compassion and intelligence. In this circumstance, in spite of the great things man (thought) does, divided thought ultimately causes sorrow, suffering and destruction. Man is trapped in the darkness of self and time. No? That’s one aspect of thought’s limitations, as I see it.

The other thing — which it seems to me you mention indirectly in saying that “Intelligence will protect a person who breaks away completely”— is the inevitability of death and suffering. Do you mean that intelligence protects one from death, suffering, pain? Is this what man is seeking? Still, there is no guarantee of security, is there? There is no protection against death and suffering. There is no life without death, and pain. It is in facing and understanding the fact of death, pain, fear, suffering that there is intelligence and transformation, as I see it.

Does one truly “break away from a corrupt and brutal society” if it is done in exchange for reward? Is that transformational? It seems to me that it isn’t but nothing is certain. Do you see what I mean?

Dearest Huguette,

True, there are no guarantees. It was a risk, a big risk. At the time, I wasn’t sure that it would/could work out. But I was really fed up. And I had come to a decision, that I never ever ever wanted to suffer psychologically again! So when K offered freedom, I wondered, ‘What have I got to lose?’… my self. Understand?

Charley has seen Charley’s death in around 24 years, and there is no way to get around that moment, which appeared to drag on for a few weeks. And yes, as you have stated above, thought has created medical miracles. Charley’s blurry vision was corrected by an ophthalmologist (Charley’s karma). I must say, Huguette, there is something rather miraculous that happens when one breaks away from society. I left everyone, circle of friends, family, and the city that I had loved. Intelligence decided on a safe harbor (metaphorically speaking) to call “home”. At the time that Charley did that, Charley had a vague sense that … it was as if there was something that took notice. So that while one is in meditation, and working hard on cleaning out one’s interior mess, there is a kind of protection - yes, I would have to say that. The protection was odd to Charley in that it prevented others from interfering in Charley’s “spiritual” journey and being in meditation. People tried, and, (cough), they lost their jobs! Initially, Charley went along with them, and the mind/heart (intelligence) would say, ‘don’t worry, nothing will come of that’. And true to form, nothing came of many others’ repeated attempts to “integrate” Charley back into the fold, so to speak. The protection increased exponentially when Charley agreed to do meditation-while-sleeping. You see - (but don’t believe Charley) - there is a force of energy in the universe that cares about humanity.

When you ask, ‘Do you mean that intelligence protects one from death, suffering, pain? Is this what man is seeking?’ A curious question, Huguette. Most people with egos think and behave as if they are immortal, right? (joke) Intelligence doesn’t mind what may happen. While in meditation-while-sleeping, the protection (that which is most holy) intervened to prevent Charley’s physical death. In general, this protects one against others intervening to prevent the process.

When the mind is good, it can deal with practically anything.

The mind is what needs the kind of healing you’re talking about, I think. And the mind exists … in relationship. So, yes, as strongly as it feels like MY MIND, the ‘my-ness’ is only partially true. To a significant extent, my mind is humanity’s mind. (Poor humanity!)

The self causes pretty much everything in the human field: problems, solutions, good, bad, kindness, hatred, love, war. Do you agree?


I see I didn’t express myself well. I said “there is no guarantee of security” but what I meant is “there is no security”. Saying “there is no guarantee” implies that I’m aiming for a particular outcome and there’s no guarantee of achieving the outcome that I want. Trying to get a particular outcome is based on desire or will, as I see it. If I get the desired outcome, then I feel my effort has paid off. But the fact is, there is no security at all — that’s what I meant. I don’t know if I’m expressing the distinction I see clearly.

What do you mean by the self? The self-image? The human being?

Quite a while ago I posted a question asking what Krishnamurti meant when he said that “the brain must have complete security”. Several people took a stab at it but no one had a plausible answer to the question. What do you think he meant when he said “the brain must have complete security”? I ask because one of the absolutes of K’s teaching is that there is no security.

Hi again Huguette

Ah, sorry, I don’t remember everything I wrote. Don’t retain much. Unless I make a mistake, like the one where I wrote recently - seeing the truth of the false. Woke up, and the wrongness of what I had posted resonated - floated up into consciousness, so had to go back and edit, and change to: seeing the false in the false. Sorry, would have to re-read last post here, and am not going to do that.

So, True, there is no such thing as physical security. One never knows, does one? But there was some physical security that intelligence pointed to; but, one didn’t just sit there or stand there and wait for physical security to just happen - i.e. shelter… One did move to secure shelter and food. One year, I was in an area of town and it was cold, and needed a warm jacket, and there on a branch of a tree was a down jacket my size that was hanging on that tree branch. So, all the real needs - food, clothing, shelter were provided for. Because of meditation, one has experienced psychological security. I would be careful of the use of the word “will”… There is such a thing as goodwill, but any exercise of will in itself (as I recall reading, someone wrote “will to change” in another thread, perhaps) leads to the dark side.

With regards to the outcome, I never really thought about it after my initial impulse. Was too into meditation, and what was happening inside. I was never certain whether what K said - all of it - would end psychological suffering (not sure whether I am expressing this rightly/correctly, as well). Can’t really recall. Charley never had a specific goal to reach in the sense of state of mind, peace of mind, happiness, more awareness, personal growth, whatever, etc. That is the important distinction - considering more the result than the process.

I will give you an example: just one, were one to end a habit, that may appear as a sort of goal, right? But, K suggested that one must just be aware that it is a habit, and one can end it. So, here, one is not trying to arrive at a state where the habit no longer exists (a result), but one is paying attention to the awareness that it is a habit. So, to end suffering, one stays in meditation, staying passively aware to what is happening inside. Does that clarify?

As I see it, I cannot blithely go about my daily tasks if my house is on fire, if there’s an earthquake, if there’s an invasion, if I fall ill, and so on. There, it is seen that brain cannot function optimally without complete physical security.

And, psychologically, where the brain is constantly worried, resisting, obsessed, endlessly occupied, preoccupied, desiring certain things, fearing others, trying to bring certain things about and resisting other things, there is no security. The constant efforts to bring about the conditions and things one desires constitute a state of psychological insecurity and disorder. So here too, it is seen that the brain cannot function without security, without order.

The brain must have complete security to function appropriately, healthily. But the simple fact is that there IS NO physical security. The very psychological resistance against this fact is the disorder of fragmentation, self and time. The very resistance robs the brain of security. This is my understanding of it. I could be mistaken.

The ego-self, the thinker, the one who lives in psychological time.