It's desire, stupid

Questioner: “I understand what you say verbally, but I can’t stop groping and longing, for deep within me I do not believe that there is no way, no discipline, no action that will bring me to the other shore.”

Full Excerpt


To see the whole nature of the trap, and accept it, necessitates a tremendous sense of responsibility.

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Can one know this while trapped? Isn’t the trapper the trapped?

Wouldn’t one have to be outside the trap/trapper to see it for what it is?

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Isn’t the trap the trapper?

Wouldn’t one have to be outside the trap/trapper to see it for what it is?

Aren’t we in our separate, precious traps because, admittedly or not, we choose to be?

As I recall, the book this excerpt came from was written entirely by Krishnamurti who was both himself and the questioner. He probably felt bound to do this because statements (like this one) were never stated.

I cannot believe that I cannot free myself from believing because believing is what I am. Yet I cannot deny that freedom is beyond belief; that believing is just something the human brain can choose to do. So it seems that all I can do is what I know how to do until I can’t go on.

Hi doug

How are you? I have a question. How do i mention someone’s name or username for them to be notified? Thank you.


Hi, use the @ for example @simple
also if you click on their avatar (eg your orange S or my apple with teeth) you can message them directly.
also as you clicked the reply button on my post in this thread, I am notified, and also I know which comment you are replying to (its good practise when replying to a particular comment)

I just wanted to say thanks but the editor doesn’t let me.

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In this case yes, the desire is the movement of self. What I want is an invention of my conditioning.

Of course not. But it does take a tremendous amount of energy to even consider chewing your leg off.

In the case of the trap of human experience (as opposed to a bear trap) all we have to do is let go of fear (aka accept death, fall into the void)

And in order to do such a foolish thing, one must have no choice.

If this is the case, K could have phrased the question a bit better. I had to read the quote several times to understand it and I’m not completely sure I’ve got it right.

So the questioner thinks there is a way, a disciple, an action that will bring them to the other shore, right?

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Yes I believe that is the case.

If we were able to see the whole nature of the trap, I doubt there would be a trap. That is, If by trap we mean taking for granted that the observer exists apart from the observed. There is no accepting (or surrendering to) an illusion. You can only do so to your idea of one, which means the illusion has been given form through knowledge, and is being treated as reality.

Krishnamurti is not about being practical. We, for whom the observer is vitally real, are.

What if, though

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

What then? What if Self-knowledge is the (not so) mere perception that the self does not exist and to “know thyself” has nothing to do with learning more and more, accumulating more and more insights into how we are conditioned or whatever else we are clamoring after?

You don’t know that it can be done if you haven’t done it. You’re assuming that with enough energy, the ego can kill itself.

In the case of the trap of human experience (as opposed to a bear trap) all we have to do is let go of fear (aka accept death, fall into the void)

Saying that fear can “let go” of itself is another way of saying the ego can kill itself.

And in order to do such a foolish thing, one must have no choice.

Your belief that the believing brain can go beyond belief by summoning enough energy and fearlessness is the same as the Questioner’s, who said, “deep within me I do not believe that there is no way, no discipline, no action that will bring me to the other shore”, a convoluted way of saying I can’t stop believing I can free myself.

The trap is being limited to belief/disbelief, and choosing one or the other is choosing to remain trapped. So there is nothing I can do but look at my predicament and wonder why I’m here.

I feel there is a huge difference between : “I think I can do it!” and “I give up”. They might even be opposites.

Also there is a difference between the acceptance of “I give up” and the hatred of “I will kill x”.

We seem to be addressing 2 things : the power of experience (aka conditioned/projected reality) and what we believe about “intelligence” & “self” - in terms of their “separateness” and effects on transformation.

If I am conditioned to believe that I am the source of suffering, will not this “reality” affect my actions?

Do I play no part in the refusal of psychological death? Can some outside intelligence force my hand?

This sounds like the effect of psychological death : self is not perceived, because it is absent.
Before that happens there is the cause of one’s refusal of self, and the conditions that permit it. One cause of revulsion being one’s intellectual interpretations (and experience) of self, and the conditions being whether my life is forcing me to take responsibility for myself.

The ‘I process’ shouldn’t be called a ‘trap’ as @DeNiro spoke about in a recent post because it’s the way most of us function. The ‘self’ image, ‘me and mine’ has become a problem for humanity that K from his point of view felt needed to be addressed. The brain has ‘infinite potential’ and it has limited itself through as he said, not realizing that the ‘observer (me) is the observed’ (what is seen, heard, experienced etc) also that the thinking process has no ‘thinker’ as its source.
If he is right, only great confusion can result from continuing to live without the ‘self knowledge’ that this is a fact…so all desires to correct the situation arising from our psychological situation as it is now are “stupid” in the sense that they reinforce the illusion that there is a ‘doer’ who is separate from the situation. There isn’t, but , that has to be seen for the attempts (desires) to ‘be free’, to end.

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I wasn’t alluding to any of those expressions.

What I’ve been saying is that the conditioned brain, when confronted with the evidence that it is self-deceiving, has no choice but to quit distorting, denying, and dismissing what awareness reveals, and this means inquiring into what, if anything, it can do to quit being what it is.

In the course of this inquiry, it realizes that it can do more than its conditioning permits, which is to say that the problem cannot solve the problem; that the solution is seeing the problem in its entirety for the first and last time. But since the conditioned brain cannot see anything clearly, choicelessly, the problem must be solved before the brain knows it.

So who or what solves the problem? Or does the problem solve itself by being what it is without desire to be something it is not?

Yes, but the conditioned brain can’t see anything that isn’t altered by its conditioning to see only what it does or does not desire, to be living in the world of what should or should not be. So seeing unconditionally, choicelessly, means having no desire, and having no desire means having no fear of losing it.

I recall K pointing at having to go into ‘desire’ deeply. Psychological desire (wanting) arises from the idea that what is in front of me in this moment ‘could’ be different than what is in front of me in this moment. That belief moves away from what is, the awareness of what is, the present , and with ‘thought’ arising, brings the past into this present. So the desire for the moment to be other than what it is, seems to be based on a misunderstanding? The same misunderstanding that separates the observer from what is observed? That there is a ‘me’ apart, in control who can make choices? And ‘wants’ what is, to be different than what is i.e…. for ‘me’ to be ‘free’.

Having no fear of losing what?