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J. Krishnamurti - San Diego 1974 - Conversation 14 - Death, life and love are indivisible


Beginning approximately 8:45 into the video, I quote K.:

“What is it that dies? And what is it that one is frightened of with death? Losing the known?..losing this content of consciousness?” K.

“So, can the content of consciousness be totally emptied? Which is the living. The dying IS the living…when the content is totally emptied.” K.

How can one approach this ‘emptying’? Obviously the content can’t do the emptying. To me, this is a fascinating talk. Any comments? Questions?

So where does one begin upon hearing K? We know nothing about the emptying. We only know actions originating in the content. Don’t we begin by questioning what the content is…what is it made of? It’s obviously beliefs and conclusions…concepts of right and wrong…psychological knowledge and images…ideals. K is saying that that’s what we’re afraid of losing. Is that it, or aren’t we also afraid to lose all the cherished memories and experiences? What else?

The ‘contents’ make up us…you, the feeling of you. The “cherished memories “ are nothing unless there is someone to remember them. That is you, me at the center of all the attachments, memories, etc…that is what ‘dies ‘ with the ‘emptying’.

That “someone” is also a memory, no? Do pleasurable memories create the ‘me’ who says I want more? Like the little child who clings to the security of his toy. Try to take him out of he toy store and he screams bloody murder. I used to take care of a little one and they DO get attached. And all our adult ‘toys’ are what we’re afraid of losing when we die, I think. Like the man who collects art…paintings which he cherishes. Or the film buff with his collection of classic films. Are you saying that we fear losing that ‘someone’ you mentioned in your post rather than fearing losing our cherished attachments and memories …our ‘toys’?

The teeth are fine…but the gums have to go. :no_mouth:

It’s not the ‘things’, whether they be people or objects that have to go, it’s the ‘accumulator’ , the ‘attacher’, that has to go, the ‘me’, as I see it. It’s being psychologically attached to anything that has to end. That’s the ‘emptying’, isn’t it? As he says we can’t look into this problem of death, if there is the slightest fear of it.

OK…attachment has to end. It’s not the car or the house or the jewelry, but the fact of attachment itself that needs to go if we are to be free of the fear of death. There is no separate ‘accumulator’ is there? Separate from the fact of attachment? He’s just an image, no? The accumulator is the accumulating?

Like the ‘thinker’ is the thought…The ‘reason’ behind attachment is fear, right? The contents of consciousness are created through fear of not-being. So ‘possessions’ give a material ‘proof’ that I exist. “That’s mine”, she’s mine, etc". The problem with that as I think K is saying is that all that proscribes
one’s world, limits one’s reality to the known, the “me and the mine”. We’re enclosed in a self protective wall of fear.Emptying the contents would put an end to those artificial boundaries. That would be the freedom from the known. As Anderson points out in the video that our idea of ‘death’ is a “terminus”. That life begins at birth, we grow through horizontal time and at the end of that timeline we die…That view can’t help but cause a looking at that inevitable ‘future’ and fearing it. So we go through life with this fear rationalized in one way or another: beliefs in resurrection, reincarnation, etc. K is saying all this is wrong, that “death, life and love are indivisible”…Our consciousness keeps that from being ‘discovered’.

Dan: The ‘reason’ behind attachment is fear, right? The contents of consciousness are created through fear of not-being.

All kind of fears, no? We accumulate attachments, and then fear losing them. I’m very attached to my appearance for example, and if I gain a lot of weight and start to go bald, I become angry and afraid. My girlfriend who is attracted to my my appearance may find someone more appealing. It’s not clear how we get attached to a lot of superficial ‘stuff ‘, however. Is my appearance really so important…my video collection…my new car. I may need a car for practical reasons, but does it have to be a Mercedes or a Porsche or a giant pickup? Something that pumps up my self image?

So ‘possessions’ give a material ‘proof’ that I exist. “That’s mine”, she’s mine, etc". The problem with that as I think K is saying is that all that proscribes
one’s world, limits one’s reality to the known, the “me and the mine”. We’re enclosed in a self protective wall of fear.

The known is a limitation of course. Will have to come back to the rest this later.

Rather than attempting an analysis of why I do what I do and whether it makes sense or not, cannot approach what I see K is talking about, “emptying the mind”. The ‘contents of consciousness’ that you describe are only different insignificantly (?) from mine or someone else’s. The totality of this consciousness has to be perceived. Not only the conscious content but the hidden as well. Unless there is a ‘going beyond’ it there can’t be any real ‘freedom’. I think that is what he is saying. And he says that takes “tremendous energy”. So can there be a choice less awareness of the ‘contents of consciousness’? This consciousness is always of the past and the ‘eternal present’ is hidden by it. This consciousness can never understand the indivisibility of “death, life and love”. Can it? As he said, if we wait for physical death to die to it, ‘empty’ it, it will just go on.

So for me there is only one question: Can the the mind empty itself of its contents and see that “living is death”?

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Yes he says that. But most of us don’t , so where do we begin? We obviously don’t have an empty mind. Our mind is full of ‘content’…reactions and beliefs, etc. How can all that be emptied? Or, how can the totality of it all be perceived? Obviously not by one fragment looking at another, right? The fragment is not the totality. In one talk he spoke about ‘seeing the false as false’. Is that where we begin? With observing ourselves? And questioning what consciousness is?

We know that there is no method. Krishnamurti said in some context that “if you’re not certain, be certain”. That to me applies here, that this “emptying” must be done. Does the certainty of feeling that ,bring the energy to be aware in the moment, of what I am, what I am doing, what I am thinking, etc.? There can only be “beginning”. The ‘dying to’ or emptying can’t take place over time, Can it? It can only happen where I am at any moment…insight into the ‘content of consciousness’.

But we can’t will insight to come. We long for this ‘insight’ because we suffer and we want something to relieve our suffering…to put an end to it…and we read that K says total insight will end the ‘me’…the suffering. But insight is only another image to the ‘me’, right? An idea or and ideal or goal that I want to achieve…in the future. Perhaps we can be attentive to the actual movements in ‘me’…my thoughts and actions as they are now. In another discussion with Alan Anderson K was talking about the self image…one of the fragments in consciousness…and the necessity of being without any image. But he emphasizes, “I must understand how this image is born. I can’t just say , I’ll wipe it out.” “Or use attention as a means of wiping it out. It doesn’t work that way.” 'Out of understanding(how the image comes into being) comes attention. Not attention first and then wipe it out." “I can’t attend if I’m hurt.” “If I’m hurt, how can I attend?” understanding the self image

If thought wants something bad enough, it gets it…whether it’s ‘real’ or not is something else.

This is the ‘contents of consciousness’ that we’re considering. The desire to escape “suffering”, the desire to make something we read by someone a ‘reality’, right? To ‘change’ what we think we are to something better that we imagine, etc. The ‘work’ of seeing is always right in front of us, isn’t it? The desire for the ‘reward’. A form of ‘greed’? Isn’t seeing it a ‘dying’ to it?

Dan: This is the ‘contents of consciousness’ that we’re considering. The desire to escape “suffering”, the desire to make something we read by someone a ‘reality’, right? To ‘change’ what we think we are to something better that we imagine, etc.

Yes…it’s all thinking, right? That’s what the content is made up of…imagery…imagination…thought…both the practical kind and the psychological/divisive kind.

The ‘work’ of seeing is always right in front of us, isn’t it? The desire for the ‘reward’. A form of ‘greed’? Isn’t seeing it a ‘dying’ to it?

Momentarily yes. Whether it returns or not probably depends how much deep conditioning remains…and whether we get lost in thinking…desiring…being afraid…or not.

The contents of our consciousness , as we are calling this whole complex that makes up the ‘me’, have at their center my ‘self-image’, doesn’t it?. This is the image from my childhood that was formed through the “comparisons” as K. says, made of me by parents, peers, society, and by myself. And fortified through my life to keep ''me from being “hurt”. The image that was formed decided how my life would go, who would be friends and who would be enemies, who I would look up to and who I would look down on, etc. That image, as I see it at this point, is what has to be discovered in myself totally and be dissolved. It was created as a protection against being hurt and maintaining it guarantees the mind will be hurt. The self-image was the loss of “innocence” of the mind, without it the mind can’t be hurt. So this ‘emptying’ is the understanding of this self-image when it arises, the seeing of it without judgement . No?

I honestly don’t know. Does it? My attachments are part of the contents too. I may love my golf games or my trips with my friends to the pub…my favorite videos or music groups or food and drink. Don’t the attachments make up the center too? It’s not just an Image of myself, but images of what I like and dislike…and WHO I like or dislike. When I was young I thought about music almost all of my waking hours. My life was centered around that…always striving to be better…to be as good as my musical hero’s. So my self image was bolstered when I was playing well, and was lowered when I played poorly. If I observe myself throughout the day, I’m always reacting from the center of like and dislike and good and bad…should and shouldn’t…my ideals and my prohibitions. How is like and dislike related to the self image? If I’m attached to good food or good wine and want MORE, how is that related to a self image? I tend to see it as an escape from fear or boredom or loneliness.

I think that we all could describe the same thing…the differences would be personal but all making up the ‘contents of consciousness’, the experiences, memories, fears, joys, etc of the past. The way I’m seeing this in myself is that it’s all a wastage of energy. The constant movement of thought. I’m asking myself why this movement has to continue? The repetition. K has said that it is a “degeneration”, this continuity. It grinds on, getting nowhere, going down the same paths, going round the same circle, never an ‘end’ so the new can take place…Is it possible to focus one’s attention on the moment before the movement of thought begins? In the silence that is ,before the next thought appears? For the mind to be “alert” to that silence and not be carried off in whatever thought appears. Thought seems to be always searching for an answer but can thought play any part in this ‘emptying’ of the ‘contents’? It seems it is the contents: thought with memory. But to focus the attention on the quiet before the movement of the next thought is an interesting experiment. Thought can try to describe the action afterwards.

But it’s not the ‘thoughtful’ mind that is “alert”, K: “the mind is sharp only when it is quiet”. Is that the ‘empty’ mind?

It continues because of fear…as well as the attachments that give great pleasure. In general, I’d say that that man has no interest in the ‘new’, but prefers the security of the old…the repetition of past pleasures and experiences.

Well maybe Man doesn’t, but we do. So let’s find out if it’s possible to “empty the mind”.