Kinfonet Editorial | Why do we speak to one another?

Why do we speak to one another?

Apart from the birds, who have the luxury of flight and of being able to remain at a safe distance from earthbound predators, most animals are very quiet. They only seem to make sounds when they are under threat or otherwise disturbed. Our domestic pets, especially dogs, are slightly different perhaps because they have taken on some of the characteristics of their human hosts and can relax into their environment with an elevated sense of physical security. Human beings, however, seem to delight in filling the world with noise. The result is that today across the civilised world it is very rare to ever find oneself in a place that is truly silent, free from the sound of human activity; unless one is very fortunate, it takes a deliberate amount of energy and effort to find such a place. Even inside our great cathedrals, their ancient stillness is more often than not covered over by music, by chanting, by casual chattering or by the clip-clop of shoes over the tombstones. There are very few manmade places where silence is built into the fabric of a building.

The human mouth is capable of making so many different sounds - crying, laughing, shouting, screaming, talking, whispering - that we tend to forget that all these sounds have their origin in the brain. Therefore, most of what we hear coming from the lips of another person has a very ancient history, just as old as the stones in those impenetrable cathedral walls.

Silence has no history because silence is not just an absence of noise. A silent mind has absolutely no relationship to what has come before and what comes after; it is not something that exists in a space between two sounds. This silent mind is in an altogether different dimension from the brain. The brain has a past and a future; the brain views and interacts with the world from this limited perspective; and the brain is totally reliant on thought.

Now, although I am speaking personally, as most people are inclined to do, what I am saying about the brain is not really all that personal because we have the same kind of brain. We have all been conditioned by our social environment and we are affected by and suffer from its deep-rooted influences. These are not personal opinions; these are impersonal descriptions of what is actually happening to us.

Personal comments about the silent mind, the one that appears to exist in another dimension of consciousness, may or may not have their place. But what seems to be rather obvious is that it is possible to continue to approach all of this quite impersonally once the distorting factor of our personal opinions is allowed to flower and die away. And the noises we make are often reflections of our personal opinions.

Clearly, there is no such thing as a humble opinion. Any opinion in the field of our psychological relationships has its roots in a very old form of arrogance. This too we can see for ourselves quite dispassionately and impersonally. It is not about falling into the logical absurdity of having an opinion about the danger of opinions. This is something that you and I can see together in a flash and be done with forever, if we put our minds to it. But if we are merely playing around with all this for our own amusement, we’ll get diverted very quickly – and it will inevitably be a diversion from and into the past.

Why do we speak to one another at all in a serious dialogue? What’s the game we are playing? Obviously we must ask one another questions based on what we see happening both in the world around us and within ourselves – there is no doubt about that – but once a serious question has been put, are we giving it time to grow? Are we aware of the place from which even our smallest and most insignificant responses and utterances come? We are not talking of everyday, commonplace conversations where the need to speak is determined by surrounding circumstances. We are talking of all these times when we come together with others to look for just a little while at the complexity and the pain of our daily lives. Why do we offer opinions in a place like this on a forum like this or in any other form of serious dialogue? Why do we allow confusion to have any voice at all? What happens when there is only confusion and not a single word about it? Can confusion survive without the word?

Let’s begin to find out.

Sir, it is good to see you again posting in these forum threads. :grinning:

For me, it seems that we talk for many different reasons in our daily life. In this entire activity of talking one another there are different sort of problems in it, which I cannot address at this point. Of course, as you said there is noise has been created in the form of opinions. I see that some of us in our community go crazy due to this noise (confusion).

As you said, it seems that confusion without a word might disappear in few moments (I do not know, it is just my speculation at this point)

What is there to be confused about? On a forum like this, when does confusion begin? We are here to explore something about which we know very little: the inner workings of our own brain with all its psychological complications. Is the explorer separate from the explored? If he acts as though he is separate, isn’t this inevitably going to give rise to confusion?

Sir, I see that you asked me about the aspects of separation between the observer and observed, which often happen in us.

I know that I am not separate from those crazy thoughts (born out of noise(confusion)) and also those set of people who acted out of it. The question is how we are handling such kinds of thoughts, in critical situations. For me, it seems that a person with a quiet mind sees things clearly compared to the one who tries to analyze in an intellectual way. :slightly_smiling_face:

Maybe I have wrongly interpreted your reply, please do point it out if I am missing anything.

A quiet mind has no person attached to it. I think this is the whole point. Let’s explore this a little by being as careful and as objective as we can.

The person, the self, the ‘me’ is quite naturally confused about his or her place in the universe. You and I, we don’t really know why we are here and what we are doing with our lives. Apparently, however, society offers many answers to these fundamental questions about existence, both in the contemporary worlds of philosophy and psychology and in the ancient worlds of religion and superstition. When we listen to these voices in the hope of gaining insight into our condition, obviously we are going to become more and more confused. What seems to have happened to almost every human being on their inner journey through life is a slow and imperceptible movement from not knowing about the world to confusion about it; and to stave off the anxiety and fear which attends most forms of confusion, slowly we attach ourselves to beliefs and figures of authority who seem to provide a few necessary answers. This is actually what happens to us, isn’t it?

Sir, I have started investigating many different things inside me after the phase of sorrow in my life. It seems that what you have described in your post, holds the most part of my actions in my life and I do not know about others. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, a great example is our discussion at this moment.

Sir, in Buddhist traditions for quieting the mind, it is mentioned that one should learn to be with their thoughts along with some awareness, rather than simply being thoughts.

This is still the same issue: what is the entity that seeks to stay with its noisy thoughts? Surely it is just another manifestation of noise. The noisy mind says, ‘I must be quiet,’ which is more noise. This is obvious, isn’t it?

First of all, am I noisy? And am I aware of the nature of the noise?

Yes, sir we cannot control it.

Yes, we are noisy in general. As far as I know, awareness settles our mind, the only indication for our awareness is the absence of restlessness in our inner thought dynamic (which is my speculation).

Therefore, don’t speculate. Let’s first of all find out whether or not we are even capable of thinking at all. Thinking requires clear facts and precise information. If there are no clear facts, then why do we call it thinking? Surely, our noisy thoughts are evidence not of thinking but of the absence of thinking. I am not sure we have ever looked at it this way before. So what we are saying is that speculation is not thinking. Speculation is noise. Thinking itself demands tremendous quiet.

Because the conditioned brain has only speculation, belief, or no clue, and we’re in search of a clue.

Why do we allow confusion to have any voice at all?

Because we are confused. Are you not?

What happens when there is only confusion and not a single word about it?

Good question.

Thought is confused, not you or I. The moment one says, ‘I am confused,’ thought has created an artificial distance away from itself and placed the source of its confusion in this apparently separate entity called the ‘me.’ Thought has adopted the form of a living persona, surrounded by a welter of speculations and beliefs, thus absolving itself of responsibility in the matter.

So you are not confused and neither am I. All we are doing is starting to think about this. Our thinking is based only on an observation of the available facts, which are minimal. Once thought gets involved, our thinking stops.

It seems to me that I am thought and that I’m always getting things wrong because I’m too limited and confined to simply be with things as they actually are. Everything has to be translated into my terms because terms are all I’ve got; I can only work with what I have, i.e., words and imagery.

That much is true of thought, but thought is a mechanical process and the brain is not so simple or limited. So I come to the realization that I am not merely thought, but that I am the brain, and the more aware I am of how limited thought is, the less bound and determined by it I feel.

The brain realises it is not tied to the limited descriptions of thought. The brain then is free to think for itself.

If the brain realizes that psychological thinking limits, acts as a ‘governer’, on its potential it can cease to operate that way. That leaves ‘technical’ thinking. ‘I’ or the ‘self’ or a ‘center’ is a product of psychological thought and with the brain’s realization of the trap it has been caught in can discard that. There is no ‘I’, there is a body and a brain. When the brain is ‘free’ in this way it can be open to other possibilities that are within its potential.The i’s rejection of this is the resistance of psychological thinking or put differently, the brain has not realized the trap it is in.

So where is the element of realisation in all of this? At which point does a possibility become an actuality?

The moment it is “actual”.

The brain cannot have security until it realizes that the ‘image’ it has of its own ‘death’, its own ‘ending’ is perverse. A “man made trap”.

This reminds me of something Dev wrote recently (slightly edited for clarity):

When we say [we] “realize” something or the other, what is actually occurring is either a “seeing of reality” or alternatively, “a making of reality”. The former we usually refer to in Krishnamurti circles as factual [seeing] and the latter, psychological [seeing]. As it is doubtful that anyone would consciously remain in a world of make-belief by choice, it stands to reason that we are ignorant of the fact that such a phenomenon is even occurring. We have conflated the two types of [seeing] to such a degree that their respective functioning appears to us to be equally true to reality. However, in the interest of living a more coherent life if nothing else, it is important to distinguish between these two modes of [seeing], is it not?