Have you ever asked yourself if you have the ability to listen to K?
Short answer : No. (okay maybe the thought has crossed my mind a few times )
Though I do think this idea of “real”, “choiceless”, “open”, or actual listening is a crucial subject to examine.
When I first heard K, I didn’t have a clue what he was on about, nor even why he was speaking (I was 12) - now most of what he’s saying seems quite straightforward (weird incomprehensible, seemingly esoteric statements aside).
So maybe I was “really” listening when I was 12, and now I’m just relating to my own conditioned opinions when I hear K speak?
May I propose a way forward in this inquiry (unless you had something else planned?) Can we take a snippet from today’s quote of the day, for example this beauty :
If you find the garden that you have so carefully cultivated has produced only poisonous weeds, you have to tear them out by the roots; you have to pull down the walls that have sheltered them. You may or may not do it, for you have extensive gardens, cunningly walled-in and well-guarded. You will do it only when there is no bartering; but it must be done, for to die rich is to have lived in vain.
How do I know if I was able to listen to that? What would indicate that listening had taken place?
How would I know if I have the ability to listen to K, or to anyone, for that matter? If it’s always I that’s listening and all I know is what I think, my answer will always be what I choose since I don’t honestly know anything that isn’t self-evident or demonstrably true.
I have listened to K for hours (video and audio recordings). My first introduction to K was a series of videos with Bohm. Yes, I was distracted while listening, but my attention would return enough that some of what he said resonated with me.
This describes all of us in this forum, doesn’t it? I recall K saying somewhere, that if one could listen to him with complete attention, they would undergo transformation. If it’s true, since virtually none of us have listened to K with complete attention, none of us can honestly say they have “the ability to listen to K”.
Listening with complete attention may not require greater ability to listen, but less ability to react to what one is listening to. Our problem is our ability to deceive ourselves, and the solution may not be greater ability to catch ourselves doing it, but less inclination to depend on our ability.
I do not have “the ability” (Bob’s word) to sustain an uninterrupted/stable/still attention to say I understand K fully; this is one aspect; another one is: no one can ever understand anyone via words; if I could share the same space with K, the space of attention, a kind of sameness in seeing may occur, but again, this is unverifiable, and it is speculative.
Ultimately, I can not know or prove to my self and to others I understand K (or another human).
At first glance I do not understand this passage; what do I do ? I read it again, as K would to, read the question 2-3 times, almost calling the mind into stillness/attention…(in my case, English is not my first language, and one word can block my basic understanding, so I naturally slow down by voice while reading K )
Yea, I would like to dive a bit into this passage…
If this is true, Krishnamurti wasted his time try to convey his teaching “via words”. I don’t think it’s true…do you?
Ultimately, I can not know or prove to my self and to others I understand K (or another human).
If you understood K, would you have a self to prove it to?
If you understood K, would it be K you understood, or the nature and structure of self?
Inquiry, you shared above that we understand K partially, and I agree with what you said.
But I am strictly referring to a complet understanding of K, (which would be translated as a radical transformation, as he calls it, and this transformation can be proof of understanding K fully, but the transformation is not only the result of my exclusive understanding of K )
Humanity continues to exist, people continue to be born…and K’s effect will continue to act indefinitely in the consciousness, along with other so called “teachers”. K did not waste his time.
Actually none of us here or elsewhere is wasting his/her time. I am not living in a vacuum to generate the idea my life is wasted.
PS1: understanding is not only out of the meaning of the words, is in K’s voice, intonation, (facial expression, in case of a video) words play a partial role.
PS2: I do not understand your last two comments/questions**
Questioner: How can you hold this realization?
Krishnamurti: It is not a question of holding it. If you realize it, it is so.
Questioner: Does the environment help you to realize?
Krishnamurti: No, it has nothing to do with environment. It has nothing to do with what one is or what one is not. Simply, does one see the fact? Sir, in your bathroom you have a bottle marked “poison”, and you know it is poison; you are very careful of that bottle, even in the dark. You are always watching out for it. You don’t say, “How am I to keep away, how am I to be watchful of that bottle?”. You know it is poison, so you are tremendously attentive to it. Time is a poison; it creates disorder. If this is a fact to you, then you can proceed into the understanding of how to be free of fear immediately. But if you are still holding time as a means of freeing yourself, there is no communication between you and me.
End of K post
We listen to understand for practical issues. If you are listening to understand K in the same way that you listen for practical issues, then aren’t you holding time as a means of understanding (K’s last statement above)? If you are, that is why there is no communication between you and K. That is why there is no communication between you and another when the issue is psychological.
So, do you have the ability to listen to K?
The question is now different
It was initially asked if I have the ability to understand now it is asked if I have the ability to listen.
Yes, I can listen yet my understand is incomplete. But of course some will say that if there is listening then there is understanding.
In my case, I can be quiet and still and let myself be whatever arises, including the lack the of understanding of the spoken words.
I guess, in my case, to listen and to understand are somehow creating difficulties in relating to K
PS And Bob, apologies, your question has remained the same (you were only referring to listening), my brain has introduced the notion of understanding as some of us I guess were also taking about it …
Listening to K has nothing to do with having an ability because It takes time to develop and utilize one’s ability. I, the self, thought, being able to do something is just more I.
Listening to K, or anything, with complete attention means being nothing but listening. If that’s your idea of “ability”, I think it’s the wrong word because listening, seeing, observing, isn’t something I do; isn’t done by I; it isn’t an ability. It’s simply what happens when I am not happening.
My first question, “If you understood K, would you have a self to prove it to?”, is my response to, " I can not know or prove to my self and to others I understand K (or another human).
My second question, “If you understood K, would it be K you understood, or the nature and structure of self?”
Can one understand what K was saying and still have/be a self?
Does ‘to understand’ require time? Is ‘to understand’ a part of listening or is it something else?
I am a bit lost in my own words. I attempted several times to reply to you both, but I erased all my comments (before posting them here…, in my drafts). It is difficult to communicate in a forum, it is more direct to dialogue.
So, I’ll let others to post if they wish…Sorry…
So it would seem that we have not agreed on what we mean by the word “listening”.
There is the normal dictionary sense of “paying attention to and hearing sound” - and @DeNiro states that recognition of what has been said is an indication that listening has taken place.
But there is also this idea of listening as a sort of meditation - a sort of “choiceless awareness” of what the speaker is saying. (and maybe some of us even think that some kind of transformational magic might happen when the speaker happens to be K ).
There may also be some confusion between innocent curiosity & curiosity with a motive.
The former version being a wanting to understand what is being said, and the latter a desire for confirmation. The first being conducive to listening and the second being the movement of self/hope/fear.
PS. The terrible thing is that “paying attention to and hearing sound” actually describes listening in both senses. What prevents meditation is motive and extrapolation.
As a quick aside from the main topic of this thread, maybe I can just quickly point out the kernel of this quote. The central point is this bit : You will do it only when there is no bartering.
Which mirrors the central message of the quote that Bob gave us : Simply, does one see the fact? Sir, in your bathroom you have a bottle marked “poison”, and you know it is poison; you are very careful of that bottle, even in the dark. You are always watching out for it. You don’t say, “How am I to keep away, how am I to be watchful of that bottle?
Which is the same thing as the K quote I messed up the other day on the Zoom dialogue group : Freedom is born of the perception that freedom is essential
Isn’t ‘listening to understand’ - a form of bartering? So there is only listening. Won’t one only know the fact of what happens when there is ‘only listening’ by only listening? One must do it, explore, not talk about it. What happens when you do it? Is there the ability to listen?
Yes, if there is some form of loss or gain involved.
If there is some motivation based on my progress or security, something specific that I am looking for in what is being said, that is what I will be on the look out for - rather than being able to innocently embrace what is being said.
“listening to understand” could mean curiosity about the concepts that are being proposed by the speaker. (as opposed to : in the hope of gaining some knowledge, or listening without any focus on meaning, like when listening to birdsong)
Maybe by “listening to understand” you mean that any desire to understand necessarily stems from fear and some desire for power?
When a song comes on the radio, and I hear the words “she sang a lullaby” - I understand and recognise the words (without any conscious motivation to do so) and I react emotionally to them. Has listening occured at any point in this narrative?