In Wednesday’s group meeting there was a strong reaction (by one or two participants) to the use of the word “unconscious”, used in a non-technical sense. The word was used in the context of asking about whether we can be aware, as participants during dialogue, of the full nature of our reactions as they happen.
It was asserted (by one or two participants) that even this non-technical use of the word was dangerous, and had nothing at all to do with Krishnamurti’s teaching. And, furthermore, that its employment - together with the inquiry into our reactivity that the word was used to indicate - was nothing more than “navel gazing”.
However, while Krishnamurti is well-known for objecting to the the psychoanalytic convention of reifying this split between the conscious and unconscious (along Freudian or Jungian lines), Krishnamurti himself often used the word “unconscious” in its non-technical sense, to indicate aspects of consciousness of which we are not presently aware, but of which the mind can be aware. An example of this usage is provided below (from the 2nd public talk in Paris 1969).
During an inquiry into fear (or what some people might characterise as “navel-gazing”!), K points out to his audience:
“there is not only the conscious fears - fears of what you know consciously - but there are also the deep, hidden fears in the psyche, in the deeper layers of the mind. One may deal with the conscious fears… but the deep, hidden fears are much more difficult. Now, how is one to bring all the unconscious deep hidden fears to the surface and expose them? Can the conscious mind do that? Can the conscious mind, with its active thought, uncover the unconscious, the hidden? - We are using the word ‘unconscious’ non-technically: non-Freudian, -Jungian, and all the rest of it. Just the word ‘unconscious’: which is not being conscious or aware or know the hidden layers, that’s all. Can the conscious mind open the deep, secret, hidden layers in which there are many other fears?.. We’re looking at it, we are observing it, we are learning, we are seeing what actually is taking place… Can the conscious mind uncover the whole content of the unconscious? - I don’t think it can… So I’m asking myself: ‘Is there another way, instead of the analytical process… of exposing the whole content of consciousness, both the surface as well as the hidden?’… is there another approach to this problem of uncovering the whole content, which is the past, the racial inheritance, the family, the culture, the weight of religious tradition, etc …?”