This week’s question was inspired by the Kinfonet daily quote for February 28th: As long as we go on climbing the ladder of success, there will always be the sick and the unfed.
Krishnamurti on Poverty:
You see, this is really a very complex problem. Poverty is the fault of society - a society in which the greedy and the cunning exploit and rise to the top. We want the same thing, we also want to climb the ladder and get to the top. And when all of us want to get to the top, what happens? We tread on somebody; and the man who is trodden on, who is destroyed, asks, “Why is life so unfair? You have everything and I have no capacity, I have nothing”. As long as we go on climbing the ladder of success, there will always be the sick and the unfed. It is the desire for success that has to be understood, and not why there are the rich and the poor, or why some have talent and others have none. What has to be changed is our own desire to climb, our desire to be great, to be a success. We all aspire to succeed, do we not? Therein lies the fault, and not in karma or any other explanation. The actual fact is that we all want to be at the top - perhaps not right at the top, but at least as high up the ladder as we can climb. As long as there is this drive to be great, to be somebody in the world, we are going to have the rich and the poor, the exploiter and those who are exploited. Life Ahead | Part One Chapter 4
Is it possible to end this and live without a thought of becoming better than others?
When: Saturday March 4, 2023, 5 PM Greenwich Mean Time
(7 AM HST, 9 AM PST, 11 AM CST, 12 PM EST, 5 PM GMT, 6 PM CET, 10:30 PM IST)
Duration: 2 1/2 hours
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Meeting ID: 899 4119 3018
Poverty is also the result of natural disasters and land grabbing wars.
I would never teach this to children. It can make them feel guilty for their accomplishments and capacities and contribute to lack of motivation to succeed. Here’s what K wrote in the introduction of this book, Life Ahead: “We are concerned with the total development of each human being, helping him to realize his own highest and fullest capacity…The fullest development of every individual creates a society of equals…When each individual is flowering to his fullest capacity, there is then no comparison of functions; there is only the expression of capacity as a teacher, or prime minister, or a gardener, and so status loses it’s sting of envy.”
Hopefully it is clear that above claims in no way negate each other. War is a facet of society in action (so is trade, industry, the olympics etc…) And the effects of society are now so great that some so called natural disasters fall into this category.
Is there some idea that our worth (even when we are children) is somehow tied to the mesure of our accomplishments? By doing so is fear (of failure) not ingrained into our (young - in the case of children) minds? Surely the idea of comparative self worth based on utility, or success must be denied?
So too the idea that my success is more important than your wellbeing. First you are my friend, only second am I the best whatever (xbox zombie killer in my case)
Dear DeNiro and xbox zombie killer, sorry I couldn’t help myself !
When K said ladder it seems obvious he was talking about success by grading, competing, and comparing, achieving material success, and an image of high status? But when he said full development of capacity I don’t think he meant in comparison to another. But still, what I heard from what DeNiro was asking is that unless the whole system changed, kids have to deal with the system as it is. Their motivation has already been conditioned to be dependent on the feedback of being graded. Are we going to tell them to not worry about grades? I don’t know and don’t know what should be done? And that’s what the question for this dialogue is asking about this and on other levels as well - is it possible to live without this trying to be better than? whether the system is in place or not, is it possible?
I hope we bring the issue of kids into the dialogue on Saturday because it’s a big part of the picture…
Suffering is mechanistic. My drive for comfort & security (power & success) arises naturally from the processes laid down over millenia. (which includes what just happened a few seconds ago - and what my mom said)
We are slaves to the experience that arises in the space of perception.
There have been many natural disasters that have affected this Planet over time. The most catastrophic wiped out nearly all the creatures living at the time - whole species were lost forever. The most famous of these extinction events being the giant asteroïd (and volcanoes) that wiped out the dinosaurs - and the cyano bacteria that poisoned the atmosphere with oxygen, killing all the anaerobic species (which was everyone).
We are living in the planet’s 6th major extinction event. The cause of this catastrophic natural disaster? Human activity.
The main difference between all the previous catastrophes and this one is that we do not ask the asteroïds and cyano bacteria or volcanos to take responsibility for their actions - as they are but mechanistic events, not conscious actions by thinking agents.
The question seems to be : do we have a choice? can we take responsibility for our actions - be free of our animal instincts?
“One cannot find out what is true value as long as one’s mind is seeking consolation”
K Oslo 1933
When fear has ultimate authority, is the only voice, it seems like the best advisor.