SATURDAY DIALOGUES July 1 (Sun July 2), 2023 - Discontent

Dialogue Questions: “Is there an end to self-seeking? What is the source of our discontent?”

For this month’s first Saturday Dialogues, we welcome dear friends Kathy Franklin and Terry O’Connor as guest facilitators. They have provided the following materials in preparation of the dialogues:

 - a description of the dialogue process
 - the format for their dialogue
 - a K quote on the topic of discontent

Description of the Dialogue Process

“To go far, you must begin very near, but to begin near is very difficult for most of us because we want to escape from “what is,” from the fact of what we are.” - Krishnamurti

The dialogue is an attempt to begin very near by exploring the nature of our own selves as they express themselves in our daily lives. We look at the personal in the context of the universal and question the limits of the personal. Krishnamurti’s teachings are a point of departure, but the inquiry is our own. We seek understanding not through external sources but through observation of the subjective experience through which the world appears and the expression of that in our relationship with the natural and social world. Inquiring together as a group creates a microcosm of the larger society and a mirror in which we can see our conditioning reflected as we expose ourselves to one another and to ourselves. The aim of group inquiry is not problem solving or self-improvement but self-discovery. As the self tends to become defensive and resistant to examination when threatened it is important to create a safe environment in which everyone is respected. A dialogue rooted in respectful, affectionate relationship is vastly different from a dialogue of the intellect. This affection is an outcome of listening deeply, and requires a suspension of judgement.

Ideally, the dialogue begins with “I don’t know” and continues to move into the unknown. We are questioning not to grasp an answer but to reveal and sweep away that which is not true. Avoiding quick responses and listening deeply both to the speaker and to one’s own reactions puts our questions and opinions in a new light. In this new light we can perceive more clearly. The insights and deeper understandings that may emerge in the dialogue process are not separate from, nor more important than, the relationships of the participants.

Dialogue Format

We begin with a reading on the topic followed by a period of silence. After the silent period we go around the circle and check in with a question, observation, or personal sharing. The check-ins are not interrupted. People who don’t want to speak may pass. After the go around, the group is spontaneous. We like to stay close to the topic for the whole dialogue and to keep the dialogue in the here and now as much as possible. It is the responsibility of all of us to facilitate the dialogue process, giving room for the quiet ones to participate, discouraging the talkers from dominating, and listening closely to all participants, including oneself, without judgment.

Krishnamurti on Discontent

In this quotation Krishnamurti asks if there an end to self-seeking. He questions if our search for the truth is merely a search for self-fulfillment. He contrasts two kinds of discontent, discontent that is directed toward self-fulfillment with a discontent which has no motive.

It seems to me that one must understand for oneself the whole process of why one seeks, and not be satisfied by any chosen word, by any chosen end or target, however ennobling, inspiring, or ideal it may seem. Because surely, the very way of the self, the me', is this constant process of discontent directed towards a fulfilment; that is all we know. When there is no fulfilment, there is frustration; and then come the many problems of how to overcome that frustration. So, the mind seeks a state in which there will be no frustration, no sorrow. Therefore our very search for so-called truth’ may be merely the fulfilment, the expansion, of the self, of the `me’. And so we are caught in this vicious circle.

If one is aware of all this, completely, totally, then there is no sense of fulfilment in any belief, in any dogma, in any activity, or in any particular state. The search for fulfilment implies sorrow, frustration; and seeing the truth of that, the mind then is no longer seeking.

I think there is a difference between the attention which is given to an object, and attention without object. We can concentrate on a particular idea, belief, object, - which is an exclusive process; and there is also an attention, an awareness, which is not exclusive. Similarly, there is a discontent which has no motive, which is not the outcome of some frustration, which cannot be canalized, which cannot accept any fulfilment. Perhaps I may not be using the right word for it, but I think that that extraordinary discontent is the essential. Without that, every other form of discontent merely becomes a way to satisfaction.

So can the mind, being aware of itself, knowing its own ways of thinking, put an end to this demand for self-fulfilment? And, when that comes to an end, can one remain without seeking and be completely in a state of void, with neither hope nor fear? Must not one arrive at that state when there is complete cessation of all seeking? - for then only is it possible for something to take place which is not the product of the mind.

London, June 22, 1955

Zoom Info & Link:

Date: Saturday July 1 (Sunday July 2 in E Asia, OZ, NZ)

Time: Dialogue I at 3 PM UTC
Dialogue II at 11 PM UTC
See the attached Schedule for the time in your time zone
Or check under Dialogue groups

Duration: 2 hours

Join: Launch Meeting - Zoom

Meeting ID: 899 4119 3018
Passcode: 641528