Say I am someone who likes being with people and spending time talking about things. Is that the same as being very serious about living differently? It is a question. The participants may say they can do both. It is the view of the multi-skilled individual, whose experience is working, studying, playing, and socialising. But if we look closely, there is all that stuff, listening, watching, feeling, thinking, and we create for ourselves a lot of separate ideas, separate concepts, and separate activities. But there is no separateness for the serious mind. The serious mind is looking to be living differently, not to be talking about it. The talking about it is frivolous. We see all this. It is what we try to negotiate with friends, family, employment, careers, etc. But this negotiation is a drain on our ambitions. Probably we give up and live an ordinary life, keeping our hopes and inspirations as a comfort. Now, do we see, we are not serious about living differently, and what we call serious is an idea, and the way of thinking is full of conditioning? This non-seriousness is very disturbing. Something for which we have a lot of skills and methods of distraction, and in that avoidance become defensive and protective. That confused lot is what we think needs clarification. It is what we want others to appreciate. Living differently becomes an idea, a topic, an activity, not a serious question of the mind.
I would suggest that where so much attention is being put on trying to “live differently” there may be little attention being put into seeing how it is that you do live, and the deep reasons and implications involved in what you actually do in your everyday life and relationships. It seems to me the latter has a far greater significance than the former.
I would suggest that seriousness is neither about accepting where and what you are nor about rejecting it. It is about seeing it and understanding it.
Living differently is about understanding the whole crazy, violent, destructive world of humans. The many people of the world living in fear do not have a relationship. What humans have created is conglomerate of desire, competition, and compromise. I can be serious about myself in regard to what I know about shopping, social affairs, business, technology, etc. Serious for the mindful, is not about day to day affairs.
My answer to this question is no because you would be someone who is living like everybody else who is not serious. What is wrong with the way we live: being with like-minded people and talking endlessly about things of common interest? As Krishnamurti said, the world is burning; and all we do is spending time talking about things. Therefore, we are, like everybody else, not serious about living differently.
Acknowledging where and what you are in the moment is being serious about being; being on top of things, so to speak. But understanding is beneath it all, distilling the essence from the substance.
I am looking at the room I am sitting in, maybe looking out a window, and I get a thought, a memory, and I see there is no actuality to this. It is entirely in my head. This is looking and seeing there is nothing in the way I think of my life. This emptiness, while I realise it was a memory, is like a death.
This is the same with ideas. There is emptiness in ideas. They are only in the head. It is dead to living.
Talking, writing and wanting others to respond to the ideas, is an empty gesture. The idea is not the actuality. Yet we think expressing the ideas and getting a verbal acknowledgement, following along the line of the idea, is a meaningful exchange. We are not satisfied unless there is a commitment and conformity with the idea. The idea represent all that is control, being right, self-assuredness, authority, power, all of that.
This control is because the idea is connected to more ideas, and we can build up an image. By doing this I believe I am in control. Building up the image is a technique the mind is accustom to doing, for all kinds of reasons, and it is assumed this is what must be done when with people. Then we find people are just as likely to have their own ideas, and are building up images of their own. This lack of connection is very unsettling, disturbing, and annoying. It is not fulfilling the way we believe ideas are expected to work, promising an ideal outcome, and there is conflict, which we see as external. This conflict is fundamentally the idea and its image making process.
So what is behind the confusion? It’s thought itself, isn’t it…thought with its divisions? I’m confused because I’m separate…I live separate and therefore in conflict with my neighbor, my spouse, my fellow workers, my kids, my physical needs. Even my physical needs are distorted by thinking and the desire for pleasure and fulfillment. Just a few things that come to mind upon reading your post, Peter. I may be off base, but it ultimately comes down to thinking…the root of the confused way we live.
Yes, this is what I was getting at in my above post…thought/memory.
I think it’s the body (and not the mind i.e. thought) that is behind the confusion. The existence of the body causes division. If we are pure consciousness, then there is no divisive sense of self that comes from the interoceptive feeling of hunger, discomfort and pain.
So feelings of discomfort and pain…hunger, excessive cold, heat…are ultimately the cause of division in your view.
Yes, the body senses internal and external stimuli that arises in the forms we know and create division when I am hungry while you are not. And this goes onto the psychological realm to create more division where you hate Trump and I don’t.
I think it was this awareness of the body that awakened Siddharta in the Buddha story. He realized that he was stuck with the body that could become sick, grow old and die; and on top of that suffer the misery of poverty.
Then all of us here are frivolous ninnies.
Omigod! You’d better believe it. Truth is not hard to find. We hate it.
Truth is not hard to find? What do you know about Truth?
Indeed…well said, Jack…
Of course this is ridiculous as you already realize by the tone of your question. Just made up on the spot like so many other responses. Divisiveness comes from identifying with something larger than ourselves like a religion or country, or race and other things. We feel we have to protect ourselves, our group from others who don’t see things our way, who don’t live our way.
The serious mind is looking attentively, carefully, and is fully taking in the whole view. This looking and not making images, is the serious mind. It is seeing all the lively nature, aware of all the sensations, while not forming opinions, not making judgements, not comparing, not using the intellect, and all that. All the usual, day to day, mental activity will not be looking carefully like that. If I am working, using skill, have expert ideas, I do have a serious method in my thinking, and I am looking carefully. But this is technique. The casual mental activity, and the technique, distracted from looking free from thought, is not a serious mind. I may think I am serious with my opinions, my belief, but that is all ideas, memory, knowledge. I tend to use a way of thinking to address everything, never understanding this serious mind free from thought. Occasionally I discover something enthralling, and I am consumed in the looking and listening, this is the serious mind, temporarily. The serious mind is not thinking of the past memories nor what is to come, and in this timelessness there is beauty and love.
Are you implying that the serious mind is neither reminiscing nor hoping? What then is it doing? What is the nature of the mind that is doing nothing while the clock is ticking?
That’s the point. The clock isn’t ticking when there is no thought. Psychological time ends when thought ends because thought is movement in time. If you read K instead of trolling what others say who have read K then you might surprise yourself.
Doing nothing is also an action. Knowing and the mind are not different, not separate, actions. Look at that.