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Tabula Rasa Thread :: Is it hopeless?

Is it hopeless?

(Another tabula rasa thread = we do our best to leave the known at the door. No quotes or appeals to teachings of any kind, no esoteric jargon, no external or internal authorities. No security of known.)

It certain feels hopeless sometimes.

The suffering, individual and collective, continues, thrives even. Ditto for the ignorance and stupidity and cruelty and mean-spiritedness.

And the ‘prize’ at the end of the struggle: the death of you and everything you know.

(I’m resisting making a joke here, because I recognize that that is one of my security blankets.)

Are you saying? : It’s hopeless, I can’t see how to make the suffering go away - and that the promised solution seems just as bad as the problem.

PS - regarding the rules of this thread, how do we deal with the problem of “internal authority”? eg. what I know, what I feel?

Something like. But not limited to. I’m pushing a button with “Is it hopeless?” and asking: What does this question trigger in you, in us?

How do you think we should deal with internal authority? Let’s say you think “Oi! Another Rick Scott ditty! What kind of game is he playing this time? What is he even doing in a Krishnamurti forum, he’s clearly no K’ophile! And the whole ‘hopelessness’ thing, such an old and tired trope.” Whaddya do?

When is one ever without hope? I’m usually looking forward to something interesting, gratifying, or at least something new, and this optimistic anticipation is what keeps me going. But as soon as it seems to me there’s nothing to look forward to but pain and suffering, I don’t want to keep going.

So the question (at least for me) is, Is it possible to abide without looking hopefully/fearfully toward what may be ahead? Or can one be completely present only when it is understood that no matter how promising or threatening an imagined future may be, it is self-induced division. In other words, I don’t want to be completely here-and-now because I am more heavily invested in what I can imagine than in what actually is.

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Throwing your hands up and wailing “Woe be onto us, it’s hopeless!” is a buying into the system of hope, isn’t it? Any notion of hopelessness implies the existence of its opposite, hopefulness.

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And vice versa, hope contains it’s own opposite, despair.

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So when you hope, you open the possibility for despair. Or is it more direct: When you hope you guarantee (eventual) despair. Or even more direct: When you hope, you despair.

Or rather: When you hope, you desire.

Hope is an “expectation of something desired” - so hope is a species of desire.

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The Greek for ‘hope’ (as used in the Christian New Testament) is elpis.

For the Greeks Elpis was the spirit of hope (portrayed as a young woman carrying flowers). Zeus is supposed to have trapped a myriad of other spirits, along with Elpis, in a jar before giving it to the first ever woman (called Pandora). When Pandora opened the jar all of the spirits flew out - all except for Elpis (who remained in the jar). The spirits who were released from the jar brought endless suffering to humankind. Only Elpis remained behind, to give some consolation to humanity.

So hope and suffering have always gone together in Greek thinking.

The opposite of Elpis was a spirit called Moros - “the spirit of hopelessness and doom”…

For Christians hope (elpis) was linked to faith and love - particularly to faith: “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (KJV).

I was wondering if when you bring hope to life (by hoping), you bring hope’s opposite, despair to life. Or to generalize: If you activate one of a pair of interdependent opposites, like hope/despair or pleasure/pain, do you also activate the other? Does every action have an equal and opposite reaction? (Am I stumbling into the realm of karma? Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! :wink: )

Warnung! Warnung!

Both James and I have fallen a bit into non-tabula-rasa hood, by talking about Greeks, Christians, Newton’s laws, and karma.

I don’t want to be a control freak, but it’s a slippery slope … if we don’t take care, the thread will fall into being just like the standard threads rather than an attempt at checking our knowledge at the door.

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Apologies - I didn’t read the op (“No quotes or appeals to teachings of any kind, no esoteric jargon”, etc).

What is “it” here? Is what hopeless? Life? The world of human society?

Collective chaos, ending in the death of the individual?

So we are talking about how hopeless this world, this life, seems to be - with all its chaos and suffering ending in death. Right?

So hope means the desire that this should not be the way things are (with despair being its opposite, resignation).

Is there a way of meeting the world - the world of unjust society - and a life that ends in death, with neither hope nor despair? That is, to meet it as it is (which is not the same thing as resignation)?

‘It’ is whatever you want to bring to it. Hopelessness.

Sure. I guess that is more or less what I had in mind when I started the thread: Are we doomed to unending incoherence and suffering? Is ‘enlightenment’ a fairy tale? Individually and collectively.

Yes because hope is in relationship to future or time .There is no hope in the present,it is what it is .

I’d say that all of us are guilty of running with and expanding upon the first thought/reaction that came to mind - of course, we cannot discount the possibility that someone is sharing an insight from clarity, or disregarding their first few surface reactions and sharing something deeper. James and Rick are just guilty of sharing knowledge/authority from the classics.

My first reaction, based on memory, is that a true and sincere belief that “it is hopeless” is actually the key to freedom from the known - seeing that there is really no choice may be necessary for choicelessness, for freedom from good and evil.
Hope is me.

The question “Is it hopeless?” can be explored in 2 ways :
1 by answering the question using the tools of reason/logic and the facts (though what I want, feel and any beliefs that back up my desires are sometimes used as get out clauses) or
2 by inquiring into the whole question, which includes the source of the question - this might not be a question of dialogue and claims, rather honesty, curiosity and non clinging to authority/the known (aka contemplation of my relation to the question)

Either you believe that feelings are an accurate indicator of the truth - and your conditioning is reinforced - the I is comforted…
Or you are aware that thoughts and feelings only indicate who you are, and are not a direct relation to the question at hand - so you come back to the question.

Mea culpa! Partly I do this because I get such a kick out of finding (making up?) connections between apparently separate worlds. And partly because it’s an appeal to authority: He/she/they said it, so it MUST be true!

I understand, but the experience of hopelessness/despair is sometimes (not always) so unpleasant that, rather than stay with it or see it for what it might truly be, I escape it, sublimate it, ornament it.

I’m leaning toward 1/3 1 and 2/3 2. In other words both, favoring the introspective contemplation.

Or you hedge your bets and oscillate between the two: Rick’s an arse, no that’s just my image, no I mean let’s be real: Rick is an ARSE, no no that’s image making at work, Rick arse, image, arse, image, arse, image … … … … … … … …

This is a description of the self at work - it just means that the self is still dictating truth - the choice it offers still seems valid - there is hope.
Seeing that I am a cul de sac, is not the same as despairing at the possibility.

I do get caught up with the fact that I seem to be talking to a fool sometimes - but I can free myself from the urge to tell them, and get back to dealing with the actual discussion. The urge to persuade my interlocutor is secondary (not my job) - my job (I love my job) is to see if I can listen and respond to what is being said clearly.

Yes, and yes.

It’s important for good listening: to be free from the need to act out based on knee-jerk reactions.

When death may be imminent a panic arises. This is ‘self-importance’. It is me reacting to the image of the body dying and leaving me ‘hung out to dry’. It’s no wonder why all the ‘afterlife’ stories were created… to give some solace in these moments of intense fear. K’s “you are the world” is the latest.

But it’s radically different in that it exposes and explodes the myth, reinforced since childhood, of one’s ‘special-ness’.

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