The conditions for change which K did not consider

Krishnamurti used to say that if you really listen and understand comprehensively you will change fundamentally on the instant. He also said that intellectual understanding is no understanding. It is a deterrent to true understanding which must take place on all levels of our being (including the unconscious and the feelings).

IN his dialogues with David Bohm, he said that if you really listen to me (by me he meant a voice in the wilderness that said that there is water), if you really listened that way you would be transformed in a moment and not take time over it.

He also said that through time you can never reach the timeless (which is an example of an iron-clad logic that can mislead - I will explain later in this message).

Let us now investigate each of these points individually. The first point was about really listening. First of all, the inner climate of a person’s mind is so vast and variegated that to change merely by listening to someone seems far-fetched. Let us take an example from K’s conversation with David Bohm in the book: The Ending of Time.

K: Yes, but man asks, help me to get past the wrong turn. Put me on the right path. And to that one says, please don’t become anything.
DB: Right. What is the problem then?
K: He won’t even listen.
DB: Then it seems to me that it is necessary for the one who sees this to find out what is the barrier to listening.
K: Obviously you can see what is the barrier.
DB: What is the barrier?
K: “I”.
DB: Yes, but I meant more deeply.
K: More deeply, all your thoughts, deep attachments - all that is in your way. If you can’t leave these, then you will have no relationship with that. But man doesn’t want to leave these.

K himself says that the barrier to listening deeply is the I, and he explains that it means his thoughts and deep attachments. Now, it is obvious to any straight thinking man that to leave all your deep attachments and conditioning you need time, and listening to a wise person will not cut the deep feeding roots of attachment on the instant through a great insight. You need time to reflect on what your attachments mean, how you are conditioned by your attachments and so on. Also, there is the question of love. How much do you love ? Do you think you can become an extraordinarily loving person just through a great insight ? That is impossible. So the gradual approach is the only way. Those who “get it” suddenly like some zen people talking about getting it suddenly through satori (enlightenment experience) have had years of mind training, meditation, reflection on the Buddha’s teachings and working with energy before they get that experience. So it was not sudden. There was a causal link to what they were doing.

Also, before you are born into your present life, you “roughly” plan your whole life with wise Elders who discuss with you about your strengths and weaknesses and what you have to learn and what habits you have to give up and so on. When the plan is finalized and you are about to take birth, for 9 months some specialist psychic surgeons prepare your various bodies (mental, emotional, and so on) in such a way that those weaknesses and strengths that have to manifest in your present life can manifest very easily through “life situation triggers”. In other words, what you have to learn in this life is made easy to learn through life situations. Let us take an example: Let us say that you have not yet learnt empathy for other people’s suffering. Then your life plan and your life situations will be arranged in such a manner that you will experience being in close contact with people close to you who suffer a lot. This way you have a chance of developing empathy.

There are many other tendencies that lie dormant in the unconscious mind that will not be triggered by life situations because that was not part of the plan for this life.

That is why, it is not possible to change completely just by “honing the art of listening”. You need to go step by step and dissolve all your tendencies over a period of many lifetimes. Each such lifetime will present to you tendencies that you have to resolve.

There is an exception to the above rule. If a person becomes very serious about his spiritual life and spends almost the whole of his free time enquiring, learning, growing, then what was to be accomplished in his next life, manifests in this very life with new life situations manifesting in his life in response to his hard work at working on himself.

So that is why it is not possible to end the “me” in one birth, unless you have, in previous births, ended a great deal of the “me” (meaning, resolved your problems and ended your conditioning in certain areas).

Next, let us talk about what K said that intellectual understanding is no understanding, but a deterrent to real understanding which is on all levels of your being.

What is the truth about this ?

The truth according to me is that understanding comes about through six stages: linguistic, intellectual, reflective, releasing, emotional and finally at the level of feelings (or what you really feel about something or vital understanding).

First, linguistic understanding. If you do not have a fine grasp of the way the writer or speaker uses language to convey his teachings, you will be lost in a jungle of unfriendly words that go against how you personally use language and words. So the first step is to have linguistic understanding.

Second, with the help of words, and reading between the lines, you intuit, also with the help of your present understanding, what the speaker or teacher is saying. If you dont even understand this, then how will you have so-called “total understanding” ?

Third, you reflect on what you have intellectually understood, by seeing the connecting links between the central idea that you are trying to understand and some of the subsidiary false ideas, thoughts and conditioning. Through associative thinking sometimes the main idea gets linked to other ideas, a process that can be unravelled by reflection.

Fourth, the false ideas and thoughts that have been established through reflection as being connected to the main idea or principle that you are trying to understand must be relinquished and released.

Fifth, this process must reach the solar plexus or the stomach, so that in your guts you know the new idea to be based in truth.

Sixth, all your feelings must be brought into harmony with your new understanding.

It is only after the completion of these six stages that you can say that “I have understood this”.

But intellectual understanding stands at the base of all this and cannot be neglected or avoided.

Finally, Krishnamurti said that through time you can never reach the timeless, which sounds very impressive, but let us see the truth of this.

Shedding a conditioning is an organic process that needs psychological as well as chronological time. IT is not always so easy as saying “I was this and I want to become that”. Sometimes, the psyche must be unraveled for you to be able to shed a conditioning and that takes psychological time, not as becoming this or that but as a means of exploring.

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Isn’t the first hurdle the fact that we are not able to listen to whats “out there”, because all we can hear is our own brain’s interpretation/projection of what’s out there - ie. we end up listening to our own image of whats being said. ?

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Having made up your mind that K’s teaching is invalid, are you here to gain adherents to your teaching?

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Yes, but K called it the first step, not the first hurdle.

A step can be taken tentatively, uncertainly, but a hurdle can’t be taken without running with confidence and determination.

I hadn’t really considered the step/hurdle metaphor, but maybe a better one would be obstacle. Better in that it might give us pause. Remember, we are only allowed one step. And it doesn’t appear to be a movement towards anything; more a falling away of profit and loss ?

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It’s definitely “a movement towards something”, but a tentative, uncertain, experimental step one takes to see what, if anything, comes of it.

What do you mean? Your description sounds like we are still supposed to make the conscious choice and effort to do stuff for some effect/gain.

Me wanting stuff and trying to obtain what I want, even tentatively, via untried and untested methods (flailing about?) is still me experiencing life in the tiny space of “me I want”.
Me/desire+effort+achievement, is the habitual all encompassing movement that needs to be seen for the movement of insatisfaction and grasping that it is.

When the flame goes out, does it actually go anywhere?

it is not that we are supposed to make the choice and effort for some gain. It is just that we do the right thing, even if it SADLY leads to some gain. (sarcasm meant for fun sake).

There is no harm whatsoever in wanting things for yourself or others. The problem is that we start getting nervous and excited as the day of gain comes closer. This nervousness and excitement is symptomatic of the problem of craving and grasping. The wanting things is not the problem.

Also, the flame of Self never goes out. What goes out is the ego or the lower self.

macdougdoug: Isn’t the first hurdle the fact that we are not able to listen to whats “out there”, because all we can hear is our own brain’s interpretation/projection of what’s out there - ie. we end up listening to our own image of whats being said. ?

you are right. not being able to listen to someone saying something true is a hurdle. BUT when you say “all we can hear is our own brain’s interpretation …” that is true for every one including enlightened people. Howe does MAN process information ? Through interpretation. NO interpretation no understanding. After all if you dont interpret my words you are listening to just garbage sounds. Firsdt we interpret to understand the language, then we interpret to gain some understanding of the words. It is like that with everyone including Krishnamurti.

What is direct listening without interpretation ? It is like listening to a chorus of cats. To understand you have got to interpret at various levels. The problem is not with interpreting but with interpreting correctly or intelligently…

You lost me when you started telling a story about “elders” who administer who we are before we are born, in order for us to have some kind of best outcome for our lives. Where do you base this belief off? How do you discern something like that is true without inventing the concepts? With time he’s saying that whenever and wherever time needs to be taken is where you are seeking and therefore in limbo. If “it” is already there then there’s nothing to discover. There’s something very real behind this, cuz usually we are desiring to get from where we are now to somewhere else, which implies time.

And once you’re committed to seeking out then that implies you think you’ll eventually recognize what you were looking for. That’s what seeking is right? But in reality what we seek is what we’ve already sought so you’ll never find. When we seek we set out on a journey towards something that we’re determined to try recognize, and therefore what you’ll find has already been decided

Your assertion about K not considereing conditions for change is not correct.

J.K. made very clear that in order not to change but simply to be able of listening, first it is necessary to put our house in order, meaning to live righteously with not conflict or contradiction between our thought, talk and deed, i.e., with total integrity based on our understanding that we are the world not on selfishness, self-interest and so on. As surely you can see, that involves all of what you say and even more. It´s the only way, not only of being able of listening but also of assimilating what is listened, with a clear, clean and attentive, nor occupied nor pre-occupied, mind. He also said that if the truth is listened but not assimilated, it will act as a poison as we can see in this forum.

Also, when he mentions practices such as that of yoga he says that, initially, these things were taught only to those who lived ethical and moral lives acknowledging the necessity of it since ethical and moral are for the benefit of all, not of the ego that is this way overcome.

In J.K.´s teachings several levels are contemplated, if you can listen, as he said, the whole thing is over, finito, caput. If you can´t, put your house in order, be attentive, if you can´t do this either, live a moral and ethical life.

He talked mainly for those who can listen which doesn´t mean each one of us can listen. It is a matter of being honest with one self and to acknowledge at what point we are, unfortunately, most are not able of nor even this. Intellect has become the king and its arrogance, i.e., its stupidity is limitless.

How can we know whether we are interpreting correctly?
And what do we mean by : interpreting intelligently?

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If we are in a dark room and I tell you the sun is out, you can open the shade and verify the truth of the statement.
If I describe something about an ‘afterlife’ you have no way to verify that and you realize I am describing my ‘belief’. The correct, intelligent interpretation to that would be to leave it at that as I see it.

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Verification when possible, and acceptation of lack of data. Sounds like an excellent plan!

A handy tip for dialogue I find is to ask the other person what they mean.

Also, if I always understand what other people are thinking/meaning, or know what they should be thinking - surely this must mean I am under the influence of some sort of powerful cognitive bias?

Haven’t you ever done something out of curiosity? Haven’t you ever done something you didn’t mean to do? I don’t ask this because I think it’s what K meant by “the first step”, but because discoveries are often made by stumbling, bumbling, or impulsive action, and revelations occur spontaneously.

I don’t know what K meant by “the first step”. I can only assume that by using “step” instead of “hurdle”, he wasn’t referring to a calculated move.


[quote=“saurab, post:10, topic:1900”]
How can we know whether we are interpreting correctly?
And what do we mean by : interpreting intelligently?

We can never know whether we are interpreting correctly or not, as the word “correct” is like the word “perfection” (so near yet so far).

However you can know whether the interpretation is better, more intelligent and more inclusive (including more types of people and embracing a broader canvas of ideas) than what you were thinking earlier about it.

As for knowing that you are interpreting intelligently, then how did you know that K seems a nice intelligent person. Because his ideas struck you as brilliant and “just right”. So in a similar way if you are translating what you observe into a comprehensive insight, you will know whether it is intelligent or not.

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I must clarify that there are essentially two things that I was writing: my beliefs (afterlife/elders etc) and my understanding which is not based on my beliefs.

[LightintheDark] You lost me when you started telling a story about “elders” who administer who we are before we are born, in order for us to have some kind of best outcome for our lives.

The elders dont administer who we are. They talk with you, discuss with you, show you your important past lives so that you understand your improvement trajectory, your weaknesses, your tendencies etc. Then a joint decision is taken as to which areas of your life is it best to concentrate on. They dont write your fate. They design your fate partially with your help.

I must clarify that this is a belief and not my own understanding. It could not have been my own understanding, as I have not died and come back to tell others what the afterlife was like.

If you and others want to know what my sources are for my beliefs you can say so. Then I will provide a link to the site. But I dont want to “thrust” the link on to you people unless you want it. It is okay if you dont want it.

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im not interested in beliefs. i mean you could have responded to the more relevant lower half of my post, but whatever

Hi Saurab… Seems to me you are full of ideas that help you to justify why you do not change, why you do not listen fully to what K says. You are finding ideas on why you cannot change immediately, so that you are not open anymore for a new way to approach life, self knowledge, not open to fully and deeply question all your ideas about life, masters, previous lives, future lives.